CRF500L build #3 - The Brit remix

Discussion in 'Some Assembly Required' started by Scutty, Mar 20, 2017.

  1. Scutty

    Scutty Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    477
    Location:
    Sunny Surrey, UK
    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!!

    CRF250L.jpg

    The donor engine came from eBay for £500 and its from a 2014 CB500X with 4200 miles on it.

    20161016_161221.jpg

    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!!)

    2016-10-15 10.51.13.jpg

    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:

    20170128_152811.jpg

    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!
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  2. Scutty

    Scutty Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    477
    Location:
    Sunny Surrey, UK
    Part 2 - the loom of doom!

    Wow, what a challenge. I needed a bit of advice with this and Levi and Michael both helped out. It was just tricky to get started, to see past this mass of wires, to see any possible finish.

    IMAG0002 1.jpg

    What a rats nest!

    IMAG0006.jpg

    But slowly it came together

    IMAG0003.jpg

    And finally there was a moment of triumph!!

    IMAG0008.jpg
    (shame the dash I bought was from a bike with 12,800 miles on it but it was cheap!)

    So, for about the 5th time, the bike was stripped down again and the frame was sent off to the powder coaters while I got the joyful job of wrapping the loom.
    #2
  3. Scutty

    Scutty Been here awhile

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    477
    Location:
    Sunny Surrey, UK
    With the frame back from the powder coating guys (top job Aurora Powder Coating !) it was time to build back up - the goal this time was to get as close to a running bike as I could so I could get the exhaust and sump sorted.

    20170317_190527.jpg
    I love the matt black frame and I also had the yokes powder coated (including a Zeta top yolk but more on that later) and they look awesome with the gold forks.
    20170317_190516.jpg

    All of my effort on the loom paid off when it slipped back into the frame and all the connections met perfectly

    20170318_102146.jpg

    There are a lot more 'things' from the CB to fit into the CRF frame that you just have to make space for but I just took my time and slowly they all slipped in to place

    20170318_112309.jpg
    #3
  4. Scutty

    Scutty Been here awhile

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    Things were really starting to pick up pace and, with some bits borrowed from my KTM spares pile, I got the bars and controls in place

    20170318_115101.jpg

    I am using the Zeta top yolk for one very good reason - I am planning on fitting a HDB Rally Lite fairing and hand guards on the bike and the standard CRF yolk won't work. One part of the HDB solution you can't buy though is a dash mount for a Honda CB dash; luckily I know a genius engineer who knocked this up for me!!

    20170318_155006_HDR.jpg
    Once the HDB kit is fitted, that should work perfectly.

    I raided the KTM spares pile again for a 690 SMC front fender. I am planning to get rid of all of the red panels and leave the bike black and white in the end and I like the look of the SMC fender (this was actually mounted on my 1190R so I need to order another one).

    20170318_155012.jpg

    You can see in this photo how much I have had to modify my Flatlands rad guard. the radiator is massively out of position and the forks need clearance for full lock. Hopefuly the Flatlands still has some strength left in it!
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  5. Scutty

    Scutty Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    477
    Location:
    Sunny Surrey, UK
    And now we're all caught up - the bike is back together and nearly ready to head off to get the exhaust sorted. I am not happy with the way it has been built and need it tighter into the frame so I can build a bash plate and also build a new oil pan/sump.

    20170319_170006.jpg

    20170319_163440.jpg

    There is still a whole list of things to do still and I will update here as I go. The final plan is the HDB fairing, Racetech suspension (CRF Rally spec if its available), keyless ignition, HDB handguards, SeatConcept saddle, small rack for my AltRider luggage - every effort is to try and keep the weight as low as possible.
    #5
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  6. zimtim

    zimtim n00b

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    Aug 15, 2012
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    3
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    That's going to look the Dogs when its done,:clap
    you're right about that exhaust it just doesn't look right, hope you get a good solution.

    Got me thinking what I want to do next year thanks. So will be following with anticipation and note book in hand.
    #6
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  7. Samtech79

    Samtech79 Two wheeled lunatic

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2014
    Oddometer:
    886
    Location:
    NorCal
    Hahaha! The loom of doom, that's a good one. Explaines pretty much everything you need to know about it.
    Keep it coming!
    #7
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  8. minkyhead

    minkyhead Been here awhile

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    uk gods county
    take a bow ... great job ..im subscibed
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  9. PHILinFRANCE

    PHILinFRANCE Long timer

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    S W France my little bit of paradise
    Nice one Scutty
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  10. shan

    shan Adventurer

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    Looks like shite :rofl
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  11. Scutty

    Scutty Been here awhile

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    Thanks Shan, great input

    Sent from my LG-H815 using Tapatalk
    #11
  12. boboneleg

    boboneleg we can rebuild him.

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    Bristol UK
    Nice one Andy, can't wait to see the finished article .
    #12
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  13. rlkat

    rlkat Mine's a whisky

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    Good job, Scutty.
    #13
  14. JMo (& piglet)

    JMo (& piglet) Unicorn breeder

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    Excellent job! It looks very tidy!

    I don't recall Michael and Sam (Levi) reporting any issues, so presumably that single [250] radiator is enough for the 500 engine?

    Looking forward to seeing the finished front end!

    Jx
    #14
  15. jfman

    jfman Long timer

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    Looks OEM - congrats!
    #15
  16. neanderthal

    neanderthal globeriding wannabe

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    Looks the dogs danglies!!! Well done. Top job.
    #16
  17. minkyhead

    minkyhead Been here awhile

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    id be very interested in your attachment of the rally fairing ..pleanty of pictures would be nice ....

    wondering if you have any plans for the front brake ?? keep it coming looks very nice indeed
    #17
  18. Scutty

    Scutty Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    477
    Location:
    Sunny Surrey, UK
    Thanks for all the great comments!

    What I have posted covers about 5 months but most of that was was waiting for the welders to get started. Hopefully the pace should pick up now, I have an event in June that I am taking this bike to so it needs to be fully done by then.

    Minkyhead - I am going to fit the CRFs Only 320mm front brake kit

    JMo - I did ask Levi about that and he reports no problems at all, I am using Engine Ice which should help as well.

    I am off to see the exhaust builder today, I really need to get the pipes sorted next as other parts need to be fitted around them (sump and bash plate for example).
    #18
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  19. brownvv

    brownvv Been here awhile

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    Sep 23, 2012
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    looks good! I have been wanting to build one as well. looks like the crf250 frame is the way to go. I have been thinking about stuffing the 500 in an xr600r frame. I thought there might be enough room since that engine is huge. what do you think samtech?
    #19
  20. brownvv

    brownvv Been here awhile

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    also good call on the hdb fairing. I have zero complaints about mine!
    #20
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