Ranger's lanesplitter/short chop build - Honda Rebel Forum
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post #1 of 224 Old 02-19-2015, 09:37 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Texas
Posts: 160
Ranger's lanesplitter/short chop build

Howdy from Texas! I joined the forum Tuesday, bought a Rebel project Wednesday, and today (Thursday) I'm starting this thread in an effort to introduce myself, and chronicle the build I have planned.

I'm a Ranger at a Boy Scout camp in Texas, and I've been riding motorcycles for 17 years. I've been wrenching for longer than that, and in August my brother and I finished our first bobber build, a 1980 xs650 hardtail. The photo below was taken by Hugh Owings of Hugh's Hand Built while we were riding in Ohio during the xs650 buildoff weekend.

Since acquiring that bike more than a year ago, my brother and I have bought several (meaning I lost count) more bikes with "potential."

A few months ago, I got it in my head that I wanted to build a small (450cc or smaller), twin cylinder, light weight, hardtail, lanesplitter. Something I could really throw around. An additional necessity is the donor bike had to be something my friend David, owner of Voodoo Vintage in Austin, TX makes a hardtail for.

So here's what I ended up with:

It's a 2005 Rebel, with less than 3,000 miles on the clock.

It's missing some obvious odds and ends that I was going to remove or swap out anyway, including the tank, bars (that's a piece of pipe in the first pic), seat (I do my own leatherwork), and headlight (I have a cool idea for that).

The PO said a mechanic friend of his "had it running last month." But there's no key, so I'm taking everything he said with a grain of salt. I'm hoping the low mileage means I won't have to go into the motor, but I'm capable of that if it becomes necessary.

There's also no title, which presents it's own issues, but having been down this road several times before, I know my options, I just need to decide which avenue to use.

I've already acquired several parts, including a nice painted Sportster tank, a used set of Mig Baron window bars, and a 1977 KE 250 rolling chassis. I plan on using the wheels and front end off the KE 250. The roller is pictured below with the window bars installed.

I just bought spark plugs and oil today (the whole no filter thing caught me by surprise). I plan on taking an evening next week to change the oil and plugs, bypass the ignition switch, and see if I can fire this thing up.

Assuming I can get it running, I'll begin disassembly, so a bunch of parts will make their way to the Classified section in short order.

A couple of things to note: This bike will be a true hardtail, with no suspension, and no seat springs. There won't be any blinkers, and I'm on the fence about a speedometer. There will be no front fender, and I'll be downgrading to a front half drum (stock for the KE250). I might even run and amber lens fog light instead of a headlight. I COMPLETELY UNDERSTAND THE RAMIFICATIONS OF THESE DECISIONS, AND WILL NOT ENGAGE IN DEBATE ON HOW UNSAFE OR DUMB THEY ARE.

That said, I'm looking forward to being a part of this community. I hope everyone is as cool and helpful as the folks over on the xs650 forum.
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post #2 of 224 Old 02-19-2015, 10:09 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Indianapolis
Posts: 1,199
Look forward to seeing your progress


08 Vulcan 900 Custom

Bikes of the past: 88 Kaw. EX500, 93 Suzuki Katana 750, 05 Shadow VLX Deluxe 600cc, 87 Rebel 250 (Done up my way)
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post #3 of 224 Old 02-19-2015, 11:03 PM
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Forrest, City Arkansas
Posts: 3,869
Welcome to the group.

1985 HONDA REBEL 250
SEMPER FI do or die DEVIL DOC always tries
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post #4 of 224 Old 02-19-2015, 11:56 PM
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Location: Nc
Posts: 431
Welcome, really looking forward to this one.
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post #5 of 224 Old 02-20-2015, 12:19 AM
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Monroe, Louisiana
Posts: 28,491
Welcome. Assuming you plan to modify the exhaust, I've got an OEM exhaust that has had a baffle removed I'd trade for yours if it is stock and in decent shape.

Keepin' all the left over parts. Gonna use 'em to build another bike!

'01 & '09 Rebel 250, '06 Ninja 250, '89 VN 750
Putting your bike year and model in your signature helps others help you!
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post #6 of 224 Old 02-20-2015, 02:09 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Williamsburg, KY
Posts: 71
Welcome! Looking forward to seeing your progress!

86 Rebel Limited - Currently Building my Bobber!
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post #7 of 224 Old 02-20-2015, 06:11 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Melbourne,Victoria. Australia
Posts: 7,713
Welcome to forum n enjoy your ride

2000 rebel 250 Aussie My Baby.
2012 honda PSX 150cc scooter [in Thailand]
1986 rebel Silver 450 Elvis

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post #8 of 224 Old 02-20-2015, 07:24 AM
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 25
welcome!!! Hughs Handbuilt puts out great work. I have followed there videos for awhile now. good luck with the rebel build
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post #9 of 224 Old 02-20-2015, 11:40 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Texas
Posts: 160
Thanks so much for the warm welcome!

Here's the tank/rear fender I'm planning on using. (The fender might change, but I'm set on the tank).

The fender came off the front of a 1977 kz650. I plan to keep it chrome and uncut, and build mounts that match up to the factory tabs.

I scored the tank off ebay about a year ago for $70 shipped. It has fresh paint and pinstriping, and has never been mounted.
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post #10 of 224 Old 02-20-2015, 11:49 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Texas
Posts: 160
Originally Posted by redtoy2001 View Post
welcome!!! Hughs Handbuilt puts out great work. I have followed there videos for awhile now. good luck with the rebel build
Yeah, Hugh is definitely a stand up guy. I hung out with him and his crew (Cody and Tevan) at Pandemonium Custom Choppers in Ohio when my brother and I went up for the xs650 buildoff. I had some carb problems, and everybody pitched in and helped get me going.

He built a Rebel for his wife a few years back with an interesting kicker mod. He just sold it a month or two ago.
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