Project CB250: getting started

Over the weekend, I made a little start to my project bike. I pulled some of the bits and pieces off the back of the bike. The picture below is shows proof that I’m keen to get started on this build.

Getting startedIdeas:

I began, like everyone does these days,  looking at bikes online. Initially,  I found a couple of CB250 about,  but nothing super special. Actually they were fairly ordinary I thought. They still looked like chopped up CB250s, and were not what I was thinking at all. But when I started thinking more seriously, I actually found a few more modded bikes for inspiration. The net is full of other bikes for inspiration these days. I want to do a post at some point that has other CB250 builds in it which I’ve found, that has helped inspire me.

Everything up front:

The handlebars are going to be one of the first things to get swapped. Its just got to happen. Once I get some clip ons on there, I’ll need to fit all the controls of course. For now, I’ll keep using the current leavers etc… but they are all a bit rough, and at some point I’d like to think about trying to re-finish them, or replace everything (Switches included) with after market gear. For now, They can stay original though.
After handle bars, there are the gauges, and the headlight. Both are a bit scraped up from some kind of drop at some point (not me). I’m thinking of either going a compact digital LCD system, or maybe a single all in one gauge for the instruments.
Regarding the headlight, I’m interested in trying out some LED headlights I’ve seen online. They seem neat. I just like the idea of the LEDs, and think it would be fun to play with.
Original mirrors are already gone, and will be replaced by ones that go in the ends of the handle bars. That’s what I’m thinking at this point anyway.

Replacement tank:

This is going to be key in making the bike look different. I’m trying to get away from it screaming CB250!!! I don’t have a tank yet, and I don’t really have an idea for a tank. I’m hoping I’ll be able to source something fairly easily  and relatively quickly, as I don’t want to get too far into anything else before I have the tank worked out. Getting a tank is going to be pivotal to developing things like the seat.


The seat is where I foresee the most work being involved for this part of the build. I’m thinking a relatively flat seat, with a fairly simple “loaf of bread” style upholstery. Its fitting the seat, and deciding if its better to leave some of the existing under-seat brackets and bits, or to remove or modify them for the task. This will be the no turning back moment. Everything else I’ve planned is reversible (well, depends on what will be needed to do the tank I guess). This is commitment time.  Actually, I’m not that scared of committing. I just want to make sure I have an action plan and have it ready to go, so I know exactly what I’ve got to do to make it ridable. I don’t want to end up with a bike stuck, than no longer can take the original seat, but also doesn’t have a new seat that can go on it!


Now, this is where things can get tricky, I’m fairly limited in my ability to to full on work to the engine. The bike has done about 93,000km, its probably getting close to needing some work done internally. Some stuff which I can do myself I’ll give it a go.
Sometime, I want to pull  the engine out of the frame, so I can clean it up, and clean the frame up, and paint it all up. I like the look of the engine with black engine enamel, and polished edges on the cooling fins, so that will be my goal for that. Painting the engine while its out is probably the best thing to do.
At this time, I’m not sure if I should paint most of the engine, or try polishing some of the covers as well. The problem with polishing, is there are a few dings which are pretty deep, and may not polish out so well. Then again, they may not paint over so easily either.
I don’t know if engine work will make it into Iteration One of the project.


No plan to do too much to the actual frame of the bike. As stated above, a few under seat brackets will get the chop, and I need to work out how to close in the ends of the chassis, probably a semicircular pipe the same diameter of the frame, bolted, or welded to the frame. Below is a picture from CafeRacerAustralia of what may need to be done to the bike.

Something like this may need to be done to my bike

Something like this may need to be done to my bike

Exhaust :

The current exhaust is a bit rough. It is scratched up, and has a few pinholes in it (as you can see from that black splatter patch under the bike in the photo). I am thinking very serious about making a custom exhaust for the bike at some point. There are a couple of ways I’m thinking of going right now. Option one is probably the easiest, and will basically follow the current exhaust, but with a new muffler, maybe a non cone shapes one, which is parallel to the ground. A lot of the other modded cb250’s seem to keep the exhaust fairly similar, to the point where I think they are just painting the current exhaust, or swapping the muffler for a different one. Option Two is to re-route the exhaust, so it kicks up high. Not sure if this involves kicking the exhaust up just where the muffler begins, or completely re routeing the exhaust. But no stress right now, that will be some time away I think. For Iteration One of the project, it will be donning a wrapped exhaust, with a High Temp painted muffler to hide some of the scratches in the current pipes.

That is already a fair stack of work to do. On top of this, there will always things that pop up along the way to do. I’m going to keep planning, and hopefully soon, I’ll have a neat little bike to ride around on.


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