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1976 TL 250 Rehab

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I put this up on another forum. Figured you guys would dig it too!:cheers:

I have been looking for a vintage trials bike.

This came up for sale the other day. One owner 1976 TL 250 Honda. 90ish% complete. Came with original owners manual and the original MSO from Saint Johns Honda in Portland Oregon, bought new in 77.

It had sat for 10+ years. The 72 year old that owned it was a really cool guy. He never rode in Trials comps just really like Trials bikes on the trails more than bigger mx/enduros. The skid plate has 0 rock damage.

It would not run when I showed up. I asked him if he would mind if I spent an hour or so trying to get it started. If we got it goin I would give him his asking price. He had no problems with that! And it ended up taking about 20 minutes heheh.

Fresh oil/gas and a shot of starting fluid and she was running.

I took it around the yard...stuck throttle cable would barely let it rev, no brakes, but it sounded healthy, and shifted through the gears great.

I wheeled it over near the old fellow that owned it and said...hop on! He looked at me funny for a few seconds...then jumped on. He could not work his leg good enough to start it...so I kicked it over for him. BAM he was off to the races tearing around his yard. Big old @#$% eating grin from ear to ear!

He brought it back over eventually after hopping over a stump or 2 and a couple small wheelies :clap: Giggling like a little kid! I said "well...you want to keep it, or should I load it up?"

He replied that he would be happy to give it a new home...but was VERY glad to be able to ride it one last time. He hadnt riden for about 20 years, and I wonder if he ever will again? Anyways I am stoked and its getting some much needed love! I told him I would call if I get it ready in time for the vintage trials up in Crooked River Ranch end of April. He was stoked that I was going to clean it up and use it and that he could come see it in action maybe. =thumbup

Pretty trick old bike. Honda hired Sammy Miller to help design them. Sold in 76 only I think? Mine was made in June of 75...one month older than I am!

Aluminum fuel tank has a couple dents...but is in great shape for how old it is. And its Aluminum so NO RUST!!!!

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Carb and petcock were gunked really bad. Got em soaking. Suprised I was able to get it running...its a Honda.

Still a ways to go but there was a motor under all the grime afterall!!

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Aluminum wheels and rear sprocket to shave some weight.

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Years of dirt and grime getting removed (not easy with a broken thumb!)

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Odds and ends are scattered across 2 workbenches.

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Exhaust was funky...glassbeaded and some fresh hightemp. The last 1/3 has been replaced with a straight pipe. Rest is in good shape. Trying to source a cheap slip on spark arrestor like I have on my Montesa for it...pita so far. This is what I am looking for if anyone has a source (not paying 60$ for a 10$ spark arrestor!)http://www.fleetguard.com/pdfs/product_lit/americas_brochures/LT36086.pdf

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What they looked like new!!!

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Got a ton of parts on the way. Bearings all around, carb/petcock rebuild bits, cables, side cover gaskets/seals, new old school fenders, aircleaner, etc. Limited availability of OEM parts...and very slim pickings aftermarket. TL 125's and Yamaha TY's were/are more popular and a lot less rare. These were always the "heavy 4 stroke". I am only in this for fun though so a few extra pounds is worth it to listen to that old Honda single THUMP!

I am only replacing/painting what has to be. I dig the patina on old stuff. I was debating pulling the motor and tossing the frame in the blast cabinet yesterday and going full bore on it...but decided to just do a deep clean style resto. If I make it look to nice I wont want to actually ride it! And if I do decide to do a frame up on it...at least it will be clean already!

It takes a special kind of patience to clean the gunk out of all the nooks and crannies on an old air cooled motor! Down to dental pics now...

Edited by sno

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Yup been there! I sourced a couple silver aftermarket fenders for it from an outfit in colorado on ebay, cool guys. I think they have them custom made by UFO?

Got a new front fender brace from BJ racing (TL125 but heard its an easy spacer mod to make work), as well as an airfilter and new throttle setup.

Wheelbearings, steering bearings, and fork seals from All Balls.

Rest of stuff I was able to order oem honda stuff...carb bits, petcock bits, side cover gaskets, brake/clutch cables, etc etc

Wish there was a source for affordable side covers...may be a project for this summer. Mine are good enough to pull molds from.

About the only other thing I could not source was the proper gasket for the airbox lid. Will just do a custom one with some foam and weather strip adhesive. And the chain guide that is just infront of the rear sprocket off the bottom of the swingarm. Not hard to fab, maybe scrounge from another bike?

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Says the guy with the powdercoating biz lolol:lol:

Rattlecan=easy touchups.:cheers:

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I to have a 76. Great bike.:cheers: Just waiting for a resto. Also have the little brother, TL 125.

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Been plugging away slowly but surely.

Still waiting on parts to show up.

Got the rear brake all cleaned up and ready to go back on.

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Dug through the random parts box that came with the bike and found this stuff... original grommet for the steering stem with hole for tank vent line, NEW chain tensioner rub block, 3/4 of the original chain guide for the rear sprocket, a pile of original lever boots, and original front fender extension!

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I need to do some repairs to both side panels. Will be fiber-glassing up the cracks from the back. I may have sourced some aftermarket side panels out of Taiwan for it.

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Need my carb/petcock parts and fork seals so I can start putting stuff back together!!!

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WOW, some old memories there... My first almost Trials Bike. Took me all the way from Novice to 1/2 way through the Advanced Class in competition and then I switched to a 78 Bultaco Sherpa-T.

Let's see... back in those days, the TL-250 wet weighed in at 236 pounds while I weighed 175... NOW, I weigh 236 pounds but my bike weighs only 150 wet.. what happened?!?!

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She's a bit of a porker...but still a cool old bike worthy of bringing back to life!

