Bike of the Month - October 2008
This story starts in 1978. I was an aspiring expert racer in the Mid West and had just got my pro license. I was racing a sponsored Yamaha at the time and when I got a look at the “new” Hondas I was green with envy. It took until 2007 before I had a chance to ride one, a friend of mine was rebuilding several ‘79’s and offered me a spin around my familiar track, Hardrock Cycle Park and I was as they say “floored”. I got into vintage bikes back in 2003 and have built a 1983 CR480R Honda and a 1973 CR250M Elsinore but deep in my heart I really wanted a 1979 CR250R. I found the core bike on eBay early this year and bought it for a reasonable price but then the real problem arose, I had to pick it up in Kansas (I am living in Florida now, so this presented a problem), luckily I still have a few friends in nearby Oklahoma and they picked it up until I could arrange to make the trip to Ok myself.
After four months of meticulous work the red rocket is ready to ride and maiden voyage was out to the site of the 2008 AHRMA national in Ocala (Hardrock Cycle Park). What a gas to ride, it only needed a few minor tweaks before it was comfortable and to say the least I was stoked! I was able to clear all the normal jumps that I clear on my modern bike and the two stroke “sound” was well, very special.
A few more details about the bike, the cylinder has been ported, rebored to 1st over with a steel sleeve and Wiseco piston, the transmission shifts perfectly and is in like new condtion. V-force reeds compliment the powerband and every bearing and every seal is new in both the engine and chassis, all tolerances are well within specs and the bike was built as if I were prepping it for a national race. The Ohlins shocks are new and are sprung and valved to my specs via "steve the shock guru" at Ohlins. The forks are off a 1982 CR480R (modified by the way), the clamps and front wheel (including the double leading shoe front brake) are off a 1983 CR480R. The swingarm is off of a 1981 CR450R, I machined off the linkage sections and added the shock mounts, the rear brake arm is a modified piece. The front fender is a Preston Petty replica. The pipe is stock and in perfect condition and the silencer is an aluminum aftermarket from a 1983 CR. Motor mounts are aluminum. Igintion box is the preferred “E” version. Seat foam is new and stiff. Bars are modern Renthal (Carmichael bend) and the cross bar pad is an original DeBruiser. All normal moving parts are new of course, chain, sprockets, cables, etc.
I have had 35 years of experience building and racing motocross bikes and for the first time in my life I had time on my side and a reasonable amount of cash to pour into the project and this one was my special baby.