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New Acquisitions August 2013 New Motorcycle Lift table
Work on the Blue K3 Bike  


The bike it all started with,...

1976 Honda XL250 K3

Yep, I done it again!

I bought a bike to Chop (customise) and it is one of those bikes that officially listed on the bloody rare and endangered species list.

eBay PicsThe eBay heading was:-


And the description was:-



I couldn't get a clear picture of what it was, but the price was right and bidding was full-on, so I waited and watched and I got it for just $1.60 above the top bidder. 

Right Hand SideIt's a 1979 Honda XL250 K3 model.  I'm not sure when it was actually built but the Australian government made the Honda factory put a Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) compliance plate on the steering neck in April 1976.

My original idea was to buy a cheap, crappy, small capacity bike that could be sacrificed to made into a unique one-off Chopper / Bobber / Fonzie style "Town Bike".  You know, something no-one else has but you can just chuck your leg over and head off to the shops to buy a few things.

BUT,... It's happened again. 

A couple of years ago I bought a 1984 XJ750 Yamaha to chop up.  It turned out to be an XJ750RL.  There were only 884 made, 601 went to Canada and the rest were sent to Aussie.  It's insured value was $2,500 AUD so it became too good to chop up.

The bike I bought this time is a bit unique.  Once again, it's worth a whole lot more than what I paid for it, especially if it's restored!

BUGGER,... Done it again! Left Hand Side

Now I know,... A moped or scooter could do the same job.  I could even get a "Postie Bike" but where's the fun in that?  I mean, the Mail Man (or woman) uses one to deliver mail to home throughout suburban Australia! 

Huh,... That sorta poses a weird question,... 

"If a male postie is a Mailman, is a lady Postie a
Mail Female or Mailwoman?" ...?!

OK, back to the job at hand.

Getting a Postie Bike was out of the question because they are so popular everyone's got one, including the Posties delivering your mail. They're a bit like arseholes,... everyone's got one!!

BUT,... Honestly,... How cool is a moped, scooter or a Postie Bike?  Answer,... They're NOT !!! 

Many years ago, before kids came on the scene, I built a few Choppers including crafting a Holden differential (Vauxhall in England or GM in the States) into an old raked WLA Harley to make my own Trike.  I can do my own custom painting with a spray gun and an airbrush and I have a pretty good idea on how to make modifications without compromising frame strength, so I reckon I could make a bike that's well,... Different !!

K3 rear wheelWhen I got the bike home and found a few minor issues with it.  Although I bought it from a bike dealer, it was owned by a farmer beforehand. 

Typical of farm mechanics, the rear wheel had been removed and when it was re-assembled, the left side axle spacer was left out.  The wheel was able to float along the axle and the swingarm has chewed the seal cover out.

The image on the left shows the chewed out section and below right shows what it should look like. It's a minor thing but I may as well fix it while I'm on the go.  The wheel bearings will need to be replaced anyway. K0 Rear Wheel

It has a number of "She'll be right Mate,..." modifications on it like the wrong rear shocks, the standard exhaust has been replaced with a (cheaper) power pipe and a bloody hideous front mudguard made by UFO that looks more like a giant duck bill.

The tank has a ding in the left side but I got a another one thrown in with the sale. It also looks like it may have  thrown the cam chain at some stage and the damage to the rocker cover has been welded.  That may explain the different engine to frame number. 

At first I was concerned about this but,... The object is to build a Chopper not an accurate restoration.

Now I'm still faced with having a bike that's close to restoration standard and it's too good to chop up. 

Time for "Plan B". K0 Rolling Frame

I searched eBay again and found a 1972 XL250 K0 Motorsport rolling frame with wheels, headlight, tail light, a full set of blinkers, both guards, a tacho and a MPH Speedo.

The bottom of the frame where it splits into a double cradle, is a bit different but that doesn't matter because I'm going to chop it anyway. 

I don't feel bad about cutting this frame up because it's too far gone to restore and a 72 K0 Motorsport restored to immaculate condition sold recently on eBay for $3,000 AUD. 

It would cost way more than that to restore this bike so ideal for re-birthing into the world of custom motorcycles. 

The plan (and plans change) is to build the Chopper using the 1972 K0 Motorsport frame without a motor.  Then, when it is done, swap the motor into the custom and restore the K3 frame.  That way I end up with two totally different bikes powered by the one motor. 

K0 Rolling FrameIf, during the time of building the bikes up I find a second motor at the right price, I'll buy it and have two complete Honda XL250s.  One a restored version and the other a custom chopper.

I need to do a lot of measuring, thinking, measuring, drawing, measuring but I'm thinking of fitting it with shorter rear shocks, maybe raise the top shock mounting position, lower the seating position, raking the steering neck.  I may be able to get away with the standard forks once it is raked.  If not I can always add about a few inches to the fork legs. 

To get the desired lowering effect I may have to consider lengthening the swing arm.  

First things first though and that is to get the standard 76 K3 ready for Aussie's New South Wales strict road registration so I can ride it on a daily basis.  Actually the first thing will be to chuck that God-awful front guard to the shithouse and put the K0 guard on. 

I'm definitely not a "Dirt Bike Bloke" but I will probably use the bike to get to some of Aussie's remote areas to do a bit of landscape painting.