#22 Parts Bin–What To Hoard For Your CH250
The Honda Elite CH 250 was a milestone scooter when it bowed in 1985.
Up to that time, the Elite CH 125 was Honda’s biggest scooter. With the CH
250, Honda used its 250 cc fishbone frame as a platform as the fastest and
nimblest commuter scooter made. This platform developed into the CN 250
Helix touring class the following year. Others have followed with
bigger displacement scooters but none with the Honda heritage. But those
initial CH250s–those made from 1985 to1988– are approaching 20-years old. Many
of them are still in use today with some have toured around the world on
How do you keep a 20-something scooter running? What parts are still
available? What should an owner consider stockpiling to keep it running
well into the future? Here is a guide.
We all know the Honda CN 250 Helix shares many mechanical components
with the CH 250. The Helix, twice removed from extinction by Honda, has
resurrected itself in 2004 and will provide future valuable parts for
the CH 250. The autobystarter, for example, long ago discontinued by Honda for
the CH 250, is available as a Helix part and, with minor modifications,
will adapt to the CH 250.
Auction house ebay has been selling scooter parts for awhile now. Some
integral CH 250 parts have gone reasonably, others not so.
Additionally, local motorcycle salvagers have been appearing on ebay selling parts.
Now is the time to stock your parts bins with certain parts that can save
you big money at replacement time. Here are a few. (Note: parts for the
years and models listed only)
Carburetors: The Keihin Constant Velocity (CV) carburetor was used
exclusively on the CH/CN 250 with very little differences. The carbs
and internal parts are interchangeable. A new carburetor from Honda is
about $293. The air cut-off valve, a prime suspect in deceleration
backfiring, is $73 alone. Some used carbs on ebay have been running at a fraction of
the new cost. Every CH 250 owner should have a extra carburetor for parts
or a rebuilt one handy.
Clutch Assembly: All of the Helix and Elite clutch assemblies are
identical. The parts alone to rebuild the clutch assembly will cost you $300. Add
Honda’s labor and it will severely dent your wallet. Some low mileage
Helix clutch assemblies have gone for $20 on ebay. Although durable, the
bearings and the shoes do wear. Keep a good rebuilt clutch on hand so your scoot
is not “down” several weeks while the Honda mechanics figure out how to
ICM: The ICM is the Ignition Control Module. This is the electronic
brain box which controls spark advance and coil firing. Your scoot won’t run
without one. Honda charges $119 for a new one. Find one from the
1985-88 CH 250 or 1986-87 Helix with the designation KM1 448 on it.
Starters: Honda used the Mitsuba SM-8 starter on the 1985-88 CH250 and
1986-87 CN250 Helix. This one is a whopping $325 from Honda new.
Several good used starters have gone for $20 on ebay. It’s a good idea to parts
bin one of those just in case.
Mufflers: Although not high on my must-have list, a new muffler from
Honda is $307. I don’t usually see rusted out and rotted mufflers on most
driven scooters. Nonetheless, an extra in the parts bin won’t hurt.
Speedo Clusters: Invariably, some day the gauge or speedometer will
malfunction on your CH 250. If your a purest, you’ll want to fix it.
Especially if you need a fuel or temp gauge. New from Honda, they’ll
run about $490. Nice to have a used speedo cluster from ebay at a fraction
of that. Particularly, if it’s the digital cluster from 1985-86.
Seat: The seat on the CH 250 is an expendable item. Eventually, the sun
and ultraviolet light will destroy it. Rips will appear. It will look
crappy. New seats from Honda are $225. Having yours reupholstered will run more
than that. Get an extra for the parts bin on ebay for about $65.
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