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Ideas for a 1972 Honda XL250

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Hello, I am new to this forum but not to motorcycles or related forums.🤣

I recently bought a 1972 Honda XL250 for $100 that had been sitting outside of a barn for about 10 years. The bike only has about 3000 miles on it.

Of course it doesn't run but all the parts are there. Some rust in the tank but I haven't dove too deep into it yet.

I figure on a frame up restoration but was wondering how difficult these early 4 stroke Hondas were to rebuild?

Anybody here that has done that and could offer any hints, it would be appreciated :banghead::banghead:

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Those bikes were a breeze to put back together. They were made in an age when people did maintenance on their own bike instead of talking it to a dealership. Get a decent manual (I recommend Clymer) and go for it. There are alot of sites for these old bikes, just google it and I'm sure you will find something.

Good luck, and let us know how it turns out! :banghead:

Hints, umm, buy a decent impact driver, those godawful phillips-head screws are a pain to get out, replace with allen-head's

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You first get a manual, then totally tear it down to the frame. New, swingarm bushings (bronze from Honda) and zurk fittings and new steering bearings. Totally inspect the frame for cracks and rust. Wire brush the hell out of it and try to pry the joints apart. Better to find weak spots now than on the trail.

If the frame is OK, start reassembly. Follow the manual and you'll be in good shape. You'll probably find the left sidecover is corroded inside where the clutch lever is. This can be fixed or maybe you can find a better one on ebay. It's kind of a crap shoot due to the age of these things.

PM me if you need help or tips. I've rebuilt a slew of these critters over the years.

Dave

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Thanks for all the help guys.

I just got my Clymer's in yesterday and today I got a new piston and clutch plates off of ebay.

This weekend I plan on tearing the motor down and putting it on the bench to see how much work there is to do.

I will probably be asking more questions as it proceeds. :banghead:

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I had one i left sitting outside a pals rv spot in the desert for 5 years. People would place bets on how many kicks it took to start. Usually by the third but once it started the first kick which was kind of spooky. Flush the tank, add a new filter to the line & give it a go! Changing the oil on old bikes seems to cause trouble, keep that thick black goo and she'll run better! With 3k miles why rebuild? But it's good to keep busy, i have an 84 yz split open and spread about.

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Changing the oil on old bikes seems to cause trouble, keep that thick black goo and she'll run better! With 3k miles why rebuild? But it's good to keep busy, i have an 84 yz split open and spread about.

I wish mine had that black goo. The state it is in now is more of a light gray :busted::banghead::busted:

You know the winters are mighty long here in Maine and I might as well have something to keep me out of the little woman's hair :banghead:

With a good manual that I have and the help here, I should be fine.🤣:busted:

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If the early 1970's XL250's are anything like the XL350's expect to pay a premium for quality used major engine parts such as valve cover, head, cylinder, rockers, etc. Occasionally you'll find a good deal.

I just bought a used but very good valve cover with rockers, new clutch plates, J.E. 390cc piston with cylinder, gasket set, and cam from a guy for $120. But six months ago I bought just a valve cover, one rocker arm and a cam for $400.

On the subject of rocker arms, it would be worth your while to have the rockers magna fluxed (checked for hair line cracks) since you plan to tear apart the engine. I snapped the exhaust rocker on my 1975 XL350 this spring. That was the $400 damage. Come to find out, those old XL's seem to be notorious for that problem. The neck between the rocker arm shoe and the pivot point is a weak spot. The $20 or so it costs to have the rockers magna fluxed would have saved me $400 and 7 or 8 missed races. Allot of XL fans are coming to realize that the rocker arms are worth their weight in gold because there are no aftermarket manufacturers that make them. OEM rockers are getting to be rare in my area. Right now I have three complete sets sitting on a shelf in my garage. All have been checked for cracks, and all are good.

No, they are not for sale, and if I never use them, I plan to be buried with them. :banghead:

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These motors were awesome, but had their flukes like any other bike. The XL250's would wipe out the head and cams because the oil filter inside the right side cover was almost never cleaned. This is a slinger style oil filter that is on the end of the crank, it's got a spring coiled on the end and the cap is held in place with a snap ring.

Cams and pistons can still be bought at powrol.

I agree with getting a good impact driver, don't use one from the local Chinese tool store. Another trick is to give the head of each bolt a little smack with a hammer just before attempting to loosen it. The steel bolt tends to get corroded in the aluminum, smacking it slightly with a hammer tends to loosen the crud.

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megacycle still sells cams, springs, rockers, etc, etc, too. If you take care of these old girls you'll probably never have any problems! change the oil frequently (most people say every 300 miles) and clean the oil flinger!

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So, what'd you find when you cracked the engine open?

Dave

Nothing yet, Dave. I was going to do it last weekend but the little woman's health has to come first.

Donna has to go in this week for a gallbladder surgery for a stone :banghead::banghead:

Good thing I work at a decent hospital.

Maybe this weekend. I will post pics here if I find anything too weird.

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I am convinced I'm not using any of the original screws again. About as bad as the engine screws I had on my 1976 Suzuki GT250. :banghead:

I replaced those with allen head bolts and am going to do the same here :busted:

Why you would put a phillips head screw made out of soft metal is beyond me :banghead:🤣:busted:

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Amen to that! I hate using an impact driver to remove them too. Over the years I don't know how many times I've pinched myself with one. Grrrrrrrr! Now I just use a small pair of vice grips. I've never been so happy to throw screws away as those things.

Gall Bladder :banghead: . Mine was trying to kill me for 20+ years and was misdiagnosed by 3 different medicos. It finally put me in the emergence room and is out now and not missed at all. Are they going to take it out or just do a patch job?

I agree totally that the wife comes first. Toys are toys, mates are mates.

later

Dave

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Gall Bladder :banghead: . Mine was trying to kill me for 20+ years and was misdiagnosed by 3 different medicos. It finally put me in the emergence room and is out now and not missed at all. Are they going to take it out or just do a patch job?

I agree totally that the wife comes first. Toys are toys, mates are mates.

later

Dave

We were told you don't really need it, so they just make 4 small holes and do laserscoptic(sic) surgery.

In and out in 3-4 hours. A big relief to her. I get a day of from work and I still have to hang out at my workplace. :banghead:

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Good for her. Life will be much more pleasant after the recovery and she'll be able to eat whatever she wants. No more pain or discomfort. :banghead:

Dave

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Hi Everyone,

I know this is a very old topic but I am new to the forum (only been a reader so far), and just picked up a 1972 XL250. It has a few mods I plan on reversing, like a K&N air filter and a Powroll pipe with a Super Trapp with 18(!) discs. So I ordered a bunch of parts, including a stock exhaust, carb rebuild kit, new plug, and various kickstarter parts. Thankfully, the seller gave me the stock airbox, which I cleaned up. I cleaned it up and it's perfect. 

 

He had it running when I bought it (on ebay), but since I brought it home, I haven't been able to start it, mostly because the kickstarter is broken, and slips every third kick. I have receipts back to 1993, showing he's had this issue since he bought it.

 

I just wanted to know, is there anything to do when I fix the kickstarter, to make it any better? Also, any general setup tips would be appreciated. Thanks for your help!

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