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2023/1986 TRX250R XC Build

11521 Views 120 Replies 12 Participants Last post by  Jeepster
The 250R addiction is alive and well over here again😁

I had so much fun redoing and riding my Dad's 250R last year that I've decided to build another one specifically for XC racing. I've never raced before, but it looks like a darn good time. Sure, I could use my current 250R, but I've convinced myself that I don't want to ruin my Dad's old R through racing abuse. Besides, I really enjoy building them and turning nothing into something.

That said, here's my nothing. I picked up this 86 roller from Craigslist somewhat on a whim. In hindsight, I probably should have found a better candidate to start with, but it's my nothing now. Here's a picture from the Craigslist ad:
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I wish I had better and more pictures to show the before, but this is really the only one that I have with it all together. It's going to be quite the transformation, I promise😉
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Looks awesome, glad you got the dam to work out. Do the dam grommets still pop into the frame standoffs?
If you didn’t use the dam, how stable are the plastics
Thanks! Yes, the air dam is secured with the grommets to the frame in the front and then in the rear with the L-brackets provided by Maier. The air dam isn’t actually secured to the front plastic at all. That’s what was so hard with trying to get it to fit together and look right, because the front plastic is ‘floating’ above the air dam. I’m going to see if I can at least zip tie it in the front to better hold it together as one unit (like the OEM). It is secure, though, and not flimsy at all. I still need to get the lower fender brackets on, which will only make it sturdier. I’ll try to get some more pictures to show all of the mounting locations the next time I’m working on it.
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Christmas came early! The last piece that I’ve been waiting on finally arrived yesterday. In theory, everything is on me to assemble and finalize this build now. Just need to find the time.
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what length shock did you end up using?
It’s about 15-5/8” or 15-3/4” eye to eye. I measured it before I installed it, but now I’m second guessing which of the two measurements it was…
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I got the rear shock mounted and engine bolted in.
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Unfortunately, I’m going to have some intake issues to figure out with this setup.

First, the carb is positioned directly into the frame. My ESR E1 cylinder on my red R didn’t have any issues like this, so there must be some slight intake geometry changes on the ESR E2 cylinders. I have a Sonny Fricia intake coming to hopefully correct the issue.
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Second is the intake boot and airbox, as both hit the shock. I’ve got a pretty good idea how I’m going to reposition the airbox further back, but the intake tube is going to be tricky. I found a company that only deals in intakes and intake accessories, so I’ve got a few different silicone couplers, reducers, and intake tubes to see what I can piece together. I’m hopeful that I can make something work, as there aren’t any off the shelf options any more. And the guys that built custom no-link intake setups aren’t getting back to me, unfortunately.
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🤣🤣🤣
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I installed the Sonny Fricia intake along with the carb. The intake definitely helped the carb position issue.
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I was also able to get the Selvy/KRP pipe with extended silencer installed as well, along with getting a few other odds and ends buttoned up.
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I’m still working on the carb to airbox intake and airbox repositioning. There has been a lot of trial and error, and ordering of different components to see what I can make work. With any luck, I should have the last piece delivered today that will let me get it all together🤞🏻
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I finally got the intake and airbox figured out. I’m pretty happy how it turned out.
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I built a similar intake as you today I’ll have to post pics later but I like you’re silicon elbow better than what I did.
This was my 3rd iteration of the intake. I finally got the right combination of parts to line up and mostly clear the shock. My first attempt was using 2.5” aluminum intake tube and indenting it to clear the shock. The denting turned out better than expected, but there was no way I was going to get it angled right to meet the carb and the airbox.

I ordered everything from: www.siliconeintakes.com
Where’d you get the intake from? I been looking for one myself, I have issues with fittment on my build also but I just run it with the boot hitting the frame for right now.
Sonny Fricia. Search him on Facebook and send him a PM. He makes all kinds of billet parts for the 250R.
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Now that I have my coolant leaking issue resolved, I’m back to trying to figuring out the Zeel ignition - coolant issue thread located here: Coolant Leaking Issues

I ordered the Zeel programming cable to better understand the maps and have the ability to update and adjust them, especially after hearing there are improved starting settings, etc.

Here are the two preprogrammed maps and settings from DRW - Map 1 is supposed to be TRX250R and Map 2 is supposed to be 01 CR250:
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Agreed. I contacted Dave and Weston asking about the maps that I have and any changes or improvements that they would recommend. Dave’s only response was a laugh emoji and Weston said that he’d only recommend changes if the engine was on a dyno.

