1986 XL600R 1973 XL250
Ibought the XL600 at Kempton as it looked in sound condition, although it had been ridden hard. But it had a good tank, a new seat and the engine sounded healthy too.
It turned out to have knackered seals and bearings everywhere, stripped threads and countless bodges. I rebuilt the front end with genuine parts. Everything else was stripped, cleaned, painted and polished. It’s not a perfect job overall but I wanted a bike I’m not afraid to use.
I bought the 250 in ’88. It was stolen in ’94; luckily the idiots who stole it sprayed it black to disguise it, but left the numberplate on, and got collared. I cleaned and repaired it. It stayed in storage for 23 years, until last year when I recommissioned it – my father-in-law will ride it this year.