Saturday, February 28, 2009

Happiness is a Clean Engine!

My friend Tariq Shah at just posted a new set of photos of my 1970 C70M engine that he is rebuilding. Wow - what a difference from the way the engine looked with 39 years of gunk build-up! For the complete photo series (at least so far - there's still some work left), go here.
Once the engine is back on the bike I'll post some pics. I'm anxiously awaiting the results of this rebuild, because it includes an 88cc upgrade and the addition of a 4th gear to the transmission. I'm hoping that with the combination of the added power and gearing, plus a 15-tooth primary socket, I might be able to get this baby up to 55 mph! Maybe I should also lay-off the apple turnovers: that would probably help considerably.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Latest Project - 1965 CA100

Well, I did it again! I bought a 1965 Super Cub that runs, has a title, but needs significant work. My wife, who loves me in spite of it, thinks I've got a screw loose. She's probably right. But, somehow, this bike really appeals to me, and I got it at a reasonable price. One thing I learned early in this restoration hobby is not to buy a bike that has no title - getting a replacement title in the State of New Jersey is kind of like - impossible.

What I plan to do in this project is rebuild the motor, add a 4th gear to the transmission, add turn signals and a corresponding turn signal control to the handlebar, install new rims and tires, replace the exhaust, re-cover the seat, and maybe even paint the frame. Then I'll ride it around for a while and pass it on to somebody who will take care of it for the rest of its "life".

Parts/services sources:

Engine rebuild: CT Trail Bikes -

Seat cover, blinkers, blinker handlebar switch: Ebay (most items from East Asia)

New wiring harness (that supports blinkers): Apex Cycle -

Tires/tubes: Beatrice Cycle -

Other parts: Ohio Cycle -

Frame painting: TBD (probably a local auto paint shop - one who's motto is, "No job too large or small".

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Great Minds Think Alike...

The above photo is one of my all-time "Celebrity + Super Cub" favorites. Two unique examples of intelligent design - the Honda Super Cub and William F. Buckley. Perfect together, aren't they? In my opinion, only a free society could produce a design like the Super Cub, and Buckley seems to "get it". Could anything so simple, practical, and pleasing to the eye ever come out of the Soviet Union, Cuba, Communist China, or any other place where the human mind and spirit are (or were) repressed?

Review - Super Cubs I've Known and Loved...

In order to re-constitute the blog, I'll make an entry today that summarizes the Super Cubs I've owned in the past - some of which I've restored and/or customized.

How did I get interested in Super Cubs in the first place? I can still remember the day, back sometime in the mid-1960's when as a 3rd or 4th grader I first caught sight of a Super Cub. A bunch of us were waiting for the school bus one morning as usual, and as it happened, the bus didn't show up that day (this was not so unusual in my home town in those years - today it would probably result in a lawsuit). As we started to drift away back to our homes, one little girl's dad rode up to the bus stop on this really unusual motor bike, stopped and said to her, "hop on", and off they went!

I was impressed by that handsome, quiet, and dignified machine - so attractive and elegant! Very much unlike the Harleys and Indians that thundered through town occasionally, typically in packs; straddled by burly dudes with beards and tatoos, frightening little kids and old ladies and looking as if they enjoyed it.

I was always hoping for the bus not to show up again so that maybe he'd come by the bus stop. I don't remember it happening again, but I did see him drop her off at school once or twice when she had missed the bus. Boy, did I envy that kid!

Years later, when my son suddenly announced he was going to buy a motorcycle, I decided to go with him to the training course (it was the only way I could get him to agree to it - being 19, he was convinced he didn't need any "training"). Afterward, I thought getting a small-displacement bike to ride around the neighborhood, and of course that little Honda from long ago came to mind. I looked it up on the Honda website and found it's name - "Super Cub". A quick search on Ebay turned up multiple Cubs for sale.

First I bought a 1981 C70 Passport (still a Super Cub, just a different model name), then a 1982 C70, then a 1969 CM91. By this time my wife was getting concerned. I sold two of the bikes and kept the '82, and had a great time re-styling it to look more like the original Cub of the early '60's. Then, due to some sudden financial pressure in 2008, I sold it as well.
Our finances improved, thankfully, and now I have two Cubs - a '70 C70M, and a '65 C100. Both are in need of restoration, so that will be my weekend hobby for the next several months.
Sometime this year I'm going to purchase a new, 2009 SYM "Symba". This is a Super Cub made by a company in Taiwan that used to make them under license from Honda for the Taiwan domestic market. The quality of the Symba is even better than the original Honda, and SYM has updated it in some key areas (suspension, engine, transmission, etc...) that make it probably the best, most advanced Cub ever. If you're interested, check out my other blog dedicated to the Symba:

OK, here's my first Cub:

This is an '81 C70. It was mechanically sound, and all I did was to clean it up and style it a bit to look like the bike in the "Look of Love" Youtube video. It was a lot of fun, though.

My 2nd bike was a '69 CM91. The photo above is not the actual bike I bought off Ebay - I owned it for so short a time I didn't get a picture taken. It was in fair shape - not nearly as nice as the museum sample above. Right after I won the auction I saw an '82 model that I really preferred as a project at that time. So, I sold the CM91 only a few days after I got it (for the same price) to a fellow Cub-lover who had lost out to me on the original Ebay auction.

This baby was my first real restoration project. I did all I could to re-style this '82 to look more like a '60's Cub: had a custom seat cover made, replaced the stock muffler with one that looked more retro, changed the front turn signals, the emblems on the front fork and on each side of the gas tank, put on a new chain guard, and added a center stand. In addition I installed new: cables, tires, chain, sprockets, kick start lever, shift lever, hand grips, and (as a final touch) added a rear hard-case.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Oof! Accidentally Deleted the Blog!

That's right, I thought I was deleting just an old entry and wound up wiping the whole blog clean! Sorry friends! New posts coming soon about my 1970 C70M restoration, and news about my latest Cub acquisition - a 1965 C100 in rough but running shape. These two bikes should keep me busy for the next few months!