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1987 Honda XL250R problem

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I have a 1987 XL250R that I bought new in late 1987 and drove for about 4000 miles. The bike ran great and had excellent power until one day when it suddenly lost power for a short period of time and then suddenly snapped out of it and ran great. The loss of power I experienced was much like what one of the older twin cylinder 2 strokes would do when one of the two plugs fouled. Basically it ran weak, had minimal pick-up, would sputter and even sounded sort of muffled compared to its normal running. Since that day, the bike has continued to lapse into these 'episodes' with an increasing frequency. The episodes seem to ocurr at random and do not seem to be related to running temperature. The transition from running normal to one of the 'episodes' is sudden as if triggered by the flip of a switch.

In thinking the problem is electrical, I have thus far replaced the ignition coil, the voltage regulator and the rectifier. In addition to this I removed and thoroughly cleaned both carbs. When the bike runs, it now runs like it was brand new but the above described episodes have continued and now it often stalls when it lapses into one. When it is restarted it may run fine, or it may continue with the problem and stall again, there is no predicting it. Does anyone have any suggestions on where to go from here??? stator? CDI? The motor is otherwise in excellent shape. I like the bike alot and would really like to get it back on the trail. Any help you provide will be greatly appreciated.

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I had an 87 XL600 acting the same way for a long time, One day the stator died, replaced it and haven't had the problem since.

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Sounds exactly like a CDI. There are voltage checks to sort out the other things you replaced. The CDI is around $110 new or $80 used on Ebay.

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Thanks for the reply. I have been toying with this thing on and off for several years now. I am going to try a new CDI and will let you know how it works. Thaks again.

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could also be pick up coil,had mine go down on my 87 xr250,should be able to test it with a simple resistance check,if its the same as the xr

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Did you ever sort this out? I have an 87 XL250R that does exactly the same thing. Mine usually does it as its warming up in the morning about 4 miles into my 18 mile ride to work. Cuts out loses power but doesnt die. Then like a switch flips and runs fine again. usually on my way home it never does it at all... It's very annoying. Anyone know what the answer is?

Thanks!

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Did you ever sort this out? I have an 87 XL250R that does exactly the same thing. Mine usually does it as its warming up in the morning about 4 miles into my 18 mile ride to work. Cuts out loses power but doesnt die. Then like a switch flips and runs fine again. usually on my way home it never does it at all... It's very annoying. Anyone know what the answer is?

Thanks!

It sounds like maybe your float is sticking up and the bike is running that 1st 4 miles on what's left in the bowl. When you stop and idle it fills the rest of the way up and stops sticking. Just for experimentation pull over at 3 miles, let the bike idle for a minute and then see if the bike gives you problems the rest of the commute. I would think if it's ignition related you'd have the problem on the return trip as well.

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Hi agree Scott that it could be carb related. I always thought carb related, but this post made me start thinking ignition.

I don't know if the float is sticking, but would the issue happen if the float needle was intermittently sticking? Would a keyster rebuild kit fix all of these issues? I have replaced the float in the primary carb, and both floats are adjusted to the honda service manual specs. As the original poster stated "like the flip of a switch" it snaps out of it like something comes unstuck in the carb or something. i have always though carb, not ignition.... I would sure like to solve it though, other than this minor quirk the bike gets me back and forth to work at 70 mpg :devil: I want to fix it though because when it happens, it leans out (gets too much air for one carb of fuel) and then it runs hot because I can feel the exhaust get hotter on my leg when it does it... Something is sticking but I dont think its the float...

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