Got any old pics from when you had yours?

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She's a bit of a porker...but still a cool old bike worthy of bringing back to life!

Got any old pics from when you had yours?

Well, only one that I can think of and the people here have seen it at least once before... It's a black and white photo taken of me during a competition event near Walla Walla, Washington when I was in the Intermediate class..

Sorry to those that have already seen this... Definitely economy riding clothes in those days.. :cheers: But the rubber boots were the trick boots for everyone.

Anyway, the steering head was cut for a steeper angle and it was bored to 305 cc with an XL 350 Honda flywheel.

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Great photo 2Ply! Love it every time I see it. I like the gloves.

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Awesome pic. I ran across that already on here searching for TL 250 tidbits. Glad to hear the story behind it!

Hope some parts shop up today!

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Great photo 2Ply! Love it every time I see it. I like the gloves.

:p Hard to believe that's me... And yes, the gloves... up until that time, I used no gloves and the trick bicycle gloves had not hit the market yet. I wanted open fingers for better feel. I bought those at the Seattle R.E.I. (Recreational Equipment, Inc.) store. I believe they were from the U.K. and were mostly wool. Later, fingerless bicycle gloves became available. It wasn't until about 10 years ago that I switched to the new thin full finger Trials Gloves.

Now that I look at it again, other items I had were Preston Petty front and rear fenders and I used an after market fork brace / fender mount that resembled the Bultaco style made of chrome-molly steel.

The boots were made by Dunlop and were state of the art at the time. Even Sammy Miller wore them so they MUST be good, right?

The plastic skid cover was made somewhere locally.

OTPI1, I'm pretty sure that you remember Joe Guglielmelli of Walla Walla, Washington. He was probably our best Trials Rider in the Northwest and one of the most friendly people you could ever meet. Joe rode for Honda along with Marlin Whaley and had one of the trick 305cc Factory Trials Works Bikes.

Well, the trials event that photo was taken at was hosted by Joe at a place we called Starbuck. Joe was the Marshall and laid out the course and sections. It was one of my most important lessons:

Just before the event was to start, riders were milling around, looking at the nearby sections while waiting for sign-up to close. I saw a group of the Expert Class riders looking at and discussing one of the sections and they didn't seem happy so I went closer and could hear them complaining about how severe this one rocky climbing section was. They were grumbling how it was unfair for Joe to lay out and test the sections with his "Factory RTL" Honda Trials bike that weighed 196 pounds and cost over $20,000.

Well, Joe saw they guys assembled there and came riding over on his wife's bone stock TL 125 Honda and after hearing what the complaint was about, said "...honest guys, I didn't use my works bike, I tested the sections with my wife's stock TL 125. I heard the guys call B.S. at which Joe turned the TL 125 around and rode up that steep gully section CLEAN!!! :ride:

It's NOT the bike that will make or break you... The rider is EVERYTHING and a good one can ride anything and still do well. I'll never forget the look on the faces of the grumbling experts as they watched Joe ride that section clean.... priceless!!! and a very good lesson for me. :cheers:

That photo reminds me of the lesson learned that morning... sadly, Joe was killed a few years later while riding an Enduro bike fast on one of the local dirt roads near Walla Walla and missed a turn.

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Cool story!! This had a set of Preston Petty fenders on it when I got it. The front one was so rotted it fell apart when I touched it. Rear was in ok shape but rattle canned silver. I think the new fenders I got are Preston knock-offs...the rear is an exact match.

Couple poser shots with the new silver fenders that just showed up. Sourced from an outfit on ebay in Colorado. Will need quite a bit of modding to get close but should turn out ok in the end I think.

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exhaust turned out great.

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Got some parts today. All the Honda bits. Carb/Petcock back together, airbox back in and exhaust back on. Found 1 small crack I need to do something about on my pipe...but it can wait till I run it a bit. I want to bake that high temp paint on before I screw it up more!

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Trying to find a source for these if anyone can help!

http://www.fleetguard.com/pdfs/product_lit/americas_brochures/LT36086.pdf

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I bought mine from LewisportUSA Here:

http://lewisportusa.com/parts_muffler.htm

But they are not always install and forget. At one time or another, they will pack up with muffler packing or carbon, so get used to taking it off to clean as part of your normal maintenance.

Adrian at Lewisport is a Vintage Honda Fan, so you might want to talk to him if you can catch him on the phone to be sure to get the correct fit.

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Not paying 75$ for a 10$ spark arrestor. Thats a rip-off!

I have one on my Montesa so know to keep em clean.

Just dont want to pay 2-4x retail. And have not had the greatest luck dealing with lewisport so far.

Edited by sno

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I hear ya... I've had trouble getting return calls too but I've learned to keep on it and call at different times. I eventually get through and then all is OK.

The Trials Business is just one of their businesses and they have been supporting the Trials Teams at the National events so they are often on the road for a week or more and then preparing for the next long road trip... If it weren't for that, I'd be pissed too.

IF it were Gas Gas parts, you have other good choices like Jake's Cycles, but I'm not sure where the best Montesa support is. Maybe opti1 will chime in. He's probably the top expert here when it comes to Montesa. It's a little tough when there is no official Montesa Importer in the States. You might look into the Canadian Importer. I believe they are in Vancouver B.C. Canada... However, I'm guessing based upon past knowledge.

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Ya totally I understand its a small operation trying to support a lot. And am really glad there is at least some support in the states for our funny looking bikes!

I wont give up on them...but my dealings so far have not given me very good feelings about being able to get parts for my montesa when I need them.

Just a slightly sore spot with me right now I guess...not that getting some parts for this TL250 have been any easier!!!! LOLOL

Its been to longs since I have rode! Been nursing a busted thumb for 3 weeks now.

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