CRF250X Dual Sport Conversion
Posted October 01, 2008 - 10:38 AM
1. Installed Dunlop 606 DOT-approved tires (I will mostly cow-trail on this bike with minimal street riding). My local shop gave me $40.00 for the stock tires as they were virtually unused.
2. As long as the front wheel was off, I tossed the odometer drive unit, axle, fork protector (with cable retaining bracket), cable and odometer. I then added a 2007 CR250R axle seal, dust cover, axle and fork protector. Much cleaner than the Flatland spacer and totally Honda.
3. Added a Trail Tech Endurance computer and handlebar cap-bolt billet protector mount. (Again, very clean.)
4. Installed Chapparal’s excellent-fitting $85.00 skid plate and tossed the stock two plastic “wings.” (Normally, I swear by Works Connection but their CRFX skid plate is too weird plus it’s over twice the price.)
5. Removed the smog pump assembly and installed a Baja Designs block-off kit - this kit is very clean with no stickers or engraved logos.
Note: the bracket that holds the pump behind the right shroud also holds electrical block connectors, so, using a Dremel cut-off wheel (and emery cloth sandpaper), I separated the pump mount from the wire holder and reinstalled the holder.
6. Installed Works Connection radiator guards.
7. Performed all the Honda closed course mods, except carburetion (see below) and the R cam as I felt the out-of-California cam was a good compromise. (CA = totally neutered, other 49 states = partially neutered and R-cam = race-ready).
Note: The air box mod took hours (just to remove) and a few cut-off wheels, files, and sandpaper to make it look factory. Don’t forget to stuff a washcloth into your intake and don’t forget to remove the washcloth when bolting everything back together. (No, I didn’t but almost…)
8. Installed a JD Jetting kit (without taking the carb off the bike). I ended up with a 160 main as a compromise position since I ride varying altitudes but agreed with JD’s instructions on all other recommendations.
Note: Honda’s needle has a “nail head” design for ease of removal – JD’s needles are the old style. This is by design and the JD needles work perfectly in the FCR carb. (Thanks to JD for the quick email back during the weekend!)
9. Installed an R & D Flex-Jet fuel mixture screw where the brass adjustment knob attaches to the side of the float bowl with the provided longer screw. I pulled off the R & D sticker as it’s a cool all brass knob under the sticker.
Note: I couldn’t get the stock fuel screw out without removing the carb and float bowl so I ran the bike by the local Honda dealer and they removed the screw in seconds, for free, while the bike was still on the trailer.
10. Installed a Dual Sport America “low profile” dual sport kit. I chose this kit as it retains the stock headlight and is extremely clean with an awesome license plate mount/light and minimal blinkers (although I don’t believe the blinkers are DOT-approved, which doesn’t matter for my AZ-licensed bike since arm signals are legal in Arizona).
A clean installation takes time - don’t be in a hurry and everything will work the first time like mine (except the tail light, or so I thought).
The 9-LED replacement tail light/brake light fits perfectly in the stock slot – but – the tail light remains on whenever the key is on. I didn’t know this and spent time troubleshooting until Lee at Dual Sport America clued me in as well as answered a bunch of questions (DSA is adding a note to their instructions about the tail light).
Installed stainless steel, metric allen bolts in the odometer mount holes to retain the stock cable routing bracket and attached the DSA horn mount to the right bolt (after I slimmed it down and shortened it on a grinder and gave it a coat of gloss black).
Attached the key switch to the right front number plate mount with the included allen bolt. (The left side has the front brake cable with zip-tied Trail Tech sensor line moving up and down.)
Drilled the rear DSA blinker holes in the proper location but, since the shoulders of the fender aren’t completely vertical, the blinkers angled up. However, since DSAs blinker stalks come with small plastic sleeves, I hand filed them on an angle to compensate and now my blinkers are perfectly horizontal.
Drilled a matching second hole on the right side of the rear fender for the right blinker wire to run through so it can cross the bike under the seat instead of under the fender. Used Shoe Goo to seal both left and right holes.
Swapped-out the rear brake banjo bolt for a Baja Designs unit ($20) as it has a 90 degree rubber elbow to protect the two little wimpy wires. (Take your time bleeding the brakes – I use a Motion Pro one-way bleeder valve.)
I retained the stock kill button just to keep from reaching around to the key switch every time I stop for a minute during a ride.
Wrapped all connections using electrical tape to hold the barrel connectors together and for water-proofing.
And, finally, yes, I know the stock headlight is a joke for anything other than campground riding – but that’s all I plan to do after dark – and I’m totally happy with my DSA kit.
