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I'm not new to 250Rs or this forum (search my old username: HondaR), but I've been out of the game now for nearly a decade. I sold off all of my 250Rs and parts thinking that I was done.

A little over a year ago I inherited my late Dad's '86 250R, the 250R that I grew up idolizing. My Dad never did anything to it. It's 98% stock and exactly the way that it was when he first bought it 25 years ago. That's just how he was.

Now that it's mine, I'd like to refresh it and ride it, and ultimately keep it. Since I've had a couple of pretty highly modded 250Rs in the past, I immediately want to go crazy on mods because, as you all know, these things can easily be so much better than they are in stock form. And, not to mention, it's a lot of fun building them :) I've already started collecting parts for a build, but so far nothing that I couldn't reverse to return it to its original stock form, like the way my Dad would have wanted it.

It'll likely be a garage queen when it's done and ridden a handful of times a year - likely trails and Silver Lake sand dunes. No racing or anything.

All that said, I'm torn. I have a Pumashine gusset kit just waiting to be welded in before being powder coated. But, I know that if I add the gusset kit it can't be undone and it'll never be completely stock again.

So, in your opinion, should I gusset the frame or leave it alone?

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Tough decision! I do the gusset kits on my R's because of the condition they are in when I buy them. I go over the frames looking for an sign of cracks and repair them, then install the pumashine gusset kit in hopes that I won't have to touch the frame again.
I have never purchased a great condition frame or great condition R. I bought my first R believing it was a gem and slowly discovered flaws.
So if you have a frame in great shape maybe don't do the gussets. Or if you are like me, you actually think the frame looks better with a quality tig welded gusset kit, go for it!
Loren
 
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if the frame isnt cracked dont do it.no need and can actually make the frame weaker and crack easier.
Please explain how a properly welded gusset can weaken the frame and cause it to crack?
 

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I know the feeling. It's hard to leave it alone. I think if your dad wanted it a certain you should keep it like that? I obtained my uncle's R and I modded it, but kept him in mind the whole time when rebuilding it. Since you have a gusset kit you might as well have it installed, otherwise if frame is in great shape I'd say skip it since you won't be riding it very much.
 

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If you have it torn down and going to powder, then have the gusset kit welded in. No sense in tearing down later to fix a cracked frame.

Clean bike and a great story. Hope you get some good rides in.
 

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Please explain how a properly welded gusset can weaken the frame and cause it to crack?
well when you weld a thicker material on a thin frame you heat treat the frame next to the weld making it brittle and prone to crack.also all the gussets usually do is mover the weak area .i have also seen several frame tweeked to hell from people welding them in.
 

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well when you weld a thicker material on a thin frame you heat treat the frame next to the weld making it brittle and prone to crack.also all the gussets usually do is mover the weak area .i have also seen several frame tweeked to hell from people welding them in.
Whoever is welding in the gusset kits on those tweaked & broken frames your referring to doesn't know what their doing. Find a competent welder/fabricator that can do the work & you won't have any problems with a gusseted frame.
 

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well when you weld a thicker material on a thin frame you heat treat the frame next to the weld making it brittle and prone to crack.also all the gussets usually do is mover the weak area .i have also seen several frame tweeked to hell from people welding them in.
no need 2 gusset. breaks other place.


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Agreed, no real need for a gusset kit, and increasing stiffness in key areas only makes other sections weaker & prone to fracture.

While how it's welded (and processed before & after) is very important, even if the gusset kit is welded to the frame perfectly....you've stiffened & strengthened areas beyond design, and weakened adjacent areas. You will eventually see more frequent & pronounced cracks develop over long periods of time.

The argument that "I gusseted my frame and have seen no issues", is a fallacy....250R frames are >33 years old, and it has taken that many years for the OEM frames to crack, you won't see failure for years to come, however; you will more cracks & failures after gusseting extensively.

A good Engineering examples are Aircraft Frames designed to purposely have more flexible areas than stiffer to prevent cracks & crack propagation. Suspension Bridges are an even better example of negating Stiff welded areas, supports and bracing for more flexible joints and members.

IMO it's best to just repair an OEM frame vs adding gussets.

Carlos
 

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The gusset does not simply move the stress, nor does it add to the stress. It distributes the stress over a greater area.
Does it stiffen the frame? yes! And what an improvement!
Will it cause the frame to crack faster or more? NO!
In the 22 years I have been in the welding/fabrication/machining/mechanical field I have never seen a gusset installed correctly cause a crack. Most of the time a gusset is added in an area prone to cracking. Look at structural steel in a skyscraper. Every column in a skyscraper has gussets. Those buildings are swinging in the wind 24/7.
I have 7 years of use on my frame after gussets and I have zero signs of problems. I tig welded the pumashine gusset kit in my self(I hold multiple weld certs) at home.
A good practice is to preheat, but not necessary on mild steel. I set my machine for the thinnest steel I will be welding. The oem frame tube is roughly .067" and the gussets are .120" so I set the tig machine at 65 amps. For filler rod you can use .0625 or .045, its entirely up to the welder. I prefer .045 as it produces a smaller weld, which will shrink less. I also make several short welds instead of one long one on the swingarm bolt gusset. Always backstep your stitch welds. Never restart a weld on top of the previous weld. It won't tie in as nice.
If in fact my frame cracks again I guess I will just fix it. I figure that I am riding a quad with a old frame and cracks are par for the course. If another welder/fabricator with similar or more experience and qualifications as me has a different opinion and can back it up with fact then I will gladly discuss it with them. But I will not listen to someone who doesn't know anything about welding/fabrication. That includes salesman, powder coaters, and H&R block tax preparers.
Have a great day
Loren
 

