Saturday, February 25, 2012

The Little Honda(s)

Mike should get most of the blame, but there's really an entire cast of characters that hooked me into 'old' motorcycles and the place it all revolved around is Lucy's place, Diamond's Coffee Shoppe, located in Northeast Minneapolis.  Lucy's kind enough to put up with us all most every Saturday morning (often Sunday's too) as we gather during every season, most of us of course riding there in the summer on our various motorcycles, many of the machines old, some very old.  It's typically a mix of bikes from every country and era, though the most popular bikes seem to break down into two somewhat loosely defined categories, namely vintage Japanese bikes or antique British bikes.

To this day I've still not owned anything from Britain, though I was close once upon a time to owning a mid-70's Norton.  As mentioned in a previous Post, I started riding on a 1964 Honda 55cc trail bike.  A few years after we sold it, I approached the woman that bought it, wondering if she might be interested in selling.  She wasn't.  As a retiree at a lake cabin in northern MN, she and her husband used the bike to bring the mail home and do their casual shopping in the nearest town.

Thanks to the Saturday morning guys and my recent joining of the Vintage Japanese Motorcycle Club, Minnesota Chapter, some serious searching on our local Craig's began.  I do my very best to avoid searches there since every time I visit, there seems to be something I absolutely need and I simply can't afford to need so many things.

Anyway, a 1963 Honda C105T was found west of Minneapolis. Based on the photos and description, it was a bit rough but the price seemed fair for its age and condition.  Mike, already mentioned above, went along to make sure I started 'old' properly and to make sure I did everything right.  He did and I did.

The young high school student had rescued it from a local farm neighbor, patched up a few things and got it running.  It wasn't a restored bike but it had been running and that was enough for me.

Ain't she a dandy??

I rolled my Helix outside for comparison and when our oldest daughter saw what I was up to, came out to see "the cute little thing".  She couldn't believe that the Helix would make anything look small, but the did what it could to live up to my designation of Big Touring Rig.

This all happened in November of 2009.  In the long span of two very wintery months, I decided that one wasn't enough and found two more, a 1962 and a 1963, both C105T's.  Again, Mike and this time another facilitator, friend Chris, helped me bring these home from northern Wisconsin in mid-January.

Over the next few months, I essentially made one runner out of the 3 of them.  Mike (he's always around when I need him) helped me get the seat re-covered and other than a few other odds and ends easily available on Ebay, it was mostly adjusting, cleaning and lubricating to get it running again.

Here it is running, pretty un-Honda-like loud.  There was a small baffle on the lower side of the upswept pipe that was open.  I machined a cover for it and then the little bugger ran as quiet as a Honda should.  Of course, I lost maybe 15-20 horsepower but you can't put a value on quiet.

Note the shift into road gear where conditions were warranted.......

1 comment:

  1. Doug needs to join the Brit club and suffer along with the rest of us... !