Not-quite-retail TherapyNot-quite-retail Therapy

When it comes to a custom build, if half the fun is in making it, then at least half of that half is represented in the sourcing of the right parts. That elusive auction/ebay/swap meet find, the retro diamond in rough that everyone else missed. The way the air electrifies when you clamp eyes on it and you then try to contain your enthusiasm as you enter into negotiations to make it yours, a moment of infinite potential and fleeting bliss.

Of course, when you finally get it home and inspect the part in the harsh light of post-purchase-reality, more often than not it becomes alarmingly obvious that what you’ve bought is in fact rubbish and you would have been better just making a small fire and burning your money.

Not this time though! Lady luck has shone her light upon us and we’ve got ourselves a gem. This little red FRP tank arrived in the mail last night (kudos to Japan Post’s delivery guys for working well into the night, 365-days-a-year-santas every one of them.) and it is superb. Yes, we had no idea if it was going to fit. Yes, in a frenzy of optimism we bid well past our sensibly set limit and yes, it did look great in the pictures.

What we did get in the end was a nicely proportioned little tank, sort of a mix between tracker and 70’s MX in its curves and stance, with thick glass work and no signs of ever being used in anger. Something that makes this one special is the deep cut-out at the steering head end and a wide tunnel which, at almost 90mm, will let it sit comfortably over the XR top frame tube and give plenty of room to adjust the angle so that the bottom edge will match the lower line of the seat, keeping a uninterrupted horizontal line reminiscing of those early scramblers.

Prep before painting will be to add on some fresh stays, drop in a filler insert and line it so it will happily hold modern pump fuel without distorting or delaminating.

We also picked up a gold CL tank with the inset Honda wing badges as a back up, just incase little red here decides not to stick to the program.