1986 Elite 250 Adventures

Brandon Weiss (Detective brandon to you) /

So I went and finally got myself a nice 1986 Elite 250...3500 miles, beautiful pearl white paint with the Hondaline dealer optioned windshield/cowling. Got it from the second owner who had it since 1989. Funny story, when I got there I couldn't get the glovebox open and the cash was in there...the mechanism fell off in my hand. Luckily the guy had tools, because after 30min of screwing with it I wanted to pay the guy, so I asked for a Sawzall and cut the catch. Smh.

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Even a minty looking specimen like this had its fair share of hidden gremlins. The carb wasn't fully seated in the boot, CVT cover was badly damaged in spots, speedo backlight bulbs aren't working, exhaust has some rust holes....original speedo cable broke apart after 50 miles. Not that bad for a 35 year old scooter all things considered though. This thing was almost exclusively used to prowl around RV campgrounds...lots of short trips, which explains the exhaust rust holes. When you ride short distances and don't get up to operating temp, condensation builds in the exhaust and rusts it out from the inside.

I put new Michelin Bopper tires on it, and some new Honda valve stems, the originals were badly cracked and waiting to shoot off at speed. Changed the final drive oil, engine oil and coolant..drained the old gas and filled up with 89, and it starts right up and purrs like a Honda should. Also cleaned out all the grease in the variator and reassembled with dry graphite lube. Honda updated the service bulletin to omit grease after the first few years of production, so no qualms about that.

I have some CB350 rear shocks coming in to replace the originals, which are notoriously bad with too much bounce and not enough dampening.

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Re: 1986 Elite 250 Adventures

Brandon Weiss (Detective brandon to you) /

Fixing the rusted heat shield and exhaust.

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The exhaust had some pinholes, and the epoxy putty is rated at 1200 degrees, so it shouldn't be a problem. I didn't try welding it like the heat shield because the metal was much thinner and I couldn't clean the other side. Would just blow more holes in it. (edited)

Re: 1986 Elite 250 Adventures

Brandon Weiss (Detective brandon to you) /

Flushed the cooling system with distilled water, and then filled up with honda blue non-silicate.

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Graphite in the varimalator. Seems like these stops could be ground off for more top end...hmmmm. thing is already capable of 75mph though, so I think I'll hold off for now.

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Re: 1986 Elite 250 Adventures

Brandon Weiss (Detective brandon to you) /

Took it to the DGR, where the speedo cable broke on the way home.

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It wasn't much of a head turner, but a few people including some vespa guys chatted scoots with me for a bit. They were riding a few of these

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This 92' Harley Heritage Softail really caught my eye, love the colors.

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(edited)

Re: 1986 Elite 250 Adventures

Dirty30 Dillon /

I endorse this thread and I endorse Brandon for Mayor of Good Vibes NYC.

Thank you, I yield my time.

Re: 1986 Elite 250 Adventures

Moped Lar (OFMC) /

Did you change the belt and variator rollers? Replacing the 35 year old belt is one of the first things I would do. Nice work and welcome to the dark side. (edited)

Re: 1986 Elite 250 Adventures

Brandon Weiss (Detective brandon to you) /

After putting a few miles on it, I'll say that this windshield really does not work for someone my height. It directs wind straight at me, at 50mph it feels like my head is a piñata being swatted with wiffle ball bats.

A few options...

A Slipstreamer windshield would work perfectly, but they're $170 and look ugly...I'd have to ditch the sweet front cowling too. Not ideal.

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Gustafsson Plastics makes replacement screens for the Hondaline accessory in a few sizes, but they use acrylic and charge $200, and I'd have to drill the mounting holes myself! No thanks.

