Tag Archives: motorcycle

Emblem & Badge Refurbishment

Author’s Note; Emblem & Badge Refurbishment originally appeared in the Vintage Japanese Motorcycle magazine earlier in 2017.

There are quite a few different methods you can use to restore motorcycle emblems that have paint that needs refinishing. You can repaint them by hand using small artist’s brushes. I have even spray painted tank badges using a solvent soaked rag on a sanding block to remove the paint from the high points of the lettering after spraying on the paint. Of course masking off the different colored areas was a pain.

Recently I learned of a much easier way to quickly and inexpensively refresh your tired looking motorcycle emblems & badges. To give credit where credit is due, I learned of this technique in a post to the Vintage Japanese Motorcycle Club’s Facebook page by Toby Jones in which he spoke of using paint markers from a welding supply house and posted a couple of examples that looked really good. I’d like to say thank you Toby for sharing.

For this article I’m using the front cover badge of my C70 Passport as a Guinea pig to try this technique. The chrome on this part stilled looked good, but the long exposure to the elements had resulted in the paint flaking out of the lettering and accent lines.

C70 badges before
C70 badges before

 

Start by gathering up your supplies, you’ll need oil paint markers, a couple of shop towels, and little bit of odorless paint thinner. For this job I used artist paint markers but you can also get them from welding supply houses. My reason for using odorless paint thinner is that I did this in the house but if you’re working outside you can use whatever paint thinner you have.

emblem & badge refurbishment
Good old Sharpie oil paint markers!

 

Open up the marker and color in the areas that need paint just as if you were a kid playing with a coloring book. Have a shop towel handy with a small amount of thinner on it, not soaking wet, and every minute or so stop and wipe off any paint that has stuck to the chrome outside of the lettering.  Be sure to wipe frequently because it will make the paint harder to remove from the wrong places if you let it dry.

When completed, let it dry, and them wipe over the whole thing with a clean shop rag and reinstall it on your bike and enjoy the vast improvement in its looks.

After emblem & badge refurbishment
After emblem & badge refurbishment

1st Annual Rails & Roads Motorcycle Show

The 2017 Rails & Roads Motorcycle Show was held yesterday and here are the results.

 

Before I dive into the numbers and pictures let me say thanks to all that came out to support the show, and to Tom McGrath’s Motorcycle Law Group who provided the trophies for the show.

Rails Roads Motorcycle Show trophies
Thanks to Tom McGrath’s Motorcycle Law Group

I’d also like to acknowledge those who provided swag & door prizes, especially Carolina Honda in Columbia S.C. for the helmet & gloves that they provided. Thank you so much.

Rails & Roads Motorcycle Shoe door prizes
Rails & Roads Motorcycle Shoe door prizes

We gave out awards in 5 classes. We had trophies for 7 but no one with Kawasaki or a Suzuki showed up ( I guess they were afraid of all the Hondas ). Even so we still had at least 25 or 30 bikes in the show itself.  All voting was done strictly by people choice and here are the results;

1941 Indian Chief
1st place American

Class 1 American

2nd place went to a gentleman named Tony (last name escapes me) and his beautiful ’96 Harley Davidson Road King.

1st place went to Mark Fisher who brought out his wonderful 1941 Indian Chief pictured above.

1952 Vincent at the Rails & Roads Motorcycle Show
1st Place in the European/British Class

Class 2 European/British

3rd place went to Daniel Horn with his original unrestored ’72 BSA Victor 250

2nd place went to Doug Parker & the very nice 77 Moto Guzzi Convertible that he rode to the show.

1st place went to Mark Fisher and the absolutely stunning 1952 Vincent Black Shadow shown at the beginning of this section.

Honda CL350 At Rails & Roads Motorcycle Show
1st Place Winner Honda.

Class 3 Honda This was the largest class with machinery ranging from 1964 all the way up to 1989.

3rd place went to Bryan Bentley and his 1964 C102 Cub.

2nd place went to Todd Brown & his wicked looking ’80 CB750SS Cafe Racer.

