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Thinking of rebuilding a 250/LAMS bike for project - need advice!

Discussion in 'Modifications and Projects' at netrider.net.au started by Booki, Feb 10, 2010.

  1. Gday guys, ive been thinking after rebuilding the top end on my YZ 125 ( Dirt bike) i really enjoyed doing it, and wouldn't mind doing it for a road bike, like a CBR250RR/R, GPX250 or something similar.

    I know where to source my dirt bike parts from, but for road bikes? I imported my parts from the States, anybody know any cheap sources for parts for bikes?

    Like piston kits, gaskets, valves, cam chains? Everything i would need to do a top end.

    was thinking of buying one that is on its way out, hopefully with no bore damage so i can just pop in a new top end and hopefully gain alot of engine experience as well as coming out on top with a decent priced bike all up! Plus knowing that its all done will make it more reliable too!

    Advice, comments or anything on the above would be great!
  2. My advice would be not to bother. Unless you're very lucky indeed, you are very unlikely to come out on top financially. The horrors that could lurk inside a worn out 20 year old learner bike are potentially very expensive indeed. On top of that, when you've finished, you've still only got a learner 250.

    Save the pennies and effort for something decent after you're off restrictions.
  3. Hmmmm. This may be true Pat, but what chance do i have on finding a reliable learner bike? The last CBR250R was no where near my expectations condition wise. Sure it looked a treat, but i was very hesitant to redline the little bugger.....Didn't want to drop a valve in the main risk of causing a accident and major engine damage!

    What would be the way to look for something within budget and something stone dead reliable and in decent condition? Budget is the most important factor, hence why i was thinking of the project of getting a cheapie that has not been siezed and just replacing some parts. Could be a bit of fun with dad as well as getting a 100% reliable bike at the same time cutting some costs.
  4. Buy something farked, dropped and smashed.

    You should be able to pick up a zxr250 with awful fairings and questionable motor for around $1200.

    Fairings from ebay $550
    Engine parts ??? youll need to find out, make sure you do the cam chain and tensioner as well.
    Chain and sprockets $200-$320 depending on quality of chain.
    Tyres $500 again depending on what you get.
    Electrical and miscellaneous parts could be up to around $500 (think head stem bearings, wheel bearings, fluids, filters, lights etc)
    Brakes could be nothing, could be as much as $600 - $800 if theyre shot.
    Clutch, if its suspect youll be up for around $200ish in parts

    What are we up to so far worst case scenario? $4070 plus the engine rebuild parts.
    And thats without looking at suspension too.
    Then youll need reg and rwc, add another $500 - $600

    I agree that it would be reliable and probably among the nicest 250's around, but you could end up spending $6000 upwards on a 250 that youll get roughly $4500 for at resale.

    You may also get lucky and spend bugger all and have a good little runner, but everything is 20 years old on these things, soooooo....
  5. Don't buy a widdle 250, get something with a bit of class and still LAMs approved. Look at an old SR400 or something like that. Simple thumper engine, heaps of parts from all around the world and when you are finished you might be able to flog it to an inner city yuppy for an overinflated amount!.
  6. Yep, get a 500 or 400, something that is a bit more interesting and has a wider appeal, make the most of the LAMS laws and forget the 250. Chances are a 250 will be completely shagged at that age anyway at least a larger lower revving engine has half a chance. Much more likely to be able to get parts for a larger capacity bike as well.

  7. Or, if you want stone reliable, forget shagged out 20 yo sport bikes, swallow your pride and get something like a latish CB or CBF250 (dear God, I'm advocating buying a Honda......) until you're off restrictions.

    I've run projects as daily transport. It's not a recipe for peace of mind. If you really must, the SR400 route is probably a better bet.
  8. Hmmmmm, im liking the 500 and 400 idea's! The 20 year old sports bike are just crap now...too old.

    In regards to a CBF your right, though i would probebly get a GPX thats newish 200x model with low km's.

