Glen Keating - UK

Hi, thanks.

The bike is a 1974 XL250 motosport. I purchased it from a local importer who imported the bike from America.

It was in a very sorry state. It had had a battery fire so the electrics were completely burnt out as was the seat, airbox and all the cables to the carb. There was no exhaust, switchgear, brake or clutch cables. The tank looked like it had been used as a football. The engine was siezed and the kickstart shaft was snapped off. The rear suspension was seized solid. The front fork legs were worn through the plating to the steel underneath and heavily pitted.

The restoration started with the frame. It had several cracks which required welding. It was then shot blasted and stove enamelled. The fork legs were ground back, replated then re-hard chromed and ground to size. This work was done by Phillpot Engineering in the UK. The bottom sliders were cleaned polished by hand and the forks reassembled with new seals and springs on the original damper rods. The rear suspension is new redwing units from XLint.

The rear axle, bearing and hub had been run on a collapsed bearing for so long it had welded itself all together. It took a 9 inch grinder to seperate it all from the wheel. A used axle and brake plate was aquired from ebay. The rolling chassis was assembled on new wheel bearings, steering head bearings, swinging arm bushes. The brake plates were hand polished and fitted with new linings. Both wheel hubs had the drums skimmed and assembled on new alloy rims with the original spokes. (Both original rims were cracked in several places)

The engine was stripped back to the crank cases. Suprisingly there was no discernable wear even the bore was still at the high end of spec. The reason for the seizure was splinters from the kickstart lever were jammed in the clutch/ oil pump gear. The camshaft showed signs of overheating and had some drag marks across the lobes.

The engine was reassembled with a new oil pump, clutch plates, and the camshaft and rocker arms were stellite welded, reground and hardened. The valves were relapped in and fitted with new springs and seals. A new camchain was fitted althought the original appeared good. The bore was honed and reassembled with new piston rings on the original piston.

The engine cases barrel and head were cleaned and polished by hand. The side covers were repainted using PJM engine paint.

The carb was stripped and ultrasonically cleaned in a small home ultrasonic jewelery cleaner. It was reassembled with new jets and seals. All the control cables were manufactured by a UK company Venhill Engineering.

The electrical system is a home made alluminium battery box housing a 6 v small gel battery and fused distribution board. A modern regulator/rectifer is used to control the wiggly amps. I made the wiring loom myself using genuine Honda brass fittings and block connectors. Although the headlamp isnt fitted in the photographs, the loom and connectors are all there and it can be fitted in under 30 mins.

All the bits of bracketry and fittings are home made in my garage using a hacksaw, file and vice.

The tank pulled back into shape and the remaining holes filled. The paint work was done with rattle cans and a huge amount of patience.

The exhaust system is a pattern item that looks exactly like the original and was snatched off ebay for the a meagre £50. Bargain!!

I plan to do some long rides next year one of which I will be a ride to the North of Spain to do Classic Twinshock Offroad Navigation Trial through the Pyrennes mountains.

I also have a Triumph 900 Scrambler but when the suns shininng its this little Honda that I take out. Its a blast.

Thanks again

Gemma Keating