I began to fall in love with motorcycle my freshman year of college. Like most college guys, I only paid attention to crotch rockets until a friend of mine (see last paragraph) started to send me cafe racer pics on a regular basis. In 2006, I was able to purchase a 1971 CB450 (shown left) in San Diego for about 500 bucks. Over the course of a few months, I stripped it down to a frame and began sanding off all of the rust it had, while regularly buying parts from Ebay. I had every intention of rebuilding it and riding it, but lost my motivation when all of my power tools were stolen from my garage.
I decided to put it up for sale for $750 and a couple of weeks later and a guy who loved building older bikes from Austin called me, came by and purchased it. I asked him to keep me up to date on the progress of the bike, and a few months later he sent me the picture to the right, which honestly blew my mind. He was able to rebuild it with all the parts I had and only ended up spending about $300 extra for additional parts. It was very hard not to buy it back from him (I really still wish I did).
Prior to selling off my 450, I stumbled across a beautiful 500 for sale for $3000 out in the hill country of Texas. I pulled over and fell in love with the bike. I week later it was in my garage. I have absolutely fallen in love with this bike. It idles rough, leaks oil, and a little bit of fuel, and it is still the best bike I have ever ridden. I really look forward to tweaking a few things here and there (or paying the professionals to do-so) so she will run at her potential. It is a very nimble bike and I can’t help but enjoy myself as I flick it through turns. I have also noted that my riding skill has increased drastically since I became an avid mountain biker.
After a year of owning it a coworker and I decided to repaint the bike and wrap the pipes. I used it as a weekly rider in the Springs for a couple of years before dropping it off to a local mechanic (nightmare story there), to fix an oil leak and help with some disassembly stuff while I rehabbed from surgery. I had a good portion of the bike powder coated, and the engine block porcelain coated. All said and done he had my bike for 10 months, gave it back to me relatively disassembled and not working, and I have not had time to fix her yet. I have spent the last couple of weeks working on her and hopefully I will have her up and running soon (pictures on the way).
The friend mentioned above bought himself a beautiful 76 CB750 after a couple of years of exchanging cafe racer pics, and used it sparingly around Austin. Over the years I would jokingly ask him to sell me his bike, and out of the blue last fall he asked if I really wanted to buy it since he did not have the time to work on it/ride it. I drove down to San Antonio/Austin and met my dad to haul it up to the Springs. I do not have it running just yet, but I have replaced the tires, boot forks, and chain. Hopefully I will be riding her around in the next few weeks as well.