Tag Archives: vintage

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.


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.

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.


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

Triumph Tiger 110
















Here’s a special bike for Honda fans.


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


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.


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.


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 C70 For Sale

This motorcycle has been sold!

1982 Honda Passport C70 For Sale

1982 Honda Passport C70 For Sale

I have greatly enjoyed this little Passport over the last year and a half that I’ve owned but it is time to let it move on to someone who will love it and enjoy it for what it is. It has been completely refurbished. It’s not a true restoration, as the paint is Ford blue rather than the original Angel blue. All of the plastic parts except for the sidecovers are new aftermarket parts. It has new Michelin Gazelles, with all new tubes, rim strips, wheel bearings, and brake shoes. The muffler is a new replica. The carb has been cleaned and tuned. The fuel lines are new, and there are a pair of filters installed under the tank. It has a Shorai lithium battery, and an aftermarket headlight assembly with a replaceable bulb. Being a 1982 model it has a factory 12 volt charging system and CDI ignition.  It runs better than it looks, and it looks pretty good. The mileage is correct at 3352 miles but may go up as I will ride it occasionally to keep it running correctly.

1982 Honda Passport C70 For Sale

My price on it is $1400 firm but I may consider interesting trades for certain project bikes. I am located in Eastern South Carolina and would be willing to assist your shipper or meet you at a safe public location within 150 miles of my place.

1982 Honda Passport C70 For Sale

Contact me at motopsyco@motopsyco.com if you’re interested, but please be patient with me as I am still operating on batteries due to the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew so please allow up to 24 hours for a response.

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

Is A Lithium Motorcycle Battery For You

Lithium Motorcycle Battery Pros & Cons

If you have not heard the buzz about lithium batteries for motorcycles then you have probably been hiding under a rock somewhere. There are many different brands available, and although prices have dropped some you may have noticed that they command a premium price. The question for most people is lithium motorcycle battery worth it? Most of the time yes, but sometimes the answer is no.

Of course there are a number of advantages and some disadvantages of lithium batteries in general. The single biggest advantage they have for the motorcycle restorer or customizer is that they contain no acid. There’s nothing worse than to have your battery burp a little acid out through the overflow tube and dribble it all over you freshly restored paint & chrome. Even if you carefully route the vent tube the acid still seems to corrode the battery box, frame etc.

Figure 1 Battery acid damage to a Gold Wing

<lithium motorcycle battery>

For the collector & show bike enthusiast who does not ride their motorcycles very often, a lithium battery has a very slow self-discharge rate. Especially on older motorcycles that have zero current draw when the key is switched off a fully charged lithium ion battery will usually maintain enough current to start the motorcycle for up to a year. Please note that it is recommended by all manufacturers that you disconnect and remove the battery for storage. If your motorcycle has any current drawing accessories such as a clock or an alarm system the battery must be checked & charged on a regular basis if you plan to leave it connected to your motorcycle.

In racing or other high performance applications lithium ion batteries have the advantage of weighing much less any other currently available battery configuration with equivalent specifications. I cannot recommend them for total loss ignition systems on race machines unless you are willing to be extremely diligent about checking and recharging them, and you accept the fact that this is basically a non-warrantied experimental use in the eyes of the manufacturers. If your racer has a charging system that meets the minimum charging requirements of your battery then you should not continue to handicap yourself by running a heavy lead acid battery.

Customizers love these batteries because they can be installed in any position even upside down. There are a few different from factors, most appear similar to a standard battery, but there are a few oddly shaped batteries available. Li-ion batteries are much smaller & lighter making them much easier to hide in café racer bum stops or under seat trays.

Figure 2 Conventional and Shorai Lithium Gold Wing batteries for comparison

<lithium motorcycle battery>

Warranties are usually better on these batteries running on average 3 years from most suppliers if they are installed in a factory recommended vehicle with a good functional charging system.

This leads to the biggest caveat of them all. Your motorcycle or other powersports vehicle must have a charging system capable of maintaining a steady charging rate of 13.6-14.4 volts during operation. If you have an older motorcycle that has a marginal charging system that is not capable of maintaining this charging rate and you want to run this type of battery some charging system upgrades will be needed. If yours is a fully functional mint condition classic motorcycle with all original parts, I personally would not change it just to run a li-ion battery. For one that is a frequent driver, or just needs a new charging system, look at some of the aftermarket upgrades available, it might be worth your while upgrade your charging system even if you don’t choose a Li-ion battery.

