Of course, there are also a number of little details which add the finishing touches to the bike but are oh-so critical. Take the filler cap, for instance. Andy wanted a neat chromed item to fit the CG tank, but it had to have a breather hose running from it. Could he find something to suit? After hours of searching the web he struck upon an old XR100 part. ‘£22 it cost me’, he revealed, clearly happy with his purchase. ‘And you can still get them from Honda!’
Andy also chose the tyres as much for their looks as for their performance. ‘I wanted something that looked like knobblies, but then not quite so aggressive as the bike would never see the dirt.’ What he plumped for are Continental Twinduros, which give a chunky look yet, as Andy reports, offer fantastic grip on the backroads.
Elsewhere Andy has completely reconditioned the bike, replacing components such as the cables and footpegs rubbers with OE parts used wherever possible, in order to give the bike an as-new finish. The stock bars were swapped for Renthals and the top of the original ignition key was trimmed down so that it slots neatly into the barrel tucked away beneath the speedo.
The entire build took Andy six months, and he only put a few hundred miles on the bike before moving it on. ‘I was really surprised by the interest it generated. People kept telling me it was worth so much’, he admitted, ‘but I didn’t believe them. I’ve never kept bikes for too long and I was almost starting to enjoy the building as much as riding. I’d had it for a while so I thought I’d test the waters and put it up for sale…’
Andy’s in south Wales, Guy’s in Surrey, so how did Guy come to own this fantastic creation? Via eBay, of course. People have sold everything from their private jet to their virginity on the internet auction site, and with such a wide audience Andy figured that it was the best place to advertise the bike.
‘When I saw the listing I thought it was too cheap’, laughs Guy. ‘I thought “he’s got the price wrong”. So I didn’t think too much of it and went to bed. In the morning I thought “what the heck” and enquired about the bike. I was on the phone about an hour!’
Learning that the price was indeed correct, Guy hit the ‘Buy It Now’ button and arranged collection. Within a day or two he’d borrowed a mate’s van and run down to Wales to collect the Honda. ‘It was the rainiest day of the year. Originally I was going to ride. I’m glad I didn’t.’
Since then Guy has done little in the way of modifying the bike, with the exception of fitting a new ‘tail-tidy’ to the rear-end. ‘It’d eat two back-ends in a week’, Guy stated, before describing how the numberplate would catch on the rear tyre when the suspension compressed and tear itself from the fibreglass panel. So he welded a bracket onto the subframe to hold the aftermarket tail-light and numberplate firmly in place.
Aside from that minor modification very little needed doing - the attention the bike receives everywhere it goes is proof of that - so Guy turned his attention to his riding kit. ‘I had an old Davida stars ‘n’ stripes lid so I had it sprayed in Steve McQueen Le Mans colours…’