1986 XL600R 1973 XL250

Practical Sportsbikes (UK) - - In Your Shed -

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.

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