Monday, November 10, 2008

The Beginning - Part 2

So I was watching Ebay and Craigslist everyday for something I could afford. Most of the stuff I could afford were being sold as parts bikes, and most of the stuff that ran, I couldn't afford. The other problem I had was when I was looking. It was the summer, and gas prices were high. What I was interested in was usually gone by the time I could go look at it. One weekend, I called a guy selling his bike for $600. By the time I got the kids in the car, borrowed my brother-in-laws truck and trailer and drove to the guy's house, he had already sold it.

As I waited for my bike to find me, what I was actually looking for became more clear. I didn't really want a cruiser type of bike. I couldn't afford a newer sport bike. I decided what I wanted was a "cafe racer". These are typically older Japanese bikes that have been modified somewhat to make them look (and sometimes ride) more sporty. Most of the ones I saw started out as old clunkers and were cleaned up with new handlebars and seats added. They usually have smaller displacemensts, 250 - 500 cc, just enough to hit 100 mph (The Ton). Well, I should be able to find an old, small Japanese clunker for $500 right? Something old enough to have a kickstart.

I started focusing in on a 1968-1975 honda CB350. They are small and nimble with enough power to hit the ton. They were the highest volume selling bike in history and they are often made into race bikes for vintage racing so parts are readily available. Lots of people have made them into cool little cafe bikes. Several of them popped up over the summer, but the owners either wanted too much for them in the condition they were in or they did not return my calls.

To be continued......

1970 Honda CB350

1 comment:

abstrait said...

Jesus, that is one sweet little 350 you posted. I had four of them at one time and usually two running so friends could drop by for a blast in the country. They were such great little bikes and would run like a scalded cat when the points and carbs were spot on. I miss those beasts.

I have a 71 CB450 K4 now. At least I don't look like a clown heading to the circus, the case with the 350 (6'3 and 195lbs = monster on shitbox).

Just found your blog - Interesting read with ole Nixon and nice to see some of the stuff I'll be getting into again. I already groaned when reading the Clubman bar escapade.

- kh