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The Gold Wing Aspencade has another riding partner.  I have gone back to the dirt, riding that is.  I can't say it is because I feel like it is safer.    

XR250R Picture

(NEW): See bottom of page for latest motor mods:


The 2001 XR250R would not start in cold weather.  I had to go to a hotter plug.  This made it easier to start and seemed to give it more low-end power.  I changed out the 35W headlight bulb for a 55W Sylvania H7 Cool Blue bulb.  The H7 will tap into the round base of the light fixture without any modifications to either the bulb base or the light fixture.  A little High Temp Silicone Gasket Maker is needed to seal the small holes left from the locking mechanism for the 35W bulb.  A two terminal headlight socket and two small bullet connectors are needed to connect the wires. The H7 bulb cost $17.00 and the two terminal socket cost $2.00.   

A grease zerk was installed on the steering head. 

The case guard broke the first time the chain derailed so another was fabricated from a steel rod

I have gone to a 50-tooth sprocket from the factory 48 teeth.  This took about 15 M.P.H. off of top end but makes for more low-end power, which is great for the woods.  

I removed the snorkel from the air box and that gave it more pep plus helped it start easier.  I also removed the restriction from the muffler.  It comes with a hole the size of a large pencil.  That makes it run quite but also makes it hard to start and reduces the power somewhat.  To remove the restriction it was necessary to weld a rod in the hole and beat the baffle out with a hammer.  The spark arrestor is still in place.  After removing the restriction from the muffler I was able to go back to a 48-tooth sprocket and still have low-end power.   I ground down the thick ring in the middle of the baffle so it can be installed and removed easily.  I carry it with me so I can go into stealth mode when I need to. 

I have replaced the factory tires with a set of Michelin S12's.  The front tire works much better in Louisiana soil.  The front end used to wash out from under me much too easy.  The rear tire is not holding up good.  After several hundred miles it is tearing off lugs. 

I bought a Panoram speedometer from Wal-Mart in the bicycle department for $30.00.  It sells for $80.00 from motorcycle stores on-line.  I had to add about 14" to the pickup wire for it to work on the bike but that was cheaper than $80.00.  I used epoxy to stick the magnet to the front brake rotor.  

After two bend-o-matic bars I finally bought a Renthal CR High.  After a few unplanned dismounts they are still in great shape.  I cut 1 3/4 inches off the ends to accommodate the trees where I ride. 

I plan to buy a set of H.I.D. off-road lights this summer.  They sell for $600.00 a pair but since I will  use only one I will sell the other on e-bay, or I may keep it incase I break one.  I will have to fabricate a mount for the light since it will not fit in the stock unit.  I had a HAM operator make a device to convert the AC current to DC which will be necessary to run the H.I.D. lights.  I can also use it for the GPS unit I run on the bike instead of the AA batteries that do not last long.  I made a bracket for a Garman GPSIII Plus out of flat aluminum. The AC/DC converter is set to run at 14 volts since the GPS will shut off below 10 volts but can run at 10-32 volts.

The homemade mount for the GPS did not last.  It broke from the vibrations of a single cylinder engine.  I bought a sure-nuf GPS mount from CycoActive.  It is great I just wish it sat below the crossbar.  GPS pictures

I have disassembled and cleaned the forks, I cleaned the insides with the same type fluid I used to refill them, and replaced the fluid.  I checked at Race Tech,, for the correct fluid height and viscosity.  A friend told me that I could use semi synthetic transmission fluid in the forks so I checked at Quaker States web site,, for the viscosity of their semi synthetic transmission fluid and found it to be the same viscosity, 7.5, that Race Tech recommended.  Only twelve ounces of fluid came out of each fork, I have had no noticeable leaks, but to get the proper height I needed about sixteen ounces per fork.  It works fine.  Be careful to SLOWLY pump all air out of the mechanism inside the fork. 

Tools:  I made a set of tire irons from an old 1/4" thick lawnmower blade.  I have used them several times and they work really well.  Lawnmower blades will not bend easily.   The tire inflator came form Wal-Mart.  I found it in the computer department.  It was intended for blowing dust off of the keyboard. 

Latest and greatest motor mods:  The old XR has been ridden hard and was beginning to use a little oil periodically, not every ride, so I decided to do a top end on it.  I ordered a 284cc kit from XR's Only and sent the cylinder to a local shop that was reputed to do excellent motorcycle boring and honing.  When all the parts were in I washed the cylinder thoroughly, blew it dry with high pressure air and oiled it with a light spray oil.  I took my time to assemble all the parts but the rings never seated.  After riding about four miles they still refused to seat.  I had to leave the bike to go on vacation and since I was in LA on vacation I decided to go to XR's Only and pick up a few things and ask them what they thought about my rings not seating.  I explained to them how I handled the cylinder and installed the parts and was told that that is exactly how they do it.  The young man I spoke to was puzzled as to why the rings did not seat.  I bought a new set of rings and as far as I was concerned the vacation was ready to end; I was ready for it to end; I had new rings to install.  When I finally got home I tore it all down and started over again.  I washed the cylinder again and took a close look at the hatch marks.  They now appeared to look close to the same as cylinders I have had done at US Chrome, the hatch marks were fine and not as course as they were when newly honed, so decided to leave them alone and just install the new rings.  The old XR has come to life.  While still not as powerful as the 400 it has a lot more power and it still weighs less than the 400.  The old girl has been running great. 

While at XR's Only:  Since I was there and had vacation money I had not even spent yet I decided to pick up a few necessities.  I left there with a skid plate, rear disk brake guard, and chain guide; all from XR's Only.  If you are going from LA to XR's Only you will pass within site of Chaparral Motor Sports.  Walking in there is like walking into a giant candy store for motorcycle riders.  Best vacation I have ever had; besides the riding variety.  I bought a set of IMS wide foot pegs and K&N air filter.  The OEM pegs cut all the way through the soul of my riding boots.  I could have easily spent all my vacation money in that one store but I had to hold on to it for the visit to XR's Only. 

The new mods to the engine made the old girl hard to start again; like when it was new.  I have dropped the clip to the original setting on the needle and that has helped some.  I am going to have to play with the jetting some to get it right.  She still seems to be rock solid; the mods have not taken away from the XR dependability.