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Always wanted a trials machine


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Ever since learning about motorcycles I've loved the idea of small, light, low power bikes that are fun.  I got started on an XR-75 as a full grown adult and I've owned a variety of dirt bikes and other motorcycles.  Most recently a honda sl125 which I put trials tires on figuring it will be as close as I ever get to owning a legit trials machine.

I had that bike for a couple years and k used it on the street as well as back roads and trails but it was not one you could wheelie confidently.

One day while riding a friends property in the hills, I started to give him a hard time about still not having fixed his TLR200 honda.  His response "why don't you fix it.  Go ahead load it in your truck, I know you'll fix it"

Before I could get to it, he had it loaded in the back of my truck.

Now, I love my friend, he's a righteous dude, but he had that bike all sorts of backwards and It took me a while to put it right.

Reason it was ditched, no spark.

My friend stripped the lights off, and virtually everything else and had the factory cdi running on AC from the stator, unregulated.   Can't run that cdi from the stator long before it went out, quit sparking.

Me being clever and having a bit of experience with old hondas, I decided to get a trx 200 cdi which runs on ac from the stator and uses the crank mounted timing pickup.

Tlrs don't have an ignition pickup in the head like most other 200 hondas.

Bought a pigtail for the cdi from the same supplier and soldered a quick harness together.

Works perfectly, producing hot snappy blue sparks now.

Carburetor needed cleaning and a new needle and seat.  I also rebuilt the petcock by drilling the rivets and tapping it for 4:40 screws.

At that point we were burning fuel instead of leaking it into the ground and the bike was taken for a quick ride.

Next major obstacle:

Kickstarter was wrong, it was hitting the case, foot peg, and brake.  Had I left it the snap back would have eventually punched a hole in the side cover.  $200 later the correct parts showed up in a genuine honda bag.

Had to order them from the UK, and wait a month.  So every time I kick it I remember...  it's so nice to have it working correctly and reliable.

Next up I put a set of trials tires on it.  The front was original and cracked and the rear was an mx knobby.  At the same time I put on a new chain and 2 new sprockets, and a new tensioner pad from honda.  

New seat cover.

New bars (taller, as I'm 6'6" tall in my boots) 

Yesterday I rebuilt the forks, one was leaking the other one had leaked until it stopped.  Yikes, glad I caught that.

Fork seals were cheap and so was oil and now the front end feels much better.


I also changed the motor oil and repainted the bash plate.  This engine is one of the cleanest, low hours, honda 200s I've ever had (had a few) the motor oil probably hadn't been changed but once. And they used car oil, yuck.

I learned early on that wet clutch air cooled hondas require good motorcycle specific oil.  I've got my brand...  

The fresh oil brought the clutch back to life and now I'm beginning to feel like I can go out and play with it.  It's a whole lot of cheap fun, and i feel like I've got it basically working right again. 

I intend to spend as much time as I can riding it this season.  I'm very excited.  Yesterday her name came to me.


Not the beverage.


The TLR is perfect for me, I've always loved small hondas and always wanted a trials bike.

The point is not to win but to have fun.

Will I succeed?

Edited by Trainbuftony
Incomplete story.
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Yes you did succeed !!    Speaking for myself, i can have just as much fun, enjoyment , quality time on any type or year off road motorcycle. AND, yesterday was ground hog day, our local whistle pigs did not see there shadow. This means a early spring !!    ground hog said so--- lol.  have fun on your Sprite sir.   

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The tall bars do look goofy but they are required if I'm going to ride and not end up with a crooked sore neck.  I could actually go another 2" taller, but as it stands, I can ride for hours without any neck pain.

My forearm has some pain in the muscles that run my clutch finger.

I'm sure after a week or two I will have developed that muscle and the soreness will subside.

Rather than lift the bars another 2" I'm tempted to drop the pegs 2" instead.  My welder needs a fuel pump at the moment, so I'll probably ride all season on the current setup before I change anything major.

And yes it now occurs to me that sprite was a motorcycle company.

My moto already has a brand, it's a honda.  Her name is Sprite.

My sl125 was named "the turdle"

It was a slow turd.

I've taken to naming my bikes.

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