I tried a $30 "windshield extender", but the original screen was too thin to support it and cracked. :/

I decided to try making one myself, it should be simple enough to use the original screen as a template and just extend the length. I ended up ordering a 24"x48" sheet of 1/8 Lexan polycarbonate off eBay for $40, which is big enough for 2 tries. The plan is to cut it close with the bandsaw, and use my router table with a pilot bit and a template to bring it to final size. After that I'd have to do a little but of forming with a heat gun. (edited)

Re: 1986 Elite 250 Adventures

Brandon Weiss (Detective brandon to you) /

> Moped Lar (OFMC) Wrote:

> -------------------------------------------------------

> Did you change the belt and variator rollers? Replacing the 35 year old

> belt is one of the first things I would do. Nice work and welcome to the

> dark side.

I'm glad you asked! The rollers didn't have any flat spots, so i re-used them. I do want to try some Dr. Pulley slider weights, but they're almost $50 a set...may have to think about it.

Regarding the belt, i did order a new one. The original Honda/Bando belt is actually in fine shape, no cracks or anything and it's within wear tolerance at 22.5mm wide, but i think it's too old and dry because the belt does slip under hard acceleration. I tried cleaning the pulleys, which did help....it could also just need to be ridden some more so the belt can re-seat after sitting for years. An OEM belt is about $80, so i went with a Gates Powerlink belt which is supposed to work just fine, only cost $18 shipped.

Re: 1986 Elite 250 Adventures

Moped Lar (OFMC) /

The Gates belt is fine. Probably just as good or better than the OEM one. Another thing to check is the carb intake boot. They have a reputation of cracking from the heat off the motor, and age of course. If it’s running and idling smoothly, it’s probably fine, but keep an eye on it.

Re: 1986 Elite 250 Adventures

Great looking bike, really like the color, not many came like that. Good tip about the variator not needing grease anymore! Enjoy!

Re: 1986 Elite 250 Adventures

guyahhhh what a dreamboat

Re: 1986 Elite 250 Adventures

Dirty30 Dillon /

@Brandon,

Hit up Dibble in the NYC chat for helpful tips on working with PC/Lexan, he's made a few screens of varying bend-iness and had great results.

Re: 1986 Elite 250 Adventures

punkrock randy /

This is fucking sweet, you scored a good one. 👌🏼Let me know how those Michelin bopper tires feel, I think that’s what I’m about to have to go with👍🏼

Re: 1986 Elite 250 Adventures

I love those old Elite 250s. That is a nice example! Congrats and thanks for rescuing it and giving it a good home. I had an Elite 250, Honda red, for awhile but sold it and got a new Helix in the mid-90's. Crap, I'm old!

Re: 1986 Elite 250 Adventures

How long will the graphite lube last before needing to be reapplied?

Re: 1986 Elite 250 Adventures

Brandon Weiss (Detective brandon to you) /

> Stephen Keller Wrote:

> -------------------------------------------------------

> How long will the graphite lube last before needing to be reapplied?

Eh, not sure exactly. I'll just follow what the service manual says for checking the weights.

Re: 1986 Elite 250 Adventures

I really NEED the sticker on the back of your Element, "my other car is a broken moped" :D Wherever did you find that! :) I'm moving into scooters myself, still love mopeds, but looking for more power, need to figure out how to get my MC endorsement again, the testing sites are crazy overwhelmed here, thanks covid...to take the riding part of the test one has to go way out of town, may have to rent a trailer if I ever find a nice maxi scooter...I can get a permit pretty easy, but with that you have to wear a helmet, can't ride at night or carry a passenger...bleah...so want to get the real deal asap if I can find a decent bike. I have a 50cc Hyosung, Suzuki clone 2 stroker, it is fast as hell, but runs when it is so inclined to, it was a theft recovery and the redone wiring leaves a bit to be desired, but it's a blast when I can get it running. Honda by far are the most affordable and damn near indestructible if maintained, would love a Vespa, but they are sooo expensive. I dream of a Helix, but would rock what you have as well, same engine, so under stressed, oil change a year, coolant flush once in a while, seen these engines with 50k plus on them still going strong, Honda, FTW. Will follow this thread to see how she treats you. Oh yeah, I graduated HS the same year your bike was made...been lusting after one all this time. :) Happy for you for your purchase. (edited)

