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Do you like the bobber?

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1987 Rebel 250
145 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The saga of this bike has had more plot twists than a Stephen King novel:

I scored it a few months ago for $300. No title, lots of minor issues, 1 major issue (low compression), and tons of cosmetic flaws. It was bombed around corn fields and left to sit in between.

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I straightened out some bad wiring that had been monkeyed with (duct tape, bad crush fittings, the usual), gave it a tune up, and proceeded to do the only logical thing with a classic Wine red vintage Rebel--CHOP AND BOB IT!!!!
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I gave it a rattle can job in a military theme, and put in a new clutch, starter clutch, front tire, a million other parts, and soaked the carb for a week. It would only go 55mph, so I attempted to replace the rings and pistons. ENTER THE CURSE! Summoned by longtime forum members who hate bobbers, a curse was put on my bike......

I went with the Egg Roll 280cc big bore kit made out of the finest Chinese monkeymetal, and in the process crushed an oil ring, which made the cylinder impossible to remove. I did the sensible thing, and beat on it like my meth-head next door neighbor beating on his girlfriend. With the cylinder in pieces, the pistons damaged, and every bearing in the engine dust, I decided to put new stock rings and pistons in. I snapped off a head bolt, dug it out of the crankcase, waited a week for a new one, dropped a paper clip on the crankcase, then two pieces of a drill bit, crushed a head gasket, then destroyed another one, then snapped another head bolt, then destroyed a cam cover, and then gave up.

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The curse had won. The bike lay in purgatory whilst I was bombarded with low-ball offers on WasteBook. Then, a glimmer of hope: an 85 Rebel with 2k miles in MINT condition for only $1,000! I made a contract in stone with the seller, preceded to hack up my wiring harness and pull all my parts off the old bike (assuming I'd swap parts to the new bike with a clean title), and planned an Uber, sick day, insurance, the whole nine. Then, the night before, the sellers sends a text, "I sold it to someone else for more money. Bye". THE CURSE HAD WON AGAIN!

While I bathed in the stench of my own failure and humiliation, and signed the back-stabbing seller up for nudie mags and spam mail, I remembered a Nighthawk a couple towns over I had seen. I low-balled the seller (ironic, yes), and rode a trashed 91 CB250 home for $600! No signals, no mirrors, no title, no bill of sale, bald tire with cords showing, parts taped on, bent handlebars, no problem. Luckily this was Canton Ohio, so it blended in well.

I swapped the engine over, got hit with COVID the next day, took about a dozen Motrin and Red Bull, and powered through the bobber rebuild. I made my wiring simpler and shorter--and everything soldered, dielectric greased, and heat shrinked. I deleted the the speedo (safety is #1) and relocated the ignition. I welded the frame spurs behind the seat back on (which took 30x longer than cutting them off), touched up the paint, added shorties, installed an 11t front sprocket (yes, really) and made my wiring neat. I shimmed the needle in the carb, tuned the AF about half a turn, and BAM! THE CURSE WAS LIFTED!!!!

Bobber walk around video 43 seconds
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Now, I can finally convalesce and recuperate from COVID in peace knowing that the curse is broken FOR GOOD! At night, when I have three thick blankets on, the thermostat is at 76, and I have chills so bad my teeth are literally chattering and I wonder if I actually have malaria, the thought of my bike warms me.

It rides like a dream and runs like a scalded dog. And of course, it's COOL and everyone thinks it's amazingly awesome. SUCK ON THAT curse of the bobber!

Super Moderator
32,323 Posts
Laughed out loud reading that. Didja notice the chrome on the inside of the mufflers? Maybe the curse isn't finished with you yet.

Seriously, hope you shake the covid soon.
  • Haha
Reactions: Yazman

Premium Member
1987 rebel 2004 sportster
398 Posts
Great story, with a happy ending- as long as you are fine. I still like the original stock bike better but I am 67 so my opinion is as outdated as i am :) happy riding!
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