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Project My Honda FT-500

Discussion in 'Other Projects - Other Bikes (non 250's)' started by Murdo, Sep 10, 2021.

  1. Murdo

    Murdo The Good Doctor Staff Member Contributing Member Ride and Events Crew

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    Tamworth, NSW
    My Bike:
    1937 Royal Enfield 250, CF Moto 250 V5, Honda's XL250, CBR250, VT250F2, FT500 plus a few others.
    I liked the look of the FT when they were released in 1982 and even test rode one from the local Honda dealer, but ended up buying a Ducati Pantah (as you do when young) and never forgot the FT. When this one came up at the right price I grabbed it. I have since grabbed a spares bike too.
    I bought this bike about 12 years ago as a non runner. I spent 12 months getting the necessary bits to get back on the road and have been enjoying it occasionally between other bikes ever since. Since my accident last October I have been unable to handle any heavy bikes and find that the FT is about the most suitable for me at the moment. It is realiable, starts easy, economical (have got 90 mpg on a steady run), a smooth engine and easy to maintain. Because Honda spread parts over so many different models they are not hard to find bits for (eg caliper seals are same as CB1100r) and most are reasonable priced. They are getting a bit rare these days and I can bet I will be the only one there at most rallies.
    They got a bad reputation for burning out the bronze bushes on the starter motor intermediate shaft, allowing the gear teeth to lose mesh and jump teeth. The fix is simply to remove the bushes and fit caged needle roller bearings to both sides and never be a problem again. The cam chain tensioner also gets loose and can be a problem if not checked regularly (this applies to most Honda's). Other wise the normal 1980's Honda maintenance will keep them running happily.
    I have modified mine with up rated fork springs, Ikon shocks, Goldfren brake pads and braided lines, oiled foam aircleaner, more free flowing muffler, some LED bulbs, reshaped seat and lambswool cover, carry rack for touring, tank bag, larger round headlight, bikini fairing and clear windshield, heated grips, voltmeter, ciggy socket and an Anderson plug for jumper leads.
    Over the years I have replaced both sidecovers with NOS, rechromed the fork legs and fitted gaitors, recovered the custom seat and just kept riding and servicing.
    During the recent lock down I decided to repaint the second hand ducktail I had bought a couple of years ago, which led to the fairing and front mudguard also getting a coat of red, giving the tank a coat of 2 pak clear and refitting the shiney bits. I have refrained from a complete bare frame rebuild as it is still original and like me it is showing some scares but still working ok.
    At a local show when first on the road 2011.
    079.jpg
    Rest stop beside Richmond river 2018.
    Ballina jan18 009.jpg
    On the road with my son on his SWM.
    Bingara Inverell weekend 010.jpg
    After this weeks repaint.
    FT-500 repaint 004.jpg FT-500 repaint 006.jpg
     
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  2. kiffsta

    kiffsta Administrator Staff Member Contributing Member Dirty Wheel Club

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    My Bike:
    1989 ZXR250A 91 CBR250RR, 1973 Suzuki GT380 and a 1995 CBR900RR
    The FT500 is Aptly named the Ascot after Ascot Park flat track circuit.

    It is such a nice example @Murdo , it is a real credit to you
     
  3. Murdo

    Murdo The Good Doctor Staff Member Contributing Member Ride and Events Crew

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    Tamworth, NSW
    My Bike:
    1937 Royal Enfield 250, CF Moto 250 V5, Honda's XL250, CBR250, VT250F2, FT500 plus a few others.
    Thank you.
    Only the US ones were called Ascot, the rest of the world they are just FT500.
     
  4. GreyImport

    GreyImport Administrator Staff Member The Chief Contributing Member

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    My Bike:
    *Kawasaki ZXR250C *Yamaha FZR250R 3LN1 *Suzuki GSX250 *Triumph Bonneville 750 T140V *Triumph Daytona 675
    Someones left a dead sheep on your seat :oops: :D
     
  5. Murdo

    Murdo The Good Doctor Staff Member Contributing Member Ride and Events Crew

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    My Bike:
    1937 Royal Enfield 250, CF Moto 250 V5, Honda's XL250, CBR250, VT250F2, FT500 plus a few others.
    That was one I tanned myself. The rest tasted good too. :D
     
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