Close Enough: 1967 Honda CT90

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To follow up on the last update on the CT90, I got everything back together in a concerted push to get this damn bike on the road.  It’s been nearly 2 years of procrastination and back-burnering for other projects, but it’s finished.  The seat and the exhaust were the only things that were really lacking.  The rest was a matter of relocating the petcock on the gas tank, restoring the charging system and solid session of tune up.

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We did the NorCal Swap Meet in Sacramento, and I found an old exhaust can from some Brit bike for $2.  My buddy brought a pan seat to sell, and I knew instantly that it was the one for this little guy.  It’s like the CT was just waiting on those last little bits before agreeing to be ridden.

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BMW handlebars on the CT.

I’ve waffled a bit on the handlebars.  First the clubmans seemed legit, then the high-risers from the R100 made it a little more comfy and spry.  I finally just pulled some shorty drag bars off a Sachs moped, of all things.

IMG_5319Looking back at when I got it, it’s pretty unrecognizable. Just about everything from the pistons out has been replaced, repaired, powder-coated, rewired or fabricated.

 

 

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Filed under 2 Wheels, bobbers, Custom, motorcycles, wolf and bear workshop

I Hardly Knew Ye: 1971 CB350

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I needed to unload some projects recently and decided to get rid of one of the longer, nagging ones first.  My little CB350 twin from the hills, has been a PITA for more than a year.  I’ve rebuilt the top end, new valves, exhaust leak, clutch, charging, intermittent spark….blegh.  It just didn’t want to go.

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I decided to spend a weekend to concentrate on it, and corrected everything – from re-lapping the valves to buttoning up electrics – but the charging and ignition systems weren’t consistent.  I couldn’t figure out wtf was wrong: I had replaced just about everything. So I posted it on CL as a project and immediately had a bunch of bites.  THE DAY someone came to look at it, I was in a parking lot and it occurred to me that the battery might be the culprit for intermittent firing.  I hooked it up to the van’s battery and it fired up and ran so, so good. Dammit.

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The bike was running on the stator, but it doesn’t produce enough juice to run the bike and charge the battery.  There’s a much more appropriate and educated way to explain that, I’m sure, but all that means to me is that $40 has kept this little guy off the road.  As the guy was on his way over, (and I needed the cash and space) I sold it after all.  Though I didn’t budge on the price.

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Filed under 2 Wheels, Custom, motorcycles, Sold, vintage vehicles

Close Enough: 1964 GMC Handi-Van

I realized I haven’t showed pix of the van since it got back on the road.  It’s kind of the perfect motorcycle-getter and we’ve been brave/dumb enough to drive it all over California for motorcycle endeavors.  Most recently, I took it from San Francisco to Orange County for Born Free 2014.  The show was as expected, but the ride was fun.

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I can fit 2 bikes in the back pretty easily, but can do 3 in a pinch.  And it only smells a little like gas and oil with the sunroof up.

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I’ve insulated the back and cabin, and installed strips of E-track for strapping and stowage. The stereo is loud enough, and I installed quick-clips for a hammock – which came in handy on the trip to So-Cal – so it’s kind of a perfect getaway vehicle.

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On the way down to Orange County, we spent more time troubleshooting and fixing bikes than actually riding.  That didn’t make it any less of a trip, though.  It was fun.  You can see the van below in camp/fix-a-bike mode.  This was right after I was under it changing the starter solenoid.  On the way down, the starter finally gave out and I was having to lean down with a screwdriver to short the solenoid while turning the key to start it.  That got old and I pulled into O’Reilly with fingers crossed that they had the right part.  The next morning I replaced it over some cowboy coffee and drove on the rest of the way.  It’s a nice feeling to be able to do light surgery at a campsite and actually drive away.

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Talking Cody through some KZ jetting, while John continues to wake up.

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Filed under motorcycles, vanimals, vintage vehicles

Update: CT90 Thumper

I finished powder-coating the tank for the CT90 last week and fabricated a mount for it and the seat.  It’s such a tiny bike, but with the dropped bars and relocated seat, it has a pretty aggressive stance.

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To wire the rear end, I jacked up the center stand and dropped the rear wheel to get under the frame.  As ridiculous as it looks, I kinda like it super tall.

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I found a massive pipe for the exhaust – it probably weighs 4lbs – a little strap of leather is helping take some weight.  It makes it sound ridiculously mean.

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Hole in the Head: 1978 CB750F SuperSport

Here’s the latest – I found a 78 CB that I couldn’t walk away from, so I loaded it into the van and got to work.  The pix don’t do it much justice; it was gnarly.  The seat’s a rat’s nest, all the brake calipers are gone and the tires are toasted.

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So why buy it?

- the frame and tank are straight
– the wiring’s not horrible
– dual disc brakes on the front, disc on the rear
– still has the airbox (which means at least it hasn’t been sitting out with open carbs)
-the gears shift through
– there’s a few affordable SOHC 750’s out there, but the SuperSport is kinda hard to find

The biggest expense is going to be the brake system – I’m going to need all new calipers and hydraulic hoses.  More updates to come.

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Filed under 2 Wheels, Bought, motorcycles, vintage vehicles

1967 Yamaha YDS5 – a.k.a. “Hole in the Head”

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There’s been quite a lag in posts here at WB, but we’ve been tied up with some things.   Last week end I dragged my buddy Alberto to Sacramento in the (extremely cool) van for a  swap meet.  He needed some small Honda bits, and I have plenty of other bikes to focus on, so I made up my mind that I wasn’t going to get any more projects.  This is supposed to be the biggest motorcycle swap meet in Northern California, though apparently, it’s an early bird thing; we rolled in right at 11am and there were maybe 5 vendors left with some sad little piles of Harley parts.  Walking up through the gates, we were greeted by some dipshit with his fat wife who said, “Does that van come with a rape kit?”.  Alberto deftly said, “Let’s ask your sister” and it was funny.  (He didn’t really, but afterwards, we agreed that it would have been a good comeback.)

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We thought it was a bust, but then I saw a trailer with some piles of bike parts and a hopeful little twinkle of chrome peeking through.  They were literally getting in the truck to drive away when he saw me looking at what I thought was a Honda Dream and he said, “a hundred bucks…”.  I checked the compression and rolled it into the gears, seemed okay.  I offered him $80 and a had him help me roll it into the van.  So much for no more projects…  at least it came with the title.  It wasn’t til we got to Stockton that I realized it was a 2-stroke!  After a bit of searching for the serial number, I am the new owner of a 1967 Yamaha YDS-5.  The good news is, it’s nearly 100% there, which is good, because parts are kinda expensive and hard to find.

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That’s a sexy speedo.

After a few days of futzing with ignition, condensers and carbs, I got spark and eventually started it up.  It sounds awesome: like a damn dragon.  I putted around the parking lot and it’s like slick shit.  It soooo wants to get back to running condition.  The more I work on this one, the more I look forward to riding it.  I made a quick sketch in Photoshop from a stock image of a similar bike.  More updates to come.

YDS-5 Mockup - but will probably use a darker blue.

YDS-5 Mockup – but will probably use a darker blue.

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Filed under 2 Wheels, Bought, motorcycles, wolf and bear workshop

CT90 Update

CT90

Here’s a quick update on this little soldier.  Complete rewire, new everything, powdercoated black with a tank from an XS650 Special.  More to come.

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Filed under 2 Wheels, Custom, motorcycles