CRF250X Dual Sport Project – July 2013

Since making my son’s DR-Z400E street legal a few months ago, my daughter has used it more than my son.  It is pretty big for her, so I decided to make our Honda CRF250X street legal.

Fit

Another son had been using the 250, and he is 6′ 4″ tall.  The first step was to down-size the bike and see if my daughter felt comfortable riding it in place of the CRF230F she has been using for years.  After riding the DRZ, she felt confident that she could handle the 250 – especially for a dual-sport type of ride.

So, the first thing to go was the Guts Racing tall seat my son had been using.  I went back to the stock seat, which lowered the bike about an inch.  I then installed a Kouba lowering link and lowered the front forks, dropping the bike another 0.85″.

Kouba Link

Stock fork height

Lowered forks

I also went back to the stock springs.  The bike now fits her fairly well.  I am leaving the bar risers and lowered foot pegs since my daughter is also quite tall.

Maintenance

Since the bike is almost ten years old and it has been used quite extensively, it was in need of some long overdue maintenance to make it robust enough for highway use.  While installing the Kouba link I cleaned and greased the swingarm bearings, linkage bearings, and replaced the wheel bearings.

I also replaced the stock chain (it was way overdue), rollers, and sprockets.

Stock chain and sprockets

New chain and sprockets

Lighting Kit

The CRF comes with a dual filament bulb, so it was fairly easy to get a high and low beam headlight – it just needed to be wired to a switch.  To get the rest of the lighting package I opted to try the Tusk Dual-Sport kit from Rocky Mountain ATV.  That made the whole process much easier.

The kit comes with a full wiring harness, tail light assembly, LED blinkers, control switch, a horn, a crappy mirror, and a stupid on/off switch.

Tail light assembly

Tail light and rear blinkers

I replaced the mirror with a Double Take Mirror, which I also use on my other street legal bikes.  And I replaced the on/off switch with a key switch which enables the lighting and the start button.  The switch also doubles as a kill switch.  This took some soldering, but makes the entire lighting kit much more robust.  If Tusk were to include a key switch in their kit it would be a much better product.

Handlebar controls

Luggage

The final step was to add a rear cargo rack capable of carrying some luggage.

Rear cargo rack

When combined with a tank bag and a front fender tool bag, it should be possible to carry enough gear for some short dual-sport rides.  For a longer adventure, I would need to strap some additional bags on the sides somehow.

Luggage

After a few hours of riding the bike around our neighborhood, my daughter was very pleased with the outcome.  Now to plan some dual-sport rides…

Update: Steering Damper

While comparing some of my bikes out on the trail, it became very obvious that a steering damper gives you a smoother and safer ride.  You really don’t notice it until you ride a bike without one.  So, I decided to add one to the Honda.  I like the sub-mount because it raises the handlebars about 1″.  Since my family is tall, this really helps with comfort while standing.  But to get a sub-mount, I had to also switch to 1-1/8″ fat bars.  This is probably good since my old bars were probably bent anyway.  Here is a photo of the new setup.

Scotts sterring damper

I also had to move my key switch, find a new way to mount my Trail Tech computer, and use a short fuel cap vent hose.

Renthal fat bars

Update: Electrical

I also decided to add a start/kill switch like I have on my KTMs.  With all of the stuff I have on the bars, I couldn’t put the stock kill switch in a convenient location.  The SicAss Racing dual switch is a really tight fit under the throttle cables.

While testing the bike, I noticed that my grip heaters were no longer working.  I assumed that I had a broken wire, as I have in the past.  Most of the grip heater kits come with really weak wire.

It turns out that my main power relay was faulty.  I wired the grip heaters to the relay so they would only operate when the bike was running.  I suspect the heaters draw too much current for the stock relay.

So, I added a second relay and rewired my light kit.  Preciously, my tail light and blinkers would operate when the key was on.  Now they only operate when the bike is running, which closes the main relay.  The main relay also drives a second, heavy duty relay that provides power to the grip heaters.  This should prevent future problems.

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About gardinerfamilyadventures

A really great family!
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4 Responses to CRF250X Dual Sport Project – July 2013

  1. Al West says:

    what did you do about a speedometer?

  2. Kyle Downs says:

    Hey I am making my crf 250x into a duel sport Just curious how it does with speeds around 60?

    • The top speed it very dependent on the sprockets you use. But it is also dependent on the size and weight of the bike. Any lightweight trail bike going 60 mph – especially with knobby tires – is pretty scary. The 250x can do 60, but it isn’t very comfortable or safe, and it will stress the machine if you do it very long. To work well in the dirt and on the street, a 450 or larger is a better choice. The 250 can get you between trails, but if you want to do long stretches of pavement, it is a poor choice.

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