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  • Writer's pictureCharles Lytle

Bringing a 2003 CR250R into the modern moto-era. An mXrevival full build for DP Motorsports

If you haven't noticed, I LOVE two strokes. Maybe it's because guys my age (33) grew up on them. Or maybe it's because they are nimble, light, uncomplicated & offer a ridiculous fun factor. all while keeping a bit more weight in the wallet.

Having said that, I was elated when the opportunity arose to build or "revive" Danny & Sam's 2003 CR250R.

Danny owns DP Products in San Jose, CA. They build complex satellite components before they are sent into orbit. Sam has been on board at DP Products for several years and also runs DP's moto-based efforts (DP Motorsports) with a fresh line of triple clamps that cover most modern MX bikes. DPM owns and operates some of the coolest CNC machinery around and is always expanding it's moto-efforts with triple clamps for additional models, sporting revised offsets and other clever amenities.


There she was, tucked away in Danny's detached garage with an array of other toys! The CR was really a great platform to start out with. It wasn't beaten, bruised, and neglected as most it's age are.

Into the MXR trailer she went for the haul back to Idaho from California. The trailer is actually a funny story, because I didn't know I'd own it by the time I left California.

I had my own personal YZ250, my KTM 250SX, Danny's CR, two more builds from LA, and on the way out picked up one more YZ450F for full-build. In short I had committed to more work than I could haul in the bed of my Duramax! But we got it done...


Per usual I like to start with photos of the "before", followed by tear down & bearing removal. I keep a running list of needs and document what's broken as the bike comes apart. This keeps me on track for the first round of parts orders regarding the "must-haves".

Like clockwork, a solid two hour disassembly had me squared away for steps two & three. Step 2: prep engine, brakes, and other parts for our in-house blast cabinet for detailing. Step 3: Frame, swinger, and subframe straight to Zamco Powder Coating in Middelton, ID.

I almost forgot step 2.5! 2.5 Involves TIG welding the lower main frame cradle where someone thought it a good idea to Tek screw a thin gauge sheet metal (AKA: home made skid plate) directly to the frame....oh boy...

Tim Crawford at KMS Machine Shop in Kuna, ID had the holes filled, and smoothed over in just a few hours and at an unbeatable price. They have since made custom brackets for me & so on. Great people at KMS! Tim also allowed me to photograph the CR250R there once done. Notice the backdrop in the final photos!

The boys at Zamco Powder Coating do a damn good job for me. Their prep is prep good & always getting better in terms of the little details that frames with specific bores/ threaded holes demand. They have now done 6 full three-piece bikes for me and a TON of little pieces. The price... unbeatable! Every time I walk in they ask: "Matte black?" YEP I reply.

Bottom line: If you are in the Boise area and looking to get some PC done I would strongly recommend them. I have had a few pieces turn out a bit splotchy in the past. They are quick to handle it. Re-prep & coat, no questions asked. Can't beat it, stand-up dudes who will get my business every time.

Once back at the shop, I get to work on detailing the engine, brakes, rebuilding the forks, shock, and scrubbing the grime of anything I intend to re-use. Somewhere in the midst of this I start smashing out orders as well.


Oh you bet, this is where I get to spend your money on all of the best parts I can find to make your bike new, unique & REVIVED! All the OEM needs, and special parts ordered are done so only after I carefully review your budget & build a plan that best maximizes what you can spend.

Each budget is unique, and this is where I think MXR shines. I've got something for everyone to be proud of when complete. I truly love what I do.

With frames back from PC, looking just incredible, I set up the main frame on my favorite lift stand. (What the hell was I doing without this thing for so long??) If you're in the market, MXR can ship you your very own lift stand for around $270.

While the frames were out, I got to work detailing the items soon to be reinstalled into the frame. The engine was first, followed by the brakes & linkage with freshly installed & repacked bearings. There is something about a just-blasted engine in a matte black frame that I still haven't gotten over! This is where I start getting really pumped on the builds.

No sooner than I had finished assembling what I could without parts orders rolling in, there they were!


The best part about forging a company yourself is that I have ultimate control in it's exact shape. What I suppose I'm trying to say is that, really, all the parts I sell I really wanted for myself first! I get to buy them, test them out, and offer up a real world review before you guys go throwing your money at something you haven't had the luxury of trying yourself first. This is exactly how all of my current & favorite accounts came to fruition. If I sell it, I loved it before you ever saw my promote it.

In other words, If it enhanced my own personal experience as a rider- then I know you'll most likely love it too.

