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  #1  
Old 3 Mar 2007
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Killing it? Running little dual-sport wide open all the time?

In South Africa, I have a 2004 Honda CTX200B(ushlander), an agricultural bike (dual sport). Top speed standard was about 100 kmph (60mph) on flats, but I changed sprockets, adding a tooth in front and dropping two in back. Now I’m up to about 110 on flats, 100 going up hills (sometimes as low as 90...), and 120+ going down hills. So, the question: am I going to kill this engine by riding it this way for 3 years/34,000 km (20,000 miles)? I’m wide open about half the time—the rest I’m on dirt or curves or slower speed limits.

(FYI, I’d like to keep this bike, since my wife rides, too, and likes it, and I already have it. The bike market here is weird—everything holds value for a long time. I’d like a slightly bigger dual-sport, even up to the 650s, but prices are too high here. This was US$2500 barely broken in, and a good condition KLR with 15,000 miles is $4200. I’d like something with a bigger tank—this one is only 8.5L/2.2gal.—in addition to higher speeds. Or I could go for a 250 road bike, standard style, to get slightly higher speeds, though I like how tough this machine is…Sigh.)
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  #2  
Old 8 Mar 2007
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I used to have a 1980 CB250RS (powered by a higher performance version of the XL250S engine).
Even a Honda dealer once told me that the bike does not last if run flat out all the time.
I put 32000 km onto the poor thing between 1996 and 2000 (bought the bike 1996 in mint condition with 16000 km). After thorough warm up you could have replaced my throttle with a switch.
Once I did Munich to Osnabrück (650km Autobahn). All flat out except when I had to go for petrol. Did 150km/h in slipstream of a Chrysler Voyager at 9000rpm for a while. Return trip in the same manner two days later.
In 2000 I replaced the engine with a FT500 / XL 500 jobbie with CB250RS generator and ignition (36hp / 131kg :-) and sold the 250cc engine. It never missed a beat until then and was running perfectly.

I would not worry too much. Service the thing nicely.
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  #3  
Old 8 Mar 2007
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lecap--my CTX and your KLRs

Hey Mate. I tried to look you up, but no reply to an email (no worries), and the phone number on your rentals' website didn't work for me...

Do you have any used KLRs you're looking to off-load? I can tell you know bikes and I'd trust your maintenance. They might not be pretty enough for your customers, but they'd be good enough for me!

On the CTX, thanks for the wisdom. I will likely do a comparable amount of mileage over the next 3 years...I am trying to ride a little slower. What do you recommend in the way of oil/oil change frequency/air cleaner cleaning/other essentials to keep up on/things to watch for?

Do you know where I can get a repair manual for this bike??? They're everywhere back in the US, but this bike isn't sold there, so no dice...

Finally, I'm considering a DR200 if not a KLR, if I change bikes. Any thoughts on its speed vs my CTX? I trust I could mount rack/bags somehow on one, and it looks better on paper (13L tank, 25% more bhp, 20% more torque, lighter). (see thread on Which bike)

Thanks!
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  #4  
Old 13 Mar 2007
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Moved to a new workshop. Must still update the website (thought I did it already :-/
I still have two KL650C. One damaged in an accident and one I am busy rebuilding (Top end job). Have not decided if I am going to keep them or sell them.
E-mail should work? Are you sure you used the correct address? I even check my spam bucket :-)

Manual:
Ask your friendly Honda Dealer to get you the Honda workshop manual. They are expensive but woth the money.
Maintenance:
Stick to the intervals, use good quality oil (preferably synthetic once the engine is well run in)
Air filter: Foam? Use filter oil (motul or Silkolene). More messy to wash but more sticky. Most bike shops don't stock the stuff. Most marine engine places do (it prevents the air filters from taking up water).
Also a good idea to see the next MX dealer and check for filter socks.

I think the DR 200 is a fine bike as long as you don't have to cover long distances on very fast gravel or tarmac. Consider getting one for my wife as I am a bit reluctant to give her a DR 650 as her first DS (She only had a MBX)
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  #5  
Old 16 Mar 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lecap View Post
I used to have a 1980 CB250RS (powered by a higher performance version of the XL250S engine).
Even a Honda dealer once told me that the bike does not last if run flat out all the time.
I put 32000 km onto the poor thing between 1996 and 2000 (bought the bike 1996 in mint condition with 16000 km). After thorough warm up you could have replaced my throttle with a switch.
Once I did Munich to Osnabrück (650km Autobahn). All flat out except when I had to go for petrol. Did 150km/h in slipstream of a Chrysler Voyager at 9000rpm for a while. Return trip in the same manner two days later.
In 2000 I replaced the engine with a FT500 / XL 500 jobbie with CB250RS generator and ignition (36hp / 131kg :-) and sold the 250cc engine. It never missed a beat until then and was running perfectly.

