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.
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.