1996 CR250 McGrath Replica Rebuild

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3/17/2011 10:20 PM
Edited Date/Time: 3/17/2011 10:23 PM

OK guys, it's time to start a thread on my 96 CR250 McGrath replica rebuild. I'm gonna need any expert help I can get on everything from cleaning/renewing parts through to sourcing 'special' bits and pieces. So all you 2 stroke lovers and experts (The Pipe, Newmann, 917, Pat327, DB, etc) please feel free to comment any time with ideas guys.

This bike has already been rebuilt once. I picked it up looking like this:

[LINK TO IMAGE]

and rebuilt it into this:

[LINK TO IMAGE]

But being the fussy bastard that I am, I am now rebuilding it again to more accurate detail. The first rebuild was a bit of a rush as I wanted the bike to be complete when MC came to Australia for SuperX in 2008. That's where the photo was taken with Jeremy. My best mate Jake and I wheeled it straight past security and into the pits!

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Nelso_19 on PS3

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3/17/2011 10:41 PM

The frame. Oh what a nightmare the frame has been. This is a pic of the original frame:

[LINK TO IMAGE]

It had a checker-plate skid plate that was welded to the frame. It also had pieces of angle welded to the bottom of each frame rail and filled with bog in any gaps. It had the full "bogan" treatment: sprayed airbox, footpegs, bolts and springs, etc and had been "touched up" many times. It was ugly!!! But it was all I had for my first rebuild. I cut the skid plate off but couldn't remove the steel from the frame rails. I stripped the paint and re-painted it myself...

I since bought a 2nd 96 CR250 with a good frame which has since been powdercoated, which was a nightmare as it had to be done 3 times due to imperfections. Very frustrating when he is the only powder coater close by and he is 200klms away...

Anyway here is the final product which I'm happy with:

[LINK TO IMAGE]

[LINK TO IMAGE]

One small job I had done was to get the 2 small holes (near the large tube) in the head-stock welded up. New frames come with rubber grommets in them but you can't buy them so I just had them welded. You cannot tell though.

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3/17/2011 11:06 PM

The motor. This is what I'm currently working on. I would appreciate ANY advice on cleaning this. It has years of built up dirt and stains on it. I have tried cleaning it with a few solvents but didn't have much luck. The other problem I have found with this method is the difficulty of getting into the nooks and crevices, behind cylinder stud nuts, etc. I was thinking of maybe stripping the motor completely and bead-blasting the inner engine cases, cylinder and head? Thoughts on this guys?

[LINK TO IMAGE]

[LINK TO IMAGE]

[LINK TO IMAGE]

[LINK TO IMAGE]

The large (inner) clutch cover and water pump cover should clean up nicely and I have a "Honda Racing" outer clutch cover to go on it:

[LINK TO IMAGE]

I still need to find a HRC ignition cover for it. I have been searching the web for one of these for quite some time without any luck:

[LINK TO IMAGE]

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Nelso_19 on PS3

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3/18/2011 4:01 AM

A lot of the factory Honda style ignition covers were made by a Dutch company called TMV. They pop up on ebay from time to time, but the prices can be pretty steep sometimes. Post a wanted thread in this forum and I'm sure you'll hear from somebody who has one.

Looking good!

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3/18/2011 6:01 AM

Powder coated three times? As one of my Aussie buddies would say, you must be a "fastidious prick"? smile

Looking good so far, I'm guessing this time will be a complete nut and bolt resto from the looks of what you've got going on. About that engine .....cleaning up that bare cast aluminum can be an absolute pain in the ass trying to get the correct new look. Most acid type cleaners will actually darken the aluminum. Do some research into glass beads and different types of blasting media. One of the local industrial supply houses here locally stocks a bunch of different grades of blasting media and they all serve a different purpose. I was trying to restore some Hodaka engine bits for a customer and ended up with a glass bead that did nearly no damage to the surface of the metal and also left somewhat of a light polished sheen to it. Looked pretty nice.

