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1985 VT250F; Yay or Nay?

Discussion in 'Modifications and Projects' started by G.I. Wojo, Aug 8, 2013.

  1. First post! First bike! Maybe. I'm looking for some educated advice.

    A workmate of mine has an old '85 Honda vt250 sitting around that he's willing to flick to me for next to nothing. Researching on the net tells me wildly different things about them, a full gamut of good & bad. Just wondering if anyone has experience with them? (the owner also cruises these forums, I'm expecting a smart-alec reply any moment now...)

    There are two issues:
    A. Currently unrideable. Cranks but won't start. No RWC or Reg.
    B. Would be my first bike both owned & fixed up.

    I'm pretty novice when it comes to maint., I have some mates to call in for reinforcements, but not really wanting to crack open too much. I'm just a sucker for saving things bound for the scrap heap...

    Apart from the non-starting (I suspect carby or fuel supply issue) it's only got a couple of minor cosmetic issues & prob needs a new chain+tension.

    So, will the fix up be worth it? Or will I be throwing money at a black hole? Just looking for a mass of opinions to weigh up. Both good and bad.

  2. Well hello then, and why would you bother, there are thousands of bikes out there that run.
    I assume however by the forum heading you have chosen that you are looking for a project, if that's the case whatever ticks your boxes.
  3. Yeah I guess that's the reason, trying to figure out whether it might be a good entry-level project bike. Interested to know if anyone has worked on one, or something similar, perhaps a spada. Prob the closest common descendant.
  4. If the bike is free then why not.....have a tinker, decide how much it'll cost to get on the road.

    In the meantime get a bike that you can ride.

    If he wants money for it - don't bother - buy a first bike that actually goes.
  5. Hi there mate, this is how I got the CBR250R in my sig, great little bike that only needed some basic maintenance and a fuel leak fixed.

    I'd recommend you get it, but go as low on price as you can... you'll more than likely need cash for something you haven't thought of ahead of time. On my previous CBR250R it was new brake levers which were almost unobtainable for under $50 each. Yikes!

    I'll give you my basic bike buying list, assuming non-running but complete:
    • Charge the battery, check fluid levels first
    • Change oil & brake fluid.
    • Change air/oil filters.
    • Check radiator coolant level.
    • Lube chain, adjust if needed.
    • Fill tank with 98 octane fuel.
    • ***Run VIN through REVS***
    That last one is a lifesaver and can help you avoid big trouble by buying something that has been written off - something as basic as a tattered fairing can write something off on modern bikes over 10 years old.

    After that (shouldn't take more than a few hours) then you are ready to try and start her up - you know she'll get spark, that the oil is clean and that she will get air through the new filter. I generally budget around an extra $75 for the service items such as oil, hydraulic fluid, filters and fuel.

    If she still doesn't fire after a bit of persuasion then you need to get a bit more interesting. Remove the carbs, clean them (fuel, toothbrush and toothpick) and refit. Remove sparkplugs, clean and replace. Doublecheck battery is fully charged.

    After that she should fire up unless something is seriously wrong, but likely you would have noticed that by now.

    Cheers, and all the best!

    - boingk
  6. Thanks for the replies, folks. So yeah I'm not likely to get it for free, so that alone may be enough to turn me against it. Good idea to run it through REVS though, I will do that. There is a tear on one of the fairings, so if they are funny about that getting the RWC that would be sucky, but that is the kind of thing I can fix with some degree of skill (have done a fair amount of plastics/fibre work & spraying).

    One thing I didn't mention - after market exhaust. I've heard getting a RWC with one is nigh-on impossible, and the current owner doesn't have the original (which begs the question how it got the RWC when he purchased it...
  7. Ask what he's after for it, if you can get it for a skint few hundred its definitely worth it, probably even up to a grand if tyres and chain are alright.

    Aftermarket exhaust isn't a problem, or at least hasn't ever been for me. The fairings will be fine so long as they are solidly mounted and not falling off.

    Where are you located, mate?

    - boingk
  8. Avoid it. The process to check/adjust the valve timing is long and convoluted, a three hour job. That's for someone who knows what they're doing.
  9. Ouch. That would put me off for sure.

    Check out the CBR250R's, the earlier ones with single disc front and straight swingarm. They're cheap (less than 3k), reliable and bloody fast for a learners bike once you wind them out a bit.

    Cheers - boingk
  10. Thanks for all the advice folks. It does seem a bit of a mountain to climb first thing. And not really going to end up much cheaper than finding something rideable. I don't see much online quite as old, which tells me most of them have probably died in a big way and have not been worth restoring or rescuing.

    Ah well, was worth thinking about. The search begins again!
  11. Check it Gumtree and eBay, some road/trail bikes like Yamaha Xt250s going for low cash in reasonable nick.

    Cheers - boingk