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Old 07-09-2009, 10:48 AM
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Moto Used Honda CR250, virgin rider, some issues but lots of fun!

Hi everyone,

I'm a new rider, the only thing on two wheels with an engine that I drove previously was a 125cc automatic scooter, once.

Anyway, I got myself a used Honda CR250 '04 which externally appears to be in good condition. Of course the shop guarantees it to be good, too. As usual with engines and mechanics, what's inside is what matters the most - and without knowing these things intimately, and opening them up to examine, it's hard to say what really the condition is.

With basic instruction from someone who rides, I rode it around in soft grassy fields for a few days and had a hell of a lot of fun! Learned to change gears, shift up and down as necessary, managed to slide out of a curve in gravel (third ride), managed to lift the bike up vertically one meter in the air when starting up by giving too much gas and releasing the clutch way too fast (second ride). All in all a lot of fun!

I'll also say that I'd like to get to know the bike very well mechanically, and hopefully service whatever I can myself, too.

The bike seemed to ride very well on the first day, very responsive, aggressive, evil, just the way it probably should be.

As a total beginner with bikes I have a few observations and questions, that I hope some of you be able to enlighten me.

I have a few potential problems, issues, questions before I bring it back to the dealer and ask to correct the issues;

1. The shop/seller said 6 month old fuel was in, and that they would change the fuel and clean the carb before delivery. They didn't, the bike was first started in front of my house on delivery day, it was difficult to start and smoked a lot. I drained the fuel and put in fresh fuel and then went riding.

2. The bike seems to spit out a hell of a lot of fuel through the carb vent hose when trying to start up, and after stopping the engine. I've read online that the "float level" might be off or it is a stuck needle in the needle & seat. It also feels like it burns through way too much fuel, now this is just a feeling - how do I quantify this and know what is normal and what is abnormal without having much experience with bikes, and this one in particular? I went through almost 20 liters (5.2 gallons) in what is probably around six hours of riding - I unfortunately didn't time my rides so I don't know exactly how long it was.

3. Clutch; It now reached the level where in standstill, easing the clutch when in first gear the bike has no "kick" anymore, and starts moving forward slower than it used to, compared to the first riding day when it was pulling me forward with a bang. I asked the shop and they said there are two options, either the oil is wrong or the clutch plates are worn, they recommended to first try different oil before they check the clutch and replace any parts - should I bother with different oil?

4. What are the gotchas and things to watch out for when buying a used bike of this type? What should I look at and examine before I take it back into the shop and get it sorted due to the above mentioned issues?

5. Manuals, before coming here to ask questions I searched online but could only find relatively old CR250 manuals, one of which was in Italian which is of no use. If anyone has a manual they could share, I would love to have one!

6. Is there anything else I should be asking the shop to check / service / tune when it goes there?

I thank you in advance for any advice, comments or input!

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Old 07-09-2009, 11:35 AM
MXtras's Avatar
Manufacturer Dude
Join Date: Jun 2006
Last Online: 09-23-2014 03:14 PM
Location: Virginia
Posts: 2,305

Wow! That's one hell of a first post!

First off - welcome to the site.

Secondly - congrats on the purchase.

Now - on to the questions.

As far as the clutch - try different oil first. Many guys use whatever they can find and this is not always best for a wet clutch. Ask your shop what they have that would help your clutch work. I use BelRay Gearsaver, 75Wt. Also - make sure you have freeplay in the lever. With the lever released, you should have at least 1/8" of motion that basically does nothing - measured at the pivot where the cable connects to the lever. It is possible your plates are cooked but I would venture to say it's not likely. The clutch is used far less on the larger bikes, but every once in a while, you run into a guy that refuses to leave the clutch alone when riding. I guess it all depends on the previous owner and what type of riding he did. Plates are simple to replace, by the way.

As far as what else to look for? Keep a close eye on your chain and sprockets, your air filter, tire pressure, spoke tightness and brakes. These things require attention frequently. Also keep a close eye on your suspension for leaks and squeeks.

If you are paying the dealer/shop to maintain your bike, you will go broke quickly. Things like tearing into the rear suspension linkage or steering stem bearings and bleeding the brakes are things you should do at least once a year to keep things from falling apart, but the dealer will charge you an arm and a leg to do this work, when the tasks are fairly simple and only require basic hand tools and a little time.

We can help you through all of the suggested maintence items and intervals. There's a lot involved to keep the bike in great shape but it's not hard and it's not really all that costly if you do the work yourself. The expensive repairs are the ones you do after something goes wrong.

Preventative Maintenance is where it's at.


Last edited by MXtras; 07-09-2009 at 12:58 PM.
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Old 07-13-2009, 03:54 AM
Welcome To ATM
Join Date: Jul 2009
Last Online: 07-13-2009 04:01 AM
Location: In the forest
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I thank you for the input! In the mean time I tried a new oil recommended by the shop but that made no difference, so I swapped the plates (provided by the shop for free) and it runs like a charm now!

I also took the carb apart, cleaned it up and adjusted it per recommendations I found online. I took the spark plug out, cleaned and adjusted, it was black, grimy and off spec. The bike now idles, and doesn't spit huge amounts of excess fuel when stopped. It also starts on the first try now.

I found maintenance manuals for the CR 250 but not for my year model ('04), but I used the manual as a reference point. I'll keep on looking.

By the looks of the spark plug the engine and exhaust probably need some decarbonization. Can anyone recommend a procedure for this?

I don't have previous mechanic experience but so far this has been a piece of cake - of course it was the easy stuff.

All in all a successful weekend!
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