With proper precautions (see the manufacturer’s instructions) these batteries can handle some water spray or a very brief dunking, if you frequently run long deep water crossings on your dirt bike or take your atv and drive it around in the water with nothing but the snorkel sticking up above the water then these batteries are not for you.

Another factor to consider for some is that if something goes wrong & your battery goes dead away from home it can’t be jump started. Once discharged below a certain point these batteries have to be charged back up with the manufacture’s recommended charger, or you risk damaging the battery. So if you’re the life of the party & plan to use the stereo system in your Gold Wing to provide music for the whole campground until late at night & then get your buddy to give you jump start the following morning so you can get home then you shouldn’t even consider a lithium battery.

Since this was published in the Vintage Japanese Motorcycle magazine I must note that if you need a six volt battery, at this time the only manufacturer offering a six volt lithium motorcycle battery is Shorai.

Cold weather operation is a little different & takes some getting used to. When the temperature drops below freezing a li-ion has very different operational characteristics. They actually require a bit of a warming up period to deliver full voltage. For my own personal driver, a 1980 Honda CB650, when the temperatures are at or below freezing I will switch the key on and make sure the headlight is on high beam for about 30 seconds before hitting the starter button. If the engine turns too slowly to start I let go of the button and wait a few more seconds at which point the battery is fully warmed up and will spin the starter normally.  It’s just a little thing & I realize most people are not masochist enough to ride a motorcycle in the freezing cold if they have a car, but it is a difference in the behavior of lithium & lead acid batteries that you should be aware of.

To me the advantages of the lithium motorcycle battery outweigh the disadvantages and I hope that this gives you enough information to help you make an informed decision about whether or not you want to purchase one.

This article originally appeared in the Vintage Japanese Motorcycle Magazine in 2015. To learn how to join the club and receive this fine publication 6 times a year visit www.vjmc.org

Disclaimer; Motopsyco is an authorized Shorai battery dealer and will be more than happy to help you with selection of your new battery, so if you can’t figure out which one you need from this battery finder link, feel free to contact me by email at motopsyco@motopsyco.com.


Perfect 1975 Kawasaki Z1B 900

Before it became the Perfect 1975 Kawasaki Z1B 900

Take a good long look at the bike in this picture. This particular machine is now the most perfect 1975 Kawasaki Z1B 900 on the planet right now. But before you scroll down just take a minute to stare at this first picture and just imagine the work it took to make it that way.

Perfect 1975 Kawasaki Z1B before

This motorcycle belongs to a gentleman from North Carolina named Mike. It was a long term labor of love for him to perform the ground up restoration you are about to see below. It has taken best Kawasaki honors at several shows, and at the Destination Eustis show this year his effort was rewarded with the best of show trophy.

Now Mike has kept a notebook full of pictures detailing this restoration and displays it with the motorcycle at shows. It’s really very educational & inspiring to look at his pictures, and just get a small glimpse of the effort it took him to turn this particular sow’s ear into the most exquisite silk purse it is today.

I present to you the Perfect 1975 Kawasaki Z1B 900

Let’s start with a left front view. All of the pictures in this post are large so it may be a little slower to load but trust me it is worth it.

Perfect 1975 Kawasaki Z1B 900 left front

These were taken the Sunday morning after the show when a lot of the bikes had already left the exhibition hall. Rather than stage it somewhere else I decided to get a bunch of pictures right where it was at.

Perfect 1975 Kawasaki Z1B 900 head on

Perfect 1975 Kawasaki Z1B 900 right rear

I’d be willing to lick the bottom of this engine but for the fear that my tongue would get it dirty…

Perfect 1975 Kawasaki Z1B 900 bottom of engine

Kawasaki completely redefined the parameters of motorcycle performance when they created the DOHC 903 engine, and this one has looks to match.

Perfect 1975 Kawasaki Z1B 900 picture of engine
Here are a few more details for you to check out, enjoy!

