I put the new tire on the front, filled it with air, and it seems alright. I also checked the hi-beam light and it works nicely. I took it up to about 35mph tonight, I think it will go above 40mph, but I didn’t let it get up to speed. I guess the new tire was freaking me out a little. Next, I gotta adjust the valve clearance, because it sounded like there was some tapping coming from there.
Honda has this cool scooter prototype that runs on gasoline and electric power. Yes, it’s a hybrid scooter! I am not too crazy about the looks, but the concept is cool, and it should get incredible gas mileage. Maybe even better than the ~100mpg my C70 Passport gets!
Last night I went over to the garage to work on the C70. Although I only have a small space to work in, it is adequate. Earlier in the week, I went to Home Depot and bought the materials for my homemade jack-stand. It consisted of two bricks, a bag of dirt, and a tarp. The bricks go on the ground, for height, then part of the tarp, then the bag of dirt, then put the rest of the tarp over it. The tarp is there so that the bag doesn’t puncture. Then I lift the bike onto that pile, and the front wheel is off the ground. The dirt is pliable enough that the bike “settles” into it and is pretty stable. In the future, I’d like to get a center stand, which would make working on the C70 much easier, but the parts for it would cost upwards of $50, so I will just use my “Home Depot Special”.
Anyways, I got a bit of work done. First, I replaced the bulbs in the speedometer, the neutral indicator, and the hi-beam indicator. The panel lights up nicely now. I couldn’t test the hi-beam light yet because I didn’t start the engine, but the neutral light works perfectly. Also, I replaced the air filter, which was all dirty and oily. That was the easy part, and took about 10 minutes.
Next, I disconnected the front brake and speedometer cables, then removed the front wheel. I then removed the broken fender, and tried to line up the replacement I bought a week earlier. Unfortunately, the fender’s mounting holes are off by about 3/4”. It’s secured by four bolts, and the top two line up perfectly, but the bottom two by the wheel hub don’t quite match. I will need to make a bracket or extension of some sort. But for the time being, the top two bolts are holding the fender securely in place. Even if the fender shifts, there is no possibility of it getting stuck on the tire because of the way it is positioned.
Next, I removed the old, cracked tire from the front rim. That was easy. But fitting the new tire on the rim was a pain in the rear. It was not pliable at all, and all attempts to get the bead around the rim were defeated. I was super hot and sweaty too, so I decided to call it a night, and bring the tire back to the apartment and have another go at it the next day. But, after taking a shower, and reading up on the correct way to put the tire back on, I decided to try again. (In the comfort of and air-conditioned room!) The secret trick to putting on a tire of this kind is to put some soap around the rim. Simple as that. A little soap and some elbow grease, and the tire went on relatively easily. My fingers are sore, but the tire is ready to be filled with air. While I have the front wheel off, I am going to replace the brake shoes. But that will wait til tomorrow night.
I can’t wait to take it out for a spin, though! With the new tire in front, I want to take it up to top speed and see how fast it can go.
Things left to be done in the near-term:
- Replace rear tire
- Replace drive chain
- Fix front brake light switch
- Make brackets for fender
- Change oil
Oh dang, I just remembered I forgot to charge the battery. Oh well, it looked like it still had plenty of juice, but I try to charge it every couple weeks.
While doing a Google search on “Honda C70” last night, I stumbled upon the Mad Bastard Scooter Rally ‘04, put together by CMG, a Canadian motorbike online magazine. I love to read stories like this. A group of several (6?) scooterists go on an endurance rally around Lake Ontario on scooters, including a Yellow 1981 Honda C70! I won’t give away the ending, whether they made it or not, but it’s a pretty cool story. You can also read about the ‘05 Rally here, although no C70’s made the trip in ‘05.
I have a fascination about motorbike journeys, and have been reading “Long Way Round” by Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman. Someday I’d like to take an extended trip on a bike too. Seems like a neat experience.