Going back with new hardware or do you have a plater nearby to handle all that?

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3/18/2011 10:18 AM

Try a soda blaster. Its amazing how good parts can come out. Check out this guys results on a kx restore.

http://www.thumpertalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=867820&page=22

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3/18/2011 12:12 PM

Hi
On my 96 engine I had all the cases and cyl etc aqua blasted (minute glass beads in high pressure water), it comes up like new. Sand blasting is too aggressive for a natural finish and also look very dry and powdery, ok if you are going to paint afterwards. The aqua blasting is safe on nikasil and bearing seats etc. I get mine done cheap but have to pack it in my luggage and take it from Spain to the UK. I was lucky enough to get 3 HRC ignition covers at a great price. One thing I will do on my bike is weld 2 threaded inserts to the lower frame tubes for the water pump guard. Good luck and keep the pictures coming, I personally love these threads.

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3/18/2011 1:35 PM

[LINK TO IMAGE]

Your first rebuild sure looks good. I'm not sure about cleaning the engine but once you do get it clean try to find a darker coating for it. Maybe the HRC clutch cover will do it. Also I'd go with an un-painted pipe instead of the chrome version. Get the forks anodized that gold color, make some custom brake pedal and shifter guards and you might even fool Skip Norfolk.

Can't wait to see it all done.
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3/18/2011 5:46 PM

Paul Buckley wrote: [LINK TO IMAGE]

Your first rebuild sure looks good. I'm not sure about cleaning the engine but once you do get it clean try ...more

Ha! Thanks Paul. Not too sure I'd fool Skip though.

I have plans (sort of) in place for what you have suggested. I have forks off an '04 CRF250 which look identicle to MC's factory Showas (yes I've even painted the bottoms black). Any late model CR/CRF fork would have done but I got these for a bargain - $200 US shipped to Australia. And I got $150 on ebay for my old 96 forks so that was a sweet deal. Talking to nine1seven, who fitted the same forks to his 96, you have to modify the 96 tripple clamps but I think I'm gonna go with some cutom billet tripple clamps just like MC's. I might try Emig Racing for that job.

[LINK TO IMAGE]

[LINK TO IMAGE]

[LINK TO IMAGE]

I threw the platinum pipe on it the first rebuild as that's all I could get in time for the photos with MC. I'm in 2 minds about the pipe. I've got a few options.
1. OEM pipe stripped of paint and welds ground down
2. PC works pipe but I don't want a PC badge on it. Nothing against PC I just want it to look "works". Anyone know if the pipe cleans up without any scars after a PC badge is removed?
3. Rob a bank and buy this: http://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/e12052.m43.l1123/7?euid=1ba274d8a2734a3f897b572468af3b0a&loc=http%3A%2F%2Fcgi.ebay.de%2Fws%2FeBayISAPI.dll%3FViewItem%26item%3D220513761374%26ssPageName%3DADME%3AX%3AeRTM%3ADE%3A1123 Check out that HRC pipe!!!

On another note Paul. I have all my old 95/96/97 MXA, Dirt Bike and Dirt Rider mags to check out, but would you have any close up shots of MC's motor or muffler? I will be getting a custom Carbon muffler made at some stage to look like MC's also. Also on another note I never noticed those Plaid Fox pants back in the day either...interesting...

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3/18/2011 5:49 PM

Pat327 wrote:

A lot of the factory Honda style ignition covers were made by a Dutch company called TMV. They pop up on ebay from time to ...more

Thanks Pat yeah I've been searching for one for a while and you're right about the $$$. I'll check out that thread. Thanks.

What's your 90 CR125 doing? Sitting in the lounge room?

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3/18/2011 5:55 PM

notme wrote:

Try a soda blaster. Its amazing how good parts can come out. Check out this guys results on a kx restore.

...more

Thanks notme. That soda blasting looks like it works a treat. I found a soda blaster near by (200klms away - everything is bloody 200klms away for me...) and I'll get in contact with him soon.

