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sherco29

TL250 Honda rehab

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I have been looking for a vintage trials bike.

This came up the other day. One owner 1976 TL 250 Honda. 85ish% complete. Came with original owners manual and the original MSO from St Johns Honda bought in 77.

It had sat for 10+ years. The 72 year old that owned it was a really cool dude. It would not run when I showed up. I asked him if he would mind if I spent an hour or so trying to get it started. If we got it goin I would give him his asking price.

Fresh oil/gas and a shot of starting fluid and she was running.

I took it around the yard...stuck throttle cable would barely let it rev, no brakes, but it sounded healthy, and shifted through the gears great.

I wheeled it over near the old fellow that owned it and said...hop on! He looked at me funny for a few seconds...then jumped on. He could not work his leg good enough to start it...so I kicked it over for him. BAM he was off to the races tearing around his yard. Big old **** eating grin from ear to ear!

He brought it back over eventually after hopping over a stump or 2 and a couple small wheelies :clap: . I said well...you want to keep it, or should I load it up?

He replied that he would be happy to give it a new home...but was VERY glad to be able to ride it one last time. He hadnt riden for about 20 years, and I wonder if he ever will again? Anyways I am stoked and its getting some much needed love! I told him I would call if I get it ready in time for the vintage trials up in Crooked River Ranch end of April. He was stoked that I was going to clean it up and use it and that he could come see it in action maybe. =thumbup

Pretty trick old bike. Honda hired Sammy Miller to help design them. Sold in 76 only I think. Mine was made in June of 75...one month older than I am!

Aluminum fuel tank has a couple dents...but is in great shape for how old it is. And its Aluminum so NO RUST!!!!

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Carb and petcock were gunked really bad. Got em soaking. Suprised I was able to get it running...its a Honda.

Still a ways to go but there was a motor under all the grime afterall!!

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Aluminum wheels and rear sprocket to shave some weight.

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Years of dirt and grime getting removed (not easy with a broken thumb!)

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Odds and ends are scattered across 2 workbenches.

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Exhaust was funky...glassbeaded and some fresh hightemp.

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What they looked like new!!!

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Looks to be in decent shape. Even the seat looks great. I still have one and use it regularly to follow my son around. Everytime I ride it I have to remind myself that its over 35 years old. Good luck with your new found old friend.

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[ Good luck with your new found old friend.

excellent, heartwarming story, good luck and keep the old dude on the scene !

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Thanks guys! Got a bunch of stuff ordered up for it today.

Going to get the forks stripped down so then everything will be about ready to start going back together once stuff starts showing up.

Parts are not easy to get for this puppy. :guinness:

Edited by sherco29

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Hi

Just picked up my own "TL250 Rehab' project yesterday. Every home should have one.

Parts may not be easy to get for these puppies, but I am learning that many Xl250/XL350 parts fit, so it might not be as dry out there as a first Google/ebay search might seem. Photos to follow in a few days.

Ross

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Awesome! Congrats!!!

I sourced a couple silver aftermarket fenders for it from an outfit in colorado on ebay, cool guys. I think they have them custom made by UFO?

Got a new front fender brace from BJ racing (TL125 but heard its an easy spacer mod to make work), as well as an airfilter and new throttle setup.

Wheelbearings, steering bearings, and fork seals from All Balls.

Rest of stuff I was able to order oem honda stuff...carb bits, petcock bits, side cover gaskets, brake/clutch cables, etc etc

Wish there was a source for affordable side covers...may be a project for this summer. Mine are good enough to pull molds from.

About the only other thing I could not source was the proper gasket for the airbox lid. Will just do a custom one with some foam and weather strip adhesive. And the chain guide that is just infront of the rear sprocket off the bottom of the swingarm. Not hard to fab, maybe scrounge from another bike? When your snapping pics of your new scooter take some closeups of that lower rear chain guide please! :thumbup:

Edited by sherco29

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Been plugging away slowly but surely.

Still waiting on parts to show up.

Got the rear brake all cleaned up and ready to go back on.

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Dug through the random parts box that came with the bike and found this stuff... original grommet for the steering stem with hole for tank vent line, NEW chain tensioner rub block, 3/4 of the original chain guide for the rear sprocket, a pile of original lever boots, and original front fender extension!

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I need to do some repairs to both side panels. Will be fiber-glassing up the cracks from the back. I may have sourced some aftermarket side panels out of Taiwan for it.

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Need my carb/petcock parts and fork seals so I can start putting stuff back together!!!

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IMG_5550.jpg

Here's my TL as it was when purchased. Frame has been powder-coated, and its a case of building up from here. I'm looking forward to spending some time this weekend to get to go over my bike properly and no doubt build up a list of the 1,001 things that will have to be done. When, not working today, I went and sourced a variety of allen-head bolts to replace the the bolts on the triple clamp. exhaust etc. I had no ideas stainless steel bolts were so expensive! I've got Hebo pegs on my 4Rt and are putting the OEM 4RT pegs onto the TL. Discovered I'll have to get out with a file and take about 1 or 2mm off the peg brackets so that they will fit. Will adapt the bike rather than the pegs so that I can change to aftermarket modern pegs if I want to later. The 4RT pegs are already double the width of the skinny 1976 pegs and move the rides weight backward as well.

