It’s official: I’m an irrational parts hoarder. I picked up yet another frame that I don’t have room for. I’ve had a hankering for a long while to create a lightweight retro-bobber-cruiser-sorta-thing, something with a sprung saddle and a swingarm-mounted rear fender. To this end, I’ve been on the lookout for a swingarm frame that had rear shock mounts low and forward enough to emulate the look of a hardtail or plunger frame, or perhaps old BMW /2s. Naturally, I was looking mostly at cruiser frames, but then I found this ’79-’80 KTM 250 GS80 frame with a cracked rear frame section. Lop the rear off and I’ve got a dandy basis for a lightweight bobber. It was too cheap to pass up: $79, delivered. The odd mess of upper frame tubes will complicate fuel tank choice, but that’s something to resolve further down the line.

Once I unwrapped it, I had to hang some stuff from my cache of extra parts on it to visualize how it might look. None of this stuff is necessarily what I’d actually use. I just wanted to demonstrate the ease with which a fool can part ways with his hard-earned money. I set the old Bultaco engine in there just because I happened to have it lying around, to give a frame of reference. It actually wouldn’t work in this frame because the right downtube would interfere with the cylinder’s offset exhaust port. I am undecided about what engine would actually go into it, but I’ve played with the idea of an Ossa trials engine or a Yamaha Blaster 200 ATV engine (of course—hence the name Retroblaster).

I’m kind of digging the chunky look of the Yamaha XVZ1200/1300 Venture wheels. These were originally purchased for The Bride, but wouldn’t work because the hub was too wide for the Suzuki GS forks. I bought a set of Venture steering clamps back in March, along with a set of 1986 ZX1000 Ninja forks; this was one of very few bikes that used the same 40mm tube diameter as the Yamaha Venture’s triple clamps. The whole setup cost me $65.

[Excuse the cluttered basement; it’s time to make another trip to to the recycling center.]

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