Following in the footsteps of michaelkozera and Samtech79 (Levi); I have decided I need a CRF500L in my life. I am not a professional or even a seasoned amateur bike builder, my experience is limited to 2 small restoration projects on a XT600E and a XT500, both of which required very minimal tidying up. This, on the other hand, is a major piece of work and a considerable investment of time and money but I have given up waiting for manufacturers to build the bike I want. Time to do it myself. I am writing this a little late - the bike isn't finished yet but I need to catch you all up on what has happened so far............... I set about finding a donor CRF250L and was fortunate to find this 2016 insurance write-off (!) for a very big discount. As you can see there was virtually nothing wrong with it except the steering lock was busted, the clutch lever was snapped and it had a couple of scratches. Also, the bike has only done 600 miles from new!! The donor engine came from eBay for £500 and its from a 2014 CB500X with 4200 miles on it. It was a joy stripping the CRF down, there was no dirt, no rust or seized bolts - every part was so clean! The plan was to strip down to the basic frame and then, as I can't weld at all, hand it all over to a custom bike shop and they would modify the frame using Levi's removable frame design as a guide. Here she is with all her clothes off (super-light CRF!!) While the bike was away being worked on I set about the task of assembling the other parts I needed to get the bike back to a running state. The shopping list included a CB500 loom, ignition coils, dash, starter motor, throttle bodies, ECU..... it was a long list! I did learn, very early on, that all European CB500s have HISS ignition which means you need the ignition, keys, dash and ECU from the same bike - a virtually impossible task when you're buying from breakers yards. In the USA however, they don't have HISS so I could shop for any of the parts I needed from any bike, I just had to import them all (and pay the import duty). An added bonus of shopping Stateside was non-ABS bikes which really simplifies the loom and the components needed. 2 birds, 1 stone! At this point there was a long delay - it took ages for the custom shop to get around to starting the work and, when they did, they tried to do their own thing rather than follow the build Levi had already done. It was frustrating with a 2hr round trip to their workshop each weekend just to keep telling them to follow the instructions I had given them. In the end they did good work but it took ages and cost a LOT more than I had planned for. On the upside I got this back: It looks a lot closer to being finished than it was and there were a few issues with the exhaust that I will need to sort out later on but it did look good and was starting to show me what the finished bike might look like. The biggest problem now was that all the remaining work was down to me, a very daunting prospect!