Thanks for the thread link also. That KX looks sweeeet cool

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3/18/2011 6:09 PM
Edited Date/Time: 3/19/2011 5:55 PM

newmann wrote:

Powder coated three times? As one of my Aussie buddies would say, you must be a "fastidious prick"? smile

Looking good so far, ...more

"Fastidious prick"? laughing Yep definately, especially on this project.

They kept f*cking it up Newmann. First time it came back it had 'grit' all through the paint. Must have been flying around in the booth when they painted it. I still can't believe they handed it back to me like that. Second time it looked like it had been done with a rattle can. The finish was all uneven devil I was pissed! So I made them do it a 3rd time and whadauknow, they got it right smile

As posted above I think I'll try Soda Blasting the cases and see how they come up.

Some hardware will be plated if I can find a zinc plater nearby, and some will have to be new, like this 'missing' nut when I bought it:

[LINK TO IMAGE]

I can't believe the guy was riding it like that... shocked
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3/18/2011 6:13 PM

jtracing6 wrote:

Hi
On my 96 engine I had all the cases and cyl etc aqua blasted (minute glass beads in high pressure water), it comes up like ...more

Thanks jtracing. I thought long and hard about getting threaded inserts to the frame rails also. Who knows, when I finish this project I might strip it down again and do that silly

Aqua blasting sounds very similar to soda blasting.

Now about those 3 HRC ignition covers you have, care to offload 1? whistling

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3/18/2011 6:25 PM

One other thing I forgot to mention guys, in case it matters, this bike will NEVER be ridden again. Possibly not even started...

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3/18/2011 6:44 PM

Looks like the boys are giving u some great feedback this replica will b mint Bruss

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3/18/2011 7:03 PM

I know I have close ups of his motor from various years, I'll dig up some from 96. I know Bill' Pipes made some carbon silencers but probably just for Henry and Lamson's 125s

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3/18/2011 7:25 PM

Paul Buckley wrote:

I know I have close ups of his motor from various years, I'll dig up some from 96. I know Bill' Pipes made some carbon ...more

Thanks Paul. Appreciate any help.

Col

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3/18/2011 7:28 PM

MCfan4life wrote:

One other thing I forgot to mention guys, in case it matters, this bike will NEVER be ridden again. Possibly not even ...more

So, next time Jeremy is in town and calls you up.......? Not even a parade lap???

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3/18/2011 8:03 PM

Do these help? Took these at the Cycle World Intl. bike show back in 08 in Houston. I had bikes in the show and had one ticket per bike entered , you had to have one ticket per bike when you were hauling them out after the show. Hmmmmmmm, decisions, decisions.....devil

[LINK TO IMAGE]

[LINK TO IMAGE]

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[LINK TO IMAGE]

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3/18/2011 8:03 PM

MCfan4life wrote:

One other thing I forgot to mention guys, in case it matters, this bike will NEVER be ridden again. Possibly not even ...more

newmann wrote:

So, next time Jeremy is in town and calls you up.......? Not even a parade lap???

Haha funny you should mention that. In the photo up the top with MC and the bike I offered it to him to do a parade lap but he graciously declined. Something about them 'old' oil burners being too damn peeky... MC was awesome, hence my name MCfan4life. He spent a good 15 minutes or so doing photos, signing stuff for us and just chatting about the good ol' days of SX. That 15 mins was enough to provide a lifetime of memories for me. I feel extremely lucky as I know most people never get to meet their idols.

That was at the Townsville round of SuperX, 2008. I even sent emails to the promoter in the lead-up to the event offering the bike as a parade lap bike but didn't even get a reply. Modern promoters probably would have no idea of the significance of 1996 and MC's bike.

The bike was on display at the Honda display stand at the event and turned quite a few heads. When we wheeled it through the pits nearly EVERY mechanic and team manager stopped what they were doing and all eyes were on my mate Jake (Moto619 above) and myself as we wheeled it through the pits. It was like time stood still for 30 seconds. And what was really cool was that Goose was there spinning spanners for Reedy and we chatted about the good ol' Honda glory days. Goose was a cool cat. Great guy for sure.

