Julian's XL350 Tracker
By Anthony van Someren - 29 Oct 12
Julian Thompson is from New Zealand, living in Melbourne. He grew up on a dairy farm in NZ, had his first motorbike when he was seven - a Z50 that his brother set on fire - and he's been in love with bikes ever since, especially Hondas. This XL was his first project, and we're very pleased that he's happy to share it with all of us. here on The Bike Shed. The donor: The reason behind this build is something we're hearing again and again. What Julian - and many of us - wanted, was not just a cool ride with some character and individuality, but also a reliable daily hack than can be used as bikes are meant to be used - to get from A to B with minimum fuss. Although in this case, the bike is also a hooligan's bike - a kinda retro Supermoto - tearing up the city streets on his daily commute. Some bikes just inspire that kind of riding, but so far he's kept his license clean. The planning: He chose the XL for it's infamous Honda reliability and bullet-proof reputation, as well his own experience of running XRs and XLs on the farm he grew up on as a kid. Usually they'd be pretty beaten up with a dog or new born calf on the back. Julian did all the work himself, and he'd rightfully pleased with himself. He said if he kept going with the build he'd probably paint the tank, but he likes the raw steel look - although it does need a spray with WD40 every couple of weeks - and just in case old farm bikes ever become collectible, he's kept all the original parts, which we confidently predict will be sitting in box, sheds and loft spaces, untouched for many years to come. You can check out more on Julian's blog or follow the build thread on Do The Ton.