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What to look for??

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I am going to look at a 2002 XR250 tomorrow for my son. Are there specific things I should look for or at? I plan to pull the seat to look at the air intake and check the air filter...

Thanks

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i would look where the kickstand bracket is welded to the frame. they always seem to crack right there.

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See what the oil looks like, check chain/sprockets for wear. Look around the shocks for leaks. Watch how hard it is to start up, most imortantly take er for a good spin. :ride:

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When i look at used bikes, i ask them to not start it til i get there to see if it has a hard time starting before warmed up. Before a test ride check the operation of the brakes before you go tearing off.

After a decent ride 10-15 minutes checking all the gears,etc, then stop somewhere where the owner isn't looking over your shoulder (you should warn them about how long you plan to be gone and will likely stop somewhere to look) and give it a good look over, make notes on a scrap of paper if needed so you can ask the owner about your notes. You can also use your notes as a bargaining tool when negotiating. (deduct a $100 for new handlebars, $200 for new chain/sprockets, needs brake pads, bent levers, etc)

When you return you should have a good feel for the bike, did you see any oil leaks, bent handlebars, bent rock guard etc.

Then i ask a simple question that will tell you a thousand things about the owner and any maintenance the bike has had.

Can you show me how to check the air filter and how/what oil do you use?

Believe it or not but i have had everything from a discourse on air filter oil and how to apply it (good) to "I have never checked the air filter, i didn't know it had one" (bad). On that one I showed him where the air filter was and when i pulled the filter out it was so dry it actually fell to pieces in my hand. (very bad)

A good follow up question can be about the engine oil and filter. Hopefully the seller can tell you off the top of his head what oil he used, how often it got changed, the location of the filter, and the procedure for doing so.

Once i bought a bike (KDX) from a teenager, i was unsure of things, so i played dumb and asked him about the air filter. He said sure, i'll show you, he walked into the garage, grabbed the correct t-handle for the seat bolts, pulled the seat and told me the correct way to do it. He also knew how to change the oil and even knew the quantity of engine oil, all off the top of his head. Bottom line is he had practiced some maintenance on this bike and i felt confident it had been done while at that house.

Ask when the last time the valves were adjusted and how to do it. You will hear valve noises as the bike is idleing, it should sound like a smooth running sewing machine. If in doubt take along someone who knows what valves should or shouldn't sound like.

Ask if the swing arm bolt has ever been greased and the wheel axles. Ask if it has ever been run low on oil. XRs do not like to be run low!

Most XRs have a routine to be started, the owner should be able to tell you this, or he may not have figured it out and may be why he is selling. Lots of info on this forum about starting.

By asking "how to do" some of these simple maintenance items you should get a feel for if the seller knows his stuff and the bike has been taken care of, or if you should look for a different bike. XR motors are not cheap to rebuild like a two stroke, so if there are big problems you should probably pass on it. If it has been taken care of it will last for many years.

Understand that an XR is a great trail bike, not a great motocross or a serious sand dune bike. Be sure you are buying for the most appropriate use and you will get many years of dependable use from it.

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The swingarm bolt can freeze up if not lubed.

If the seller can't be bothered to wash and clean up the bike before selling it, what does that tell you about maintenance.

Usually, you can tell if a bike has been beat and lots of riding from frame wear near the pegs.

XR400's and possibly XR250's are weird for checking the oil. I warm mine up for a few minutes, then ride around my truck 2 or 3 times. On an XR400, if the transmission is not used, it will show low on oil. I checked before and after my 2 laps around my lawn on Sunday. Before, barely on the dipstick. After, showing the oil 2/3 full.

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Believe it or not but i have had everything from a discourse on air filter oil and how to apply it (good) to "I have never checked the air filter, i didn't know it had one" (bad). On that one I showed him where the air filter was and when i pulled the filter out it was so dry it actually fell to pieces in my hand. (very bad)

Yeah that's really bad... did they tell you to buy them a new filter because you destroyed the old one? LOL

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