1st place went to Donald Wiseman & the well restored ’73 CL350 shown above.

1973 TX500 @ rails roads motorcycle show
1st Place Winner Yamaha

Class 6 Yamaha

3rd place went to Tony Berry and his 1979 XS1100

2nd place went to Bryan Bentley and his little 2 stroke 1969 Y5

1st place went to Donald Wiseman who brought his unrestored original 1973 TX500 in the image above.

Hodaka Wombat Rails & Roads Motorcycle Show
1st Place winner in the Freak Show

Class 7 The Freak Show; while mainly intended as a custom class it was also used as a catch-all class for orphaned Japanese makes as well.

2nd place went home with Mark Krengel & his Kikker 5150 Bobber

1st place was claimed by Jerry Cole who brought the fantastic little bike in the above picture a 1972 Hodaka Wombat 125.

 

Best of the Rails & Roads Motorcycle Show

The voting for this trophy was a tight race between two black motorcycles. My gut instinct told me that just like in the ’50s the only thing that would beat a Vincent was another Vincent. But when all the votes were counted Best of Show went to the stunning 1980 Honda CB750SS of Todd Brown. Featuring an upside down fork & other serious upgrades, including custom wire wheels (Honda’s funky old Comstars are stock on these bikes) it was a truly tasty custom. The best part of all? He rode it to the show and it sounds as good as it looks.

1980 CB750SS
Best Of Show 2017!

We’re really happy to report that we were able to raise $175 dollars that was donated to the S.C. Railroad Museum to help with the upkeep of the museum and its rolling stock.

We made a few missteps, adapted on the fly, learned some lessons and we plan to return to Winnsboro S.C. next year with an even bigger better Rails & Roads Motorcycle Show presented by the VJMC of The Carolinas.

 

Dear Craigslist Sellers,

One of the best things about the internet is how easy it has made it to search for vintage vehicles and parts, and let’s face it we all love Craigslist, and the other similar for sale sites. That being said, I’d like to talk to you about some of the bullshit that sellers do that just really annoys the hell out of me. In fact I am counting down a list of my top 5 Craigslist pet peeves. So let’s proceed with Dear Craigslist Sellers.

5. When you sell an item and don’t delete the posting. Having sold a few things on Craigslist I know you can’t always make it back to your account settings to delete an item as soon as it sells, but don’t just leave it there. Nothing is more annoying than to call about a bike or a part and hear, “I sold it two weeks ago.” Seriously, just delete the ad at the first chance you get after making the sale.

4. Asking really stupid high prices. Pricing it up a little bit for negotiating wiggle room is one thing, but your hacksawn spray painted bobber is not worth five grand. Likewise just because a fully restored 1969 sandcast CB750 will bring thirty thousand bucks still does not make your 1975 that’s been leaning up against a tree in the back yard since 1977 after it scared the piss out of you worth more than one hundred dollars. Sorry, I usually don’t even reply to such ads because I hate for people to think I’m insulting them just for telling them the truth. Do a little bit of basic research and find out what your stuff is really worth in the condition that it is in. https://www.hagerty.com/valuationtools

3. No pictures or really lousy pictures. Usually a sign of a scam, normally no one in their right mind will even open such an ad. If you are a legit seller and can’t post a picture please see if someone you know can help you.

Dear Craigslist Sellers
Honda Manga for sale?

2. Really lousy descriptions that say “Motorcycle for sale” but nothing else, usually with no picture or really lousy pictures, see item 3 above. Once again this tends to be a sign of a scam, but if you really want to sell your motorcycle list the year, make, model, size, odometer reading and title status. I promise you’ll sell it faster if you do.

