81 Honda XL500 Scrambler

cascade_crawler

New Member
Been a long time coming, but I finally got around to getting all my pictures together and making a little build thread for this bike.

I acquired this bike several years ago with plans to build it into a scrambler/street tracker at the very beginning of it being "cool" to do so. Unfortunately I drug my feet and it just got done recently, so much for being a trend setter ;D
I got it off craigslist for cheap and it ran and rode, but had a massive oil leak. It poured oil straight from the head onto the exhaust and made it appear my bike was on fire. I later learned this was a common issue with this generation of motor, and it would be a little more work to fix than a simple gasket.

I liked this bike for 2 main reasons: It had the same tank and dual shock setup of moms old xr200 that I learned how to ride on, and was a big 500 single. I'm a big time dirtbiker and wanted the bike to have a lot of "dirt" influence.

Some how I managed to lose the "before" picture...maybe I was in too big a hurry to strip it all down. Here is a picture for reference...complete with with big goofy 23" front wheel. I stripped the bike down and swapped on a complete honda CR front end and laced a 19" wheel onto the CR hub.
 

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cascade_crawler

New Member
Next up was the cut off the ugly factory subframe and build up a new hoop. After that I made some supports that would hold the seat pan, and built a pan that would cover the goofy tank mount. Im not much of a seat guy so I had a local shop build one off of my pan.
 

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cascade_crawler

New Member
I swapped out the factory shocks for some progressive suspension units and lowered the front fork about 4". The back end got a rebuild and powdercoated wheel and hub along with SS spokes and a fat rear tire.
 

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cascade_crawler

New Member
Exhaust fab. 1.25 into 1.75 with a cone engineering muffler. This thing is loud!
 

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cascade_crawler

New Member
Everything got stripped down for powercoat and I started assembly and wiring. I ditched the battery and ran the bike straight off the stator. Although originally a 6v bike it was pretty easy to swap everything over to 12v using a 12v regulator. This bike is totally stripped down and only runs a trail tech speedo, headlight and tail light.
 

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cascade_crawler

New Member
finished and on the road
 

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NoRiders

Over 1,000 Posts
You'd not think it was the same bike...good job, although I'd worry about the dirt getting to the air filter.
 

cascade_crawler

New Member
NoRiders said:
You'd not think it was the same bike...good job, although I'd worry about the dirt getting to the air filter.

It is pretty exposed but I dont ride it in the dirt or in the rain. I got a real dirtbike for that :)
 

focusinprogress

City Limit Moto:Parts-Service-Apparel (716)8038606
excellent result. only a couple things I'd personally change but that's just a matter of taste. Looks like a hoot.
 

LeParrain

New Member
Very good work. Thanks for give me ideas. But can you send me in MP more picture about the modification frame and some technical explanation about your work. I'm not a specialist, so i won't make mistake doing this frame's transformation on my bike :)

I thank a lot.
 

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