Perfect 1975 Kawasaki Z1B 900 sidecover

Perfect 1975 Kawasaki Z1B 900 top view

Perfect 1975 Kawasaki Z1B 900 gauges
“if I could turn back time…”

Perfect 1975 Kawasaki Z1B 900 front hub

Perfect 1975 Kawasaki Z1B 900 front of engine

Perfect 1975 Kawasaki Z1B 900 front details

Perfect 1975 Kawasaki Z1B 900 left profile

This next picture is my favorite of this batch, it captures the overall beauty of this motorcycle better than any other picture in this group.

Perfect 1975 Kawasaki Z1B 900 portriat

I must confess to teasing Mike about not riding this one, but to tell the truth after all of the hard work he’s put into this one, who can really blame him for wanting to keep it perfect for as long as possible? He is a true fan of the original Kawasaki 900 and keeps another one in his stable for riding, so don’t even dare think of him as just another poser with a show boat because he’s not. If this beauty were mine & I had put so much work into it I’d be just like him.

Perfect 1975 Kawasaki Z1B 900 Best of Show


Destination Eustis 2016 Motorcycle Show

Friday at the Destination Eustis 2016 Motorcycle Show

There wasn’t really a lot going on yet when I rolled into the Destination Eustis 2016 Motorcycle Show early on Friday March 4th. So I went ahead and set up my base camp for the weekend. To stretch my budget this year, instead of staying in a hotel I decided to sleep on an air mattress in the back of the enclosed trailer. This actually made a decent camping arrangement as a simple tent heater kept it nice and cozy on the cool early spring nights.

Motopsyco's camp @ Destination Eustis 2016 Motorcycle Show

Afterwards I went digging around the swap meet just to see what was there. I didn’t take as many pictures this year because I had an actual shopping list of parts that are needed for two very different bikes, one a 45 cubic inch Flathead Harley and the other a Honda CT70 Mini Trail. Didn’t find much for the mini but there were a couple of vendors that had some good deals on parts for the Flattie.

<harley flathead battery boxes>

<flathead & wla handlebars>

One of the absolute coolest things there was this little Model T replica for sale. The seller drove it around all over the place, and I hope some happy person took it home.

Mini Model T at Destination Eustis 2016 Motorcycle Show

Other than a little shopping I just hung around the main exhibition hall and offered my meager assistance to the really hard working folks in the VJMC who were getting everything ready for the show on Saturday. Once darkness had fallen and supper was over it was time to retire to my little campsite and knock back a brew before turning in.

Saturday at the Destination Eustis 2016 Motorcycle Show

<campfire coffee>

Fresh perked coffee early in the morning, sitting in a chair outside while cooking breakfast over a camp stove. The only way it could have gotten any better would be if my lovely partner had been there with me, but alas she had to work.

<cb450 police & qa50>

After making myself reasonably presentable it was time to head over to the main hall again and watch as the neat old bikes filed in to register for the show. Rather than trying to post them individually I put a few of them in a slideshow for you.

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There were of course a few extra special bikes that really stood out and demonstrated that even though this may be one of the smaller “Bike Week” events it attracts some really high caliber machinery.

First up is an ultra rare Flying Merkel, who doesn’t enjoy seeing an old timer like this in good running order?

Flying merkel>

There have been a lot of custom cafe racer or muscle-bike style custom Goldwings showing up on the internet and it was great to see this wild ‘Wing show up to take home 1st place in the custom class.

Custom Goldwing Destination Eustis 2016 Motorcycle Show

No vintage motorcycle show is complete without at least one classic American racer, and the stunning Indian flat tracker fits the bill perfectly.

<antique indian racer>

The Best Of Show award went to my friend Mike, who brought this absolutely immaculate 1975 Kawasaki Z1B. He restored this bike himself from a rusty derelict. Look for more pictures of this one in the next week or two.

<1975 Kawasaki Z1B>

One of the best things about going to a VJMC organized show is the fact that the judging is done by audience voting. This makes results almost completely unpredictable, and does away the bullshit & hurt feelings that result from selection by a panel of judges. I’d also like to acknowledge the hard work of the Vintage Motorcycle Alliance, they run the swap meet and set up the vendor areas and without them and the Vintage Japanese Motorcycle Club, this event would not be what it is.

Click here to learn more about the Vintage Motorcycle Alliance

Click here to learn more about the Vintage Japanese Motorcycle Club

Until next time, Peace Y’all