For anyone interested, this is a series of post chronicling the frame up
restoration of a 1979 Honda CR250 "Red Rocket".
Here is the bike I started with. I won it on an Ebay auction advertised as a recent
restoration. I could tell from the Ebay pictures it was no where near restored, but
I thought it would make for a decent start.
I started by disassembling the bike and inspecting everything. The engine ran, but
the clutch was locked up. Both rims were dented and ruined, the tank, pipe and
silencers had several large dents, the plastic had been rattle can painted as had
the frame and engine. The suspension was sacked, sprockets hooked. It was
about what you expect from a half baked restoration attempt.
Before I started this project, I had to decide if I was building a rider or a dust collector.
I also decided to restore rather than replace everything possible, and finally, I was
determined to keep the bike as 100% OE as I could.
Here is the frame right out of the curing oven. I soda blasted it to get rid of the
cheasy paint and rust. I commisioned one of the big powder manufacturers to
produce a powder color match for Tahtian Red since nobody made that exact
Frame with swingarm
Next up were the shocks. After a lot of searching, I found two dampers that still had
their charge. I restored the bodies and polished the chrome shafts. The hardware
was sent out for Cadmium plating in the original Gold chromate color. I located a
couple of NOS springs that were a mess from shelf wear. I media blasted them with
glass beads and powder coated them with 40% gloss Black. I replaced the rubber
bushings and ended up with essentially a new pair of shocks. Of course we won't
talk about what crap these stock shocks were.
Shock and airbox hardware cleaned and polished before Cadmium plating.
Restored shock dampers
The fuel tank was next. As I said, it had a couple of nice dents and was poorly painted.
I stripped the paint and used a secret method to pop the dents. I spent some time
prepping, blocking, priming over and over until I had it just right. PPG color matched
the Tahitian Red in one of their new water based paints and I sprayed on several coats
of color and one coat of clear. I found a NOS fuel cap and restored the petcock, then
applied NOS Honda decals to the tank.
Tank after paint
Tank with decals, NOS mounting rubber/collars and fuel cap.
I'll wrap it up here. Next will be the motor build.