‘It’s satisfying to know I built it with just basic tools’
Engineer Adam Beeson built his Californian bike also using rose-tinted specs
Maintenance engineer Adam Beeson wanted to pay homage to a Yamaha XT250 that his father bought him as a 12-year-old boy. So he did what most people would and bought a 1976 TT500 import from California to remind himself of the good old days.
Having owned over 70 machines in his time, he’s no stranger to fettling either: “I regularly wrapped the old XT around trees tearing about the fields in Norfolk, so that was behind the urge to build a retro motard. It’s been called some horrible names in the past, like when it thrashed you in the calf if you didn’t kick it right.”
It runs 50mm forks and there’s also a Wiseco high compression piston kit, so it goes as well as it looks. Keeping this theme, a cam kit has been fitted that is further helped by a massive 40mm Mikuni flatslide carb.
“The spacers, bushes and bits that make it all line up were made by me with basic lathe skills. The exhaust was made by my mate Damo, an artist with a TIG set. He rolled the cones by hand and created the main focal point exactly how I wanted.”
It took Adam ten months to complete the build: “The bike cost £4500 to buy and build, with endless scratchy head moments and hours in the mancave. It’s satisfying to stand back and know I built it in a garage in Norfolk with just basic tools though.”