Re: 1986 Elite 250 Adventures

Brandon Weiss (Detective brandon to you) /

> Stephen Keller Wrote:

> -------------------------------------------------------

> I really NEED the sticker on the back of your Element, "my other car is

> a broken moped" :D Wherever did you find that! :) I'm moving into

> scooters myself, still love mopeds, but looking for more power, need to

> figure out how to get my MC endorsement again, the testing sites are

> crazy overwhelmed here, thanks covid...to take the riding part of the

> test one has to go way out of town, may have to rent a trailer if I ever

> find a nice maxi scooter...I can get a permit pretty easy, but with that

> you have to wear a helmet, can't ride at night or carry a

> passenger...bleah...so want to get the real deal asap if I can find a

> decent bike. I have a 50cc Hyosung, Suzuki clone 2 stroker, it is fast

> as hell, but runs when it is so inclined to, it was a theft recovery and

> the redone wiring leaves a bit to be desired, but it's a blast when I

> can get it running. Honda by far are the most affordable and damn near

> indestructible if maintained, would love a Vespa, but they are sooo

> expensive. I dream of a Helix, but would rock what you have as well,

> same engine, so under stressed, oil change a year, coolant flush once in

> a while, seen these engines with 50k plus on them still going strong,

> Honda, FTW. Will follow this thread to see how she treats you. Oh yeah,

> I graduated HS the same year your bike was made...been lusting after one

> all this time. :) Happy for you for your purchase.

Here in NY, taking and passing the MSS course counts as a road test..it grants you a waiver that when accompanied by a passing score on a 50 question multiple choice test gets you a license without taking the DMV road test, which is much more stringent.

Helix are SOOOO comfortable, almost bought one instead. Same engine and drivetrain. Make no mistake though, the "oil change a year" idea would leave you sad. these engines take less than 1qt of oil and have only a screen, no filter...changing the oil every 800-1000 miles is a must.

Re: 1986 Elite 250 Adventures

I thought they held a quart? But I would be lucky to put 1k a year on one, I don't drive much, just sort of putter around town here, so yeah, that would be ok! :)

Re: 1986 Elite 250 Adventures

punkrock randy /

.85 qt. Just did mine today. It was definitely well needed. Bummer it’s just a screen filter. GD I’ve been loving it, can’t wait for the Boppers to arrive. Did you have to do both exhaust gaskets or just one or another? Seen there’s a tubular one and a smaller ring gasket for at the head I assume.

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Re: 1986 Elite 250 Adventures

Brandon Weiss (Detective brandon to you) /

> punkrock randy Wrote:

> -------------------------------------------------------

> .85 qt. Just did mine today. It was definitely well needed. Bummer it’s

> just a screen filter. GD I’ve been loving it, can’t wait for the Boppers

> to arrive. Did you have to do both exhaust gaskets or just one or

> another? Seen there’s a tubular one and a smaller ring gasket for at the

> head I assume.

As far as I know there's only 1 ring gasket where the header meets the exhaust port.

Re: 1986 Elite 250 Adventures

Brandon Weiss (Detective brandon to you) /

> Stephen Keller Wrote:

> -------------------------------------------------------

> I really NEED the sticker on the back of your Element, "my other car is

> a broken moped" :D Wherever did you find that! :)

Here

https://www.schemacollective.com/product/mopeds

Re: 1986 Elite 250 Adventures

^ Thanks! :)

Re: 1986 Elite 250 Adventures

Brandon Weiss (Detective brandon to you) /

1/8in Lexan polycarbonate arrived, I made a template and used a bandsaw/router table with a flush trim bit to give me exact copies so I can have multiple tries.

