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Freshening up 86 XL250R

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I've had an 86 XL250R(G) for about a year now, got in in trade for a little work. Doesn't look like it's ever been dumped, just ridden a little bit. Overall in pretty good shape. Once I cleaned out the carbs and put fresh gas in it started right up. Runs great, I really like the power delivery, and it seems to have quite a bit more low and top end power than my girlfriend's CRF230 all be it bone stock.

I'd really like to make this thing nice, as I really like the old Honda's. So the other day I stripped it down to the frame, will sandblast and powder coat soon. I would like to upgrade the front end, the drum brakes and tiny forks are somewhat limiting, I can live with the rear end as is though. I've tried searching and can't really find what is compatible with the front stem. Seems like maybe early 90's XR250 forks/trees will fit? How about some inverted CR forks? I can't really find any dimensions online as far as the stem differences go, and I'm not opposed to making some modifications to make something work like welding in a new stem. But if anyone has some insight it would be greatly appreciated!

PS Gas tank compatibilities would be great too, the OEM steel tank had some pinholes near the petcock. Won't be used on the street, so plastic is preferable. Thanks again!:banana:

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I've had an 86 XL250R(G) for about a year now, got in in trade for a little work. Doesn't look like it's ever been dumped, just ridden a little bit. Overall in pretty good shape. Once I cleaned out the carbs and put fresh gas in it started right up. Runs great, I really like the power delivery, and it seems to have quite a bit more low and top end power than my girlfriend's CRF230 all be it bone stock.

I'd really like to make this thing nice, as I really like the old Honda's. So the other day I stripped it down to the frame, will sandblast and powder coat soon. I would like to upgrade the front end, the drum brakes and tiny forks are somewhat limiting, I can live with the rear end as is though. I've tried searching and can't really find what is compatible with the front stem. Seems like maybe early 90's XR250 forks/trees will fit? How about some inverted CR forks? I can't really find any dimensions online as far as the stem differences go, and I'm not opposed to making some modifications to make something work like welding in a new stem. But if anyone has some insight it would be greatly appreciated!

PS Gas tank compatibilities would be great too, the OEM steel tank had some pinholes near the petcock. Won't be used on the street, so plastic is preferable. Thanks again!:banana:

XL stem size aside, almost any Honda stuff will work. You could put a XR250 or 400 or 600 front end. OR a CR front end with different bearings.

I have USD CR front end on my 85 350 it's killer for street use. Much stiffer, yet much more compliant on small hard edged stuff. Amazingly so.

And much less brake dive too! CR's come with .44 or .47 fork springs, so they take the extra weight of the heavy XR's without having to swap fork springs. At $110 a pair, that pratically paid for my front end. (($140 for the forks/triples, $40 for conversion bearings)

I've never seen anything to compare gas tank compatability. By lots of stuff can be made to work I figure. There are no tanks listed for my 350, but lots for the 600 and a 600 tank works just fine. The aftermarket tanks come with brackets and straps that are adaptable to make up spacing differences.

FWIWDSC00070-Copy.jpg

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That looks good! I'll mostly be using it for off road, no motocross or anything, mostly trails around here. Inverted forks sound great, may I ask where you found conversion bearings? Stock races or from the donor bike? Sorry for all the questions, kind of tough to find details for swapping.

Also just curious, what year CR did those forks come off? Thanks again!:banana:

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Looks goofy with the motard fender and 21" wheel, but that's temporary. The 17" front is being built as we speak.

All Balls Racing has the bearings, and a good source of info on what will fit what.

Do a search on "USD" there is a LOT of info on here, lots of guys have done them.

2001 CR125 forks on mine.

For off road and tighter trails (USD costs you turning radius) 400 or 600 conventionals might be better. The USD are great for street and higher speed, more wide open kind of riding. Wouldn't be good for tight trails.

Edited by MindBlower

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