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Honda CD250 / 250U

Discussion in 'Technical and Troubleshooting Torque' at netrider.net.au started by slygrog, Jun 18, 2011.

  1. Hi guys,

    I'm investigating possible problems with the Honda 250 (1990) or 250U (1991).

    I also don't know the difference between the two models.

    I'm a 5'7 (maybe on the 5'6 side of 5'7) 23 year old girl who has spent the last month or so obsessively researching various bike models as they pop up for sale.

    I have my eye on a few models (Spada, VTR, etc), and my heart on a small selection of others. The Suzuki GPZ 550 from the 80s is gorgeous, and I pine for it. The Kawa Eliminator is the 250 cruiser that got me into this whole bike mess in the first place. And the Honda CD 250 really grabs me too, for some reason.

    Given that I don't know enough about bikes to go and check a GPZ 550 out properly, and I don't have any friends in this fairly new city of Sydney with the knowledge to do it for me, I've kind of shelfed that dream for now. But I have the chance to buy a CD 250 or CD 250U and I am having a bit of trouble tracking down the usual information on them.

    I've read that they're essentially bulletproof and so forth, but I wanted to check with you guys, my go-to bike community for this sort of info. Are there any common problems with either model, and is there a stockpile of information on them anywhere that I've just stupidly missed?

  2. Smee learnt on one, I bought it from him for my other half to learn on (although she's now got a scooter), sold it to MadBiker who's still got it I think (this is the infamous spud bike upon which moderator Smee went spud hunting... ask him for the story if you're interested he can tell you a fair bit about CD250's).

    They are pretty bullet proof if looked after and cheap to maintain, basically they've got the later CB250 motor but with twin carbs for another couple of ps.

    Cosmetic parts can be hard to obtain because it never sold in huge numbers and it's been out of production for a long time but because it's a fairly generic type naked bike you can generally get something that will work.

    The obvious alternative is a Honda CB250 but I reckon the CD250 looks nicer. I'm not aware of any online community specific to that model, the simple fact is they didn't sell that well so there aren't a lot of owners out there.
  3. It's a brilliant learners bike skinny tyres but you can still get it up to 150 kmh with a tailwind, bulletproof and nice looking bikes

    Tapatalking from somewhere, maybe even behind you so look out!!!
  4. I'm pleased to hear good things. I like it so much more than the original cruisers I had my eye on.

    Thanks guys.
  5. Unless you're playing at being Casey, for most practical purposes the advantages of skinny tyres outweigh the disadvantages. Mainly that they're sufficiently cheap that you're more likely to opt for a decent brand rather than No-Namo rubbish and more likely to replace a tyre that's still legal but less than optimal.
  6. The CD250 I had my eye on looks like it will go for a higher price than I wanna pay for a bike with so much surface (and possibly worse, haven't inspected yet) rust. Apparently they've achieved some sort of social capital thanks to this cafe racer business.

    Still got my eye on it but TBH I've gone against all advice and put in for a GPz 550 from 1983. Yup, the bike is older than I am. I've been told bikes that old have all sorts of problems, from compression issues to leaking air forks (what?) and so on, but basically it's the bike I've wanted since I was little and I reckon I'll get it.

    Will report back here if I am smart enough to get a tidy little CD250 though.
  7. The GPz550 is an excellent bike for what it is, which is an old-tech, air cooled, middleweight I4. They, and bikes like them, were the backbone of budget motorcycling when I was a noob a couple of decades ago so I have a a soft spot for old 550s.

    It won't, however, be plug and play to the extent of something more modern.
  8. The fact that I have no mechanical knowledge whatsoever makes that seem ill-advised, however I am a researcher by nature and will happily develop the knowledge somehow.

    Also, I'm not going into this for economy. I like the inherent style and freedom of motorbikes, and ultimately I'll happily invest money where I have to.

    Hopefully the fact they've paid their dues to experienced motorcyclists means there'll be a wealth of information about them, when I need it. :D
  9. Shouldn't be too hard. Just find someone who was a skint Pommie biker in the late 80s/early 90s. I'd volunteer but I was a Suzuki man and don't consider myself qualified on Kwaks :D.
  10. Aha. Roger that. Do you know, by any chance, how difficult it is to replace seals in a fork?

