Jordan Froidmont of Belgium is 25 years old, and this stunning 1982 Honda FT500 is his first build. He actually wanted to build an SR500, but, as a 21 year old student, his budget limited him to an FT, which he found for cheap. He spent the next three years building the work of art you see here.
The FT500, based on the old Class-C flat-trackers, is a fairly rare bird compared to the SR series…and not so readily customizable as an SR. Jordan admits that this made his job harder. In the end, however, we think that this worked in his favor, as it forced him to have a more original vision for the build. It’s rare to see a first build that’s so distinctive, so striking. One thing is for sure: this young man has a fine future ahead of him!
Below, Jordan gives us the full story on the build.
Custom FT500 Tracker: In the Builder’s Words
(Words by Jordan Froidmont. Highlights by us.)
Hi, my name is Jordan, I’m 25 and I’m from Liège in Belgium. Here is my first build that took me over three years to achieve.
Basically I really liked the Yamaha SR500, but at 21, as student with a lack of budget, I turned to other cheaper motorcycles. I found the Honda FT500 which is pretty unknown, but its frame and engine are very close to the SR.
It was a big challenge because it is not complicated to make a nice prep with an SR500, which is basically really nice. It’s another story for the FT…
So I found an FT from 1982, which slept for over 10 years at the bottom of a damp garage with only a few km on the clock…but in pretty bad conditions.
My objective was to purify and simplify the bike to the maximum. I started the first big job with the help of my friend Florian Halleux from the shop “Classic-Motos Liège” with the installation of a kickstarter, which doesn’t exist on the original bike, and to transfer the large and fragile starter.
The base engine is the same as the Honda XR500, and it is possible to combine the two. Having few km, the engine didn’t need a revision, but it has been entirely painted and the screws galvanized, as have all the screws of the motorcycle. The framework has been highly simplified–modified for more simplicity.
The fork has been lowered about 12 cm to turn the bike into a very low street tracker. The original rims were pretty nice so we painted them and fitted them with Firestone Deluxe tires. We had to modify the Brembo brake for a better adaptation with the fork. We did it with a stainless steel part we made ourselves.
With the power of the engine braking and a Magura brake setup, we choose to remove the rear brake. We replaced the attachment part of the rear brake with a spacer bronze has been machined as the spacer from the rear suspension and the fork caps. The aluminum foot pegs are also machined.
The tank is from a CB360 that we needed to modify to fit the big frame of the FT; it has been treated with RESTOM and painted by my friend from « Fortemps ». We painted as well the headlights supports which are from an old Guzzi.
The exhaust, stainless steel and 100% homemade, was done with Florian from Classic Motos Liège. The saddle was made by Tex air Seat cover. The gas throttle is a handle of MX PushPull. The handles are Brooks biking parts which i modified to fit the bar.
The electronic circuit has been simplified to the maximum. A discreet box under the seat containing a lithium battery, CDI box and the key switch. It powers the front and rear headlights, that’s all. The only control on the bar is a small switch for big headlights.
I would like to thank my friend Florian from Classic Motorcycles at Liege, a “mechanician” unlike any other. Thanks to my father, thanks as well to Fortemps for their work with the paint. Thanks to Germain Ozer for the photos. My next build is starting with again a nice challenge on a little-known ugly base, a Suzuki GR650.
(Note: Jordan’s FT500 was previously showcased on Pipeburn, with slightly different photos, which we did not readily realize.)