I would have damn near cried like a baby girl if MC did a parade lap on my bike!

I have 2 tanks/shrouds for the bike. 1 brand new tank (incl. cap and petcock) with solid decals that will NEVER have petrol put in it + the original tank that came on the bike which has perforated decals and has had gas in it. This set-up can be used...just in case you know who comes to town... wink

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3/18/2011 8:24 PM

newmann wrote:

Do these help? Took these at the Cycle World Intl. bike show back in 08 in Houston. I had bikes in the show and had one ticket ...more

Thanks Newmann that bike is awesome. The pics of the carbon muffler really help as they ran the same muffler in '96. Do you know if it is one of Jeremy's actual outdoor bikes from '95 or a replica? If it's a replica it's outstanding!!!

Things on my wishlist: old school Renthal bar pad and rear sprocket from that era...

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3/18/2011 8:30 PM

Original, not a replica. On loan from American Honda. Not to say it still had all the unobtanium inside it??

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3/18/2011 8:55 PM
Edited Date/Time: 3/18/2011 9:00 PM

Paul Buckley wrote: [LINK TO IMAGE]

Your first rebuild sure looks good. I'm not sure about cleaning the engine but once you do get it clean try ...more
MCfan4life wrote:

Ha! Thanks Paul. Not too sure I'd fool Skip though.

I have plans (sort of) in place for what you have suggested. I have forks ...more

Cool project!

Just a heads up when mounting the CRF forks, the stock 96 bottom clamp bores are .020" too large for the twin chamber forks and require .010" thick shims to align the forks properly. That can be fixed with a custom set of clamps but the bottom clamp will be a one off.

Here's a set of 08 CRF450 forks mounted on my 95. I needed the late model axle, left wheel spacer and caliper bracket to complete the swap.

[LINK TO IMAGE]

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3/18/2011 9:47 PM

CamP wrote:

Cool project!

Just a heads up when mounting the CRF forks, the stock 96 bottom clamp bores are .020" too large for the twin ...more

Thanks for the info Cam. I remember DJ (nineoneseven) telling me that a while back. I havn't decided yet whether to go that route or get a custom billet said made, like MC's works clamps...

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3/18/2011 10:01 PM

MCfan4life wrote:

Thanks for the info Cam. I remember DJ (nineoneseven) telling me that a while back. I havn't decided yet whether to go that ...more

Last time I talked to DJ he was looking for a '95 bottom clamp to bore out to the correct size. That's another good option if you know a machinist that can do it properly without getting the centerlines out of wack.

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3/18/2011 10:09 PM

MCfan: I've been looking forward to your posting this resto for us to see! I love following these. I may be able to help...

I have an extra Carbon fiber silencer brand new like the one I put on my replica. Let me know if that is what you are looking for. The body is C.F. and the rest stainless. I would like to make a Carbon Fiber end cap to look like the factory unit newmann's pics show. I also have an extra Ti 5.5 kg/mm spring.

[LINK TO IMAGE]

I use a shop in Houston, TX for my plating they charge $150/batch(all fasteners/spokes/misc parts) to zinc/clear them and they look like jewelry when they are done. I'm sure you could find a plating shop in your area, but if not I would be happy to forward their info and instructions for prepping the parts. I just had my 87 CR250 fasteners done:

[LINK TO IMAGE]

That guy you bought your clutch cover from is now making Ignition covers as well so I would contact him again.

As for your motor, I use a solvent called Varsol. It removes stains with a little elbow grease and some wire brushes/sos pads, etc. I would be careful not to use a very aggressive blasting media if you go that route because it will leave the surface rough and look bad in the long run.

You could go a couple of routes with your clamps. CamP on this site told me he shimmed up the 96 clamps with aluminum sheet .01" thick with good results. I am going to take a set of 1995 CR250 clamps which have the opposite problem, the I.D. is .01" too small for the newer twin chamber forks, so i will machine them down to fit. I found a set, so i'm going to start working on modifying them soon. I'll post pics of the process to help you decide. The hardest part is finding and maintaining center while machining them. Just make sure you get the distance between forks right or the resulting camber cause chronic wear/seal failures when/if you ride it. don't forget that 02 - 04 CR/CRF top clamps are rubber mounted and have a front mount for you number plate and will fit your 96.

I am feeling your pain on riding it...I ended up building another one as a rider so I could leave my MC replica prestine...

[LINK TO IMAGE]

[LINK TO IMAGE]

This one uses some used plastic in good condition. I didn't use tank graphics as they would just bubble up. just 97 CR125 shrouds. This bike rips. I love riding it and when I get the clamp done and mount the newer forks I think it will be even better. If anyone can tell me how to post a video i could show it in action!

Thanks again for sharing your build with us man!

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3/18/2011 10:42 PM
Edited Date/Time: 3/18/2011 11:45 PM

Thanks for the info DJ I was wondering how long it would take you to find this thread.

I saw one of those Answer carbon fibre silencers on ebay recently. Was only $90 shipped to Aus too but I passed on it as I want to try and get the same oval shape as the HRC silencer. I have talked to a Carbon manufacturer in Australia and they're pretty certain they can duplicate (or carbon wrap) the FMF oval Powercore 2 silencer in Carbon which should do the trick. Should be the perfect shape:

[LINK TO IMAGE]

I'm not too concerned with shaving too much weight so I think I will just go with a Factory Connection shock spring as they are yellow, like MC's, so I won't need to worry about painting it.

I will let you know how I go with the fasteners. If I can't get them done locally I will get in touch. Thanks.

Up to 03 CR/CRF had the front mounted number plate. 04 onwards had the top mount wink I'll see how much a custom set will set me back and go from there...

Your 96 'rider' looks clean as a whistling and those 97 graphics and seat look great. Is a set of Twin Chambers in store for the future? How many bikes you got in that garage now? You sold your 93 replica a while back didn't you?

You need to start a thread on your '87 rebuild so we can follow it too man.

Stay in touch

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3/18/2011 11:01 PM

yeah, i traded the 93 for an unrestored 96 and a peak 93. I sold the peak plastic and the bike separately and the 96 is my rider now. it was rough but it turned out good. it had some serious mechanical issues...

[LINK TO IMAGE]

Overall you could say without lying the bike was money when I got it. It even had quarters, nickles and dimes made into washers throughout....

[LINK TO IMAGE]

What's funny is that the oem washers aren't even worth as much as the money the guy used.

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3/18/2011 11:20 PM

nine1seven wrote:

yeah, i traded the 93 for an unrestored 96 and a peak 93. I sold the peak plastic and the bike separately and the 96 is my ...more

laughing laughing that's awesome stuff right there laughing laughing

I love reading about shit like that. When I got my 96 (complete with welded on skid plate) I had a look where the swingarm bolt goes and all I could see was a 8mm hex head and a washer. I was like WTF??? So I asked the guy what happened. He said he couldn't buy a swingarm bolt cause Honda didn't have any (which was BS cause I bought one straight away) so he put a length of steel bar in there, which was not the correct OD, and welded a large washer on one end so it wouldn't pull through. He then drilled and tapped a 6mm threaded hole in the other end and used a 6mm bolt and washer in it.

So the impacts on the rear of the bike were being absorbed by an ill fitting steel bar and a 6mm bolt.... and let's not forgot the picture further up the top of this page of the rear linkage bolt that had no nut on it. I think the only nut was the one twisting the (whiskey) throttle!!! blink
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3/19/2011 1:14 PM

nine1seven wrote:

MCfan: I've been looking forward to your posting this resto for us to see! I love following these. I may be able to help...

I ...more

Where did you get the PC Carbon shorty?

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bd