The Honda XL185 was a dual-sport introduced in 1979 as an updated version of the venerable XL175. The 180cc, air-cooled single produced 16 horsepower, and served as the base for Colin Seely’s TL200 trials bike. The larger XL500 and XL600 enduros tend to get most of the builder love…until now.
Enter Ilich of North Carolina’s LongShotMoto. Ilich is a data engineer by day, but a gearhead at heart who builds bikes out of his home garage. Recently, he decided to build a “retro yet updated” XL185 tracker to blast the trails around his home in Clemmons, North Carolina, dubbing the bike “Evocatus.”
Below, we get the full story on this build.
Honda XL185S Tracker: Builder Interview
• Please tell us a bit about yourself, your history with motorcycles, and your workshop.
My name is Ilich, my home garage is called LongShotMoto. I am a data-migrations engineer by trade and a gearhead by heart. Grew up around motorcycles and recently I took my passion to resurrecting/building older bikes in my home garage.
• What’s the make, model, and year of the bike?
1980 Honda XL185S
• Why was this bike built?
• What was the design concept and what influenced the build?
I was looking for a retro-yet updated style tracker bike to ride dirt roads and trails.
• What custom work was done to the bike?
Stripped down to the frame, top part of the frame reduced to match custom seat sanded and painted to a mate-black along with rims, custom rear fender, tracker handle-bars, short brake and clutch levers, straight pipe, carb rebuilt and jetted, new clutch, rebuilt transmission, new sprockets/chain, new breaks and clutch cable. AC/DC 12V inverter, front LED headlight.
• How would you classify this bike?
• Was there anything done during this build that you are particularly proud of?
The carburetor was jetted/tuned perfectly after a lot of trial and error.