Posts by JimRidesThis!

    Almost there...


    Still to do:
    1. Fit the footpegs, bashplate, fairing and side panels (they're just on loose at the moment).
    2. Ride it :)

    Apologies for the overly contrasty image, I'll get some better ones once it's complete.

    I was never a fan of Bowie after Aladdin Sane, Ziggy Stardust, etc. but he did know how to reinvent himself and move with the times.

    I liked Mick Ronson’s guitar work though. When I worked in Hull, I used to have my lunch at the Mick Ronson memorial tea stand in Queens Gardens. I was fortunate enough to see him play (guesting alongside Eric Clapton and Albert Lee) in 1980. Brilliant guitarist.

    An XLnt Update:

    I've been a bit busy with other things for the past couple of weeks so progress on the XL has been a bit slow. I reinstalled the alternator and cover last weekend (no pics) so, this evening, it was time to switch attention to the clutch side.

    On with the oil pump and kickstart spline and gears...

    And the clutch basket. Then off with the clutch basket and oil pump to instal the oil orifice and 'o' ring that sits behind the oil pump. I'd forgotten it first time round!

    In with the clutch plates, oil pump drive gear and ignitor...

    And finally fit the clutch case, auto de-compessor cable and external oil line to the cylinder head.

    The mechanicals of the engine are now complete! I was enjoying myself so much I set the valve clearances and adjusted the auto de-compressor to correct tolerance before calling it done for the day. Here's where it stands :D


    While I’m lucky enough to have a workshop where I can store and work on my bikes, it’s not a huge space, especially when one of them is up on a stand. The ridged floor surface (it was built as a stable) means it’s difficult to move it around. Therefore I was keen to get the XL back on its pins so I can wheel it around.

    In with the swingarm and rear suspension and on with the front end. I’ve said it before, there’s nowt to these old trail bikes compared to the heavyweight, complex stuff we all ride these days. An hour’s work, et voila! ?

    The rear end is all torqued up but some of the front-end bits need to come off again, but at least I can wheel it around now, and it’s the first time in a while since there’s been an engine in the frame ??

    Yep, recommend me some music!

    As you know, I’ve been keeping myself busy in the workshop with the XL600R rebuild and it’s given me the opportunity to explore the cobwebby corners of my eclectic music ‘collection’ Why is it, that no matter how much music you have at your finger tips, sometimes you just can’t find the right thing to suit the mood? ?

    Here are the top five albums that are getting a lot of airplay in my workshop in the past couple of months (I seem to be in a country rock furrow at the moment. I have just bought a tractor thing, so that might explain it ?)

    The Band (The Last Waltz)
    Little Feat (Waiting for Columbus)

    The Marcus King Band (Carolina Confessions)

    Primal Scream (Give Out But Don’t Give Up)
    The Warratahs (Runaway Days)

    What are you listening to in these locked down times?

    Jim, when I rebuilt the XBR I wrapped the frame tubes with rags held in place with duct tape and it worked for me. I think your bike will be the same as mine in that there is no way you can use the old trick of propping the engine on it's side and lowering the frame on to it. I have seen this done with older bikes but alas, not with the Honda singles. Frame is looking the dogs bolx Jim.


    Hi Andy, I think you’re right in that there’s no way of dropping the frame onto the engine, it’s too tight a fit for that. Shame as it’s stripped down this far.

    I’ve found some old plastic conduit that I could use along with corrugated cardboard for the tricky bits.

    I left off waiting for locating dowels and paint. Well, the locating dowels arrived which allowed me to get the cam cover bolted down. I just need to double check the torque setting for the M8 bolt in the centre of the cover (this is my reminder!) and that’s it ready to go back in the frame! ?

    Look what arrived this morning... ?


    I’d already prepped and shot some primer on the frame so there was nothing to do other than give it some base coat and lacquer...


    I’ve got other bits to paint (rear rack, side stand, etc.) so I’ll do those before I attempt to put the engine back in the frame. That should give plenty of time for the paint to harden off.

    I need to figure out a way of protecting the frame tubes when I put the engine in - that’s where most of the chips came from last time - so I’m casting a critical eye over materials I already have in the workshop. ? It’s a tight fit getting it in (oo er ?) and there’s not a lot of clearance between the engine and frame once it’s in, so whatever I use needs to form a thin, protective cushion that can be cut/pulled out afterwards.

    Any ideas welcome!

    The eagle-eyed amongst you may have spotted Hillary, my stuffed otter ?. I found him/her (not sure which) in a pre-stuffed state, in the stable/workshop when we moved in. He/she holds a watching brief over goings on in the workshop. ?

    There's an Otis Redding song, 'These Arms of Mine'... Now I don't know if Otis was singing about his XL600R swingarm, but I thought I might as well inspect 'these arms of mine', give them a clean up, re grease the bearings and so forth. First job, strip off the chain guard, etc.


    Leaving me with this.


    Not in bad shape but, since I had some silver paint in the workshop and the weather's been so good, I thought I might as well take the opportunity to freshen it up. First order of the day? Key the surface, de-grease and give it the Rayburn 'overnight warm up' treatment.


    Followed by a few coats of finest rattle-can silver.


    I always find the hardest bit about painting motorcycle bits is not to rush the job. Fortunately, lockdown means I'm in no hurry so I've made a point of going easy with the application of paint. I left the arm to harden off on top of the stove for a couple of days before lacquering and I'm really glad I did, because while rooting around in my XL bits and bobs I found an envelope that contained a couple of Pro-Link sticker I must've bought first time round. Nice surprise!

    And, here's the final result! It's got half a dozen coats of lacquer on it and I'm calling it done. As usual with these things, photos flatter the finish but it's not half bad in real life! I'm really pleased with the result.



    Making the most weather that's ideal for spraying I decided I might as well refinish the fuel tank too. Again, this wasn't in too bad a shape to start with, but first time round I made a mistake with paint compatibility and one side of the tank had an orange peel finish. I didn't strip the tank this time, but sanded it down flattish and gave it a full can of petrol-resistalacquer - lots of thin coats. I'll leave it for a couple of weeks to properly harden off, give it a flatting with 2000 grit wet and dry, then T-Cut for the final finish. Again, not perfect, but I'm really pleased with the result so far!



    Still no sign of the locating dowels I've ordered, but on the plus side I have tracked down a supply of Rio Red (R-63) aerosol paint for the frame. I'll be ordering a couple of cans on Monday.

    TTFN. JRT!

    Aye up John, good to hear from you.

    It’s a nice idea but I daren’t have it blasted. It’s an oil-in-frame bike, so Sods Law dictates that some blast media would find it’s way from there into the engine! I’m not going to risk it ^^

    On the plus side, I’m going to spray the swingarm today and found a surprise item I’d forgotten about :). I’ve also tracked down some Rio Red paint at last :) so it looks like it’ll be staying red 8).