Resurrecting A Dead Motorcycle

I’ve been wanting to find an old, non-running motorcycle to repair or restore as a Summer project.  After a few months of searching, I found a bike to rescue.  On March 30,  I picked up an old 1972 Honda CB175.  For my current skills and experience, I think it has the right mix of issues and challenges.  The CB175 was made for 5 model years, 1969 through 1973.  That’s old enough to be classic to me.

Pro: This bike has just 2,074 miles on it.  The fuel tank is completely dent-free and has no rust inside.  Overall, the painted surfaces are in good condition, so I’ll likely keep the original paint – a big plus.  Emblems and logos are all there.  The original seat is in excellent condition.  And yes, I have a clear title for it.

Con: For reasons I’ll likely never know, many years ago, the bike was vandalized.  Most wiring was simply cut away.  Was this an action by an angry parent intended to punish a teen rider?  Perhaps a vengeful ex?  Hard to say, really, and it doesn’t matter.  The bike has been immobile for an estimated 30 years, according to the previous owner who stored it in a breezeway between his house and garage.

I’ve not even started the disassembly, but already I’ve ordered a new wiring harness, front fender, carburetor rebuild kits, an ignition coil with spark plug wires, new rubber fuel tank mounts, a front brake switch and related wiring, a new ignition switch with keys, a pair of side view mirrors, front and rear turn signals, and a seat latch.  I’ll probably need to replace the cables, too, but I haven’t looked at them yet.

Surprisingly, the tires hold air but, as expected, are dry and cracking.  The front forks are leaking oil, so those will need to be rebuilt.  I’ll defer the purchase of new tires and fork seals until the engine is running.

There are lots of unknowns, too, but that’s part of the fun.  It’s like a big puzzle, and there will certainly be ample opportunity to do some detective work and analysis to put it back together and get it to run smoothly.  That’s the goal, anyway.  The reward will be a fun little classic bike to ride.  Stay tunes for project updates.

About Kevin Forth

Always learning, Kevin is an IT professional that likes to tinker with electronics, motorcycles, and whatever he can take apart.

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