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

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    I know I haven't post any updates lately, but I was busy with other things. Like making a knife...

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    more about it here

    And now for something completely different, a bike.
    I did a round trip of 1500km from Poznań to Munich, via Prague. I went there to see a bicycle show, which was so-so, but the road was great. Specially with a good soundtrack, like this one:


    <object width="619" height="464"><param name="movie" value="//www.youtube.com/v/qRKNw477onU?version=3&amp;hl=en_GB"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="//www.youtube.com/v/qRKNw477onU?version=3&amp;hl=en_GB" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="619" height="464" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true"></embed></object>


    And here are the pics:

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    That sums up Prague :D

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    In a true Hardcore Clean And Sober Bikers For Jesus fashion I installed sockets to charge my ancient GPS and iPhone on the road. Took me like 2 hours to install everything and upon finish it turned out, that the GPS was broke anyway and didn't come to life at all. But at least I had a chance to use my new leather army surplus map holder.

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    You might notice the the stock square light is back on. Apparently it's not legal to ride with a broken lamp held by a piece of electrical tape. The Man from MOT didn't quite convince me, but I needed the stamp. I went to my friend to borrow his glass, as he had the same small round lamp as I. The key word in this sentence is "had", as I dropped it trying to install it. You don't have to imagine how shameful and hopeless I felt. That was the moment I reminded myself that I had thrown away my stock square lamp a week earlier, as my father insisted on cleaning up our garage, which was designed for one car, and now it holds that car, plus more than 10 bicycles, winter sports gear, all the tools and some spares for my motorbike and my brother's VW Beatle. That reminder only added the to overall despair, but my friend came thru with a rescue, as he still had his stock FT lamp.

    The windshield I aslo got from him. It was lying around in his garage, unwanted and broken in few places, missing a bit. I gave it all the love and care and epoxy glue I could find and it rewarded me gratefully during the trip. Of course it won't be the standard part of the scrambler setup and it will be off while I'm not trippin'. The lamp will have to go as well. I'm not sure I'll buy the same small one again, I didn't quite like the proportions it had with the bike. Maybe I'll adapt a lamp from a MZ 2-smoke, which are midsize, cheap and plentiful here in the Eastern Europe.
    #81
  2. Rango

    Rango Phaneropter

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    Good pictures as usual.
    Been to your website, good stuff! :thumb
    And don't forget to boogie...
    :slurp
    #82
  3. Chico

    Chico Thief and Saboteur

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    Great ride and nice pics!
    #83
  4. fotoduda.com

    fotoduda.com Adventurer

    Joined:
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    More shitty phone photos everybody've been waiting for!

    I found some leftover curtain hanging pipes (or whatever they're called) in my garage and turned them into a luggage rack. It was 3 days of cutting, welding, more cutting, sweating, more cutting and welding and some swearing. It still needs a few fixes, like a plate to separate luggage from the exhaust pipe... just an idea.

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    Since I know nothing about upholstery, this morning I woke up and decided to make my own seat cover. I mean, how hard can it be?

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    I must say it resembles a real seat cover and many people think it is.

    In case you were wondering why do I need it all... I'm heading to Albania this very Sunday morning, 2 up :)
    #84
  5. Bambi

    Bambi Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    Hello Duda,
    now it starts looking like what I've been waiting for! Me, too, I like to keep a single simple (and twins, too). But they shouldn't look like a pile of junk. Now your's starting to leave this area behind.
    And: I take my tires off my Germany-registered bikes (yes, I do live here since I was born) because they get near the limit of wear that's been put on us by the authorities (1,5 mm). And also because of the reason, that a tire in that state starts to develop very 'interesting' behaviour, especially under wet circumstances. Sorry, don't really want to offend but felt a bit offended by your words at the start of your build-thread concerning German behaviour about tires.
    As I said, the bike's looking good to me now and it's base really is very good! Looking back to it's days it would have been a benefit to it if more guys had more foresight to it's abilities. I have to admit, that I decided it 'ugly' mostly because of it's rectangular head-light. Later I saw the one of a friend of mine with the round head-light of a Yamaha SR 500 and it looked much better to me.
    I do wish you much more fun with it and be assured that I'll keep a curious eye on your progress!!!
    Kind regards, Bambi
    #85
  6. CruisingRam

    CruisingRam Frankenbike builder

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    You still want to put spokes on that bike? PM me and I will post some thoughts if you wish- I have, somehow, become somewhat of an expert on wheel exchanging on various bikes.
    #86
  7. fotoduda.com

    fotoduda.com Adventurer

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    #87
  8. Rango

    Rango Phaneropter

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    congrats.
    Never doubt it though.
    :1drink
    #88
  9. jfman

    jfman Long timer

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    Love your build.