The main reason I got this ignition was because Dave spoke so incredibly highly of it and it’s significant improvements over stock, HPI, CR, etc. I think the first few people who got their Zeel’s through Dave were the lucky ones as he seemed to support them and any updates/adjustments. Everyone else that got theirs through DRW seems to be in the dark. There were no instructions, setup details, etc. provided and when asking about their product you get laughed at. I’m in contact with a couple of other guys on their Zeel journey and any map adjustments they’re making, and I also reached out to a somewhat local 2-stroke tuner with a dyno to see if he could help me out. I’ll definitely share any details as I learn them.
Quick update - I was able to get confirmation from Dave that my maps are OPPOSITE of what was advertised. My Map 1 above is CR250 (21.3 deg timing) and my Map 2 is TRX250R (18.0 deg timing). If I wouldn’t have gotten the cable to check them, I would have never known. Especially since I was planning on wiring my Zeel to be Map 2 only to use the CR250 map. If you wired a map switch to toggle between the two maps you could probably tell a performance difference and which is which, but for anyone considering wiring their Zeel without a map switch I’d strongly suggest that you get a cable to confirm your maps first.
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Well, I ended up getting a switch to have the ability to swap from Map 1 to Map 2 with the intention to get on a dyno to create custom curves. I wired in a rocker/toggle switch and added in to the bars. I ran out of room on the left side, so I found a spot to squeeze it in on the right.
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Getting the switch and the rest of the Zeel wired up was one of the last things needed before firing it up. I got some fresh Sunoco 110 last weekend with the expectation to finally get some heat cycles in on this build.

With my first attempt at getting it started I experienced some wild kickback - kickback like I have never experienced before. I initially faulted the Zeel. I continued to kick and kick until I finally got it started. It ran, but boy did it run like crap and VIBRATE like crazy. Ugh😔 I initially checked the woodruff key, thinking that the kickback caused it to sheer, but it all checked out ok.

I left it until this weekend, where I found the time and ambition to drain the oil and coolant and remove the pipe to get the clutch cover off and remove the clutch. Sure enough, therein lied the issue. There was a ‘mark’ on the counterbalancer gear that was mistaken for the punch mark for proper syncing with the crank.
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This build has been one step forward, two steps back the entire way. Why would I expect anything different at the end?
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Haha I feel your pain. Glad that was an easy fix. Fire up no problem now?
It’s all back together again as of last night. I’m going to try again later today🙏🏻🤞🏻
Seeing your blue R inspired me to get mine out. It's been sitting for 5 years now, far too long:
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Heck yeah! Glad to see it come out of hibernation😄 Any plans for it?
It’s alive!!🤗
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It fired right up with no kickback, life is good again! I was really concerned that I had ignition problems, but it turns out when your engine is basically 180 degrees out of sync you get major kickback and poor starting/running conditions as well. The Zeel ignition works just as it should.

It’s still snowy and cold here in MI, so I’m going to wait on adjusting the jetting, etc. for another month or so. I’m just thrilled to know that when that time comes I’ll be good to go. I also want to consider getting it on a dyno to further tune it, TBD.

I still have several small things to figure out before it’s completely done. All of my electrical checked out, so now I need to tidy up all of the wiring. The rear brakes wouldn’t pump up, so I need to figure out what’s going on there. I’m still waiting on a couple small things as well, e.g. poly guard for my swingarm skid plate, radiator overflow bottle holder, and turn down exhaust tip. I need to check/adjust the suspension as well.
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Any chance you have or could take any pictures of the wiring for your zeel? I’m almost to the point of starting to wire mine up for my build and like you said you don’t really get any help or instructions. Thanks
Of course. I actually created a separate post on this topic here: DRW Zeeltronic Ignition Installation Guide

Please let me know if you have any questions or if you need any further help!
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Here’s a couple progress pics…

Trail Tech digital temperature gauge mounted in the bar pad, thanks to Mike Sabo for the idea.
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Turn down silencer tip from Kenny Roberts and grooved Obors.
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Replaced my purple OEM style decals with some in a much closer matched blue.
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Thank you, both! If you look in the past pictures, I had the same decals in place, but the color was waaaay too purple, even for Yamaha blue. This color is a much better match to the frame now.
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