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The gusset does not simply move the stress, nor does it add to the stress. It distributes the stress over a greater area.
Does it stiffen the frame? yes! And what an improvement!
Will it cause the frame to crack faster or more? NO!
In the 22 years I have been in the welding/fabrication/machining/mechanical field I have never seen a gusset installed correctly cause a crack. Most of the time a gusset is added in an area prone to cracking. Look at structural steel in a skyscraper. Every column in a skyscraper has gussets. Those buildings are swinging in the wind 24/7.
I have 7 years of use on my frame after gussets and I have zero signs of problems. I tig welded the pumashine gusset kit in my self(I hold multiple weld certs) at home.
A good practice is to preheat, but not necessary on mild steel. I set my machine for the thinnest steel I will be welding. The oem frame tube is roughly .067" and the gussets are .120" so I set the tig machine at 65 amps. For filler rod you can use .0625 or .045, its entirely up to the welder. I prefer .045 as it produces a smaller weld, which will shrink less. I also make several short welds instead of one long one on the swingarm bolt gusset. Always backstep your stitch welds. Never restart a weld on top of the previous weld. It won't tie in as nice.
If in fact my frame cracks again I guess I will just fix it. I figure that I am riding a quad with a old frame and cracks are par for the course. If another welder/fabricator with similar or more experience and qualifications as me has a different opinion and can back it up with fact then I will gladly discuss it with them. But I will not listen to someone who doesn't know anything about welding/fabrication. That includes salesman, powder coaters, and H&R block tax preparers.
Have a great day
Loren
Obviously almost everything you just stated is Hog Wash...not a single fact based. Yes let's look at the structural steel in Skyscrapers, you don't have a clue how or why they are constructed as they are, and why stiff members are not what bracing is used for.

Yes, Hurry up and Google everything you DON'T know; I am waiting to debate....make it quick, 30 second responses....it won't happen.

Waiting....

Carlos
 

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Tell me the stress ,yield, stiffness analysis formulas used in Skyscrapers Support Beams, Braces and Spans....?

15 minutes later and you are still looking for information; Google it....since you don't have a clue.

Got things to do; Give you the rest of the day to Google and educate yourself....

Carlos
 

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Oh I didn't say I was a metallurgy expert or structural engineer. I did say however that I have more experience in welding/fabrication than you. I'm sorry I can't sit at the keyboard all day. I have a job!
A gusset, stiffener, crossmember, guy wire, tail hold, and countless other structural elements are all used to distribute a calculated amount of stress and load. You can't in your right mind dispute that.
Fact: I am not an engineer
Fact: I am not a metallurgist
Fact: I completed a 4 year apprenticeship in welding/fabrication
Fact: I completed a 4 year mechanical apprenticeship
Fact: I currently hold and have held several welding certifications
Fact: I have 22 years in the trade
Fact: I have been a journeyman for 18 years
Fact: YOU are/have none of that!
Fact: you couldn't weld/machine/fix anything
Get off the keyboard and go back to doing 100% of everything that your second rate shop does. Oh except build your pipes(KR does that). Machine your footpegs (fastway does that)
Port your cylinders (selvy used to) not sure who you pay to do that.........
The list goes on and on
Back to work I go!
 
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dont answer any question. seen carlos work @ bdt. u sir are an ass wipe.


i have the best. bdt built engines.
bdt261 oem
bdt363 prox
bdt431 puma
bdt561 saber
Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Well that escalated quickly.

To the OP

I have no welding or frame building expertise. What I do have is a lot of experience (I’m old) doing what I call “working backwards” or creating work for myself where none previously existed, because I “out smarted” myself.
Old age has taught me that in most cases “leaving well enough alone” is usually the best choice.

So, if I had a straight frame and no cracks there would be ZERO reasons to create a “working backwards” scenario where NOT leaving well enough alone could bite me in the ass.

my .02
 

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I'd say use is important as well. If you're races MX every week there is much more of a case for gussets than someone who does 2 XCs a year or mostly trail rides.
 

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yeah i would leave it alone because it is a pretty much stock and might i add beautiful bike but i would leave it. i have my R with a un gusseted frame a 01 400ex and a banshee and a polaris outlaw ( i dont own them all but i do ride them all, except the bansee) and we do very harsh riding on the frames and suspension not as bad as races but what i would consider pretty harsh as far as dunes go and the banshee has been rolled and re welded by the previous owner. he said he did it 15 years ago and still holding. no gussets. and none of the other bikes have had any frame damage. had some probably close calls but in my opinion there is no need to gusset it
 
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