    That a 110 TKC you running on the front?
    #89
  10. Ross1969

    Ross1969 Adventurer

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    Thornbury South Glos England
    Looking forward to reading your ride report, along with more evolution of your FT500.
    #90
  11. NortwestRider

    NortwestRider TRIPOD ADVENTURER !!

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    Kinda looks like mine !!
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    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    #91
  12. fotoduda.com

    fotoduda.com Adventurer

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    Yes, I believe it's 110, or 100. It's performing really well off road, even in sand. And on tarmac you don't even notice you're riding a knobby until it rains. It's a great 50/50 tire, maybe even 70/70 ;)



    "Kinda" is the keyword here. Yours looks like a proper one, like the one I'm gonna be building next time. Mine on the other hand started to crack on the first day of the trip, in Hungary the first element broke in half. I had it welded and reinforced in Serbia:

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    Than in Montenegro I noticed that the rear end of the rack broke off and was actually lying on the fender. The only reason it still was there being that it was attached to the tent that was laying on it (should be the other way round, what do you know):

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    But as they say, if you can't fix it with two sticks and a bag of tie wraps, you shouldn't bring it with you in the first place:

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    That setup proved to be much more reliable, made it thru the whole trip.


    The last day of the trip presented me with the last trial. Trial by duck tape it was.

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    You won't find this in a Touratech catalogue:

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    #92
  13. CLynn85

    CLynn85 Adventurer

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    Love this build. Great platform and a great story, keep it coming! Then again, I've never really been a huge fan of the touratech catalogue either...
    #93
  14. Rango

    Rango Phaneropter

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    I'm very much surprised you did not trim the zip ties. :eek1
    :wink:

    Anyway, great report. Love the pictures: how do you get so much atmosphere in them?
    :beer
    #94
  15. jfman

    jfman Long timer

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    Wich is it :D Are you running tube or tubeless? Sorry for all the question but I using a ft500 wheelset in a build and am consider that front tire.

    Thanks.
    #95
  16. fotoduda.com

    fotoduda.com Adventurer

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    Continental TwinDuro TCK80, tubeless. I just bought another one for the back. At the back thou I put an inner-tube inside. After spinning the wheel in deep sand and mud, little grains of sand can get between the tire bed and the rim. I got a flat tire from that twice.
    #96
  17. MassiveLee

    MassiveLee Banned

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    I am curious. How did you address the famous FT500 flaw? That is the yearly replacement of the starter motor? I had an FT500 in the early 1980s and it is by far the worst bike I ever had. After thre years, I gave it away for free... I should have bought the VT500 which was way more reliable ;-) Live and learn...
    #97
  18. fotoduda.com

    fotoduda.com Adventurer

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    The starter begin to fail only 2 days before I left for the trip :D I didn't tell anybody the date, so I have no idea how he knew...
    Since than it's usable only 3-4 times a day. It poses some challenges on a trip like that. Par example imagine pulling up to a border crossing, which is slightly uphill, on an air cooled bike, in mid summer, right in the midday sunlight. And the traffic is moving 10m every minute or so. I could leave the engine on, overheat it, and possibly burn the brake light. Or turn it off, push it up the hill convincing my better half that long awaited vacation trips are supposed to be like that, and than smile like an idiot to the border guard after he gave me the passports back, trying to crank the engine over 20 times in a row. I could always turn around and push started down the hill, and queue up again.

    Right now I'm plotting to put a kickstarter from a XL500 on it. It's supposed to be an almost bolt on action. I've read it on the internets, so it must be true. Second option is to give the starter the magicians that rewire them. Although it could be the starter clutch that's failing, or something else.
    #98
  19. Scubawerx

    Scubawerx Scubawerx

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    Maybe you should try knitting?
    #99
  20. jfman

    jfman Long timer

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    Oh I meant the tire size 100 or 110... Is it a 110?

    Thanks for the warning on the air leak. I see about using a tube on the rear to avoid this.

    I did notice that it says ''tubeless'' on the wheels however.