Shed Built: "There were endless scratchy head moments and hours in the mancave"

Published: 11 May 2017

Maintenance engineer, Adam Beeson wanted to pay homage to a Yamaha XT250 that his father bought him when he was 12 years old, so he decided to purchase a 1976 TT500 import from California to create a machine to remind him of the good old days.

Although he's owned 70 machines in his lifetime, this project wasn't his first foray into building motorcycles.


“I’ve built other bikes to original spec plenty of times before, like LCs, TDRs and SG350s. I regularly wrapped the old XT around trees and posts tearing about the local fields in Norfolk so that was where the urge to build a retro motard came from. 

"It’s a bike that gets called some horrible names when it decided to thrash you in the calf if you kick it like a tart though.”

The bike runs 50mm conventional forks to give the 500 a solid look and a real presence. There’s also a Wiseco high compression piston kit which helps to look after the front.

“The spacers, bushes and bits that make it all line up were made by me with basic lathe skills. The exhaust was made by my mate Damo, who is an artist with a TIG set. He rolled all the cones by hand and created the main focal point on the bike exactly how I wanted”

The build, with a cam kit also fitted and is further helped by a 40 Flatslide Mikuni carb, took 10 months to complete. 

“The bike cost me £4500 to buy and build, with endless scratchy head moments and hours in the mancave. It’s f*****g satisfying to stand back and know I built it in a garage in Norfolk with just basic tools though.”

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