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Finally! 230F build: "The Wife's Bike"

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Okay, so awhile back I was cruising Craigslist...

Actually, it starts before that. I had been worried about my wife's stress level for awhile. I took a buyout from my automotive job in November, and she's was the sole breadwinner at the time. She's always made more money than I have (I'm no dummy!) but the extra stress and uncertainty at her job (her fate is tied to GM) was doing our time at home no favors. She'd come home in the evenings pissed off about work, rush hour, etc. and I'd hide for awhile 'til she'd calm down. Not a happy, or healthy, arrangement. :)

We had been having the discussion for awhile, me telling her I wanted to find a way for her to unwind and "flip the switch" when she got home from the working world. I tried to tell her the ways I cope with stress, and during one of these talks I tried to tell her how when I was on one of my motorcycles the world's worries just melt away. :banghead:

THEN one day I was cruising through Craigslist...

2005 CRF230, front end damage, no title, NEED CASH!

I couldn't resist. I had since acquired other work, but this was still going to be a budget build. It suits my style, as I pride myself on being frugal. Quality is important, however, as this was to be HER bike.

I kept it a secret, building in a friend's basement on nights I knew she'd be working late. I'd cruise for parts on the TT Classifieds and E-bay during the day and hide the packages in the trunk of my car. And then, she was finished...

crf230003.jpg

-T

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crf230002.jpg

crf230005.jpg

crf230014.jpg

crf230016.jpg

The budget went out the window with the graphics kit, but how could I resist?

Besides, who wouldn't want a bike with their name on it?

crf230004.jpg

-T

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The Details:

2002 CR125R KYB USD front forks, shortened to 10.25" travel, revalved and resprung for adult woods riding. Mounted using an EMIG Racing Conversion Stem. The entire front end is CR125, and the previous owner had installed the 909 Brake lever. I like the shorty lever, but I couldn't find a 909 clutch lever to match.

1985 XR350 Showa rear shock, revalve pending: I may switch this out. It's about 1/8" shorter than the 230F shock, but bolts right in and has a slightly stiffer spring rate in addition to rebound and compression damping adjustment. I am currently using a 150F link to level the bike. It will need a stiffer spring, so I am looking at other options.

Renthal FatBars and Dual Compound Grips, as I already had them in the garage as spares for my 450SM bike.

Michelin S12 tires, front and back. They're far better suited to Michigan sand and mud, and someone (I can't remember who) had them on sale with free shipping.

MSR AOF Clutch Perch and Lever, as the previous owner had bent the crap out of the stocker. The whole thing was about $30, such a deal.

MSR Forged Shift Lever, again bent by P.O. and cheaper / better than OEM.

Dirt Digits Graphics Kit, 'cause I wanted her to be purdy for the wife. They did the cool signature series graphics and numbers as a combo, even threw her name in pro-bono. Chevy sponsorship because of her advertising gig for GM, and they didn't have the GM logo. Others because I used their products in the build. The graphics kit complete wasn't cheap, but is first rate quality and easy to install.

-T

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Aside from the obvious, I also did the following:

Re-Jet with Power Up needles, I used a 45 pilot with a 132 main and the clip in the 4th position from the top. It sounds like a lot of fuel, but most of Michigan is within 600' of sea level. We'll see how it goes.

Removed Baffle and ground the Weld from Header Pipe. In my fantasy "budget is no object" world I would use a Powroll header and have it Jet Hot coated bright blue! OK, maybe not.

Uni Filter, to complement the re-jet.

Greased Everything. It's practically free, so why not? I re-greased everything I could get grease in, especially the bearings in the rear suspension.

A few of you sharp eyed viewers will notice that there are still a few misc. fasteners and odds and ends to be buttoned up. Riding season is coming, and I'm on the job!

-Tom

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Holy shit shes one lucky lady. How hard were the forks to install?

The forks were a piece of cake. Just had to press the Emig conversion stem into the CR125 triples. Use CRF230 sized bearings. There is an additional spacer Emig supplies for the top triple. Easy!

Steering stops are still a work in progress. I modded the tank for lower clamp clearance today, so steering stops will come tomorrow. Will be along the same lines as the guys are doing for XR400 USD swaps.

-Tom

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Thanks for the compliments, guys!

Just for kicks, here's a before shot. These are from the ad I responded to. Notice the bent clutch lever!

CRF230PIC2.jpg

CRF230PIC1.jpg

The previous owner had already taken the left fork leg to have it replaced. What he didn't notice is that the right fork leg, top triple clamp, and axle were also bent!

-T

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Very Nice! When will you present it to her?

Hmmm.... Every story has a dark side, right?

Unfortunately she found the paperwork, including bill of sale, before I could present it to her. She's pissed that I spent the money, and has told me she's not interested. Bust.

I'm going to hang onto it for awhile just in case she comes around. We'll see. (Fingers Crossed!)

-Tom

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Hmmm.... Every story has a dark side, right?

Unfortunately she found the paperwork, including bill of sale, before I could present it to her. She's pissed that I spent the money, and has told me she's not interested. Bust.

I'm going to hang onto it for awhile just in case she comes around. We'll see. (Fingers Crossed!)

-Tom

Hey Tommy-boy, keep your chin up. If she doesn't come around, let me know - I could use that lil badboy. Doesn't it just burn ya when you're thinking your doing something great for the better half and she lets you know, in no uncertain terms, that it wasn't the thing to do. (Happened to me when I bought the sweet new and improved central-vac!!:banghead: ) In any event, Michigan isn't that far from Manitoba!! :) N Edge

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That sucks same tihng happened to me and my dad...We spent all this time and money dedoing a room for my mom workout stuff closet everything. She got home from a work related trip, say the room and cried she was so happy. About 3 weeks later she was doing taxes found the bills and stuff (dumb dad) and flipped OUT. she came around though.

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hey, ummm, yano....my 150 could use an overhaul also.... :)

it might be more fun for her if you found other girls for her to ride with her. If I was local, I would love to go riding with her.

I really hope she comes around. sheesh. I wish I could put my name on my ride... :banghead:

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I hope she realizes how much of a stupid choice she made by turning it down. On your next thing hide the papers better. I hope everything goes well and she accepts it though.

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I don't understand what she has to complain about, seeing how you bought a wrecked bike (presumably cheap) then scrounged for cheap parts to fix it up, and did all the labor yourself. If she doesn't want it, selling it for more money than you invested should be easy. But I would let her see it (with the personalized graphics and all) before taking no for an answer. Of course it goes without saying that you're a thoughtful husband and outstanding mechanic.

And DAMN I'm glad me and my wife keep separate accounts!

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