    So does anybody have any good places to buy engine parts? Or even these wrecked bikes?
  9. geez if only you were around 18monts ago. i had a sweet lams dr800 that really needed a rebuild lol
  10. Wot? A Dr Pig with the weird beaky front mudguard? Damn, I missed that.
  11. Do it! I have put my self through uni buying old 250s (early to mid 80's twins was my thing) and putting them back on the road.. the old formula was $500 for bike $500 for parts, repairs, and RWC, reg back than was?? $180 I think... the bike than would be sold for $1500 as that how much it was worth...

    Now days unless you are lucky you will be looking at $2000 for the bike, $1000+ for repairs and RWC.. $500 for reg and you will have a bike worth around $4000+

    In my opinion / experience stay away from Gray imports, sports bikes with fairings and any thing that has been "smashed"
  12. If you have to crack the engine on a single or twin, then the bike is worth a few hundred. If you have to crack the engine on a 250/4 don't let anybody give you the bike. Make them pay you to take it away.


    But be aware the states got less and different bikes than us.
  13. Thanks heaps for the advice so far!

    I would be hard pressed paying $2,000 for a bike that i will have to fix! I was thinking $1,000 tops and it would be in fair condition, ie would start. and fairings would not be snapped in half.
  14. Definately do it, even if you loose money on re-sale, you still have the experience and knowledge gained from working on the bike. Also, its alot more personal when you restore something, it aint just 'I bought it from a bloke down the road' it's, 'I bought it looking like rat shit, and turned it into something special'.

    I have two bikes at the moment, both of which I have bought for around $700 and each of those is worth around $2000 to $3000 now. I got lucky in buying two bikes that were mechanically fine, just looked ugly, and the only expenses I have put into them are tyres, rego, a home-paint job and some spare parts off eBay
  15. Thats exactly what i want to do bunjum!

    guess i just have to hunt around for something that appears to be good mechanical wise, just wrecked plastics.
    Now i have had alot of experiance with dirtbikes, when you drop there. There is really only a number of things that can go wrong, assume it was a low speed drop. Generally you will say bend your handlebars, maybe break some leavers, very minute stuff. But when it gets expensive is when there are fast crash's that put bends in rims, damage the frame, crack the casing of the engine. I know what to look for in Dirt bike, is it the same as road bikes to?

    I want to buy something that looks a little rusted up, but knowing i can turn that little rusted pos into something beautiful :) Just in other words, to keep costs down what should i avoid at all costs, ie bent wheels, damaged frames? (How easy to the get damaged from low speed drops compared to high speed)
  16. Have a look at my CX Cafe build, bought the bike for $425 and am still under $1000 in total (just). Great fun to ride and something different. No plastics to worry about either. Basically look for a daily rider, something still registered or just out of rego that someone had to ride every day, it should be mechanically ok but cosmetically crappy. This seems to work for me and mates, be prepared to travel as well, a road trip is always a good laugh and picking up a bargain just adds to it.

  17. Bloody hell steve. A grand? Amazing.
  18. I sold some of the stock stuff off of the bike as well, it had a rack and small headlight fairing and a few other bits I didn't need, this gave me an extra $250, that paid for the most expensive bit which was the digital gauge ($160) + a few other bits and pieces. The main thing is to find something mechanically good but unwanted and ugly.

    I also had to travel from Sydney to Toowoomba to get it but we came back with two bikes and a bigger diff/axles etc for my Jeep. The road trip was great as well, did it in an old Postie van and stopped off at the Motorcycle museum at Nabiac for some inspiration.

  19. Yeah, the road trip to go get it is half the fun :) I went up to a hic town in Northern Queensland, which turned out to be great fun within itself, free pool and locals that wouldn't stop shouting us drinks, it was awesome.

    In regards to your road bikes question, I have bought to FZR 250's, which is a fully faired i4, and when I was fixing them up, most of my time went into damaged fairings... They are so time consuming. If you could grab an old CB 400 or GS 500, I think you would have it a lot easier
  20. Ah, reading this thread makes me nostalgic for mechanical tomfoolery on my parents farm. Now i live 3 stories up with one parking bay for my bike and car.
    Good luck with the build.