Saturday, November 05, 2005

New toys

Ever since dad went to Randy's race back in September, dad's been wanting to get a motorcycle that he can fix up and race. His goal would be to not be lapped by the person in first place. So for the last few weeks, dad's spent his Wednesday, through Friday nights on looking for pre-70's Honda's. So every Thursday morning that I don't have chemo, dad's been waking me up to be a carpool dummy on his way up to look at bikes that he's called on. This Thursday, he woke me up at 9 am and said "we gotta leave quick". The add that he called on just said that it was a 63 Honda Dream. He really didn't know what it was, but it was old, so he called, found out that he was the first one to contact the seller, and that the bike had a title. When we got there, we saw it under an awning at the apartment complex that the guy lived at, and almost turned around without getting out. The guy had torn a bunch of it apart, so it looked like a bunch of it was missing. But I said "You might as well take a look at it", so we got out just as the owner set down the box of parts. He was just taking his fourth call of the morning as we approached the bike. Once we got a closer look at it, we realized that it was pretty neat looking. After seeing that the tank was in almost perfect condition besides the paint, and that most of the body parts were there, dad handed him the cash and we went in to get the key and title. Once inside, the seller could find neither the key, nor the title. The key had been a victim of "organization" by his girlfriend, and what he though was the title turned out to be the title to a 38 Harley that was mistakenly given to him by the original owner... He said he would track down the key and the title. His girlfriend should know where the first is, and he knows where the original owner lives and works. Even if that doesn't work, I'm sure we'll be able to track down the registered owner through the state listening dept.

Once we got it home, we started to track down what it actually is. It turns out that it's not a Honda Dream. This seems to be a common misidentification. I found the engine serial number, and from that found out that it's a Honda CA95 Benly Touring, a street bike that did only okay in the US, but quite well in Europe and Asia. It has a distinctive frame stamped out of sheet metal, forming a solid frame from the head to the tip of the fender. It's no racing bike, but it's such a cool little thing that dad and I are going to restore it. We've already found quite a number of parts for it. Obviously, at least once we got it home and started looking at it, we'll have to find the correct seat. The one that's there is in pretty good shape for an original seat, but we don't know what bike it's actually for. We should be able to sell it and buy the correct seat. It's also missing the tool kit and battery covers, and the head light. One thing that we have that's probably very rare to have is the frame mounted tire pump, in working condition. I think this is going to be a fun project, and I hope that it's not going to be too hard to tack down the title.

First is a picture of the bike sitting in the garage. Most of the body parts are in the plastic bin on the left. The body had been painted white, by brush, and the guy we bought it from started to sand it down and primer it.

The next picture shows what it looks like in original condition. Ours was originally white, but they came in black, red, or blue (And in rare cases, pink).

Here is another example of the Benly in white, the original color of ours.
In other news, Ai just got back from a trip to Hong Kong with her mom. You can see her Hong Kong pics at her page.