Categories
Honda C70 Supercub

C70 Update

Went riding last night, and it was fun as always. I am getting a lot more comfortable shifting. It’s almost automatic, I don’t even have to think too much about it. Downshifting and slowing down before I initiate a turn are pretty automatic now as well. I am getting confident that the bike is mechanically sound, and reliable, so I can just enjoy riding and exploring around my small neighborhood.

The mileage on my C70 is at 5,737.9, so I have put a whopping 47.4 miles on it! I can’t believe I put on that kind of mileage just putting around the neighborhood. Top speed is about 45mph, and that is going on flat ground, with plenty of straigtaway to get going. If you want to read more detail about the work that I have been doing on the bike, you can go to the page I made for the restoration project here.

Categories
Honda C70 Supercub

C70 Update

I was going to change the rear tire on the C70 last night, when I noticed that it was in pretty good shape. The front was all cracked and worn, so I had replaced it, and had thought the rear would be the same. But, there is no cracking, and plenty of tread left. But, I noticed that it is the wrong size. When the previous owner changed the tire, he used the same size as the front, which is 2.25/70. The correct size is 2.50/70. Although it will run fine with this smaller tire, the top speed will be reduced slightly, while rate of acceleration is increased. I decided to just keep the smaller tire on the back for now, and when I have more room in the new house/garage I will replace it.

Categories
Uncategorized

Dream Bike

OK, this is my dream bike. A Honda CB400SS… available in Japan, but not in the U.S. Bummer… It’s got the classic style, but with updated components. If only they sold this in the States, it would be so cool. I love the white tank with rust-colored graphics. The blue and silver color scheme is nice too.

Check out the cool wallpapers they have at the Japanese Honda site.

Categories
Uncategorized

My New Infatuation

So, I have been having tons of fun restoring my C70 these days, and still love it, but I have my eyes on a new (old) bike… a Honda CB350. These were apparently very popular in the early 70’s, and tons of them were sold here in the States. I see ads for them every so often, prices ranging from “free” to $1,500 for a close-to-perfect specimen. I am interested in a “runs, but needs some work” condition model. The motorcycle itself is not really a sought-after classic, but I like the look of it, and it’s small, light. Plus, parts are readily available on ebay, with more availability and cheaper than C70 parts.

One of the things about the C70 is that, although it goes up to 40mph, it takes it’s own sweet time to get up to speed. I guess that’s the trade-off, however, for being so economical (over 100mpg). But being rather slow makes it more dangerous, even for neighborhood riding. The bigger bike is safer, since it can pull away from tailgating cars more easily. With the C70, once you hit 40, that’s pretty much it. The CB350, from what I have read. has enough power and zip to accelerate faster than most traffic. (How’s that for rationalizing)

My thinking at this point is that I need to get fix the C70 to as good a condition as I can, then sell it to fund my CB350 project. It’s funny, but a nice C70 sells for pretty good money. I think I would be able to get $1,000 for it. By my estimate, I have put a grand total of $500 into it, including buying the bike itself.

At any rate, to do more restoration on the C70, I need to wait until we are in the new house, so I can unpack all my tools and C70 parts. Plus, we will have a 2 1/2-car garage, which means more room!!! So, this project will have to wait until 2006. In the meantime, I still have some things I can do to the C70, like work on some electrical issues.

Categories
Uncategorized

Paper Motorcycles

Yamaha has some neat little models of their motorcycles that you can build. Just print out the pdf’s, cut the pieces out, and you can assemble a cool little motorcycle. The YZF-R1 also has a cool toolkit, jack-stand, and other accessories.

Categories
Uncategorized

Class: CM

That’s on my temporary driver’s license. It means I can legally operate a motorcycle! I was only planning to renew my regular license today, then study the little Motorcyclist’s Handbook before taking the test at a later day, but after waiting an hour at the Texas Department of Public Safety (DMV to you non-Texans), I said to myself, “I’m not waiting here again” and I decided to just take the motorcycle test. I figured that the info from the MSF course was still fresh in my mind, so I had a good chance of passing. The test was done on a computer, with 20 total questions. You can skip questions, and they will be repeated later. You only actually need to answer 14 right, so I skipped a bunch, and answered the easy ones first. I then came back to the ones I skipped, answered three of them correctly, and the test ended, indicating that I answered 14 correctly (100% correct) and I passed. Woohoo!

Categories
Uncategorized

MSF Beginners Course : Passed

On Saturday, I woke up bright and early and met my fellow students at “the range” which was the Pflugerville High School parking lot. There, we met the instructor, and those without their own helmets and/or gloves got fitted with ones the class provided. I had my HJC half-helmet and leather gloves, so I was all set. The bikes that they had for us were Kawasaki Eliminators and Honda Rebels. The two students who had the most experience got the two Rebels, which were 250’s, and the rest of us got the Eliminators, which were 125cc machines. In all, there were seven of us, because one of the women from the Thursday night class didn’t show. Anyways, we all got our helmets and gloves on, then got on our bikes. The instructor led us through a quick tour of the bikes, then we “power-walked” our bikes to the staging area, and the actual range.

Our first exercise was power-walking (actually, walking while mounted on the bike, but without actually starting up the engine) across the range, then turning the bike around, then coming back. It was during this first exercise that one of the students, and older lady who I suppose was in her mid-fifties, dropped her bike and had to be helped up. We finished the exercise, then took a break. The lady decided that she needed to take some private lessons before re-taking the MSF class, and called it quits for now. That kind of sucked, because she was so gung-ho before the class, and was the first one at the range that morning, waiting with helmet and gloves.

Anyways, the rest of the morning was spent riding around the range doing a number of drills and learning the basics. It was tons of fun, and really helped, especially learning how to counter-steer. That is incredible, and so easy after a little practice.

In the afternoon, we went to the classroom and finished up our book-studying. At the end, we took a written test, and I scored a perfect 100.

The next day, we met at the range once again at 6:45am. The woman who was a no-show the day before showed up and asked to reschedule. We were wondering what happened to her, but I guess something came up… The Sunday training class wasn’t quite as fun as the first day, because we focused on slow-speed maneuvers (not that the previous day was filled with high speed thrills) and also because it started raining. I had a rain jacket, so I was dry up top, but my pants got soaked.

The training went well, although I had a bit of trouble shifting from first to second. It always happened as I started the exercise and was heading towards the instructor. Later on, I just kept it in second the whole time, including accelerating from a stop. At about noon, we were finished with our training, and it was time for our riding tests. I think there were five skill evaluations, and for each mistake you make, you get one or more points. You are allowed up to 21 points to pass, and I ended up with 11 points. I thought I did better, but oh well… I know where my riding weaknesses are, which are slow right-hand turns, and emergency stopping. 😮

In the end, all of us passed, with scores ranging from five up to 16. I got my certificate, a patch, and some coupons for riding gear at the local motorcycle shops. Next step is for me to take the written test at the Texas Dept. of Transportation to get my motorcycle endorsement. Then, I can decide if I want to insure and register my C70. I already have my eye on restoring a bigger bike, a Honda CB350 from the early 70’s. We’ll see…

Categories
Honda C70 Supercub

Tire is on!

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.

Categories
Honda C70 Supercub

Gas Prices Too High?

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!

Categories
Honda C70 Supercub

More Cub Work

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.

%d bloggers like this: