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Dirt Bike Rebuild – HRC Honda Style

1987 ( HRC ) Honda Cr 125R / The Build- part one

Hello again race fans,

Ever since I was a little kid I have always loved the Honda colors. 2 of the Honda bikes specifically, have always been seeded into my brain, to be bikes, I would love to have in the garage. Those bikes are the 1987 Honda HRC 125 and 250Rs. This would be a dream come true for sure. So fast-forward to now, and I searched long and hard to find either or the 125 or 250, it just so happened I found the 125 first, and all in all this bike was, well cared for, throughout it’s time on this earth.

This was A very good thing because I was looking forward to doing my very first, DIRT BIKE REBUILD. I know what you are thinking, your first build! What the heck are you doing. The answer to that is, I have never done a full restoration rebuild, before. I have fixed a numerous amount of them. IF YOU ARE RIDING, YOU ARE BREAKING SOMETHING, And I didn’t have the money to have someone fix them for me, so I watched and I learned, and if you do not know something, their is always someone to ask close by. So What I figured is, I will take you through the steps that will be taking from buying, to a finished new machine again. Once again, I by far am no professional. But what I do believe in is Drive and persistence, and passion.

Finding the right Machine, for the build

Well when you are looking for the bike that you want to rebuild, a couple of things come to mind like, how much do you want to spend? But A better question is how much can I spend? This is a great question, and there are many other questions that you should know before you get started searching for your build bike.

How much am I willing to spend on bike, and remember if it’s in better condition you won’t have to do as much to it to make it the beauty that you want. But if you want to make it your own, and do everything to it then it will be cheaper on the initial buy, but it will cost more on the other side. The one I have found is somewhere in the middle of them both, and I bought it for a fair market price to the both of us, seller and buyer that is.

Once you figure out what you are going to spend, and you know what bike that you want, it’s time to shop.



Shopping For A Bike, The easy way

OK well here is the thing for all of you who don’t remember a time before the internet, or how to use it. You actually had to get a classifieds, or something equivalent, and call someone , schedule a time to go look at the bike. Once again, yes you still need to most of the time, physically go to the place to look at the bike, but now you just go to the internet and 99% of the sales on the internet have pictures that you can look at. Also, you can make the circle where you are looking, as far as you want. So I say burn that paper, and hello COMPUTER.

This is so much faster, not to mention very cost-efficient. You spent a lot more time back then, just getting around to look at a bike or what not. Recent days you have your computer and a multitude of sites to look at, so im just gonna let you know the ones that I always search on. The one that I like the most is, CRAIGSLIST. This is usually where I start, then I really like what Facebook has done, as far as adding the market. Then there is some good forums that you can get on that allow you to sell whatever it is you want to sell, Truth be told their are so many that it gets a little crazy, that’s why I just stick with what I know, but if you know some better ones, please share with us.

Once you have found a bike that you like, and you paid a fair market price for it, it’s time to take her home. Make sure that you bring with you some good ratchet straps. You don’t want to lose the bike going down the road, unless you have an enclosed trailer, then you still want her strapped in, but at least if it comes free, your bike isn’t gonna go anywhere if it does. Remember you don’t want to pay too much for the bike, because you are going to have more expenses to get your machine up and ripping.

Homeward bound, and time to rip it apart

OK, now you are home, get some tools together, owners manual, which on any build should and will be a necessity, and your camera, whatever you want to use, whether it is your phone or an actual camera, so long as you document. Why do you need a camera you say? well if you are not a mechanic who rips bikes down all day, you are going to want to remember where everything goes, especially the way all the hoses and wires, and cables are run. You don’t want to get it all together, and realize you have to take it apart again. I have done this on many occasions. Honestly though, you are gonna make a few mistakes. The good news is the mistakes you make today, hopefully you won’t make tomorrow. It’s a learning I was saying take a lot of pictures, in stages of the break down, and I don’t mean that you have to take one part off, and take a picture every time. You get the picture.

also, when you are taking the bike apart, I always like to put the bolts and hardware , back into the hole it came from, this way you don’t lose them. I actually buy a hardware bolt kit, for the bike, for me it’s just looks better with the new hardware kit, and there are usually some bolts that got put on that should not be then you can replace it with the new, right one.

Well now, you have found your machine, bought it, brought it home, and started your disassembly with documentation with pictures, and your bike manual. I am personally breaking mine down to the frame, and starting there for the build back up. You might choose not to go this far, go as far as you are comfortable with, if you don’t have someone to go to for questions with answers. I will probably go to a good friend when it comes to rebuilding my motor, but that’s for another day.

I will break this build down into sections

  1. the buy
  2. the tear down
  3. the frame
  4. the motor
  5. the plastics
  6. put back together
  7. the tune up


so far I am into the bike for,

  • $ 400.00 = bike cost
  • $ 20 = gas to pick it up
  • and about 2 hrs of break down time

my next post coming soon…

Frame 101, getting it done right…..



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