Building fun dirtbikes out of crap dirtbikes

A before and after.  The XR250 was clapped out.


For just $175, we scored a 1979 XR250 and a parts XR500 from Craigslist one very lucky evening.  We already had another parts bike we got off the internet a few months ago. It was posted as a XR500. It was located in Central Oregon, hours from Lancaster Land.  I called in a favor from a buddy who lives in the area, and he picked it up for parts and delivered it for $200. When he dropped it off, I discovered that it was a 250. Bummed with the discovery, I then turned it into a opportunity to build the XR parts bike with the other parts bike.

Did you watch the tear down video? If not, do yourself a favor and check it out. It is on our Facebook page.

So, what was up with these bikes?

  • One of the bikes was parked from a broken head bolt when the owner tried to put a new timing chain guide in.
  • The other bike had a broken rocker arm in the head.
  • The Craig's special came with a new Clarke plastic tank.
  • The Central Oregon bike had never been washed in its life.

Can you believe there was only 1833 miles on this clapped out piece of awesome and it came with a Supertrap exhaust. That was a plus.

For the build, we were able to use both engines to come up with one fire-breathing XR250, or more like 70 year old chain smoking chugalugger.

The rear axle took four beers and three guys to beat out with a hammer, WD-40 and a torch. We went with the other bikes rear wheel because it had better bearings.

We were able to finish piecing it together with the exhaust and cables from the parts bikes. ran! I did forget to mention that with both bikes, we only had one head engine mount. We had to make one out of a old YZ250F skid plate. It's all about creativity. And after a couple of beers, we were feeling pretty creative.

We added an old 1975 21' Elsinore front wheel to get rid of the 23' wagon wheel that comes on the XR.  Finally, we added fenders. Now she is ready for action. And just to give us the boost we needed, GoldenTyre hooked it up for fresh rubber.

Pre race photo of the bike ready to race at Washougal for the Hangover Scramble on New Year's Day 2016. It would be a battle between Joey and our buddy Rory Sullivan (#272) on old bikes in the AA class.  Rory was on a sad TTR225.

Although she was slow, she sure made it fun to take in the track in a different way and turn normal bumps into sweet jumps.

Rory had some engine problems on the first lap. We didn't get to have a epic battle, but we still had to take a XR victory shot over his sad Yamaha TTR.

In the end this is a story about having fun with cheap dirt bikes. It's about spending some quality time with your buddies in the shop, a few beers and taking your contraptions to the track.

Do yourself a favor and try it. Your new bike may just sit on the stand the next time you load up to go ride.