Honda FT500 rumbler/scrambler/tracker kinda thing

Discussion in 'Some Assembly Required' started by fotoduda.com, Jul 20, 2012.

  1. fotoduda.com

    fotoduda.com Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2012
    Oddometer:
    82
    Location:
    Lechistan
    I have new levers, rollgas and a few other small parts coming today or tomorrow. I'm gonna clean up the front. No stinkin blinkers, no switches on the handlebars, no blody cables, the fuse box will go where it belongs. Finally some work to be done!
    #21
  2. fotoduda.com

    fotoduda.com Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2012
    Oddometer:
    82
    Location:
    Lechistan
    I always had a problem with documenting my garage adventures. When I make pictures, I take it seriously, meaning I have to concentrate a lot. And when I'm in the middle of a havoc, running around with hammers like a tasmanian devil, it's even harder to concentrate. But today I took the challenge. Here's what happened:

    First, if you're wondering what's that rubber string doing around my clutch leaver...
    [​IMG]

    This is how I roll man:
    [​IMG]

    Here I keep all the important electrics.
    [​IMG]

    So proud of itself.
    [​IMG]

    I didn't check the manual, but I hope it's suppose to look like that.
    [​IMG]

    Simplicity is the key.
    [​IMG]

    New light bracket, horn will probably go underneath it.
    [​IMG]

    The new classic look.
    [​IMG]

    I got the cheapest stand alone rollgas I could lay my hands on. I thought it's so simple nobody can fuck this up.
    [​IMG]

    What a surprise, the cable was way to short to attach it to the carb. Had to do it the Mongolian way.
    [​IMG]

    Deciphering the spaghetti.
    [​IMG]

    Slowly getting a hang of it all.
    [​IMG]

    Every time I looked at all the cables and wiring diagrams in all my bikes I was wandering if it really has to be so complicated. This time I had an opportunity to check it. The plan was to get rid of the blinkers, move the ignition and light switches to the back, leaving only horn, starter and brake light switch on the handlebars. After a couple of hours of reading the diagram, cutting, soldering, more reading, cutting, blowing the main fuse, making a new wire fuse, more soldering and reading and cutting I finally made it! I got rid of all the connectors and unnecessary cables from the front and moved the switches and fuse box under the seat.

    New control panel. From the top left: Hi/Lo beam switch, master lights switch, key hole and ignition switch.
    [​IMG]

    That's my new key. I picked up the idea from Corpses From Hell MB blog I think.
    [​IMG]

    It doesn't open the tank tho.
    [​IMG]

    I'm still waiting for the handlebars switches to arrive, so in the mean time I have no horn and have to hot wire it to start it up. Tomorrow I'll replace the clutch cable and hit the dirt.
    #22
  3. Kernel

    Kernel Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2010
    Oddometer:
    171
    :rofl:rofl:rofl bloody hell mate you are now my new hero.
    subscribed like hell!!
    i really want to get a cheap POS bike like yours one day and do something exactly like this to it.
    #23
  4. fotoduda.com

    fotoduda.com Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2012
    Oddometer:
    82
    Location:
    Lechistan
    Thx man! :)

    The most difficult is to start, the rest is just fun. The big plus of working on a cheap peace of shit bike like this one is that you're never afraid to break it and when you finish (if you ever finish) it will only look better :D
    #24
  5. Ross1969

    Ross1969 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2009
    Oddometer:
    75
    Location:
    Thornbury South Glos England
    I see you are using a lap-top to study the wiring diagram - are you viewing a garage manual for the bike on line?
    I have a paper version of the oficial Workshop Manual, so if you get stuck for any information feel free to drop me a line.
    Is the fuel tank painted silver, or bare metal laquered - bit difficult to tell from the photo's?
    A good source of old Honda spares can be sourced through www.davidsilverspares.co.uk .
    Keep up the reports, they are very entertaining!
    #25
  6. fotoduda.com

    fotoduda.com Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2012
    Oddometer:
    82
    Location:
    Lechistan
    I got the manual in PDF, no worries. But thanks for interest.

    The tank is bare metal with a few layers of transparent laq from a can.
    I'll have to redo it some other way, cause it scratches too easy and it's full of rusty spots already.

