N.H. Hick

Mar 10, 2001
Could any one tell me about this bike. I need to know as much as possible because I might be buying one.

I know its an artifact and wont be competitive under todays circumstances but I want to know if parts are readily available and if there are any major problems this bike has.

thanks for any input


May 1, 2000
I owned one of them for 15 years, and it was a great bike. I bought it new and only lost 300 dollars when I sold it. They're pretty bullet proof. Some parts will be hard to get from Honda, because they are starting to phase out parts for older bikes. There are parts on ebay frequently, and they go cheap. The model was popular from '79-'81, which puts a lot of parts out there.
If it feels solid and runs good, it's probably fine. If the handling is a little squirelly, replace the steering bearings and the swing arm bushings (plastic!).
One thing that is hard to get is the 23" front tire. I believe Bridgestone still makes a dual sport, and Cheng shin still makes a knobbie. Otherwise, you have to get a 21" front rim. The shocks might be shot (give it the bounce test and look for rust or leaks). You might find some vintage aftermarket shocks on ebay.
The bike handles fire roads like a speedway bike, and it's great on tight trails. It hates high speed whoops, and more than 8" of air.


Feb 16, 2001
Where is P.J. when you need her?
She will be able to fill your brain to the brim about these things.
I believe that Honda updated the rocker/cam junction with a new rocker that has brazed on hard pads.
The oem parts are cheaper than the aftermarket hardwelded ones.
The only problems I have had with these things are cam/rocker wear and clutch slippage.
Not a big deal.
I am sure PJ shall edify us all.


Big Pig
Nov 20, 2000
lost in the deserts of NM
The XL will do you fine for causal trail riding, and light road work.
(dont plan on any cross country touring!) :confused:
The wonderfull thing about XL's is the many things you can do with them.
(none very competitively though.):(
They can be modified (to an extent) to be competent at:
trail riding
grocery getting
cruising town
mx (ok so maybe VINTAGE mx) :eek:
"Jack of all trades, master of none." sorta says it all.

PS: if i had one and could afford it, i'd loose the 23" rim.


Aug 22, 2000
Thanks SFO!! My brain is full of something - and I'm happy to share it!!:confused:

The 1979 to 1982 model XL 250 was a re-hash of the earlier XL250, which was basically the XL350 with a smaller bore and less stroke. The design is so old, the cases split HORIZONTALLY - like a multi.

The engine was incredibly heavy for the displacement, with the engine alone weighing in at almost 100 lbs. UGH!

Honda used this as a hold-over until their new engine was finalized in 1983. It took them longer than expected, so what was supposed to be just a one or two year model stretched on forever (okay, only three years, but it felt longer)!

The entire bike weighs more than a modern XR 600. They are very porky.

As far as parts availability, here's what I know that's no longer available:

Rod assembly
Shift Forks
Oil Pump drive shaft
Oil Pump (not positive on this one)
ANYTHING aftermarket

If you could pick up one of these as a runner for $100, I'd do it, and use it as a beater bike.

Expecting much more from it would be mean to the bike and the rider.

If you can find even a 1983 - 1985 model, it would be better - it's a more modern engine design, and better chassis. Better still would be 1986 and later. I've seen the first-year modern RFVC's go for cheap, and they are a pretty nice bike.

Although still not as good or lightweight as the 1997 & Later Models, the 1986 - 1996 XR250 is still a good trail bike. All the OEM parts are available for them, and aftermarket products are easy to find.

There, dumped more useless crap out of my brain and into yours! haha!!:p

PS - IF you do end up buying this bike, or know someone who has one, Powroll still has a camshaft and rod kit for it! Please, please tell anyone you know with one of these beasts - I've been trying to get rid of these things for 5 years now! Okay, cheap advertising ploy complete - I'll now return you to the non-commercial version of PJ.
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