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1979 honda xr250 wanting upgraded front end

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I have this 79' honda xr250 that rips. I want to put a newer front end on it, from another xr or cr. The forks, triples, wheel the works. I use the bike mostly for trail riding and backcountry fishing. The 23'' front wheel and forks are kinda flexy, wanting to eliminate that. Does anyone know what honda (or any) front ends will swap over? then i would be able to start my new front end search. Any over ideas on mods would be helpful thanks.

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maybe a set of off a 79 Elsinore? and the front wheel. I would not do any inverted newer forks because you would then have to mod the rear end - and then the frame would rear it's inefficiencies (flex)

If your like me and on my 2004 XR250R which I love, after having it for couple of years, I found I was riding it at and beyond it's limits, the head shakes and the rear end dances around like a swedish polka, even blew a set of fork seals. Of course maybe that;s my fat azz, as I weigh about 240 and am 73" tall. So, I went to a CRF450X, which I cannot ride at it's limit and probably never will. The CRF450X rides nice and like to be ridden fast. It makes you look good and has saved my azzz many a time when it was bike - not me getting me through a nasty section in the woods.

Sometimes it is just time to upgrade.

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I have this 79' honda xr250 that rips. I want to put a newer front end on it, from another xr or cr. The forks, triples, wheel the works. I use the bike mostly for trail riding and backcountry fishing. The 23'' front wheel and forks are kinda flexy, wanting to eliminate that. Does anyone know what honda (or any) front ends will swap over? then i would be able to start my new front end search. Any over ideas on mods would be helpful thanks.

Any newer XR front end should work. You'll need the whole front end as the disk brakes, bigger axle, etc

I've got a complete front end in excellent condition from my 85 XR350 that I went to USD forks on. I'd sell that cheap. (forks/triple/front wheel with rotor, axle)

I also am going to be pulling the forks off my like new 2003 XR400 (VERY little use). I got an extra set of 400 forks with some supermoto parts I bought (as clean as my stockers!) and I sent them off to be tuned and sprung for my weight an riding.

They're still sitting in my garage, but I've started working on the bikes, so I'll get the stock forks pulled soon and have them and triple clamp to get rid of. No wheel or axle.

PM if you are interested.

Edited by MindBlower

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003-4.jpg

I put a 92 model CR front end on my 79 xl500 and couldn't be more pleased. I had to buy a tapered bearing kit from all balls, get the cr stem turned down to accept the smaller lower bearing and had to use a spacer on top, but it was a pretty east swap.

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003-4.jpg

I put a 92 model CR front end on my 79 xl500 and couldn't be more pleased. I had to buy a tapered bearing kit from all balls, get the cr stem turned down to accept the smaller lower bearing and had to use a spacer on top, but it was a pretty east swap.

any problems with the forks hitting the tank?? I found a 90' cr125 front end. should swap over the same way you think?

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No problems w the tank at all. And while I was at it I eliminated the battery and signals and such. I used part of the old bearing race for the spacer and pressed the cr stem a little lower into the lower triple to take up a bit more slack. There was a bearing size change somewhere close to my 92. Itay even make a 90 swap even easier. Go to the all balls site. They have a complete listing of bearing swap specs. You just compare yours to the cr and they sell you a kit. Cost is about 80.00 if I remember. They were actually out of my kit or I would not have even had to turn the stem down. Good luck and be sure to post your progress. You will love the cr front end. It is planted like an oak and let's you really hang out the rear.

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No problems w the tank at all. And while I was at it I eliminated the battery and signals and such. I used part of the old bearing race for the spacer and pressed the cr stem a little lower into the lower triple to take up a bit more slack. There was a bearing size change somewhere close to my 92. Itay even make a 90 swap even easier. Go to the all balls site. They have a complete listing of bearing swap specs. You just compare yours to the cr and they sell you a kit. Cost is about 80.00 if I remember. They were actually out of my kit or I would not have even had to turn the stem down. Good luck and be sure to post your progress. You will love the cr front end. It is planted like an oak and let's you really hang out the rear.

thanks for the info that site is very helpful. Front ends for change is either 95 xr250 or 90 cr125. i want the cr front end but not sure if theres a kit for that one. im have to call them and find out. I will posts pics as soon as i can. I love these old XR's !!

