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Motorcycle News, Editorials, Product Reviews and Bike Reviews

Revival Ascot FT500: Custom Build Stripped to the Essence

Revival is an Austin, Texas based company specializing in vintage motorcycle repair, tuning and customization. This clean build, based on a 1982 Honda FT500 caught our eye.

We appreciate clean, lightweight designs, and this bike fits into that category, for sure. We would bolt fenders on, but doesn’t look like that would be much of a problem.

From the frame to the swingarm and suspension, virtually everything surrounding the Honda single is custom. Here is a list from Revival’s website describing the components of the final build:

STARTING PLATFORM:

  • MANUFACTURER: HONDA
  • YEAR: 1982
  • MODEL: FT500
  • WEIGHT (WET): 289 LB (131 KG)
  • FRONT: 142 LBS
  • REAR: 147 LBS

REVIVAL CYCLES WEBSITE PARTS:

BODY WORK:

  • BENELLI WARDS RIVERSIDE GAS TANK W/ CUSTOM FABRICATED TUNNEL, MONZA FLIP TOP GAS CAP, 5 ¾” LUCAS HEADLIGHT SHELL, CUSTOM FABRICATED HEADLIGHT MOUNTING EARS, HAND FORMED ALLOY SEAT PAN
  • HAND FORMED ALLOY FORK GUARDS AND A CUSTOM LICENSE PLATE

REVIVAL CYCLES DESIGNED PARTS:

  • FRAME, FRONT BRAKE ROTOR ADAPTER, REAR BRAKE ROTOR ADAPTER, REAR CUSH DRIVE/SPROCKET ADAPTER

SUSPENSION:

  • SUZUKI GSXR CONVENTIONAL 43MM FORKS
  • SUZUKI SV650 SWING ARM
  • PROGRESSIVE SHOCKS AND SPRINGS

WHEELS

  • WHEELS: YAMAHA RD400 DAYTONA WHEELS
  • FRONT: 18X1.85
  • REAR: 18X2.15
  • TIRES:
  • FRONT: PIRELLI SCORPION MT90 110/80/18
  • REAR: PIRELLI SCORPION MT90 110/80/18

ELECTRICAL:

  • MOTOGADGET M-UNIT
  • MOTOGADGET MOTOSCOPE MINI
  • DUAL ANTI-GRAVITY 4-CELL BATTERIES(WIRED IN PARALLEL), BILLET PUSH BUTTONS INTEGRATED INTO THE HANDLEBARS, RICK’S MOTORSPORT ELECTRIC REGULATOR/RECTIFIER
  • LIGHTING: 5 ¾” LED HEADLIGHT W/ INTEGRATED TURN SIGNALS, FLEXIBLE LED REAR TAIL LIGHT/BRAKE LIGHT W/ INTEGRATED TURN SIGNALS
  • IGNITION SYSTEM:
  • RICK’S ELECTROMOTORSPORT CDI W/ ADJUSTABLE REV LIMITER
  • DYNA COIL

ENGINE:

  • HONDA ASCOT FT500
  • 500CC SINGLE CYLINDER, ELECTRIC START
  • NEW STARTER/SHIMMED STARTER DRIVE
  • MIKUNI TM40 FLATSLIDE CARBURETOR, K&N AIR FILTER
  • STAINLESS STEEL HAND FORMED DUAL EXHAUST WITH DUAL REVERSE CONE SILENCERS

CONTROLS:

THROTTLE:

CLUTCH PERCH:

  • K-TECH CABLE PULL GRIPS: POSH AMAL BLACK/SPARKLE GRIPS, ⅞”

MIRRORS:

REAR-SETS:

  • HONDA CBR600 W/ CUSTOM MACHINED MOUNTING BRACKETS

BRAKES:

  • FRONT: TOKICO 4 PISTON CALIPER, 320MM FLOATING ROTOR
  • REAR: SV650 REAR CALIPER, BRAKES: SNIPER II BRAKE HOSES AND FITTINGS
  • REAR BRAKE MASTER: SV NISSIN W/ INTEGRATED RESERVOIR

INSTRUMENTATION:

Revival says the blue paint is a Porsche Cayan stock color, and we think it is beautifully off-set by the grey frame and tank accents. Check out Revival’s website to get a closer look at this interesting company.


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40 Comments

  1. BIG BELLY says:

    I don’t understand why the builder didn’t utilize the VT 500 motor? Is there a problem with a V-Twin motor? It comes stock with a 6 speed transmission. Hello?

    • Fred M. says:

      Maybe because the V-Twin is bigger and heavier. Or maybe because he wanted to build a classic thumper.

    • Scott says:

      Or, if you feel like clicking the link to the builder (which Dirck conveniently provided in the article), you can read the story about why they used that particular motor…

  2. bmbktmracer says:

    Seat, tank, wheels, color: Good!

    Overly bent frame, corrugated exhaust, missing fenders, missing airbox and side panels: Not so good.

    I’m happy it’s not matte black or gray.

    • todd says:

      It’s not a corrugated exhaust. Unlike the frame, they achieved the bends in the exhaust not with a bender but by cut and weld.

