This page will document the resurrection of an old 1972
Honda CB750, that was kept in storage for over 13 years. The
bike was acquired by Cyclemaintenance.com with the hopes of one day seeing
it ride off into the sunset with a new loving owner atop its beautiful
flat 70's style seat.
(Click on the pictures to
Loading, transporting, and unloading the
I've got a 2001 Toyota Tundra
Access Cab pickup truck to bring bikes home in. I bought a 10' x
10" x 2" board (yes, I'm too cheap to buy a motorcycle ramp!) to
use as a ramp and we stuck a log underneath the midpoint to prevent it
from bowing too much. We really had it easy, because Randy's (the
previous owner) yard had a good slope to it so I could leave the truck
towards the bottom and the elevation difference between the bed of the
truck and the ground was decreased. The bike did move
up the ramp ok (the wheel bearings weren't frozen or anything) It took
three of us to get it into the truck, one to guide it and two to push from
the right and left of the bike. After it was in, I used about 4
ratcheting straps that you can get at any Home Depot or hardware store to
tie the bike down. As a precaution, I also put the bike into gear
and duct taped the front brake handle down.
The trip home was only about 10 miles. The suspension on my truck
and the roads were good enough to me that the bike stayed nice and stable
throughout the journey. Unloading was a bit more difficult because I
don't have a nice sloped area to help get the bike down. We ended up
building a small additional ramp at the end of the board to ease it down
slower. I also had to strap the ramp board to the bed tie downs to
prevent the ramp from slipping off of the tailgate...maybe I should
splurge and just get the dumb motorcycle ramp next time!
Assessing the work
Once we got it into the garage, it was time to take a good look at
everything. I checked the following:
- Tires: Checked for two things basically.
1 - The tread
left and 2 - the condition of the rubber. The tread depth on the tires was pretty good (about
1/4"). The condition of the rubber
wasn't bad considering it was stored for 13 years. What really helped was
that there was no sunlight (and hence UV rays) pouring down on the bike for the
13 years in storage. The rubber could have looked better...I've decided I'm
gonna replace the tires anyhow. Have you ever heard of a motorcyclist getting a
blowout? There's a good reason why you haven't...motorcycle tires are
CRUCIALLY important to keep them in good condition. It'll probably be the
single biggest cost for the rehab work, but I'll feel a whole lot
better selling it to someone if it has new tires on it.
- Oil Leakage: Not much to speak of right
off the bat. UPDATE -
leaving the bike in the garage for a few days, I found out that there was oil
leaking from the gear shift shaft seal. I'll have to replace the seal that
seals around the shifter shaft...I hope the shaft isn't bent...it
doesn't look like it (the seal is fairly cheap!).
- Overall appearance: Lots of dirt. Lost of surface
rust. Not much real penetrating rust though. The fork tubes are
rusted a bit, but mostly above where the seal will need to seal up to. The
aluminum on the bike looks pretty poor, but I've got polishing equipment that
will take care of that!
- Electrical: Wires looked good (no dry rot or
separated insulation). Connectors looked good; I unplugged a few and the
inside of the connectors were dry and clean. The rubber boots on most of
the plugs were still in pretty good shape. The battery...will get recycled
- I'm not even gonna try and use it. The coils and spark plug wires looked
good, again no dry rot and the connectors were all clean.
- Gas tank/fuel lines: Whew!!! It smelled like varnish and
alcohol in the gas tank! I shined a flashlight in there...didn't look so good. There
were chunks floating and chunks on the wall of the tank, as well as some light
rust above where the fuel came up to. We're gonna be
talking definitely a KREEM job. (KREEM
is a high quality gas tank sealant used to seal up small holes, as well as
re-coat the inside of the tank). The fuel lines were probably the
originals. There are two separate lines that each feed a pair of
carbs - for about $1.50, I'll go ahead and install new fuel lines with
an inline fuel filter.
(Cleaning the Carbs)