  11. Fork seals aren't hard (though maybe not a first ever DIY repair). The condition of the fork legs that they slide on is important, though. If they're scored or pitted with rust the fix is a bit more involved. Still not hard but potentially quite expensive as the only real repair. is replace or rechrome (which involves some precision engineering work to grind them back to size). There is a cheap workaround that sometimes works involving Araldite and hours (and hours and hours and hours) of work with fine abrasive paper but it's only really appropriate for desperate or masochistic paupers :D.
  12. Noted. :D

    I will go take a look, but I don't really know what I'm looking for. The bike seems to be well-maintained from its internet presence, for anyone interested. This speckled side is the one leaking.

    Attached Files:

  13. That does look quite tidy for a bike that's been voting for 10 years. Even got the original exhaust by the look of it (which Pommie bikes never had once they'd seen a few winters). Only seems to be missing the sidepanel badges. The wheels and brake discs look to me like they might be off something later (not that that's a bad thing, necessarily) although that might just be a Pommie market/Aus market model difference.

    Viewing an internet photo is not a reliable diagnosis technique but the forks look reasonably OK from here so seal replacement shouldn't be too dramatic. As you're a noob I'll act responsibly and not tell you how some of us dealt with fork leaks way back when :D.

    I'd be quite tempted myself for a bit of a nostalgia trip. Surely there must be a kind and qualified NR local to you who could check it out for you. Anyone?
  14. The bike is in the Hunter Valley, so if anyone is down there and strangely charitable with their time I will send them money/beer/letters, but I'm pretty much planning to do the biggest no-no/noob move and just buy it sight unseen, then deal with my own stupid consequences.

    I've asked the guy about the condition of the bike and he says, "Has a little bit of rust on top of tank, nothing a sand back wont fix. The swing arm bearings have been recently done so no problems there.The RH fork does leak a little. I have a new set of seals for that. No problems with the calipers. No noises. Starts first kick cold or hot. No rust near head stem."
  15. I'm certainly impressed that it starts first kick, given the conspicuous lack of a kickstart :D. Recent swing arm bearings are a plus as it might mean that all the other bearings in the rear suspension (there are a few and they do wear) were done at the same time.

    Jap bikes of the era are becoming slightly collectible as old Pommie farts like me get nostalgic for our first decent ride after the shagged out learner bike and the grotty 250 that most of us graduated from, so it's unlikely that a running GPz will ever be worth nothing. As a result it might be worth a punt. Just be aware that it is a punt, especially given your extreme noobness.

    One thing. If you do buy it, you need to learn to at least change the oil and filter because the key to longevity for early 80s Jappers (or any bike really but especially these) is to do oil and filter changes about twice as frequently as the manual says. That can get pricey at professional rates so you need to learn to do it yourself (it's about as simple as a servicing task gets but there are a couple of potential pitfalls on such an old bike so don't try it without a rescue plan in place) or know someone who'll do it for a beer or two.
  16. Thanks for all that, Pat. You've been really helpful.

    Also, in my travels to find some way to get the thing back to Marrickville, I came across Sydney Bike Network. They offer to bring it up from Hunter Valley for $230, and will also do a pre-purchase bike inspection for an extra fee. Think I might have found my solution!
  17. Also, I seem to remember there's a pretty good book about the mechanics of older bikes. It's talked about as something of a necessity if you are a daft noob like myself. Does my vague description ring any bells?
  18. Not sure about generic publications. Have a hunt for the website of Haynes Publishing as I think they may do a general (that is, not model specific) tome on bike maintenance and servicing aimed at beginners. You'll also need a workshop manual for the bike. The previous owner may have one that they'll pass on. If not Haynes will also be able to supply.

    Contrary to popular reputation, Haynes books are generally pretty good if you actually bloody read them, which many people don't. Kawasaki's own manual would be better but may not be available off the shelf for something so old. Many people like Clymer manuals from the US but I don't very much although that's a personal preference thing.

    As for a pre-purchase inspection, I'd say it was a good idea.

    Good luck.
  19. Are you an auto electrician by trade? If not, anything made before the 90s by Kawasaki/Yamaha/Suzuki will drive you to suicide or a shooting spree.
  20. Depends how well it's been kept. Suzukis had some weaknesses but there was nothing fundamentally wrong with Kwak electrical systems. 95% of problems with older bike systems are down to wiring connectors corroding (generally dead easy to open up and clean) or switch contacts getting covered in crap (slightly less easy but still not rocket science). The other 5% are down to electrophobic morons attempting to bypass simple problems or fit pointless electrical accessories using only a table knife and a roll of Sellotape.