The Current Plan For My Motorcycle Build
Today’s blog carries on from yesterday really, so forgive me if you aren’t into motorbikes! This caveat may be used in a few blogs going forward as this project progresses…
So yes, over the weekend I agreed a deal on a cheap and very well used and tired looking Honda CD250U. These bikes were made from the later 1980’s until the mid-1990’s and very similar to the Honda Benly range but with a slightly bigger engine. Though with a top speed of around 80mph when new, it’s not going to be breaking any land speed records! The engine itself is an air cooled, 4 stroke, parallel twin engine. They are supposed to be both reliable, and easy to work on, so let’s hope that’s true.
When I went to look at the bike, the engine fired up on the first push of the button, and sounded great with no nasty noises or rattles. I did notice a bit of an oil leak at the bottom of the left side of the engine though. Once I’ve got the bike home (hopefully tomorrow) and cleaned it up, I’ll be able to assess it further. I’m currently undecided about a full engine rebuild, but part of me thinks it’s a good idea whilst I’ve got the bike stripped down anyway. Talking of which, the idea with this bike isn’t just a gentle spruce up…
I’m planning to build my own interpretation of a street tracker. These days there are so many variations of custom bikes it’s mind boggling and there’s alot of cross over between the different styles. I’m not too hung up on whether it’s a cafe racer, flat tracker, street tracker, brat look, rat look etc. I’m going to build what I want to build, and design it as what I think makes a good looking bike.
The first thing will be to completely strip it back to the frame. That will be powdercoated black as will the the spoked wheels. Tyres will be a fatter, higher profile chunky off road style. Starting at the front; The front forks will probably stay all silver with the black gaiters. The front mudguard will either completely be removed or heavily shortened. A new classic round light (black casing) will be fitted. Front indicators I’m undecided about at the moment; But options are either have integrated indicators in the headlight, small bullet style indicators, or ring style indicators around the forks themselves.
The current instruments will all be removed and a simple round (black casing) speedometer will be fitted that includes all warning lights etc. The handlebars themselves will be black flat tracker bars. These will be fitted with brand new controls (lights, starter, indicators etc), brake fluid reservoir, and brown coloured grips. I’m undecided about mirrors at the moment though. I do like the style of inverted round bar end mirrors (they hang under the grips at the end), or maybe in top. Any mirrors do kind of spoil the clean lines though so I did have one mad idea. Go a bit high tech and use a tiny camera hidden on the rear, and have a small screen centrally on the bars. This one is TBD.
The fuel tank is actually a pretty good shape already so this will just be prepped and sprayed silver. Classic Honda name badges will be fitted on the sides of the tank. The engine will be soda blasted back to silver and I’m currently undecided if the top end of the engine will be painted black. I’ll probably stick with the stock carbs and air filter. Apparently pod filters can be a bit of a pain to get setup right on these engines; it’s also twin carbs which need balancing etc too. For the exhaust then I’ve still not 100% decided. My current thinking is the standard downpipes (one each side) either polished chrome or wrapped with heat bandages, and both finished with matt black megaphone silencers.
I’m not a fan of the open rear frame that these kind of bikes often have so will probably go for the “race number” style side panels in silver. Rear suspension will be the classic looking twin shocks/springs though these will be replaced with decent (Hagon) new ones. These may be chrome, black, or a combination of both. The seat of the bike will be a chunky thick (I’m not a fan of the really thin ones you see a lot of) straight seat right to the back of the bike, finished in brown leather(ette).
The rear of the bike frame will be cut and shortened to just in front of the rear wheel hub centre. A rear hoop will then be fitted and welded. I’ve got 2 options at the moment for the rear lights (running, brake, and indicators). One is to integrate them all into the rear hoop itself (imagine a bendy strip light within the hoop). The other is bullet indicators, and a round running/brake light. The rest of the rear depends on the light choice, so will either have no rear mudguard and just a bracket for the numberplate under the seat; or will be finished with a very short rear mudguard, that both the rear light, and number plate are then fitted to.
So that’s my plan as it stands. As you can probably tell, I’ve spent a lot of time already planning what I want from the bike and the specific look I want to achieve. One thing I’ve found is that by trawling the net for different styles of bikes, you get a real sense of what you like and what you don’t. Here are a selection of bikes that I like lots of aspects of…