1. Dear Craigslist Sellers, This is the biggie, my number one most hated thing that advertisers do, deliberately putting a very low price into the Craigslist form and then putting the real price in your description. Dealerships are especially bad about this. Please be clear about one thing when I sort by price from low to high, I don’t want to see your brand new 35 grand FLHDWUCE bagger or your brand new SuperGranTurismo 1400CC racer replica. AND NEITHER DOES ANYONE ELSE. When sorting low to high I am desperately trying to find OLD motorcycles such as KE100s or CB200s and don’t want to waste my time scrolling past a bunch of shiny new overpriced crap. In fact I make a point of remembering which dealerships do this so that I can make sure that they never get a single nickel from me, ever. In fact I want everyone who reads this to contact Craigslist support and request a legally binding stipulation that whatever you sell has to be sold at the price listed in the price box shown on the listing page.

jackasses
Holy Shit look at all the $1 Harleys. I’mma go buy $20 worth of them and resell them for 5-10 bucks each.

Dear Craigslist Seller’s here’s a little reading material to help you out.

Safety Nazis & White Knights

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Safety Nazis & White Knights

There’s a group of people out there on the internet who seem bent bound & determined to ruin it for the rest of us, and they seem to be especially vocal in motorcycle pages, forums, and groups. You know who I’m talking about all those Safety Nazis & White Knights that are ever so eager to either protect you from yourself or to protect others from you.

Let me vent a little here, nothing drives me crazier than for someone to post a video or a ride report and say something like, “ I was cruising along on I-20 into Alabama at about 80 plus,” or the video camera catches a glimpse of a speedometer that’s a little north of the posted speed limit. Not because I mind a competent adult driver exceeding an often arbitrary speed limit, but because I know that the next post or two will be some jerk who will write a two page sermon on the evils of speeding and how he or she always drives 1 mph under the speed limit because they are saints, while the rest of us are horrible evil criminals who want chaos to reign, as we meet our end in a fiery blaze of glory leaving our children as orphans and taking as many innocent people as we can straight to hell with us. We do realize that excessive speed on the roads is dangerous but in most places you are much safer to move with the flow of the speeding traffic than to become a rolling roadblock. Quite frankly most of the speed limits in America are lower than they need to be especially on interstates and a lot of highways out in the boondocks, not for any real safety reason but to enhance revenue collection. I could go on and on and yes I will admit there are places where restrictive speed limits are reasonable, and that there is such a thing as driving way too fast. What exactly defines driving way too fast has more to do with road conditions, traffic, condition of the equipment and the skill of the operator, not necessarily some numbers nailed to a post beside the road.

I wear my helmet almost every time I sit down on a motorcycle now. At one time I would not have been caught dead on a motorcycle with a helmet but now when it’s time to mix it up in crazy commuter traffic or hit the road for a long haul not only is a full face helmet on my head, but I’m wearing a full riding suit with boots and gloves even in the heat of summer. At high speeds for long distances it’s actually far more comfortable. Even so I support the right of free adults to make that decision for themselves, and I really don’t care if you agree with me or not. As I said earlier I wear it most of the time, but on the odd Sunday morning my wife and I will take a long slow ride down the rural 2 lane roads that surround our country home without brain buckets. Sometimes we can go 20-30 miles at the time without seeing another vehicle. Yes I know it’s more dangerous than riding with a lid on, with the possibility of wildlife collisions, tire blowouts etc. but it reminds us of what it was like to be young and care free. Don’t preach at me, the kids are all grown, we have excellent health and accident coverage that we pay for and yes life insurance too as do the vast majority of riders that I know. Not to mention my equipment is immaculately maintained and I WORK at keeping my skills up and even improving them. These quiet country cruises we share together actually have very little risk and we minimize it well. Can’t deal with it? That’s your problem not mine.

Sometimes I can be a bit of a Safety Nazi & White Knight myself, on the subject of distracted or drunk driving but I try not to get too aggravating about it except that I’ll say these two things are almost guaranteed killers, usually of some innocent bystander. If you want to take the risk of offing yourself I’m actually cool with that, try to have fun in the process, but don’t take me or any other innocent people with you.  Even with the way I feel about these two things the World Wide Web has introduced me to folks who get so totally unhinged and paranoid about distracted driving that it’s enough to drive me to drink. For example there is one person who inhabits a certain Facebook group and watches for some someone to make a post about GPS, phone, or camera mounts so that he can preach the same stupid sermon over and over. For example when I posted a picture of the Ram mounts installed on the handlebar of one of my scoots, this fool was the second person to see it and he went ballistic on me.