  3. stinkywheels says:

    That looks like the ultimate machine if I lived in Russelville Arkansas or Dayton Wyoming. That looks like a recipe for curvy fun. Season to taste. It’s still a blank canvas.

  4. todd says:

    It looks like the swing arm interferes with the seat tubes. I’m sure there’s a few thou clearance…

  5. FNFAL says:

    I like variety, but this reminds me of my 74′ Honda XL as a kid. When I bought it in 79′ it was already a pile of junk. But we would strip it down, just like this. Still couldn’t beat those RMs and YZs at half the displacement. Don’t wanna go back to that again.

  6. Doc says:

    Like the wheels, reminds me of Morris or Lester wheels from the ’70’s. The frame makes me think of a Norton featherbed for some reason. But the tubes under the seat, like others have said here, should not not be bent like that. And what is the deal with singles? Would like a v-twin. In fact I would like a street version of Indians dirt tracker. With minimal street going additions. A 750cc dirt tracker would be perfect.

  7. Geoffrey Hill says:

    Nicely done. Lights and fenders and it would sell. I would love one.

  8. Provologna says:

    Who knew fenders are excess weight! /sarc off

    Over time, enjoying images of customs posted here, I found matched F/R wheel diameters to look more attractive than the more common larger front/smaller rear wheels.

    A few months ago appeared a gorgeous Suzuki DR400 custom w/fantastic 19″ spoke/alloy F/R rims, which IMO looked even better than the dual 18 cast alloy wheels on this FT500. The larger diameter looks cleaner and increases the sense of space and freedom.

    • Curly says:

      Agree on the overall diameters but in this case using the same pattern 19″ wheel from an XS650 Special, XS850, XS500 etc with a narrower 100/90-19 tire on the front would be perfect. The current fat front tire thing is silly too. Fat front tires steer fat. You all know what I mean.

  9. beasty says:

    Really nice looking build. Those guys have a great eye and some serious skills.

  10. That is a nice fender shape and I wondered where ICurly says:

    It looks nice. The seat tubes could stand to be larger and use some gusseting forward of the shock mounts. I predict that someday in the not to far off future all these bike builders will realize that fenders actually enhance the looks and function of a motorcycle. Until then they all look unfinished to me. Oh, wait, I do like the non-plank seat and they put a lot of work into gently rounding the spoke edges on the RD wheels. Bravo!

  11. todd says:

    Were the bent tubes before they test rode it or after? It would look so much nicer – and work so much better – if they threw away their tube bender. Lovely finish details though.

  12. steveinsandiego says:

    spare me the gold wheels. legalize it for the road. yes on adding fenders.

  13. Randy in Ridgecrest says:

    If it had the Daytona 400 twin…

    • Provologna says:

      Fouled plugs. Bring spares.

      • Curly says:

        Blasphemer, Daytona 400s were not plug foulers! OK, OK 350s fouled some if the carbs weren’t synched.

        • Provologna says:

          Mea culpa…I presumed 400s fouled plugs with gusto similar to my RD350, which I loved.

          To what do you attribute the 400s lower appetite for plugs?

          • Curly says:

            You are forgiven my son. Go in peace.

            The 400 ignition was stronger and the carbs had those built in synch ports so that the slides were easier to set. Also the oil pump output volume was cut to about half of the earlier 250/350s. With all that they tolerated moderate riding a lot better.

      • Randy in Ridgecrest says:

        My RD’s (125, 250 (2 of those) 350) didn’t foul plugs. I used klotz oil. And I never had them under 5000 RPM. I did have to de-carbonize the heads every 1000 miles or so. I loved them too, just great fun engines. I test rode a FT500, was thinking about buying it, the most flat bland 500 I’ve ever experienced, I passed.
        I’ve owned three SR500’s, completely different and better character than the FT.

  14. Tim says:

    I assume the dual batteries are in that tunnel mentioned in the tank. I can’t see where else they could have hidden it. Any other theories?

  15. tuskerdu says:

    Add fenders.

  16. larlok says:

    Beautiful. For my money the exhaust shouldn’t look like it’s made out of flex pipe from the local auto parts store.

  17. Grumpc says:

    All those skinny, curved rear frame tubes really bother me – does it need actual suspension units (as well..?). Aside from that, a simple, well executed motorcycle has real appeal for me.
    Grumps

  18. downgoesfraser says:

    If you got the money, honey, they got the time……..and talent

  19. Butch says:

    As Jeremy stated, beautifully minimal.
    These guys are really talented.
    Nicely done.

  20. MotoMaster39 says:

    Looks good, but I think it would look a lot better with some number plates in those big empty areas on the sides. A compact mud guard for the back tire wouldn’t hurt either. Looks a little too “naked” for me.

  21. spokes says:

    All that time, effort and money and the original still looks better to me!

  22. Jeremy in TX says:

    I love this. Brilliant color scheme, beautifully minimal.

    • Neil says:

      Ditto. My kind of machine. Minimal. I think BMW has pulled off the nice machine with their low end R Nine this year as well.