My 92 XR280L Progress

Hello Everyone!

I just thought i would share some of my recent pictures of my bike. i stripped it down, primer everything, painted everything, got the motor in, air box in, swing arm in, forks in. so its moving right along. i have the tires done but i still need to clean up my brakes and mount new pads in them before the tires go on. but its getting there. and i need to heat shrink the capacitor. check it out! i also have a new set of Maier plastics for everything but the head light cover. they dont seem to make one. any know where i can get a black one? i accidentally got one for the 250R which has a much smaller head light.

The plastic headlight surround?

Is this the one? There was a nice one for a 96 onwards on ebay the other day, maybe it would fit?

I'm going thru the same process with an 87 XR250. I'm working on the motor at present, haven't started with the frame yet. How did you prep it? I was thinking of getting mine sandblasted, but wondered if there was a dip-strip process. How did you get the alloy on the motor looking so purty?, mine looks uglier than a torn ass-hole

Which is more wear-resistant on the frame, powder coat or two pot automotive paint?

Anyhow thanks for sharing, would be interested to hear what you have done to the motor and suspension

No thats the head light i got. it doesnt fit the 250Ls. i will check ebay and call my honda shop to see if they can find one.

The frame? i stripped it all by hand man.. DONT DO IT!. damn it must have been 15 hours worth or work. i would find a place to sandblast it or dip it. and paint wise, next time i am going to try the roll on "rhino liner" stuff for paint. my paint was a bad choice since it wasnt automotive paint, it was just ACE hardware special. i would think powder coating is more wear resistant.

My motor was done by Thumperracing. thats why it looks soo pretty. i had the super 280cc kit done, new connecting rod, all new clutch, oil pump, valve train, XR250R cam, new rocker arms, head fully ported and polished, all new bearings. 34mm flat slide carb, which comes with the xr600 air boot. and a few other small things.

all that cost me about 2600. and suspension wise i have to save up now.. but i plan on having everything rebuilt and set to my weight. i might do a CR front end conversion but not sure yet.

Update: i have it rolling now! about time too. but i found a problem with my rear caliper. the bolt to remove the pads has started to strip. so i have to take that back off and figure that out. but over all its going good. my new seat cover from ebay came.. dont buy one. they sent me a 250R the first time and it took 3 weeks for that to show up then i had to send it back.. then another 3 weeks to get the replacement. i think i could have found someone local.

i need help installing the maier side panels. the right one is tricking me. and the left one needs another short fastener to replace the long one. and i need to drill the holes for my new fender. after that once my seat is finished i can get the rear fender and tail light assembly on.

Bike as of today.

heres what my seat cover looks like.

Good rebuild job !!

What color will you paint the tank?? Sometimes I wish I had a metal tank so I could get it painted. Tha plastic ones have to be cover with decals or an EBAY sock to hide the grotesque yellowing.

Im dont think you would be happy painting rhino bed liner on your frame,theyre already hard enough to keep clean,and that stuff is very porous,it would harbor dirt and all kinds of funk,making cleaning even harder,powder coating is a good choice.also,great job giving the XR a new life,It should do you right,2600 is a lot of coin,but your going to have a 250 powerhouse of a motor,my 99 250 is still running so strong,I believe Im gonna drop coin on a XR650L,rather than warm my 250 up,just my feelings,I really want a E-start XR,Great job!!!

Sweet! I think my L will get torn down sometime and a similar project done.

A few suggestions:

-Clarke Black Tank (I put the first dent in my metal one the week I ordered my Clarke which is white and shows dirt.

-After market BD or Acerbis light in black. This will take care of the heavy but bright stock light and shroud. I have an Acerbis HP DOT light on mine but they are getting rare so I recommend the BD 55/60 Headlight because it uses the same, well shaped lens (Not identical but they are a direct swap).

-Clean all the wiring connections and harness. I've been constantly chasing electrical problems on mine since I took it over snoqualmie pass one nasty snowy day. I think the salt/ chemicals got into the plethora of connections the L has. The last few rides I've had to take my seat, tank and headlight off to clean connections and coat with di-elctric grease.

D1k - the tank is black. i have it primed then 4 coats of black. it should hold up but i haven't spilled any gas on it for the real test. the metal tanks are nice but so are the plastic ones. they each have pros and cons. i will use my metal tank until i mess it up beyond my liking.

