In this Chance Moto build, we take a time and budget-minded approach to creating a uniquely styled, smooth running retro. Starting with a 1981 Honda CM400T, restoring it to peak mechanical shape and adding a touch of cafe-racer-inspired-style, here’s how we brought this old bike into the 21st century.
Street-legal supermotos are a special breed of motorcycles. At various times throughout history, select manufacturers have produced them (eg. Yamaha’s WR 250X, the perennial favorite, Suzuki’s DRZ 400 or the more modern Husqvarna 701), but they’ve always been niche and most of the offerings in North America are somewhat sedate in comparison to the dirt bike conversions of yesteryear. These days, if you want a serious, lightweight supermoto for the street, you have to build it yourself and what better platform to start with than the 2016 KTM 500 EXC.
They say more isn’t always better and that’s definitely the case when it comes to small displacement Supermotos. The WR250X is a bike that Yamaha produced for just a few years and Canada didn’t get many of them during that time (2008-2010). As a result, good used examples are hard to come by and that’s how this Chance Moto build project started.