Our next step is to acquire and mount some fenders, a modern looking headlight and a taillight.
On the fenders side, we can either go with Super Motard generic fenders, NOS parts (new old stock), or replicas of new. I first investigated the Super Motard generics and found a plethora of models to choose from Acerbis, UFO, Polisport and Cycra. The catch is that unless you go with black, matching colors with the generics is a challenge… as I found out after ordering some front fenders from UFO and Acerbis. Their red is a much more vivid red, lined up with the current Honda CR450F rather than the “old” Tahitian red of our ‘82 XR500. The contrast is in fact so strong that these fenders cannot really be considered for this project — I had to return them.
I then looked at NOS fenders, which can still be found, but at a price! As I’m not willing to spend more on two fenders then the entire value of the motorcycle, I investigated replicas of new. Battling this space are two great manufacturers, Maier USA and DC Plastics. The finish on the Maier products is a bit nicer than what comes out of DC Plastics (different production technologies) and so I ordered a set of fenders from Maier. Unfortunately, “red” at Maier is not Tahitian red but rather a much darker, almost Bordeaux red – go figure. So with some disappointment I sent the fenders back and ordered a set from DC Plastics. They came within days and ended up being a very nice match. The only adjustment I had to make was to cut a couple of inches off the back of the front fender to provide the right fit for the CR500 Showa fork.
On to the headlight… here too choices abound and the selection is mostly a question of preference. I don’t particularly like the look of the original XR500 headlight so I set my sight on products from Acerbis, Polisport, TrailTech, and Baja Designs. I ended up ordering the Polisport MMX in black, which I think offers a good balance of new and vintage look.
Finally, for the taillight, I looked for something simple which here too would provide the right balance between new and old. I ended up finding an interesting tail unit on eBay.
With the “plastics” now mounted, the final stretch for this project is to finish the electrics. Then I’ll cross my fingers and hope to hear some vroom! vroom!