I couldn't help myself. After working on my friend's CB650, I started looking more into these older Honda's. The more I looked, the more I found myself looking at slightly older models of the 500 and 550. Mostly, I liked the look of the spoked wheels versus the mags and I wanted a little bit lighter bike with a little smaller motor as a platform. I passed on several bikes over the last month. I quickly found out that they do not sit for long once a for sale sign has been put on them. This one had been up for 3 days on Craigslist before I saw it. On Thursday evening I sent the seller a text asking if he still had it. On Friday morning I forgot my phone at home when I left for work and, at some point during the day, got a text saying he still had it. We spoke on the phone a bit Friday night and I agreed to come look at it on Saturday.
My friend Steve was nice enough to loan me his F150 so Heather and I headed down to Pueblo. The seller was extremely slow in getting back to me on Saturday during the drive down (I needed his address). I really thought he had sold it Friday night or earlier that morning and just wasn't going to bother letting me know (sorry Tom but...that's what I thought). We got to his house after finally getting a call from him (pretty sure he had forgotten we were coming down). He shows up at the house about 20 minutes after we got there and rolls it out of the garage and it fired right up.
I hopped on, made it about a mile from the house and...it died. It refused to start again. And I began the push of shame. I saw one lady doing yard work and casually mentioned that I was just taking this motorcycle out for a walk and she kinda gave me the stink eye. I continued to try to start the bike and, low and behold, it started up again and I was able to make it back to the house. It was then that I realized there was no stock airbox or filters of any kind on the bike. Then I closed the choke and it ran much better. I took it out again and it rode fine. Tom was a great photographer because it was a bit more rough than what the pictures had indicated but I really liked it. I made it back to Tom's house and he mentions that someone else is on the way to look at it and I believed it because Heather said he kept trying to call people on his phone and was asking if they had just called about a motorcycle. Apparently Tom can turn a spanner but the Blackberry is a complicated device. He wanted 1200 for the bike and that was my limit so I really didn't want to have someone else show up and start a bidding war.
Tom was a nice guy though and insisted that I take his absolutely mint condition Kawasaki KZ900 for a ride. It looked like it had just been made yesterday. He also had a gorgeous Harley and several more older Honda's. Turns out he's a flipper. When I got back from the ride, he had the title ready to go along with a repair manual and a Pabst Blue Ribbon sticker. I asked if he would take 1100 for it and he immediately said, "Nope but I'd like to get it loaded up so I can go to lunch before that other seller arrives." I got in the truck and backed it up as Tom grabbed a ramp.
Here it is after we got it out of the truck and into it's new garage.
Those that know me know how completely anal I am about things being clean so Sunday was spent taking things off and getting to know the bike more. I hit all the front end chrome with steel wool and Mothers polish. The front wheel looks amazing now. The forks have been painted silver and, although I don't like it, it'll work for now. I redid some wiring just to make things cleaner looking. I also tried to get the stock airbox back on but was unsuccessful. I wasn't sure if the carbs needed to be removed to do this but have no determined that it is not. It's just a super tight fit. I'm gonna hold off on that for a bit until I get new boots that join the box to the choke side of the carbs as the current ones are rock hard and don't give too much.
This light cleaned up nicely after some steel wool.
After a loooong day of cleaning.
I have no clue what direction I'm heading in with this thing yet. Right now my plan is to get the stock box back in and see how it runs before I dive into rebuilding all the carbs. I will do a 3,000 mile tune up which is pretty inclusive and then just ride it and figure stuff out as I go.