Jade - Adventure Motorcycle Build
Well I decided I wanted to get a motorcycle. Pretty much my whole life I have been scared of motorcycles. Not from the bikes themselves, just the shear madness I know I would end up doing on a motorcycle. Oh how fast does that go? Can you jump it? Race? and so on. I would have killed myself, when I was younger. Now of days, I have mellowed out from all that, for the more part. I still enjoy a good race and to put the hammer down, but I am a cruiser. I own/drive a Jeep Wrangler, not a fast vehicle at all lol. The Jeep is super capable off-road, but it's heavy and sucks MPG wise.. Keep in mind, it's my daily driver. So I started looking into my options for a new daily driver. I landed on a 200-400cc motorcycle. Something smaller I can throw around, easy to work on, part availability around the world, under 300lb, and something I could build into an awesome adventure bike.
Searched for a few months on what kind of bike I really wanted. I knew I didn't want to just get a dirt bike or dual sport. I want to still able to drive this on open roads. I want to cruise it, toss it on the back of the Jeep, able to haul my SUP/Mountain Bike/Passenger, and still able to handle minor off-roading. I have been drawn towards a scrambler and/or cafe racer builds. Knobby tires, stripped down, upgraded suspension, custom built rack system, and do all the work myself. I want to know this baby inside and out. So I started searching for what was for sale. I contacted multiple people about bikes, each fell through for their own reason. Then, I came across this 1982 Yamaha SR250 (Exciter) on Facebook Marketplace. Pictures looked clean. Owner stated it starts, runs well, new battery, gas, and clean title. Contacted the owner and she was available that night. My dad and I drove over to check it out. Again, this is my first bike ever. My dad has years of motorcycle experience, with Yamaha too, and I wanted him there for sure. He said, "Looks/runs well", which it really did. Little negotiation on the price, thankfully came in lower which is great! I can use that for parts. I handed her the cash, she handed me the title, and said she could drop it off later this week. Super nice of her to drop it off! We would of had to drive it home, well more like my dad would. I don't know how to drive a motorcycle, yet.
Wahooo!!! Delivery day is here! So damn excited for this next capture. Adventure Motorcycle Build has just started!
Well it's still pretty dang cold out and snow on the ground. So no riding today. Ha I still don't even know how to ride hahaha. My Jeep is a manual and I have driven a 4 wheeler (manual) but that was a long time ago. I am treating myself as brand spanking new to riding. First steps, take the test to get my permit. Then, wait for motorcycle training course and get my licenses. Nice part about the course is how they teach you how to ride and you get your licenses at the ends, for like $215 on their bikes. I can start to work on the bike, order parts, figure out final details for paint, get a helmet, and all that other stuff. Bike runs well, so mostly doing cosmetic/design, rack, and handling upgrades. As stuff starts to happen or break, I will then rebuild, replace, or upgrade those parts, just like I do on my Jeep. This will be a slow build. More than likely I will go through most of the summer without doing a thing. Really learn the bike, to figured out exactly what changes I need to make.
I wanted to create something different. Something that speaks to me and my adventures. So I am infusing a Cafe style with an adventure bike. I wanted all black everything. That soon turned into a stencil and a green tank, but everything else black. But first I need to see how the my Nala fits on the back. This bike has to allow me to access rivers, lakes, or whatever I please. Plus be my daily.
With the design figured out, it is time to start breaking it all down. Getting everything off the bike, and start working on new turn signals, new bars, and ordering all the parts.
The Front and Rear Ends
I tackled the front end first. Figured it was going to be pretty straight forward. Get the wheel off, check/clean up the brakes, prep, and paint. Used high-temp paint on the drums and standard paint on everything else. Down the road I am going to upgrade the rims and put on knobby tires, current ones are in good shape so I might as well get as many miles out of them as I can.
This was going to be the biggest time consumer. I wanted to make sure I do it right, when I don't have a clue what I am doing. Started off with removing the clear off the tank. Then filled in the holes/dents on the side, had to do two coats, primer, then get the base black layer on. After that, I attached my hand cut out stencil and hit it with the metallic green (my Jeep) paint. Really gave it the look I was going for. Once dry I hit it with a shit ton of clear to protect it, since my legs will be against it all the time.