I would not worry too much. Service the thing nicely.
Hello Lecap

I own a Honda CB 250 RS, and the engine is starting to give out (spitting oil out the exhaust and everything)
I have an option to buy a FT500 engine, but i am not really sure if the thing will fit the 250.
Then I came upon your reaction, so my question is, does the FT500 engine slide into CB250 frame easily? and how about the electrics, how did you fix this?

Maybe you could send me a personal message or an email, it would help me a lot.

greetings from the Netherlands, pretpiloot
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  #6  
Old 26 Mar 2007
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How to fit a 500cc into a CB 250 RS:
(My RS is a 1980 kick start only model)

I used the engine of a XL 500 and only bits and pieces of an FT:

The engine of the XL (almost) fits into the CB250RS frame.
You have to cut the cast off the upper half of the cylinder head that usually accomodates the upper engine mount (which you throw away). This is not critical. The upper engine mount was removed often on XL's as well as 250RS as it seems to aggravate the problems with leaking cylinder head splits. Cut nicely with a hacksaw and finish with a file.
Then you have to clip a very small piece of the backbone of the frame above the cylinder head. This is also not critical as you only remove the seam of the box profile between two of the spot welds.
Further you have to drill out the upper rear engine mounts in the XL 500 crankcase to 12.2mm to accomodate the thicker CB250RS mounting bolt (!)

This lets you fit the engine into the frame which is actually the easiest and quickest part of the operation.

I used a second hand OEM Honda FT 500 exhaust due to lack of alternatives. A XL 500 manifold would also be a good basis to start with but the "through frame" routing will not work on the "RS" at all. I also wanted a low slung street bike type can.
The FT ports are larger in diameter than the XL500's and dont't fit into the XL's head. I cut the headpipes and replaced them with a pair custom made from thick walled mild streel tube on a lathe :-)
The rest of the exhaust job was a number of hacksaw cuts and rotated rewelds of the manifold and expansion chamber.
A complete custom made stainless steel manifold & silencer is planned. Sometimes.
The FT 500 carb (one of the features I was most keen to use) was fitted using three of the insulator discs and o-rings that normally sit between the intake rubber and cylinder head. This lets the carb's diaphagm housing slip in between the fork of the frame at the rear end of the backbone as if it's never been anywhere else. Minor cut & weld modifications to the throttle cable attachments.
A huge problem was the airbox:
The original box was nowhere near giving a workable base to something accommodating the FT carb. Open carb or a racing filter was no option due to my determination to "TÜV" the project (I was still living in Munich at that time) which I succeeded to do in October 2000!
I ended up manufacturing an airbox from 0.8mm sheet steel which contained the XL 500 air filter.
The tank has to be raised a few centimetres in the front to allow it to fit over the 500cc cylinder head. The cleaner solution would be to cut out the tank on the right side underneath and tig weld a concave section in to give space to the cylinder head. Left side is fine. Also planned. Luckily I have a second tank in mint condition to use for this project. The restriction of steering angle, which had to be fitted to protect the raised tank can then be removed.
All electrics are standard CB250RS. I use the 250RS alternator (much lighter than both XL 500 and FT 500 flywheel and work fine without tendency to idle stall or cutoff at low revs.) as well as pickups and CDI ignition. Full advance is 45° instead of 38° on the 500's but id does not seem to matter :-)
I fitted FT 500 instruments to take the lower red line of the 500cc engine into account (and to avoid the needle of the speedo getting bend :-)

Further non engine related modifications were:
Front brake: Disc of a 1984 CB400N, LHS twin pod caliper of a VF750S, Spiegler steel braided hose.
560mm Magura M-shape bars mounted upside down (!) Looks better than clip ons originally considered and came for 5€ in mint condition out of the scrap bucket of the motorcycle breaker :-D
Self made rear sets.
Plus lots of small things.

The thing goes, vibrates & sounds nicely.
Of course I have big CB250RS stickers on the side covers :-D
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  #7  
Old 30 Apr 2007
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acjeske

Where in SA are you? I also ride a CTX200 and have been on various tours. Maybe we can meet up?
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  #8  
Old 3 May 2007
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Hi Trailrider!

In the process of getting "small" wheels for the better half. Tested and bought a Suzuki 200cc Djebel yesterday. Amazing to see how much fun these little things are although I have to fold myself a bit :-)
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  #9  
Old 4 May 2007
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Hi LeCap!

Fancy meeting you here...
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  #10  
Old 8 May 2007
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Trailrider: Busy fishing the net for valve settings for mango's 250 :-)
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