Old Motorcycles - Dirt Rider Magazine Online

Is it time to move on and buy a new bike, or is it worth fixing up your aging ride? It's a question many people have to ask themselves when their bike starts racking up mileage, and it's not always easy to determine which is the better value. Obviously, buying new is more expensive than fixing up your maturing scoot, and it's riskier than simply sticking with a bike you already know and love. But before deciding to fix it, you must consider several factors. The first question is: Will the money you invest be retained in the bike's final value? You can determine that by subtracting the bike's current Blue Book value from the maximum amount your model can sell for, and seeing if the difference covers the cost of the necessary rebuilds. This brings up question number two: What does the bike need? The ideal candidate is in good condition, only requiring minor repairs and some overall freshening up-nothing major like a cracked frame or blown bottom end.There are other less obvious factors to consider. In freshening up an older bike, you also have an opportunity to customize it. Everything from suspension, ergonomics, function right down to appearance can be customized since it will be revalved, rebuilt or refreshed in the process. This makes a project of this nature especially beneficial to non-average-sized riders for whom any bike would require customizing-old or new.Based on all these factors, the lucky swan we chose for our makeover was my 1994 CR250R. At nearly 12 years old, the bike could use refreshing, and as a 5-foot 8-inch 130-pound female desert rider, I could use a custom mount. Using the Clymer Blue Book, we calculated a budget of $1400 and started doing some bargain hunting to make our restoration as cost-effective as possible.Price List

||| |---|---| | LINKAGE| | Swingarm linkage bearing kit, | | LK-H04-021| $79.95| | Shock bearing kit, SHK-H13-020| $39.95| | Swingarm bearing kit, SA-H12-020| $69.95| | Service: install| $150.00| | FRONT SUSPENSION| | Honda fork seal kit (x2), | | 54190-ML3-305| $31.94| | Honda bushings, guide (x2), | | 51414-ML3-791| $19.20| | slider (x2), 51415-ML3-791| $12.80| | Honda fork caps (x2), 51450-KZ3-711| $82.08| | Eibach fork 0.42kg/mm spring set| $99.99| | Service: clean fork internals; replace worn seals, bushings and fork springs| $95.00| | REAR SUSPENSION| | Piston band| $14.00| | Seal kit| $29.75| | Oil | $15.00| | Bottom bumper| $18.00| | Eibach rear 5.6kg/mm spring| $109.95| | Service: take apart, clean and replace worn | | piston band and main seal; new bottom bumper; and fresh oil| $85.00| | TOP END| | Wiseco Pro-Lite piston, 614M06640| $124.50| | Gasket kit, W5319| $32.08| | Top end bearing, B1003| $14.95| | Service: cylinder hone and power-valve | | cleaning| $50.00| | PARTS| | Honda clutch outer basket, | | 22100-KZ3-862| $156.61| | IMS tank| $260.98| | Boyesen reeds, 633| $34.99| | Tusk brake rotor| $49.99| | EBC brake pads| $64.00| | Chain and sprockets| $143.64| | Running total| $1899.31| Drawing the LineWe broke the bank in the end, exceeding our budget by more than $500. If this had been a restoration with the end purpose of selling the bike, we would have bit the bullet. Where this CR holds its value, however, is in the customizing that came along with the hop-up: suspension, enduro tank, chain and sprockets. Because these are all modifications I would have made even to a brand-new bike, we can justify the expense. For the sake of argument, if calculating the cost without replacing the springs or the tank, we would be on target at $1478.39.It's easy to get swept up in a rebuild and start throwing more $30 parts at the bike, especially when you come across small, easy-to-fix problems such as chipped reeds or a grimy power valve. But as the saying goes: Mosquitoes draw more blood than lions do. As my post-project words of wisdom, I'd recommend plotting your budget at two-thirds the maximum amount you're willing to put into the bike. Prioritize which improvements you plan to focus on based on that total. As a result, you'll give yourself a cushion for when you inevitably come across the unexpected.