There’s pretty much nothing we like better than to be sent an amazing custom bike from a home builder. Wright Brother’s style, the idea of some guy starting with an old beater and emerging from their frosty and/or sweaty single car garage with a minor miracle in moto making is what really floats our, erm, float valves. And here’s a prima facie case in point. Portland’s Lars Topelmann started with a basket case Honda XL250 and somehow ended up with this. It’s not exactly the miracle of powered flight, but it ain’t far off, either.
The financial centre of Brazil, Sao Paulo, is one of the world’s great cities, but on the surface it can appear to be just like any other sprawling metropolis. With an enormous population the biggest city in South America can be a tough and intimidating place to the uninitiated. But amongst the mix of high-rise buildings and historic architecture is a maze to be explored, filled with incredible bars, gourmet restaurants, art-house theatres and a 24/7 night life. To properly explore this urban jungle and find the hidden gems takes a special machine, it’s no place for a Sportbike and Cruisers are just too big. So local Carlos Eduardo Manso has built a go anywhere urban assault motorcycle that can squeeze through the tight spaces, handle the potholed back alleys and look the goods while doing so. It’s a 1984 Honda XL 250 that’s been given a custom make over with tip of the cap to the VMX scene and it’s ready to take to the streets.
Larry Pearson is no newcomer to the pages of Pipeburn. First we featured his beautiful CB550, then his Wes Cooley GS1000S (which is about to appear in Cycle World) and now this striking Honda XL250. “A co-worker of mine had this dilapidated ’72 Honda XL250 that he used as a woods bike for 20 years” said Larry. “He stripped it down, put a set of knobby tires on it and just rode it occasionally. It had been bored out to a 305cc and a mild cam installed by a previous owner.” For whatever reason it sat outside for about 5 years unused, until it was offered to Larry for free – just to see if he could do something with it. “I didn’t really have any need for a dirt bike, but when he told me about the engine and how well it ran, I went over for a look. Even after sitting outside for all those years, and with bad gas in the tank, it fired right up after about 5 kicks!.” Larry decided to haul it home. It was in terrible shape, with rust everywhere, dented tank, broken fenders, bent exhaust and anything else you can think of. Wondering what to do, Larry came up with the idea to make a retro motard.