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You will have to call them about a kit or you can do what I did

The top bearing is the same inner dia of 26mm you just buy a tapered bearing kit for ur bike

Honda XR250 1979 top 26 48.5 15 bottom 27 48.5 18

And have the bottom of the cr stem turned down to 27mm

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You will have to call them about a kit or you can do what I did

The top bearing is the same inner dia of 26mm you just buy a tapered bearing kit for ur bike

Honda XR250 1979 top 26 48.5 15 bottom 27 48.5 18

And have the bottom of the cr stem turned down to 27mm

so im going with a 97 cr250 front end. Going to have the stem buzzed down like you said. the bearings i need are like 2 weeks on back order, but should be able to get them. thanks for the help. ill post pics when its back together with an updated front end. Its been a fun project.

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I put a '90 CR250 USD front end on my XL500R. I decided to not have the stem turned down for the lower bearing. It being an aluminum piece, I didn't want to compromise it's strength and then put it on a much heavier bike. I used the steel stem from the XL and made a bushing to take up the space between the smaller steel stem and the larger hole in the lower triple clamp. I then used a press to push it all together. The stems were the same size where it goes through the upper clamp and bearing. The aluminum stem will probably be fine for a 250, but for an uber pig like my XL I went the other way. I bought a KDX220 rolling chassis and put that front end on my wife's '82 XT250. The stems both had the same size bearing surfaces, I just had to space the bearings out a bit to make up the length difference. A new set of All Balls tapered roller bearings fit the bill perfectly. Troy341

Edited by 341

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I put a '90 CR250 USD front end on my XL500R. I decided to not have the stem turned down for the lower bearing. It being an aluminum piece, I didn't want to compromise it's strength and then put it on a much heavier bike. I used the steel stem from the XL and made a bushing to take up the space between the smaller steel stem and the larger hole in the lower triple clamp. I then used a press to push it all together. The stems were the same size where it goes through the upper clamp and bearing. The aluminum stem will probably be fine for a 250, but for an uber pig like my XL I went the other way. I bought a KDX220 rolling chassis and put that front end on my wife's '82 XT250. The stems both had the same size bearing surfaces, I just had to space the bearings out a bit to make up the length difference. A new set of All Balls tapered roller bearings fit the bill perfectly. Troy341

i was actually thinking of buying a steel rod and just makin my own stem, size, length. to whatever i need. But then again im only shaving like 3mm. i have like 12 days to figure it out. You should post some pics of those bikes. would love to see them.

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Bit dog hollers first, I know, but the above statement by Troy seems a veiled indictment on my conversion.

The CR bikes are built to withstand the extreem environs of MX and all of the high flying jumps that accompany the venue. NOONE is going to be taking a triple on an xl 500 no matter what front end is on it. There is nothing wrong with being anal retentive when building a bike, but let's not act like it is necessary. THe 3mm that you will shave off in that conversion will never be felt. Also, the front end and other weight saving measures brought my bike down to 289 lbs wet, hardly an uber pig. An xr will be lighter yet. The CR bikes (using the same bearings) can weigh 240 wet. THe engineering is well within a 50 lb weight difference.

Secondarily, the stem is only part of the package. The bearing and the frame are also more robust on the CR. From an engineering standpoint, bearing wear, not stem failure is the main reason for the oversize bottom. To fret over 3mm on the stem and ignore the frame and bearing seems short sided. Did I mention the high flying jumps?? :bonk:

Edited by motorjunkie

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No need to get panties bunched. I merely pointed out why I chose a different route. I did mention that the 250 would weigh less than my bike which at 320# is an uber pig. Yes, I weighed it. I didn't have access to a lathe and the machine shop I talked to about turning the stem was not real enthusiastic about my project, so I decided to do it differently. :bonk: Troy341

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Ok, (pulls panties out of crack) variety is truly the spice of life. I looked at many options myself but my steel stem was welded to the triple among other problems. I really found this to be the most economical for me, the machine work cost 75.00. But I am pretty sure that all balls can sell you a kit

That does not require turning down at all.

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Ok, (pulls panties out of crack) variety is truly the spice of life. I looked at many options myself but my steel stem was welded to the triple among other problems. I really found this to be the most economical for me, the machine work cost 75.00. But I am pretty sure that all balls can sell you a kit

That does not require turning down at all.

. All balls does have a kit but it's back ordered for like ever. My shop said they couldn't get the set I needed for like 3 weeks. I found them online prob get them before the front end shows up. Im stoked its go n b a sic XR

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