Back at the end of last year, I picked up an '88 KLR650 off Craigslist for $500. The PO (so he said) had owned and ridden it for about 6 months before he stripped it down (not the motor) for a complete re-do. He'd gotten it mostly back together when (it was evident) his money situation became difficult and he chose/needed to sell. So that's the short intro. I've already done a write-up and posted it to another forum that I frequent and where I am known, so I'll largely just copy/paste that write-up here as well; but feel free to skip ahead to the build portion if you're not interested in the lengthy story-line intro: As the saying goes, I needed another motorcycle (project) like I needed a hole in the head. And I'd been doing well to stay off Craigslist and concentrate on a few pieces currently crowding the garage (and elsewhere). However, a good friend expressed a desire to find a deal on a (50cc) scooter: something to buzz down to the neighborhood pool/clubhouse/corner store with and/but not so nice that his grandsons couldn't take and potentially abuse/trash. Well, needless to say, that was all the excus--er...reason...I needed to return to my daily perusals of the area Craigslists. Read quite a few scooter ads in the ensuing weeks and months, called on a few, even drove out and looked at some, but nothing that really fit the bill. Of course, couldn't help but see quite a few motorcycle ads as well. Called on a few. Even drove out and looked at some. But nothing that compelled me to dig my project hole deeper. There was one (picture-less) ad I saw--repeatedly--but didn't call: Custom 1988 KLR 650 Kawasaki. Professional ground up build, mods, new tires, new batt. chain, plug, coil, paint etc. This is a complete rolling bike, just needs the wiring finished, tag it and go. I no longer have the time or the money to finish this great bike. Quick sale.$700.00. Clear Title in hand. Serious inquiries only. When I first saw the ad, I casually thought about calling. Every time I saw the ad re-posted over the following weeks, I casually thought about calling. But there weren't any pics, and the thing was way out in the sticks 100 miles away, and I sure as h*ll didn't need any more motorcycles. I was quite certain about this last, since I'd been told exactly that by The Girl on a number of occasions. But then one evening, the ad was back. Only this time with pictures. Nice pictures. And a new price: $575. So, I casually thought about calling. More than that, this time I put the phone # in my cell. Then I took the dogs to the park, sat on a bench, and decided that I didnt have anything better to do than call a guy about a motorcycle. Nice guy. Low-key. Got all the right sort of answers. Yep, I could come by tomorrow evening and look at it--hed be home all day and had a guy coming to look at it at 7pm. Got off the phone and thats settled then: Id drive the truck to work in the morning with the ramp and tie-downs *just in case*, and see how I felt about making the trip up after work. Gave the matter some more thought as I drove into work the next morning. Thought about the long drive; thought about all my pending bike projects; thought about the other prospective buyer already lined up; and decided, screw it, I didnt feel like working all day and then driving 100 miles--part of it in rush-hour traffic--to look at a bike that I didnt really need and was probably going to be sold before I got there. So instead, I ducked out of work shortly after I got in and just drove up that morning . Eventually left the interstate for a state highway; left the state highway for a county road; left the county road for a dirt road; left any cell phone signal back at the feed and farm supply store. Found the red, farm gate that marked my destination, left the truck at the road, and cautiously headed over toward the open double garage door visible at one end of the house, keeping a wary eye out for shotguns and/or dogs and similar type things one expects to find in such settings. As it turned out, my concerns were unfounded--the owner was a transplant from Miami--and, holy cow, is that ever a clean looking bike. No question, if hed just posted pics with his earlier ads--and wasnt located out in the middle of nowhere--the thing wouldve been long gone. His story: had a lot of car and bike projects over the years, bought the KLR, rode it for 6 months, took it all apart (save the motor--no need), and, in his words, put his hand to every nut and bolt as he put it back together. Sandblasted and painted the frame, swingarm, and spring/shock; cleaned and buffed every inch of every component; stripped, polished, and de-restricted the factory stainless steel exhaust; rejetted/tuned the carb; mounted brand new Michelin Anakees front and rear, new chain/sprockets, new AGM battery, new coil and plug, etc.; and etc. Hed removed (and apparently disposed of) the stock airbox (which holds the battery) and the main wiring harness, relocated the battery and some electrical components and had started a complete custom rewiring of the bike. (In an unintended warning, he told me how he likes things simple, wanted to get rid of all that unnecessary sh*t--e.g., clutch lever and sidestand safety switches, vacuum-control fuel-shutoff petcock innards, etc.--so I knew I had some fixing to do.) After hed got the thing back together in its current showroom-quality state, albeit with some rudiments of his custom wiring in place, hed temporarily hooked up the original harness and started the bike. Said it ran fine, then backfired once, died, and wouldnt re-fire. H(e claimed h)is troubleshooting unveiled some chafed/shorted wires in the original harness which fried the CDI--and just for good measure, he pulled the CDI apart, apparently snapping off a corner of the circuit board and losing the cover in the process. (As hes telling me all this, Im looking at the new coil and custom wiring, and my immediate thought is that there wasnt a d*mn thing wrong with the CDI--that is, before he broke it taking it apart--and likely not anything wrong with the original harness.) The quality of his work was unmistakable, but his (lack of) knowledge of things electrical/electronic was strongly indicated--and would prove to become ever more apparent as I got into things. Whatever the case, as advertised, the thing needed to be re-wired; but it also needed a new/replacement CDI--he said $400 new or $200 on ebay, which, although I didnt say so, I thought was a little high. He said he hated to see it go, but he didnt have the money to finish it, and it needed to go. I didnt ask him to elaborate, but the fact that he was home all day on a weekday seemed to speak for itself. Anyway, standing in his garage looking at the bike, I had two primary concerns: 1) I had only his word that the motor/power train was sound; and 2) from almost the moment I showed up, his telephone had been ringing seemingly every few minutes, and his answering machine was steadily filling up with messages inquiring about the bike--mustve been 4-5 calls in 20-30 minutes. So, while I could pat myself on the back re my decision to drive up that morning rather than wait, #2 also meant that I had to resolve my issue with #1 on the spot--take it or leave it, right now. I saw he had a battery charger/jump-starter, so I was able to pad my bet somewhat by getting him to hook the jump-starter directly to the starter and turn the motor over--which he did; and it did, spark plug out and making all the right sort of noises. But when it came right down to it, my decision was made just by looking at the bike--aint nobody gonna invest that much time and effort (let alone money) with any kind of questionable/bad power train. Take $500? Yeah. Yeah, that was my absolute minimum price Id take. Ive got about $1300-$1400 in it, but thats always been my problem: I buy high and sell low instead of the other way around. Paid the man; backed up the truck; loaded it up along with a bucket of bits, leftover paint, and a thick stack of paperwork; and made it back to get in a half-days work.