11. Installed a Chaparral aluminum license plate ring and 4 allen bolts with nylon washers to minimize vibration.
12. Installed an FMF power bomb header and Q4 muffler with spark arrester, using high temp red silicone at the head pipe and where the muffler and header connect (what a huge weight difference between the stock and FMF mufflers).
13. Installed a Battery Tender umbilical cord and tucked it next to the battery behind the air cleaner access door.
14. Duct-taped a spare key to the underside of the battery cage as I just know I’ll need it someday. (Amazing what you can stick behind that little door when the top of the air box is removed.)
15. Tossed the stock air filter/backfire screen and installed a Twin Air flameproof system.
16. Electrical taped a spare 15 amp fuse on top of the black box behind the right number plate – close to where the functioning fuse is.
17. Installed a billet mirror mount (Flanders) in-place of the cap on the clutch perch and a Baja Designs mirror. However, the mirror stuck up too far and would jerk down slightly off jumps so I have since replaced the tall, angled bar with a cut-off, rounded 100mm-long bolt. The bottom of the Baja Designs mirror is now about 2 inches above the crossbar and still works good enough for my trail riding plus has no movement (to be honest, half the mirror reflects my left forearm but for my mostly off-road use it’s fine).
18. Since my kids patiently waited for me to finish my new bike, I fabricated buddy pegs from metric bolts and gas line. I slid 3/8 gas line onto the shaft of cheap bolts, followed by a nut to the end of the threads and then threaded the “pegs” into the lower subframe bolt holes on either side. Not the trickest but until Baja Designs releases their CRF buddy pegs later this year, they’re good enough.
19. Last purchase was a wide-mouth 2-piece “Brinks” lock which I hung from the lower left subframe (near the chain). It bounced around so I went back to the hardware store and bought 1 foot lengths of different diameter thick clear tubing. The lower “barrel” portion of the lock was easily forced into a 2” diameter hose (with holes drilled for the hasp ends and for the keyhole) and by almost boiling the 1” diameter hose I was able to force it around the hasp. Now that the lock is thicker it clamps to the lower subframe bar and doesn’t move a bit and I simply move it from there to the lowest point (cleanest since the lock doesn’t touch the chain) of the rear sprocket and reinstall. The bike will now roll about a foot before the lock won’t let the chain and sprocket separate. Very easy to use and I keep the key on a shoelace around my neck during rides. (Not super secure but definitely better than rotor locks that damage calipers if you forget and try to drive or even roll away.)
20. Blue lock-tited appropriate nuts/screws/bolts, marine greased the axles, put anti-seize compound on the chain adjuster bolts, tightened spokes, checked valve clearance (so I’d have a baseline), adjusted tire pressure, taped the registration and insurance card in a zip-lock bag behind the front number plate, took it off the center stand and rolled it onto two bathroom scales for a total of 248 pounds with half a tank of premium.
21. Finally, I hit the button and could immediately tell from the sound of the exhaust that my CRF would now pull like a 250 - and it does! It appears the $1,400.00 worth of add-ons (plus $5,600.00 for the bike) and all the effort (knuckles) were worth it and I’ve been having a blast!
Thanks to Lee at Dual Sport America, JD at JD Jetting, Tony at Baja Designs, Rick Ramsey on ThumperTalk, Brian at Honda of Glendale (CA), Eric at Scott’s Performance Products and George at Exceptional Suspension Products (ESP) of La Crescenta, CA.
Posted October 02, 2008 - 05:57 PM
Bike is in pieces now with carb pulled (but I've only got the new tires on!).
What did Lee at DSA tell you about the rear tail light/key issue?
Posted October 02, 2008 - 07:32 PM
Also curious as to what Lee told you. I noticed the taillight thing and my key will not kill the bike although it won't initially start without the key on it won't kill it after it is started.
Posted October 02, 2008 - 10:31 PM
Posted October 04, 2008 - 12:29 PM
Lee at DSA informed me that the taillight is supposed to stay on whenever the key is on and answered some questions about spare parts as I plan to have the bike a long time. He also said he'd discount a second kit as it might be cheaper than buying spare; blinkers, key switch, handlebar controls, tail light, etc. (I just know I'm gonna munch it all as I've been used to bare bones motocross bikes.)
WWM, I can't help you with your key-switch as mine shuts the bike off, what does Lee say?
And... if someone would send my some directions on how to get pictures from my Canon digital camera onto TT I'll be glad to brag, er, I mean, share.