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Old 04-07-2014, 03:23 AM   #1
gavo OP
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1983 Honda XL 500R conversion to?

Planning on a 3 month trip to S.E.Asia in the first half of 2015 and decided to ship a bike over to ride. Having ridden on a few trips there I had idea's about what would suit me best so thought I might mod/build something.
I rode one of these in Laos,

it was fitted with knobbies but the suspension was worn out and it was a bit gutless two up, yes there is a pillion to consider.
I liked the riding position, the lowish seat height(i'm 170cm) so all I needed was better suspension and more power
While reading threads here I took a liking to this

So why not a mixture of both I thought
So bought a honda


and with no concrete plan I've started.
First off fit pillion pegs as there were no brackets I welded some to frame which did nothing for the fresh powdercoating the previous owner applied.


Secured a seat from a Triumph (wide,flat, long,cumfy) and a Honda cn 125 fuel tank.




The aim was to keep costs down but when I pulled the rear wheel apart inside of the rim was rough hopefully my local alloy welder can save it.
The plan is 19"front rim with the standard 17"rear both 2.15 wide.

gavo screwed with this post 06-02-2014 at 11:49 AM
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Old 04-07-2014, 05:46 AM   #2
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Nice plans. Let us see where this goes.
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Old 04-07-2014, 05:56 AM   #3
luckychucky
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Nice Start

I've owned an 83XL500R it was a tank! Great bike for your project.
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Old 04-07-2014, 06:01 AM   #4
brucifer
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Here in the states we didn't get an '83 XL500R--we got the first year RFVC engined XL600R.
1982 was the one and only year here for the XL500R.
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Old 05-15-2014, 04:44 AM   #5
gavo OP
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Well three steps forward one step back, got the front wheel laced back up after a paint and after having the rear sitting at a welders for a touch up for 3 weeks it still wasn't done so a grovel around the shed turned up an 18" x2.15 rim of a bultaco I've got and some stainless spokes of a heavier gauge
and after buying some nipples and some spoke manipulation it all lines up.
So now 19 front 18 rear.
When you buy a tank off the net there can be problems, mine were clearance with forks and top triple clamp

Also in an effort to get better clearance and look the front mounts were removed and new lower ones welded on and the rear bracket modified which has been changed again.



The tank now fits and I have clearance but the "mods" to the front will test my panel beating skills.
More update shortly , had some distractions (wifes jobs) lately.

gavo screwed with this post 06-02-2014 at 11:51 AM
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Old 05-15-2014, 08:57 AM   #6
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That's a cool concept for a bike.
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Old 06-02-2014, 03:02 AM   #7
gavo OP
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Some updates,
Took to the subframe to extend slightly plus add some rack mounts, the triumph seat is about a 150mm longer




And another word of warning about buying stuff off the internet
I purchased 85 XR 250 forks about 2 moths ago, " 37mm says I, yeah 37mm says he" perfect will fit straight into stock triples.
Went to fit them this weekend, Stock forks 36.85mm to fit the stock 37mm triples, XR forks 37.85mm to fit 38mm XR clamps @%$#&
I really wanted to get the front end on, 1mm so close so not having reams or any sort of line boring device as the holes should be aligned , in sheer frustration I took to them with a small drum sander needless to say the forks no longer sit quite parallel and the XR triple clamps are in the post as we speak.
However I did get the front end on ,sorta and then went to drown my self in beer.



gavo screwed with this post 06-19-2014 at 12:44 AM
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Old 06-02-2014, 05:21 AM   #8
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the pics arent showing on the last post, cool project!
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Old 06-02-2014, 11:54 AM   #9
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Fixed
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Old 06-19-2014, 12:17 AM   #10
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So got some 85 xr triple's to fit the forks (of the net) and xr's of this year have a shorter head stem, no problem will swap em over, but xr's also have 5mm less offset so back to clearance problems again. I did mention there was no plan didn't I any how fitted it up with xr front for now but have bought an 85 xl350 disc brake front complete from an inmate $20 thanks Craig and shall go back to the front soon.


Meanwhile at the other end , seat mounts



And I've made some side covers out of 2mm alloy and given them a rough fit up



Also the 18" Bultaco rim is laced up and tyre fitted
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Old 06-19-2014, 05:26 AM   #11
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looks excellent!... i wanna see some more!....
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Old 06-19-2014, 02:07 PM   #12
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Looks like a cool project, and it seems like you have the skills to get it done. Looking forward to more!
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Old 06-23-2014, 09:41 PM   #13
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this is one interesting build. sure, the fabrication needed is interesting enough, but this is truly building a bike.
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Old 06-23-2014, 10:26 PM   #14
Roadracer_Al
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If you get this thing up to a level of spit & polish, they'd eat it up over at Pipeburn.com.

I love pre-RVFC Honda singles!
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Old 06-24-2014, 03:38 AM   #15
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Thanks for the kind words, have made some more progress and will post pic's etc soon
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