Ram Mounts On Honda Helix
Ram Mounts are the best.

This is a double ball mount that hold my dash camera off to one side for a good view of the road, (I use the Midland XTC btw) and the other side holds my phone or GPS unit at a height where I can read my map and follow the navigation arrows without taking my eyes off of the road. No phone calls or texting while moving, just navigation. I actually regard texting and talking while driving as a hazard but using navigation apps or gear are not as long as you are not programming your route while on the move. In fact it may even make a trip in unfamiliar territory safer because you do not have to scan every single street sign to find out where your next turn is. I don’t miss the paper map in top of the tank bag one bit, the eye level GPS screen is much better and much safer.

Now let’s move on to another despicable creature that tends to inhabit the various for sale groups and websites on the internet, the White Knights protectors of the innocent consumer. Any time someone posts a price for any item that they feel is even a dollar too high the White Knights swoop in like a pack of vultures to fresh carrion to savage the seller and tell the whole world what a crook he is and try to besmirch his or her online reputation by telling everyone who will listen what a crook the seller is. In the last year a couple of the assholes have come after me for ads that I’ve posted to the point that I will not use any Facebook sale pages to sell any motorcycle or parts. Unfortunately the keyboard sociopaths dwelling in their parent’s basements or the unscrupulous online seller trying to shut down his competition by making them look bad will hammer the hell out of you. Here are 2 real stories that happened to me.

Example number one the Sportster; I bought a 65-70% complete Evo Sportster basket case. The complete engine was all there including the carb, along with frame, triple tree, miscellaneous, except for the wheels one fork leg, and sheet metal. At the time of purchase I took a bill of sale from the owner stating that the bike was an 883. So when I got home I took some pictures and posted it online for $1200 bucks. Yes that was high but I fully expected to be negotiating that price, nobody in their right mind would pay asking price for a project bike or parts pile. Too bad that time I posted it, a bunch of those pesky assholes pounced, posting that I was a rip off artist and a bunch of other crap so I got tired of their shit and pulled the ad. Over the next few days I got the paperwork straightened out and the bike turned out to be a 2002 XL1200, and I sold it to a coworker for a most excellent price far below $1200. It took him about 2 months to put it back together and now he rides it to work 2 or 3 times a week. So next time you see one of these “White Knights” giving an online seller hell, jump on his ass tell them if they want to buy, make an offer otherwise SHUT THE FUCK UP. Somebody out there missed a sweet deal on a 1200 Sportster from me because of these assholes.

Another time I bought an engine side cover for a Honda CT70 from an online seller but then traded the project before using it. My purchase price was 65 dollars plus shipping. The part is still in the original packaging, so I figured no problem right? Wrong! Some asshole who is an online parts dealer specializing in Honda Mini Trails, used his personal FB account to state that I was asking way too much and then he provided a link back to his aftermarket dealership website showing the same part for $50 and basically insinuating that I was trying to rip people off. Screw assholes like that, I paid $65 for it (from a real Honda dealer) and was simply trying to get my money back, and not a penny more. BTW I still have the left engine side cover that fits on a Honda CT70 and yes I will sell it to you for $50 plus shipping. It’s not correct for the early models but it will work if you are just fixing a rider. Next time one of these so called “White Knights” gets online and tries to slander me I think I’ll sic a lawyer on them even if it costs me 20 grand to do it just to teach them a lesson.

It would be possible to go on and on but even if I do expect to recoup my investment in motorcycles and parts every once in a while but this is mainly about having fun doing some things that I love to do. Since I don’t make my living doing this anymore I don’t have to put up with assholes.

Until next time I wish you happy riding, wrenching, & horse trading.

