Friday, April 17, 2009

Old Machinery

1974 kind of old.

Older than I am kind of old.

I'm talking about a particular motorcycle that everyone I know has seen or heard of at one time or another.  It's the Honda CL350 Scrambler that Pop bought new off the showroom floor for $800 back in 1974.  The bike itself was made late 1973 and that's the model year for parts so tack another year of old on there.

This machine is special to me.  When clean and running it's in as pristine a condition as a 36 year old machine can be, it's complete and all stock, in a way it's still with it's original owner, it has only 6,139 miles on it, the license plate is the long gone blue Oregon plate, and it's now deemed 'vintage'.  Does this mean I qualify for 'vintage' status?  

I remember riding around on it as a young kid with Pop at the controls.  I was small enough that I had to ride IN FRONT of him, holding the handlebar crossbar that was just above the gauges.  Safe it was not...but times were much simpler back then.

Through the years this motorcycle has been used, not used, stored, brought back to life, put back to rest, and on and on.  When I was home from college one summer, Pop brought up the idea of passing the bike to me for use around the college campus.  Sounded good to me!  Ever since then the motorcycle has been in my care and I've pretty much failed it.  When I graduated college I took the motorcycle back home and parked it because I didn't have a secure or covered place to store it.  That was 10 years ago.

Tired of seeing this cool old bike slowly rot, I finally took action.  2 months ago Pop and I loaded it up and I hauled it home to Everett so I can try to bring it back to life once again.  This is the first of probably many posts about refurbishing the old machine.  The hope is to fire up the engine and give Pop the chance to ride it again, just as he did back when it was brand new.

The real problem areas for bringing this thing back from the grave are the carburetors and gas tank.  The tank rusted inside and the carburetors are filled with varnish and gunk from gas turning bad and evaporating inside them. This is what I'm up against:

The fuel bowl on the left is the one I cleaned.  On the right is the untouched one as it came off the carburetor.  These are just the bowls that sit below the carburetors.  The insides of both carbs are gummed up with varnish, completely locking in place all moving parts.  It could have been much worse so I was happy to see that time had not done too much damage. 

The gas tank looks great on the outside after a wash, polish, and a coat of good wax....

...but the inside is another story.  I'm holding a new gas cap for comparison.  The old cap is rusted pretty good.  On a positive note, the gas tank still had a half tank of 10 year old fuel in it so there are no holes to deal with.  Let me just say...fuel that old STINKS!

I've only just started this project so more, much more, will be happening.  Wait until I post pictures of the REST of the bike.  I was sad as we heaved and pushed it into my pickup - knowing how good it once looked and then seeing it in the current, sorry state that it is.

It'll live on, that's my goal.


1 comment:

Tiffany said...

Yes honey, you are VINTAGE! :o) And for anyone that cares this is another thing that isn't on the list!!!