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My new CB250RS.

Discussion in 'Showcase' started by FriendlyFire, Oct 7, 2011.

  1. After a year without a bike I was looking for something easy to maintain, cheap to run, light and pokey and with a low purchase price.

    So I snagged this little fellow via Gumtree for $650. The RS is a kickstart only single, reportedly gets 25km/L and has 27hp @ 148kg wet (that last statistic I'm finding hard to believe, it feels like I could put it in my backpack). Checks all the boxes!


    It hasn't been registered for three years, though it has been run semi-regularly. I should probably dump the fuel that's in the tank rather than run it through, and the oil in it smells like roast lamb when it gets warm.

    Starts fine, rides fine, idles fine, corners like a housefly. 24k on the clock. Tyres are great. Front brakes are cactus, the fork seals might pass a RWC but won't live much past New Year and someone has ridden it through mud and put it away wet so there's plenty of surface rust on the underside of the frame. The air filter must be the one that came out of the factory with it because it disintegrated on touch.

    Cosmetically the tank has a dent in it and surface rust (inside is surprisingly good) and needs a respray, the vinyl seat needs recovering, the bikini is the wrong colour and the visor is slightly warped. Otherwise a-okay.


    Looking to get it on the road in the next month. Thinking about getting the fork seals and brake pads and fluid done at E2W in Fitzroy as it seems to have a good rep on this place as I'm a little pressed/stressed for time around now and much beyond oil change and spark plugs is an effort for my mad skills.

    Ultimately getting it on the road and the having a rideable restoration hobby project for the next few years is the goal.

    Anyone got any tips on owning or maintaining an RS or anything else useful, post away. :)
  2. Stellar little bikes. My first bike was one of these and I rode it for three years.

    That weight sounds about right - claimed 125-127kg dry. Note that Honda went to the effort and expense of using spoked alloy rims on a 250 at the start of the Eighties. The stubby mufflers are reasonably light as well, and make a great bark when you're on the throttle. They go pretty well too. Fuel economy was up to around 85mpg in normal running, but could drop all the way to a miserable 70 if you really tried.

    Apart from fixing what needs it, there's little ongoing upkeep other than oil and chain lube. Valve clearances are a piece of cake too, with only four to do and easy access.

    I've kept an eye out for a cheap one of these in decent nick for a while now. They were pretty simple and almost bulletproof*.

    Also, the motor being a tweaked version of the venerable XL250S's, with the same bottom bit as as the XL500, an engine swap is almost a bolt-straight-in proposition.

    *Almost -

    • Like Like x 1
  3. Only 24k? Its a baby. A bit of love and it should keep going for ages
  4. > Fuel economy was up to around 85mpg in normal running, but could drop all the way to a miserable 70 if you really tried.

    So over 30km/L?! That's postie bike territory! I look forward to testing that.

    > Also, the motor being a tweaked version of the venerable XL250S's, with the same bottom bit as as the XL500, an engine swap is almost a bolt-straight-in proposition.

    Yeah, I looked at that. From what I can work out in the bit of reading I've done the XL500 engine only puts out a tiny bit more horsepower than the RS250, so I'm not sure if it'd be of any benefit. There's a vids on YouTube of people putting XR engines (I think) in them, too.

    > Only 24k? Its a baby. A bit of love and it should keep going for ages

    That's what I'm hoping!
  5. So, as I'm sure Wayned knows, you have to remove the crankcase cover to clean the oil screen every time you change the oil.

    My 8mm socket cracked trying to get the topmost crankcase bolt to budge. Think I might skip the oil screen this time and before the next one buy myself a really expensive 8mm socket, seeing as I'm supposed to do this every 1,500km...
  6. Oil screen..?

    They've got a fair oil capacity, so I wouldn't bother changing the oil more often than maybe 5-6000km.

    If you're up it in Summer (which was all I ever did), the oil vapour vents through the breather out the bottom of the bike, so you just have to freshen the mix a bit occasionally.
  7. Looks like you're onto a winner here - all that stuff is trivial, sounds like stuff you can do all yourself, as long as the bike has a centre stand or you have something to prop it onto. MAYBE have to get a seat cover made.

    Hahahahaha what the hell happened there?
  8. The valves met the piston, downshifting with a pillion whose weight didn't let the rear lock under compression braking. I was dicing with another mate and went to downshift from up around redline in 4th, but it felt like it hadn't properly gone into 3rd, so I tapped the lever down again and let the clutch out to find I was now in 2nd doing about 110km/68 000rpm. On the throttle, it normally valve-bounced in 2nd at about 70kmh with the tach needle pointing at the "p" in "X1000 rpm" down at the bottom.

    A new head, higher comp piston and cylinder later I was good to go again, once all the piston swarf was cleaned out of the sump, carb and exhaust. The job card is still around here somewhere.
  9. It's amazing what cleaning your bike head-to-toe with WD-40 can do to make it look better.

    Before I took it for a ride this afternoon I cleaned the headers with a flannel rag and the bits of fabric that hooked on the rusty bits caught fire after a minute or two of riding. I thought I was done for.

    Attached Files:

  10. Jesus christ hahaha, good to hear that it was a relatively simple job of replacing the buggered parts and cleaning stuff up.
    Hahahaha whoops. Protip: If you get flammable material on the headers, clean it off real good!!
  11. looks like a very neat bike i love the bench seat style bikes very much..
  12. Yeah, thanks - I love the flat seats. Only problem with them is the Armour All makes you slide all the way down to the taillight. ;) I like lines on this bike in general, though the tank could do with a little bit of rise, in my opinion. Once I colour match the bikini it should look pretty neat.

    It's about 80% cleaned up now. Going to tighten and lube everything, adjust all the free play to 'handbook standards' and take it in for the RWC this week.
  13. wah ride it in rain, fixes the armour all problem :p
  14. Failed the RWC! Woe!

    The only thing that didn't pass was the left fork - he reckoned it's too pitted. I think he's probably right, in hindsight. So now I gotta look for a different fork, or get around to getting these ones rechromed. The former is probably going to be easier.
  15. So I got a new fork fitted, passed RWC on the second go, got all the paperwork in and now I have a registered bike. What's the first thing that happens? Someone didn't indicate on a roundabout and I got to test the brakes on the way home! That's okay, though. No harm done and it just so happens I like the how my back tyre smells. Thanks mate.

    I've decided to name him Polly after this guy. Still got a fair bit of work to do here and there, but then it never finishes with a classic bike, does it?

    So far I'm getting 3.7L/100km so far. Besides riding style, anyone got tips on reducing that?