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1982 XL125S Restore Project, need guidance

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Hey guys,


A few months ago I picked up a 1982 Honda XL 125S for $500. The bike had quite a few issues, but they looked fun and I really wanted one!


The Bad:

Ignition was broken (any key would work)

Lights didn't work at all (no dash/headlight/tail/brake)

Clutch lever broken

Leaking Oil

Rear tire inner tube leaking


The Good:

Fired right up

Speedometer worked

Suspension/frame/forks seem to be in good working condition


Since I got it I fixed the tire, redid all the wiring and now all electrical works, put on new levers, and installed a new ignition (that doesn't kill the engine, only controls lights). It worked GREAT! Then I did a top end rebuild to fix the leaking, I was far too excited when I did the rebuild and didn't take my time. This resulted in it still leaking oil from the timing advance cover, and now it doesn't run right. It loses all power when revved over a quarter turn. I'm not sure what I did wrong during the rebuild. I have tried adjusting the carbs (aftermarket Chinese one) in every imaginable way, but it never got to anywhere close to what it was when I first bought it.


Where I am now:

I've got $700 into the bike and I want to do a full restoration over the next year or so. I'm not expecting to make money off of this, but do any of you know what I can expect the value of the bike to be in perfect condition?

What I plan on doing is first getting it running right because if I can't do that this project might not be worth it. I'm thinking maybe I installed the timing advance wrong because it seems to be backfiring quite often. 


What I plan on doing:

Powder coating the frame

Big Bore Kit (anyone have a link to one?)

Since the left side cover and airbox cover is missing (airbox is still there), I think I'm going to install a pod (I HATE pods but I've only ever dealt with them on inline 4 cylinder bikes, are they easier on a thumper?) 

Paint the engine

New wheel, steering, and swing arm bearings

rebuild the forks and polish them

new handlebars

Maybe rewire the whole bike (it looks like shit right now) 

Replace or repaint the rims

New tires

New Seat / repair old one


This project has a lot of things I've NEVER done before so here are a few more questions:


I want to spend around $2000 on the whole project (so $1300 more).

How much does to have a frame powder coated? Do I have to media blast it first?

Does a Big Bore Kit add that much more power?

Should I install a big bore kit before trying to fix the engine as it currently sits?

People who have done things like this before, what are some topics I have yet to realize that will be a big factor in this restoration?


Some background: I am a recent college graduate with a bachelors in electrical engineering. I have quite a bit of tools, even specialty tools (compression tester, valve spring compressor, 4 carb vacuum sync kit, valve compound). I've rebuild a few engines over the years, I almost always get them running better than before, but mostly I tend to rush things and this project is going to be my patients test. I hope this wasn't too long to read, thank you all for your help! 





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