Having said that, mXrevival all supplied the following on this build:

-DPM triple clamps & big bar mounts ------> $475 starting

-SM Pro Platinum Wheel Set ------> $750 starting

-Lectron Carburetor ------>$435 this model

-Pro Taper Fusion Bars

-Stainless front brake line, 270mm oversize/ wave rotor up front, rear wave rotor, pads & hardware

-Renthal sprockets & black sprocket hardware (Bolt)

-Swingarm & Fork guard decals. Full graphics kits available ------> $196. We sell FRESHmoto decals and kits

-All Chemicals such as coolant, oil, brake fluid, fork oil/ seals, OEM components & much more

The CR came into the shop with a brand new set of Dunlop MX32 (Now MX3S) tires, FMF Factory Fatty & Turbinecore II, Boyesen clutch & ignition covers, full TX Race Kit which allows the use of 2016 CRF450R bodywork, sweet red radiator hoses, V-Force reed cage, and a few other bits I was able to use to keep the budget friendly all while keeping the final product special.

Though MXR carries all of the parts above, it was certainly less work having it on hand to begin with!

***A very worthy mention: Langston Motorsports of Southern California literally SAVED MY ASS by rush shipping me a VHM cylinder head. Danny wanted one of these badly, and they were out of stock near crunch time. The VHM cylinder head allows for better cooling via better heat transfer, larger water jackets, and also allows the rider to quickly swap out the inner dome inserts, This alters the compression and immediately gives your bike a different power profile. Pretty cool!!

Thank you Langston Motorsports! They are your VHM dealer for the west coast.***


At this point, I am foaming at the mouth. I've got badass wheels, carbs, engine components & custom triple clamps to install around this dolled-up engine and frame. What a life!

My excitement grows with the install of each part & blasted piece. Every move I make at this stage gets me closer to completion.

"COM-PLEE-SHUN", definition: I stand back and stare at what I've done and waste several minutes drinking a victory beer, whilst leaned up against my shop table.

After the bulk of assembly is done, I start noticing little things that drive my insane like threaded holes left out in the open by way of newer bodywork, discolored plastic, and really any other thing that stands out. Do it all the way, or don't do it at all!


This thing is bad, It's the first time in years a Honda has been so gratifying (not hating!). It's picture time and I am back in Tim's grill at KMS asking if I can use his awesome shop for photos. He agrees while all of his employees wonder what the heck I'm doing there with bikes, stands & a camera.

Speaking of cameras, these were some of the worst photos I have ever taken! HA! Junk! My wife is the saving grace with this final step, the most important step: Displaying this creation you YOU guys on Instagram, Facebook, this website. She is a Photoshop wiz and quickly doctors up the crap I call photos so I don't blow the final moment. Thanks, babe-


Back in the trailer she goes with another rad human being's build. I was restoring three other bikes side by side with the CR250R & I will blog about Tim Stoker's 2004 YZ450F soon, which was the other completed build at the time. The other two are still under construction at this time. Cool father/ son build for my SoCal boys!

We drive the bikes back to Cali for a killer customer ride day at Diablo MX in Brentwood, CA. (Hell yes my guys get a ride day too!) Diablo MX is was SO good! Great prep, great layout, great people. It reminds me of SoCal a bit by way of fencing and the fact that the track is long and flowy/ sandy.

If you haven't been yet, please check their Facebook and get on the list for the next open practice!

I finally get to drop the gate of the trailer and show off the 03 CR250R. I was holding my breath a bit but was able to breathe once I got Danny & Sam's approval!! The bikes are literally a secret until the "moment of truth". Until then I just shoot out little teaser photos and torture everyone like an ass.

With a few kicks the bike was alive and that two-stroke-smoke filled the air. I love watching you guys start your bikes for the first time. This is THE moment, the only reason I do this.

Now, I wish I had a ride report for you but two things :

1. The bike was flawless. Imagine going to the dealer and picking up a bike with every little thing you wanted already on it, fully modified just for you & for half the cost of a brand new bone stock machine....

2. We got word that the 03 CR250R *might* just get a second photo shoot with some pros at one of our favorite MX publications! Fingers crossed, that would be something ;)

Until then, nothing wrong with a flawless piece of machinery sitting in your shop in San Jose, CA!


I am honored to have been given the opportunity to build this bike for DPP/ DPM. I later received a text from Danny about how clean he thought he bike was, and how he had no immediate interest in his 2017 CRF450R at the moment. That's a great feeling!

If any of my readers have any questions about full builds, comments, need advice or guidance, a parts quote or my opinion on a situation (for whatever it's worth), simple email me at:


I'd be glad to help in any way I can. thanks so much for reading & I hope it brought some sort of value to your day!

Charles Lytle/ Owner mXrevival

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