    I put everything back on this morning and went for a quick shakedown ride. There quite a few stunning unpaved roads north-west out of town that are just crying for a photo shoot. Probably will go there one of this evenings, together with my bro's VW. BTW the bike did very well. Although nothing was changed in the geometry of the bike, the look of the cleaned up front gives such a strong impression that it actually feels like the handling has changed. And for better :D Long live the placebo effect!
    #26
  7. scarysharkface

    scarysharkface 30-125

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2005
    Oddometer:
    13,462
    Location:
    Where Prince Charles spent his honeymoon
    Love it.
    #27
  8. Euromad

    Euromad Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2010
    Oddometer:
    311
    Location:
    Lower Slobbovia
    Excellent writing Fotoduda! Your English is very good, with the most amusing odds and ends thrown in
    -rollgas- American=throttle or twist grip. UK-?
    One thing I'd mention is your head stay- this is the bracket that connects the motor head to the frame. All three bolts should be in place- maybe it's installed backwards?
    Here in the US there are many old dirt bikes to get parts from. I have an old Triumph I'm planning to install new (old) front forks from a Kawasaki KDX as an upgrade.
    I look forward to your future posts and the photos are especially welcome- I can see the thought you put into them.
    :clap
    #28
  9. fotoduda.com

    fotoduda.com Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2012
    Oddometer:
    82
    Location:
    Lechistan
    Now you got me thinking. I checked the manual and is it just me, or my bracket is a slightly different shape?

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    #29
  10. Kernel

    Kernel Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2010
    Oddometer:
    171
    I'd say you got a bracket from a different bike there.
    #30
  11. Ross1969

    Ross1969 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2009
    Oddometer:
    75
    Location:
    Thornbury South Glos England
    The bracket is the wrong one for your bike. I checked the brackets on my bikes, they are the same as your workshop manual photo, which has a raised centre and a hole in the middle. Bolted at 3 points.
    #31
  12. fotoduda.com

    fotoduda.com Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2012
    Oddometer:
    82
    Location:
    Lechistan
    Today was very misty, I went into the woods to take some pics. It was pretty cold, couldn't see shit cause my visor was fogging up, had to go low and slow, but it was worth it.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    #32
  13. redprimo

    redprimo Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2011
    Oddometer:
    579
    Location:
    central coast of California
    I looked at the brackets on my xl500s which uses the same moter and the brackets look like the ones in your manual without the hole in the center. Also the brackets are not the same from side to side i.e. the left and right are not only dfferent they are not mirror images of each other, there is a bit of an offset on one side.

    Someone refered to this bracket as a "head steading bracket" which is not what it is. The engine is an integral part of the frame and with only two of the three bolts in this bracket your frame will have more flex in it and potentially a week point where it could bend.

    Also I was wondering where you got the PDF manual, Ive been eye ballin an estart swap from a ft500 into my xl500 and would like to see some dirty pictures.
    #33
  14. fotoduda.com

    fotoduda.com Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2012
    Oddometer:
    82
    Location:
    Lechistan
    I guess I'll have to fab that bracket from some 2-3mm steel plate.

    Let's just say I found that manual in some deep dark corner of the internets. PM me your email and I'll make you an accomplice :evil
    #34
  15. lord_oblivion

    lord_oblivion Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2011
    Oddometer:
    142
    Location:
    On the Roads of Motherland
    I have some inspiration now :1drink
    #35
  16. SloMo228

    SloMo228 World Class Cheapass

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,876
    Location:
    SE Michigan
    Exactly why I love old bikes. Plus, they look better than a lot of the modern stuff out there.
    #36
  17. fotoduda.com

    fotoduda.com Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2012
    Oddometer:
    82
    Location:
    Lechistan
    Story behind the picture.


    [​IMG]



    It was on one rainy Friday afternoon in September when I've read on the internets that there's a classic bike racing event going on in Branna (CZ) that very weekend, in the mountains something like 360km away from me. What a great opportunity to not sit at home, have a nice trip and make some killing photos. By the time I made up my mind it was late evening and I realized that I don't have any proper boots nor trousers for this kinda trip in this kinda early autumn conditions. I totally skipped the fact that I had a broken clutch leaver held on by a piece of rubber string and that the rear suspension was shot with a tendency to go flat and get stuck in that position, giving me a much unwanted experience of riding a hard tail. I made it to the motorcycle gear shop just before closing time and after many tries found some trousers that would actually fit my long skinny legs. Of course the next day I realized that they were still too wide and too short for me at the same time. This shit happens to me almost every time I buy new pants. For the boots I decided to go with a tall military mountain model cause they offered good protection against cold and water and I could still walk in them, pretty much anywhere. Plus they where under 100 EUR. I got them the same morning I was leaving.