 

 

 

 

 

1970 Honda CT90 Junkyard Dog

It all started like so many bad ideas with an Ebay auction, followed by a six hour car ride the day after the auction ended. I had been sort of casually looking for a Honda CT90 or CT110, not to restore but just to get running and ride it around on the farm and at bike shows. At last years AMCA Southern National swap meet in Denton N.C. I missed 2 of them that were in my price range by just a matter of minutes. In fact when I spotted one of them and started walking towards it another gentleman had who was much closer walked up and handed the seller cash and they were filling out the paperwork by the time I got there. Since I’m always scanning online sales sites, backyards, junkyards, and trash piles for interesting stuff, I knew sooner or later a Honda CT90 or 110 would cross my path for the right dollar amount.

Honda CT90 Junkyard Dog

This one popped up on Ebay down in Ladson S.C., it was not running and missing a lot of parts, but I bid what I thought it was worth and was pleasantly surprised when it actually sold for what it was worth and didn’t run up to a stupid price like things do on Ebay sometimes.

Rough Honda CT90

I’m going to confess that I staged the rest of these pictures the next day after work, but the surroundings seem to work really well and you really can almost imagine stumbling across something like this abandoned in the woods.

1970 Honda CT90 Speedometer

She hasn’t traveled far in 47 years, only 3,353 mile on the odometer.

Honda CT90 missing parts

The muffler and battery box are gone, and the wiring harness is a bit of a mess, but the engine still turns free.

1970 Honda CT90 left rear view

One of the coolest features of the early Honda Trail bikes like the CT90 was the rotating handlebar mounts designed to make them easier to transport on bumper mounted motorcycle carriers. You pulled up on the big lever in the center of the bars and then you could turn the bars sideways for more room.

Rotate Handlebars Honda CT70

Another great feature that was introduced in the middle of the 1967 model year was a dual range transmission giving you a total of 8 forward gears. Low range was for serious off road work and the high range was for normal trail and road use. A lot of people swap Lifan engines into them for more power and reliability but my plan is to keep the original engine just so that it will still have the dual range transmission.

Honda CT90 in the woods
Honda CT90 in the woods!

That’s it for now, I’m going to check it out further and will keep you informed on the progress as it happens. I also have another antique motorcycle project going that I haven’t shown on this blog yet but it has been all over my Facebook page & Instagram if you want to check those out.

Peace Y’all

 

2016 Barber Vintage Festival & Museum

<Barber Vintage Festival & Museum>

2016 was our second year attending the Barber Vintage Festival but believe or not it it was actually the first time we actually visited the museum. If this seems strange it’s because this event is so massive with so many different things going on it is impossible to see everything even if you show up early on opening day & stay until the Monday morning after. The Barber Vintage Festival is pure vintage motorcycle overload. The museum is two wheeled gear head heaven. Even if it were possible to show you everything in a blog post (it’s not) I’d be doing you a great disservice by even trying. Instead here a few pictures to whet your appetite.

<race-cars-whizzers>

Above is a shot looking down toward the lowest level where the machine shop is. Motorcycles are the main focus but they have plenty of classic and exotic race & street cars that includes a seriously fantastic Lotus collection.

<guzzis- Barber racetrack>“`

The next picture is a pair Moto Guzzi singles near the wall overlooking the racetrack. One of the great features of the museum is that the wall on the track side is all window so we could watch the AHRMA race bikes circulating on the track.

Ace Corner at the Barber Vintage Festival
Ace Corner at the Barber Vintage Festival

Speaking of AHRMA road racing, the best view of the action could be found at the Ace Corner, This was also the location of the Dime City Cycles custom bike show. In addition to the road racing there are also AHRMA sanctioned cross country, vintage motocross, and trials. If the racing doesn’t appeal to you there are several bike shows, a freestyle motocross show, the Wall of Death and a huge number of vendors hawking all kinds of motorcycle wares.

<Ferrari Dino at the Barber Motorsports Museum>

Mirror mirror on the wall, what’s the most beautiful Ferrari of them all? To me the answer will always be the Dino.

