With the factory equivalent being ridden by the likes of Kevin Windham Sebastian Tortelli and Ezra Lusk, you can see why this one reader also chose the 2000 Honda CR250R…
Danny Salmond-Lawson, a 23-year-old- shop fitter from Auckland, had barely started school when the 2000 Honda CR250R was first released. But, fast-forward nine years, he would have one for himself.
“I got it in 2009,” says Danny, “and for a great price, despite needing some work”.
The work involved a new top end and some cosmetic work, but Danny went the extra mile and stripped it and gave the CR250R its birthday.
With the bike in parts, Danny took the time to polish his frame to a shine, while the engine was being rebuilt. That’s not just the outer frame, either, but the entire frame, including the engine mounts that can barely be seen. It was all done by hand, too, which took a lot of hours and more than a few beers.
While the 2001 CR250R is considered the finest engine of any of the then premier class motocrossers from Honda, the 2000 is still considered one of the strongest engines of all the CR250Rs produced. That is just another reason why Danny has kept it as it was produced from the factory, with the engine remaining untouched, except for the addition of a few bolt-on parts.
And with a claimed 59 ponies, stock, you can see why.
“Thanks to Brent and Grant – Grant being my dad – at Spectrum Motorcycles, I had the engine fully rebuilt, with ProX top and bottom end, but I left the engine untouched, as it already had more than enough power for me.”
Like all two-strokes, there is a sweet spot in that powerband, which Danny found through a combination of a FMF Fatty pipe and PowerCore 2 silencer that gives it a good spread of power in the bush, where a lot of the riding is done.
Along with the FMF combo, the only addition is the set of Boyeson Pro Series reeds. Even the jetting is stock, from the factory, which works perfectly for Danny.
The 2000 CR250R originally came with the “Nuclear Red” plastics, a mainstay of a generation of CRs, something that Danny wanted to tweak. Taking some inspiration from the Troy Lee Designs Lucas Oil Honda Team, Danny worked with Darryl from Workshop Graphics on a custom set of graphics – Darryl’s specialty – to change it up, being matched with a one-off seat cover from Dave McMullen at Coastal Marine Upholsterers (but the seat cover material came from Pete the Mexican).
That particular red and blue colourway happens to be reminiscent of the bikes from the Golden Age of Team Honda, when David Bailey and Rick Johnson raced, which brings up another of Danny’s projects.
“My dad and I are also putting together a 1984 Honda CR500, a project that will take a bit of time, which happens to be a bike that Dad rode as a young man.”
But does that mean the CR250R will forgotten?
“To me, it’s not just another bike, as I put a lot of time and effort into it. It’s a part of who I am and it also keeps me on my toes and reminds me of who’s boss in the relationship between man and machine.
And before you ask, no, it will never be sold.
“She’s part of the family.”