Not one to be pigeonholed, Pete from Side Rock Cycles recently turned his hands towards a stupidly cool Honda XL200R for his latest slick build.

“Variety is the spice of life and Chris, the client, wanted to give this bike a makeover, freshen it up and add a little retro style of the early U.S desert racers,” says Pete.

With a very famous 70s movie in mind, what started out as a pretty solid example of the 80s scrambler soon turned into a brushed alloy piece of art.

Side Rock Honda XL200R

Image by: Leon Poultney

The red plastics and black alloy colour scheme was the first thing to go and the teardown begun with the frame, more particularly the meticulous de-tabbing of unwanted brackets and superfluous pieces of plastic.

Blasting and powder coating would ensure this bike looks mint for years to come but Pete claims the engine was sweet and only required a light service.

Side Rock Honda XL200R

Image by: Leon Poultney

“The bulky old airbox was now gone and the new carb fitted with a high flow, washable Ram Air filter,” explains Pete.

“To save more weight, improve gas flow and add to the soundtrack, a new stainless link pipe was made to mate up with the new stainless end can, which has a removable baffle and is much smaller, lighter and gives a fruity tone without being too loud,” he adds.

Side Rock Honda XL200R

On top of this, the old rims were dispatched and replaced with some real motocross pedigree in the form of a new set of SM Pro Platinum black anodised rims laced up with stainless spokes.

As is typical with many Side Rock machines, the electrics were pared back, which meant all of the old dials and switchgear were replaced with more modern parts, while a lightweight lithium-ion battery was fitted to a custom made tray.

Side Rock Honda XL200R

“A large headlamp with stone guard was requested by the customer and a small black LED tail light brings up the rear,” says Pete.

The customer plans to use the bike to commute, which just so happens to include a couple of bumpy trails and farm tracks, but it still has to look classy.

Side Rock Honda XL200R

So, to finish off the piece, Pete commissioned a new, lower seat in black leather with white ribbed stitching and a matching tool bag to go with it.

All images taken by Leon Poultney for Side Rock Cycles and Flat-Out Magazine. Get in touch by emailing hello@flatoutmag.co.uk if you could use our services.