    Buy the time I was ready to go it was noon. I hate to leave late. I went to a gas station to fuel up and had this idea to check the oil. I remembered I haven't done this properly at all since I bought it. Surely enough the probing bayonet was dry as hell. I bought 1l of oil and started pouring it in. 1/4... nothing. 1/2... nothing... 3/4... nothing! After all I put 2l of oil in it to be at the right level. And the bike's oil capacity is 2,5l in total. I did 500km with 20% of oil in it already and the previous owner did probably 10x more. Some engine they built.

    The trip passed uneventfully. I made it to Branna just in time Saturday's practice and qualification runs were over. I was happy that the plan worked. Than it downed on me that there was no plan. For example I forgot to plan to exchange the moneyz at the border, to buy some provisions and beers, or to find a place to sleep. I concentrated on getting there so much I didn't think about all that nonsense at all. I did a quick mental check. I was in this remote mountain village, tired and hungry, with no food nor beverages, I had 100 Polish Zlotys on me, there was no exchange office in 50km radius, no shop that accepted VISAs, nor any shop that was open in the evening, actually THE shop was usually closed on weekends, but because of the race it was open from 7 till 8 a.m.! It was getting dark, I had a tent and a bottle of water and there was no camping site in sight or even a place to pitch a tent, since the place was overloaded with bikers already.

    I looked to the right and I saw some bikes with Polish plates. I asked them if they know a camping site. They said they're staying with a big group behind this hotel, but some fuckers built a swimming pool last year and there was not a lot of space, and I should follow them. All I understood was to follow them. We made it to the spot which happened to be a small grass parking on a slope behind this hotel in the middle of the village. With 15 bikes and a party going on already. It was a bunch op people from Silesia, a southeastern part of Poland. Coming from a little more north I spoke with a different accent and never actually mixed with them before. They turned out to be good folks. They all knew each other and had no idea how I ended up there, but with no hesitation they found a place for me to squeeze my tent in, 2 minutes later somebody offered me vodka, someone else changed my Zlotys into Czech Koronas from his wallet, the night was young and there was a good vibe in the air. Sooner than you can say hocus pocus where all marching up to the karaoke bar on the other side of the valley. I didn't know I could speak Czech, nor sing for that matter. Alcohol does wonders. Some say it kills your brain cells, but others say it only kills the weakest ones, so the survivors are the best of the best. I remember dancing and singing (more like screaming), going back to our spot, finding my way to the tent, putting on all my clothes and tying my sleeping bag as tight as possible. I could feel cold even as I was drunk, so it must have been really cold.

    Next morning was a horror. Not only was my head the size of a small moon, but I was awaken at 7 a.m. to the sound of a vintage open pipe two strokers racing thru the village. It was horrifying, I didn't know which way was up. The noise was indescribable. Fear and loathing dawned on me. I managed to crawl to a bar and get some caffe, I even tried to eat some breakfast but very soon my stomach gave me signs that it was still half full of beer. My brain just sat there and watched and didn't pick up any calls. The roar of the bikes was banging between the houses and slopes of the valley getting amplified on the way. The effect was that it felt like standing next to the passing bikes even as they were on the other side of the track. I was wandering around like a lost child. By the the time I was able to think again it was noon. All of my new best friends have already left the scene. I could describe my position no better than in the words of Hunter S. Thompson himself: "Panic. It crept up my spine like the first rising vibes of an acid frenzy. All these horrible realities began to dawn on me: Here I was all alone in Las Vegas with this goddamn incredibly expensive car, completely twisted on drugs, no attorney, no cash, no story for the magazine. I didn't even know who won the race. How would Horatio Alger handle this situation?".

    "The decision to flee came suddenly. Or maybe not. Maybe I'd planned it all along - subconsciously waiting for the right moment." I spent my last Koronas on Czech beer and a salty potato pancake, rolled up the tent, found a break between the races, loaded up the bike and run away. I took a longer route thru the mountains, snapped this pic on the way and made about 150km before calling it a day at my cousin's place in Wroclaw.
    #37
  18. Coronado

    Coronado n00b

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2009
    Oddometer:
    3
    Cheers from Argentina!

    And of course, I'm subscribed :1drink
    #38
  19. Euromad

    Euromad Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2010
    Oddometer:
    311
    Location:
    Lower Slobbovia
    Huzzah! :clap
    I bow in splendid admiration. Better luck at next year's race.
    The glorious days of misspent youth.
    Future ideas?
    #39
  20. grisezd

    grisezd Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2004
    Oddometer:
    103
    Location:
    Central Ohio
    Wonderful writing, wonderful photographs, and a great choice for a motorbike. Please keep up your posts between adventures!
    #40