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Proof of concept was a success, the new shield shape is a huge improvement! At 50mph i hardly feel any wind. At 70mph though it can get a little sketchy if there are any crosswinds, seeing as I have a giant sail on the handlebars now. I have to try another method of forming the curves though, I couldn't get an even heat and the curves are not uniform, creating a distorted "funhouse mirror" effect when looking through parts of it.

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I will try to make a sheet metal form and use an oven to "drape form" the whole thing at once.

Re: 1986 Elite 250 Adventures

^ Excellent work!

Re: 1986 Elite 250 Adventures

were you just heat gun to curve it? pretty cool that it worked

I had a big ass fairing, i remember the weirdest part for me afterwards was adjusting to how much you hear of the bike all of a sudden.

Like before, you're going over 40 and you hear wind.

big fairing, suddenly you hear how quick your engine's racing in order to go 70 and you already wind up very accustomed to listening to any differences in engine sound that might indicate a problem; suddenly you're hearing it in a way you havent before and it's hard to reaffirm to your mind that this is OK

Re: 1986 Elite 250 Adventures

Moped Lar (OFMC) /

Beautiful job!

The height of the windshield is optimum if your sight line is just above the top edge of the windshield. No need to look through the windscreen.

Re: 1986 Elite 250 Adventures

Brandon Weiss (Detective brandon to you) /

> Moped Lar (OFMC) Wrote:

> -------------------------------------------------------

> Beautiful job!

>

> The height of the windshield is optimum if your sight line is just above

> the top edge of the windshield. No need to look through the windscreen.

Thanks!!

That's how I calculated the height. When I'm sitting upright the bridge of my nose is level with the top. You are correct, you do look over the top of it...but anything that falls below your sight trajectory over the top will be seen in your peripheral vision "through" the screen. When passing objects, be they cars or buildings or what have you, their image through their screen gets distorted as they pass the refracting portion of the screen, and throws me off. It made me very uneasy while riding, because when the image of a bicycle ahead of me gets distorted it makes it appear to change its path abruptly. I hope I'm making sense? I don't want to misjudge the path of incoming objects because of it and possibly lose control if I react instinctively to something. Hopefully the next one comes out nice and smooth so as not to have a "prism" effect (edited)

Re: 1986 Elite 250 Adventures

Brandon Weiss (Detective brandon to you) /

> Born to be WillD Wrote:

> -------------------------------------------------------

> were you just heat gun to curve it? pretty cool that it worked

>

> I had a big ass fairing, i remember the weirdest part for me afterwards

> was adjusting to how much you hear of the bike all of a sudden.

>

> Like before, you're going over 40 and you hear wind.

>

> big fairing, suddenly you hear how quick your engine's racing in order

> to go 70 and you already wind up very accustomed to listening to any

> differences in engine sound that might indicate a problem; suddenly

> you're hearing it in a way you havent before and it's hard to reaffirm

> to your mind that this is OK

Right?? When I still had the original screen on, sitting upright I only heard wind. If I tucked my head 4 inches I was suddenly transported into a calm, serene environment I'm which I only heard the engine putting along. I knew I had to go taller, I wanted nothing more than to cruise at peace with the machine

Re: 1986 Elite 250 Adventures

Rick Bergsma /

> Brandon Weiss (Detective brandon to you) Wrote:

> -------------------------------------------------------

> > Moped Lar (OFMC) Wrote:

>

> > -------------------------------------------------------

>

> > Beautiful job!

>

> >

>

> > The height of the windshield is optimum if your sight line is just

> above

>

> > the top edge of the windshield. No need to look through the

> windscreen.

>

> Thanks!!

>

> Hopefully the next

> one comes out nice and smooth so as not to have a "prism" effect

When I made a windshield for my Kawasaki Vulcan I didn't heat it at all. I just applied pressure with my hands to curve it while my wife put the screws though the holes . Of course it has a heavy curved metal bar halfway up on both the inside and outside to help it keep its curve , but I wonder , since you're only using 1/8 in. thick poly , if it would work for you too .

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