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Old 11-09-2012, 03:10 PM   #1
Tanshanomi OP
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Joined: Jul 2009
Location: Heart of America
Oddometer: 828
Honda XL500S Cafe/Roadster article - 1980

32 years ago, as a senior in high school, I read an article in a magazine (for years couldn't remember which one) in which they converted a Honda XL500S into a cafe(-ish) road bike. Well, I've always remembered it, and a couple of weeks ago I finally tracked it down.

It turns out that it was a two-part article in Custom Rider, which was a short-lived Cycle Guide spin-off.

Looking at it after all these years, the spacy Tracy bodywork looks silly and dated, and since it was really an SR500 unit, it fits about as well as David Byrne's suit. The rear is way too long (and/or the swingarm needs to be longer). Furthermore, the functional mods are pretty simple, obvious and limited. I thought even back then that doing all that work to turn it into a dedicated "sport" street bike and leaving that tiny, weak front drum brake was lame.

Here's a link to the whole 2-part article as a PDF:


FULL DISCLOSURE: I originally posted this over on, but I thought it might be worthwhile to post it here...since ADV has about a jillion more readers.

Tanshanomi screwed with this post 11-12-2012 at 10:52 AM
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