The fender that arrived for my C70 should fit on nicely. The mounting holes on the top are placed differently than on the original fender, but the forks actually have bolts in the correct place for the replacement fender as well, so it should work out. The only problem is that I only have about an 8’x4’ space to work on it in the garage. The rest of the garage is filled with our moving stuff. I need to stop by Home Depot to buy some bags of dirt to make my homemade motorbike jack to lift the front of the bike up. Then I can change the front tire,
and replace the fender at the same time. Speaking of the fender, the color turns out to be a really nice dark greyish-blue. It is actually one of the colors I was thinking of painting the bike, so I guess it’s decided. I shouldn’t have any problem finding a matching color at the auto parts store. The photo above is what my bike will look like. I am even going to paint the side covers white to match the legshield. I just need to search for a luggage rack like the one in the photo, but it shouldn’t be too hard to find since they are still produced in Japan.
The other night I decided to take the C70 out for another spin. The cub turned over and started right up, but then it died after about half a minute. I couldn’t get it started again, so I wheeled it back towards the garage. Before I actually put it in, I decided to try one last time, and lo and behold, it started up. This time, the bike’s weight and/or metal mass was enough to trip the entrance gate, so I was cruising around the neighborhood in no time. It was about 85°F out, so the wind felt really good. It is so much fun to ride, even if it’s only at a rather tame 30mph. I think it could probably hit 40mph easy, but I will wait until I put on the new tires before I try. I also need to get a new chain, because the one that is on it now is stretched and rubbing against the chain guard. I also fixed the right rear signal: the bulb wasn’t contacting the wire properly. Anyways, the ride was tons of fun. I rode around the old neighborhood, since it is not busy at all and I can have the whole road to myself. I am getting used to riding it, and shifting is becoming second nature. My friend Chris told me a bit about the correct way to apply pressure to the brake on a motorcycle, so I kept that in mind when slowing down at the stop signs.
The list of things to do are:
Fix speedometer bulbs
Fix front brake lever switch
I moved my bike from the balcony closet to the garage last night. I figured I would take a picture of it while it was in the livingroom. Before I took it to the garage, I went for a little spin around the neighborhood. I learned a couple things… first, the bike is not big enough to trip the parking gates. I had to wait for a car to come along and open them. Second, the light for the speedometer is out. It probably just needs a bulb.
When I came back to the parking lot, I met a fellow tenant who was getting off of his Yamaha YZF-R6. We chatted a bit about our bikes and he took a photo of my C70 with his camera phone. It turns out that he had never ridden a motorcycle before he bought his, just a few months ago. He said his friend had one, so he got one too. He didn’t take the MSF class, and failed his written test, so he has to go back tomorrow to retake it. Speaking of the MSF class, I am going to take it in a month or so. It should be really fun.
I found a blue fender for a C100 cub on Ebay today. It should fit my bike, but may need some slight modifications, which might be as simple as drilling a couple holes in it. The C70 has I think five plastic body parts: the legshield, front fender, left side cover, right side cover, and lower handlebar cover. With the exception of the handlebar cover, all of those have some sort of damage to them on my bike. The side covers just have small hairline cracks, but I can live with those. The legshield is cracked in a few places, and I will eventually replace it, but am in no rush. The front fender had a crack in the very back, and it was ok, but then during the move, the fertilizer spreader in the garage fell back, and the handle whacked the fender right on top. It actually punched a hole through the top, and cracked it pretty good. I taped it up with packing tape, but it looks pretty bad. Hopefully the new fender will work out nicely.
I started it up today and ran it for about 20 minutes. In the storage closet off of the patio… I can’t wait to get out of our apartment and into our new house. I got new tires for the cub, but no tools or space to put them on. 🙁 Anyways, I am keeping the cub’s battery charged, and it started up on the second try today. Lots of smoke came out of the exhaust at first. I hadn’t run it in over a month. It’s a great little bike with a super engine. I love it.
After waiting for three months, the Michelin Gazelle tires I ordered for my C70 arrived at the shop. Apparently a big batch comes over from Asia to the distribution channels here in the states only a few times a year. But, the bike is in storage while we wait for our new house to be built. I will have to put on the new tires later in the year. 🙁 Which reminds me, I gotta charge the battery…