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View Full Version : Possibilities with a Rebel 250



dwood
04-30-2016, 7:53 PM
So I had my heart set on an XS650, but I can't seem to find one that will work/that the owner has enough interest to actually sell (I've never experienced that until now). My dad has been helping me find some bikes to chop, but he's sending me Sportsters etc. Nothing against HD, but I don't have the cash to buy and build a Harley. This brings me to my current situation. He found a '99 Rebel 250 for $850. The thing is scary clean. We may go check it out tomorrow.

I know. Its a 250. 18HP. I'm so unimpressed that it kills me, BUT I'm ready to start building something and I haven't had any luck with an XS650.
I've already looked up ways to scratch more power out of it, but lets face it..18HP :(
That being said.. If I do buy it. What is the best way to hard tail it? I've found one here: http://www.voodoovintage.com/hardtails.html
Anyone have experience with this?
If I go with the larger, classic style tires, will that totally destroy any "power" that the bike had?
On my racebike we change the sprockets (depending on what track we're at) and a 520 chain conversion from the stock 525 chain. This did wonders for the bike. Think that would do much on a 250? Or is menial bottom end and laughable top end all that's going to come out of an 18HP motor.....

I'm definitely not looking for something as fast as my racebike. It'd be ridiculous to expect that out of any cruiser. I want to find something to have fun on, but I would also like to be able to maintain 55-60 mph comfortably on the roads around my house.

Westboundbiker
04-30-2016, 8:58 PM
Is this your first bike you're chopping? If so, go for it. You'll learn a lot your first time around, and then you can take your sweet time in snagging your XS, and building that with all your new skills.
Although, I would do a quick sweep of the ol CL for a couple other bikes- check for GS450s, XS400s, and CB/CL 350s. They're smaller too, and can be had for a good price, but should put out enough power to keep you spinning smooth at 55-60. My GS has enough power to run 70+, and still pass people.

Edit:
Holy shit. I just checked out your CL for your area... what a wasteland! So many fucking dealer scooters ATVs and gokarts (fuckers, get that shit off the motorcycle page...).
However, I did see this bad mo fo':
https://raleigh.craigslist.org/mcy/5559426515.html
or this one if you're a bit ballsier than I:
https://raleigh.craigslist.org/mcy/5557966184.html
See if this has a clean title:
https://raleigh.craigslist.org/mcy/5547779544.html
I'm a fan of the GS series, and if you look at my build, I made the hardtail out of salvaged pieces of the frame:
https://raleigh.craigslist.org/mcy/5551314950.html
If you don't mind title shit:
https://raleigh.craigslist.org/mcy/5542239779.html

And is this the rebel you were talking about: https://raleigh.craigslist.org/mcy/5564231680.html?
Cuz the 'chop' job on that makes me vomit a little in my mouth. I suppose if you did end up buying that, at least you'd be fixing something really ugly. Personally, I'd say look at the bikes above though. The first savage seems like a sweet deal, those bikes are pretty slick, and while they don't sound great, there are parts EVERYWHERE, and they're super simple bikes.

WarMullet
04-30-2016, 10:55 PM
I don't know your likes or dislikes, but I'm so tired of seeing cafes and bobbers. It's like the default for folks. Not saying they don't turn out amazing, the level of detail in some of these is awe inspiring, but I like seeing the odd ball builds that no one else thought to do. What's even cooler is seeing builds that bring the bike into the 21st century with electronic ignitions and LED signals and lights, finding ways or conversations to make the handling better and safer etc. But the sky is the limit.

Westboundbiker
05-01-2016, 6:51 AM
Ya lost me. I was just trying to help you find a project bike, the only thing I put out an opinion on was that rebel was clearly a half-ass job. I'm cool with any custom, so long as it's rideable, and done well, not half assed.

sandmanred
05-01-2016, 7:35 AM
I started with a Nighthawk 250 for my first bike. Just a tiny bit more HP but more or less the same. And same thing, I paid $400 for it so I figured why not. It's now smaller and lighter than stock. No trouble to get to 55 and doesn't sound too bad for a little bike. I did a new exhaust system with baffles to avoid re-jetting. I totally rebuilt the frame after salvaging the head tube or neck. If I was to do it again not sure I would go that far, it's a pain in ass redoing all engine mounts and I got a little lucky on fitment of the engine. Had I been off even a fraction of an inch here or there I would have major rework of the frame to do.

What ever you decide, good luck.

dwood
05-01-2016, 7:36 AM
Is this your first bike you're chopping? If so, go for it. You'll learn a lot your first time around, and then you can take your sweet time in snagging your XS, and building that with all your new skills.
Although, I would do a quick sweep of the ol CL for a couple other bikes- check for GS450s, XS400s, and CB/CL 350s. They're smaller too, and can be had for a good price, but should put out enough power to keep you spinning smooth at 55-60. My GS has enough power to run 70+, and still pass people.

Edit:
Holy shit. I just checked out your CL for your area... what a wasteland! So many fucking dealer scooters ATVs and gokarts (fuckers, get that shit off the motorcycle page...).
However, I did see this bad mo fo':
https://raleigh.craigslist.org/mcy/5559426515.html
or this one if you're a bit ballsier than I:
https://raleigh.craigslist.org/mcy/5557966184.html
See if this has a clean title:
https://raleigh.craigslist.org/mcy/5547779544.html
I'm a fan of the GS series, and if you look at my build, I made the hardtail out of salvaged pieces of the frame:
https://raleigh.craigslist.org/mcy/5551314950.html
If you don't mind title shit:
https://raleigh.craigslist.org/mcy/5542239779.html

And is this the rebel you were talking about: https://raleigh.craigslist.org/mcy/5564231680.html?
Cuz the 'chop' job on that makes me vomit a little in my mouth. I suppose if you did end up buying that, at least you'd be fixing something really ugly. Personally, I'd say look at the bikes above though. The first savage seems like a sweet deal, those bikes are pretty slick, and while they don't sound great, there are parts EVERYWHERE, and they're super simple bikes.

Thanks for all of the info! I'll definitely check out those other bikes too! It is my first build so I figured I could learn on something small like this, but I also like being able to get out of my own way.

dwood
05-01-2016, 11:55 AM
I don't know your likes or dislikes, but I'm so tired of seeing cafes and bobbers. It's like the default for folks. Not saying they don't turn out amazing, the level of detail in some of these is awe inspiring, but I like seeing the odd ball builds that no one else thought to do. What's even cooler is seeing builds that bring the bike into the 21st century with electronic ignitions and LED signals and lights, finding ways or conversations to make the handling better and safer etc. But the sky is the limit.


Yeah I definitely get what you're saying they're a dime a dozen and everyone is doing them. Especially the xs650 lol. But I just LOVE the looks of hard tailed "bobbers." I have ever since I was a little kid. I'll probably build it or whatever I get really with a basic weld-on rear and play with it from there. The only things I've worked with are my wrangler and race bike so I don't have a lot of custom fab know-how to go crazy with it. PLUS I don't think it's worth the time and money to do that on a rebel 250. This would be learning material that I can go have fun with.

dirtbag
05-11-2016, 8:45 AM
My first bike I cut up was a cm250, I got it for 200 not running with the titile, it was a fun little bike, graet for running around town, it would hold 60mph on the highway with the throttle wrapped, somtimes even hit 70mph downhill, I kept it for awhile and let a few people take their test on it..if you dont find one for a smoking deal I would pass as the resale is only valued to a person learning, their like a cool scooter