Well, I’d owned the Bonnie for an entire day before a Gas Company truck tried to change lanes through me. I did the usual frenetic combination of “I don’t want to die” things and even hit the horn to warn the driver (last item on the list) – the weak “Neep neep” that resulted, however effective, made me wince.
One of the first “upgrades” I did to the CBR250R was the horn, and for $15 it’s hard to get more bang for your buck.
So it was only natural the the first thing I changed on the Bonnie was replacing the stock horn with the Fiamm Freeway Blaster (although this time I just went down to Canadian Tire and bought one rather than waiting for the mail).
I don’t buy that it is substantially louder than the stock horn, but the note is lower giving it a bit less of that “neep neep”, and while it’s a little bulkier than the stock version I think it’ll do. It is a “drop in” replacement, and does not require a relay or other upgrades.
Well, let’s be serious here. There are reno’s at the house calling for my attention and time to be spent with my daughter. So for the time being the bikes have each other for company in the garage and I’ll get back to the outstanding clutch adjustment and double checking the timing once things return to the normal work week routine.
In the meantime I couldn’t resist taking a few minutes and dragging the bikes out of the garage to enjoy the sunshine before putting them away and picking up the sledgehammer once more.
So the rebuilt carbs are on, I take some of the “genuine Honda fuel line” (at approximately $6 per inch) and hook everything up.
Can I resist the temptation to start the bike?
Of course not.
And boy did she fire right up (a little noisy with the exhaust off, but music to my ears none the less). Of course I have to do a “proper” oil change now (not where I just flush the old crap out and put new stuff in), and there is no shortage of other little details to be taken care of, but now at least she is a real motorcycle.
So for those of you just tuning in I bought myself a 40 year old motorcycle four months ago. Since then I’ve been tinkering and monkeying with it in the garage.
New tires, new cables, new rubber, new fasteners, a host of bits and bobs replaced – the list feels endless at this point, but now over $900 in parts on top of the cost of the bike.
Still waiting to be attached are the new mufflers and the rebuilt carbs (the float bowl gaskets only JUST arrived).
To be clear, this is NOT a restoration as such. This is an effort at renewal, with an education for me thrown into the bargain. I get to take an old bike, tinker with her endlessly and get her running and back on the road. I would prefer to keep the original asthetics, but we’ll have to wait and see.
So the carbs have been dismantled, cleaned, replacement bits swapped in and are all ready to go EXCEPT that the carb rebuild kits ship with the wrong sized float bowl gasket.
Not a big deal, the supplier of most of the parts I’ve been using since I found them is an outfit in Cambridge, Ontario called Sirius Consolidated, they have a exhaustive collection of bits and bobs for vintage bikes and the prices are good (compared to the AMAZING shipping rates I’ve paid for foreign suppliers) and I get the stuff a day or two after I order it.
Gas tank has been reattached with a thorough cleaning, new petcock is installed and I am just waiting on the inline fuel filters (although frankly I can always add those later if it’s gonna hold the process up).
As I mentioned previously, it is clear the CB350 went down at some point in its past. The damage I have identified consists of dents to both fork covers, scuffed speedometer, a scrape along the stator cover and a broken shift lever.
The fork covers present a problem. I could repair the dents, but paint is an issue. I’ve found a source for the original Honda three stage paint, but it is a bit pricey. Plan “A” called for replacing the damaged fork covers with a rubber boot common to later bikes and the CL350.
I did come across a couple of OK condition fork covers on ebay, and spent a few dollars on them as a “hail mary” or Plan “B”. I thought if I could bypass the immediate need to repaint I could save some effort.
The end result is entirely acceptable, and while the replacement fork covers are not 100%, they are certainly close enough for government work. I’ll finish reassembling the front forks and wheel, and if the damn carb kits arrive I can actually see if we can get this thing running!