XR-Ron. i understand what you mean with dirt getting trapped in the liner. but i dont care that much. once i get my stuck swing arm bolt out of my XR200R i will finish stripping it and trying the rhino liner out on that bike and see how well it works. i mainly want to use it since that stuff is soo freaking strong and doesnt chip off. and if i have good results i might use it on my 280 if i have bad results my bike will look dirtier. my next restoration job i will spend the cash to get it powder coated. i just need to find a reasonable shop. enjoy the 650l that should be a handful of power for you with little mods and should be fun on the streets as well.

RedRider - where did you get your headlight from? i accidentally ordered the 250R head light shroud and i have no use for that. i think a new headlight would be great. i just dont know what kinds or if i will have a problem since i have installed the capacitor. i will most likely put in a toggle switch to help with starting. my electrical hasnt given me too many problems.. i really hate blinkers. i have replaced soo many on other bikes! like 6 sets of blinkers.. waste of money. but my father is a electrical engineer so i will get him to help with anything that comes arise.

Thanks for the responses i will get more pics up when the seat and fenders are on!

250machine, hi there.

First up b4 i forget, i'm in need a 250r headlight surround/glass/mountings etc, to replace the [omg] tt yamahaha assembly that i put on.[long story] So if u care to get in touch i may be interested in buying from you.

Secondly with your blinkers, it's probably not legal[but check] in your state, but a mod i have seen over here is to drill tiny holes in the side of your headlight shroud and install some l.e.d.'s.

Only a front end mod, but if you can get away with it it will halve the cost of keeping up with blinkers.

Next up, tis a shame u put all that effort into hand stripping then painting with the stuff u did, next time, sandblast [don't acid dip, it can lead to failure of hidden areas] then powder coat. Sure it does cost more, but the long term payoffs more than make up for it from less effort cleaning/better results for ur effort to simply having a better looking bike in the future from less visible damage.

Finally, i'm not sure of your model, but some models do suffer from a bad earth connection at the point where the coil earth lead mounts to the frame. Being a hidden away area, it may have collected some salt on that ride and been the end for a connection that was almost gone anyhow?

You have also solved a problem that i didnt really know i had? [i kinda once thought about it...]

Seeing ur motor, seeing as my engine is spread across the bench, i'm now gunna take my barrel/head to a local motor rebuild shop and get them to acid dip it for me :)


oh, one more thing, it looks as if u r linking ur pics via imageshack. I'm not sure if ur as confused as me there, but i found the link that you want in occasions like this is aaalllll the way down the page, it's the last link that gets offered up[ it be called a direct link to...]

Damm, one more thing, whats with all of your electrics in the airbox?

Cheers again.

Hey there ride or be ridden!

I will get ya a pic and send it PM to you for the black head light surround. or go here:

i have that one in black.

your blinker idea is great! but i saw some new headlight assemblys where the blinkers are installed in them. just like what your saying expect i dont have to do any extra work. so i think by getting one i will solve two problems at once. getting a new black headlight cover and blinkers.

yeah i know its a shame to waste all my time for that crappy paint. but i learned from it. and next time i will do better. my 1990 Xr200R is almost stripped all the way i will powdercoat that.

My model is a 92 XR280L!!! anyways i never had any problems with my electrical. when i put everything back together i clean off the connections with a metal brush to get any dirt or junk off. but im not worried. i have inspected everything on this bike. i know every nut and bolt and wire. if something comes up later i know all ground points and connections.

yeah go get yours dipped. i think it looks great. but i really wanted to paint my side cases expect i tried on my Xr200r for practice and the result was weak. i could easily chip of paint. so i decided against painting mine. but i cleaned up my valve cover holes and used a little metal polish and it brighten up the motor even more. but that will all fade once she hits the roads.

Thank you for letting me know about the pics. i guess i havent read all the buttons before. thanks that should make it easier.

the electrical in my air box? thats what you do when you remove the battery and box from the bike. i installed a capacitor to replace the battery and i have to heat shrink the wires and tuck them in my air box. if you find the xr250l project website they give you directions on how to do that. also by removing that i am able to use Xr250R side panels. which are flush with the frame and look much better! they are also on the maier website.

Ah, i guess im not too familiar with the differences between R & L models, i keep forgetting some ppl have those battery thingys.

By not being sure about ur model, i knew urs was a 92 280, what i meant was i didn't know if urs had the earth connection on the frame or what it had.

Mine doesn't actually have that particular connection as i found out when i went looking for it hoping to cure a lousy spark condition, i just read somewhere that some models do suffer from it and thought that maybe urs was one of em.

I will wait for a pm from ya as i'm not in a hurry at this point for the light, but i do want one. Cheers.

RedRider - where did you get your headlight from? i accidentally ordered the 250R head light shroud and i have no use for that. i think a new headlight would be great. i just don't know what kinds or if i will have a problem since i have installed the capacitor. i will most likely put in a toggle switch to help with starting. my electrical hasn't given me too many problems.. i really hate blinkers. i have replaced so many on other bikes! like 6 sets of blinkers.. waste of money. but my father is a electrical engineer so i will get him to help with anything that comes arise.

Sorry for the long time between responses I've not been in town much.

My headlight came from eBay but Baja Designs or the TT store carries the BD one which is very good. Just make sure you put at least a 55/60W bulb in there because the L can handle that with out a problem. The nice thing about that headlight is that it is super light (compared to stock), comes in different colors and is easy to put on and take off (plug and go wiring).

I have rear flush mounted blinkers, they came with the bike and they help my buddies follow me. I removed the stock fronts and have no plans to put them or any other back on.

We should meet up when your project is done. I'd like to compare performance of the R Carb vs the Flatslide. I usually ride anywhere from Walker Valley to Cle Elum and Beverly.

Well,Im impressed with your efforts anyway,A lot of people would have said scrap it and got another machine,but those are not XR people.I love to see older models sweetened up and back in service,crap,Im still riding a 86 XR600,I had it completley gone through back in like 95 when I was in San Diego,at XRs only,and its still running quite well,Great re-build!!!

hows the progress on this?

Progress report: wheels are on, brakes all done w/ new pads and bled the fluid out of the lines, seat cover that i last showed ya was crap. don't buy them off ebay. my buddy is going to make me a custom one. i haven't decided on colors. i got my clutch hooked up, 34mm carb hooked up, i still need to cut my front brake handle to make it fit in my bark busters. i got a new red O-ring chain. looks pretty cool.

check out my headers after i glass beaded them. they look swell, i am going to use the header wraps to keep the heat away from my motor. but i love the look of them now.

first picture shows the headers sitting in there, not hooked up. but plastics are on and gas tank is mounted.

second is close up of the motor, look at that clean cylinder and head, that sweet 34mm carb, and the shinny header.

Thats all for this update, next one i should have the exhaust mounted along with the seat.

Cool, thanks for the update. What was wrong with the seat cover? I got one off eBay but haven't had time to get it mounted. Who was the seller?

Sorry i forgot the name of who i got it from. but the first one they sent me was wrong, it was designed for the 250R. so i had to send that back and have them make one for my 250L. then i got my textile designer friend to install it. once we trimmed a edge and got it fitted. we saw that it wouldn't stretch over all my seat. and the stitch job was very lopsided. he said someone made it very fast and very poor. so he said he would hook me up with a custom one. i am thinking white on top and black on the sides.. we will see what fabric he has to work with.

who did you buy yours from? is it metallic blue fabric?

Hey so i have been real lazy on my project here, i just went out and spent 5 hours messing around fitted the exhaust, and mounted my license plate and tail light, wired that and some blinkers in, i am in need of a new spark plug and a couple misc nuts and bolts, also the fuel line will be tricky.

but here are a couple newish pics i will get more soon and show it off.

who did you buy yours from? is it metallic blue fabric?

Late reply but: Mine was from a seller on eBay called Xtreme Cycle, or something similar. It was flat black and with red sides. Mine seemed pretty evenly stitched but I think it's going to take someone with a little experience to fit it.

I've been lazy too/ riding alot. I need to take my shock off and rebuild it, take my seat off and redo it, and get my oil cooler installed! I should just do them all at the same time to minimize down time, riding season is just about 100% here. The Seattle area actually got some snow, which means that all of the hills above 2,000' have 4" or more.:thumbsup:

nice clean bike you got there! but the pics are too small to view the details. :thumbsup:

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