Zen of Moto-Recycling


Dirt Cruiser Concept Bike

1985 Honda Rebel Trail Mule   PROJECT JOURNAL

This is a concept bike project driven by a desire to have a bike to use on the back roads.  The idea is to take this old street legal cruiser-style machine and do some non-destructive modifications to adapt it more for dirt roads and trails.  Racing or high-speed thrill-seeking is not a factor - just low-keyed fair weather riding out of the way of the crazy 4-wheeled door slammer thundering herd.  Plus, I’m way too lazy to hike, but most of all, I want to use the old parts bike from Drew’s Rebel for a project without concern for restoring back to stock, and with a lot less concern with cosmetics and shine. In fact a mix and match of parts will be used - as long as they all work together. 

Since this was bought as a parts donor, there are a few missing parts, and we never actually fired it up it, although the engine spins freely. It does have good spark when tested by spinning the engine with the starter, which proved the starter is working, too!  So far, so good - there is hope.

Compared with a restoration project, this project will be a lot more free-form, with a lot of on-the-fly design stuff to do, and of course it needs a lot of basic mechanical work, too.  Lurking still there may still be a total show-stopper.

However, if it goes forward, this journal will keep track of the challenges involved with creating a very cool and unusual bike - Lord willing and Time permitting. 


Concept ideas include:

  1. raised front fender (about 4 inches is all)

  2. skid plate & crash bar (fabricated & stock)

  3. scrambler-style upswept pipes (fabricated)

  4. tank bag & cargo rack (aftermarket stock or fabricated)

  5. raised, large saddle seat (adapted horse saddle)

  6. LED tail lighting & recessed turn signals (adapted new)

  7. larger headlamp (adapted old)

  8. folding rear view mirrors (fabricated)

  9. grippier tires (cross-use dirt/street)