 

We all know that Vincent built some of the most innovative motorcycles in the world and the Barber museum has multiple examples including a Black Shadow & the fully enclosed Black Prince. But did you know they made a personal watercraft decades before Kawasaki? Granted the tiny air cooled single in the 1955 Vincent Amanda didn’t give the speed and power of the Jetski but it was first.

55-vincent-amanda
Long before the Jetski, there was the Vincent Amanda

<a Vincent lawnmower>

Another Vincent product was this lawn mower. Funny how today aficionados of some other brands pick on us Honda fans about the motorcycles and cars being souped up lawn mowers. Now when somebody starts that line of malarkey, we can all remember that Vincent made a lawn mower.

Military motorcycles at the Barber Museum
Military motorcycles at the Barber Museum

The museum also has a sizable display of military motorcycles including the 1999 Harley Davidson MT500. Too bad they never sold a civilian version of it.

<Harley MT500>

This original 1913 Yale is a fantastic sight to see with it’s matching sidecar.

1913-Yale at Barber Museum
Unrestored 1913-Yale

The massive Bohmerland sidecar outfit has to be seen in real life to be appreciated.

Bohmerland
Bohmerland

Scattered through the collection are a few cutaway engines such as the Matchless and Triumph mills pictured here.

Matchless-G50-cutaway
Matchless-G50
Triumph-cutaway
Triumph Tiger 110

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s a special bike for Honda fans.

Dick-Mann-CR750
Dick-Mann-CR750

It’s the CR750 that Dick Mann rode in the 1970 Daytona motorcycle race.

Barber-Museum-new-addition
Barber-Museum-new-addition

The museum has many more motorcycles and cars hidden away in storage, but thanks to this newly completed addition a lot of them will be able to come out of hibernation for our enjoyment. It will be wonderful to see it when I return to the Barber Vintage Festival again.

Barber Vintage Festival swap meet
Vintage sidecar motocross?

One of my favorite things about Barber is the swap meet. There is such a huge variety of good junk, unique motorcycles, and rusty gold that if you can’t find what you want, you’re probably not looking hard enough. This Bultaco motocrosser with a sidecar was among the coolest items offered for sale.

<small-bikes-AMCA>

I always enjoy checking out the Antique Motorcycle Club of America display, this is part of the small motorcycle collection. Directly across the road was the Vintage Japanese Motorcycle Club show. This year my freshly restored C70 Passport was displayed there.

VJMC-at-Barber-Vintage-Festival

There’s so much more to show you and tell you so I strapped two cameras to my scooter and shot a video ride around of the event for you.

If you are crazy about old motorcycles the Barber Vintage Festival is an event that you really need to go and see.

Peace Y’all.

1982 Honda Passport Restoration Part 2

Cody, this post about my 1982 Honda Passport Restoration is for you!

I finally have my 1982 Honda Passport Restoration 99.5% done, at this point all I’m waiting on is some custom made decals. Apparently the tank decals for the blue paint version were a one year only special and are completely unobtainable as N.O.S or reproduction parts. Yes I’ve checked every supplier in North America, Europe, and the Orient, so unless you actually have a set in your hand to sell don’t bother telling me to check with so and so because I already have.

A reader named Cody picked up one of these in boxes and is putting it back together and asked me to share the detailed pile of photos that I took as I disassembled & reassembled this bike so I’m going to put them into a gallery here for all to see. In addition to gleaning all of the free information available on the internet you really should get a service manual. I use the Clymer Repair Manual M310-13 because it covers every small Honda with the horizontal engines up to 1999. Keep in mind as you peruse this gallery of wiring harness connector images that this is a factory 12 volt model with electric start. 1981 and older models are all 6 volt and may be different .

This is all of the pictures that I took as I was tearing it down, I frequently referred to these and the service manual as I was re assembling this little Honda Passport Restoration project. I’ll post the pictures I took when putting it all back together next.

Peace Y’all