New handlebars go on tomorrow and I've just ordered a forged alloy gear lever with a folding tip from a CR80 so that should slip straight on. New red front brake cable from Venhill has arrived along with a clutch lightener from Shedworks in the UK.

There are two or three holes in the exhaust and I've heard that a CT200 exhaust fits. However, standing and looking at the bike - as one does when any new member of the household arrives - I can't help but feel that the triangular exhaust is an integral part of the TL's identity. Here in NZ there is a firm that makes new pipes to TL125 specs, so I will investigate fitting one of those while keeping the original header pipe.

Surprises? Well the sprocket is not dished and there are no spacers between hub and sprocket, the chain is a 520 size not a 428 and it all lines up. So someone has put on a different rear wheel at some stage. Perhaps from an XL. I've also found a couple of welded on nuts (exhaust mounts) that weren't metric! Any earlier owner being lazy I suspect. Had the back pedal in my hand today and was aghast at the weight. Feels like it was built by a ship-builder! Another surprise, for get about the price of fuel. Fuel Lines are priced like Gold. 20cm of neoprene rubber was going to cost USD15!

All in all, I am thrilled to have another TL in my garage. I had one 20 odd years ago. It looks smaller now. It's still heavy , but looks lower than I remember. I still like the masculine full bodied look that they have where the motor fills ALL the available space under the tank.

Edited by Andy

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Couple poser shots with the new silver fenders that just showed up. Sourced from an outfit on ebay in Colorado. Both will need some trimming up to get looking right...but should turn out good in the end I think!

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exhaust turned out great.

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Edited by sherco29

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Your exhaust really did turn out well.

Funny thing about the mudguards, I've been thinking should I go with silver/grey/gray or another colour. Silver being the original colour, but then again the RTLs used red. See photo below. White coloured mudguards remind me too much of Preston Petty fenders from the '80s. Then again, white is one of the racing colours of HRC ie. for the RTL250s. I've also seen some black coloured guards. Well I wouldn't have a white car but black cars are cool. So why don't we have more black coloured bikes. I see Gas Gas are using black front guards and both Montesa and Beta are using white mudguards with black decals. So maybe black is the 'new Black". Hmmm, still undecided on what colour to opt for as I am not doing a period restoration.

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I started the TL250 rehab process properly today. I got the bike up on a stand and the petrol tank off. Oil in the old girl's veins too. New Spark plug in. Forgotten just how deep the plug is located in the head compared to a modern bike. Almost every engine bolt was loose. I found out that the rear hub DOES have brake shoes but that they don't touch the sides of the brake drum! WIll have to explore if they are just worn or from a different sized hub tomorrow. Stand, rear brake pedal and bash plate all off to the powder coaters today. I'll have to get around to painting my exhaust later. Drilled out the only non-metric nut (so far) that I have found. Fitted my 4RT OEM foot peg to the right side of the TL. Peg mounts needed to have a nut underneath sawn off, then the hole opened up as new pegs don't bolt to the mounts but have pins that pass through the frame mounts and bolt up underneath. 1mm of metal needed to come off the peg mounts as well as letting them spread slighty to accept the new slightly wider and 36 year younger pegs. Tomorrow's to do list: the left hand peg, take some photos, brake shoe cleaning, handlebar fitting, fork oil and a waterproof seal around the airbox.

Edited by Ross Brown

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Ya I was going to go red...but it would not have been close to the old tank...then I found the silver ones on ebay!

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Its not perfect...but closer than the red would of been! It had white Preston Pettys on it with a little silver paint stuck on them.

Got some parts today. All the Honda bits. Carb/Petcock back together, airbox back in and exhaust back on. Found 1 small crack I need to do something about on my pipe...but it can wait till I run it a bit. I want to bake that high temp paint on before I screw it up more!

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Edited by sherco29

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You asked about the chain guard. Well the guard around the rear sprocket does not exist on this neglected TL. You can also see the new foot pegs left over from my 4RT. More than double the width of the original TL pegs. Today when I tried to install the chain tensioner I found that the thread on the swing arm is too big for 8mm and too small for 10mm. Of course it is 9mm, but who uses 9mm?. Not my local engineering supplies shop!

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Below, you can see that the header pipe has been replaced at some point. Haven't got around to the pipe yet. Nor have I attacked the cases with AutoSolve to clean them up.

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Triangular muffler has holes in three places and has been brazed previously by an earlier owner looking to plug holes. It will have to go. Knobby tyre too is marked for the scrap heap. On the plus side, there are plenty of allen-head nuts on the bike now.

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Edited by Ross Brown

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Nice!!!! It looks good with that fresh frame. Makes me sorta wish I would of torn mine all the way down...another day!

Did you see the fender and tank on ebay today that sold for big bucks!?!? 170$ for the front fender!

Im working at tearing down the forks. Have not gotten far. Think I will have to devise a special tool to pull them all the way down.

Got new front wheel bearings in, rears are held with a retainer that is un-obtainable so I ordered the motion pro tool to undo it rather than bashing on it with a hammer and punch.

If my throttle cable ever shows up I could at least fire it up! :beer:

Edited by sherco29

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