My 1978 Honda CB400 TII

June 28th, 2009

1978 Honda CB400 TII
The (semi) finished bike

This is the first bike I've ever owned. I was on my way to a fundraising event and saw it in a garage sale on the way. The moment I looked at it, I knew this was going to be my first bike. Funny how that works - I had been thinking about getting a bike for a while before that, and voila, it appears.

The bike was fairly weathered (spent one year outside) and needed some maintenance, but otherwise it was in excellent shape with only 16K on it. Except for the seat cover, all of the original parts were there. The chrome was in great shape and it started up without any problems. It looked like it was dropped once at low speed (or while parked), as there was some damage on the right side. All pretty minor damage - broken choke control, torn rubber boot on the shifter, dent in the front fender - nothing that couldn't be fixed with a few parts and a bit of work.

I bought it in the fall and fixed some of the immediate and easy things on it. Replaced the choke cable, emptied and replaced the gas, plugs, etc. I rode it for that month as-is, basically just learning. This year I spent a lot more time on it cleaning, polishing, fixing and restoring it. I decided against a strict restoration, as this was my first bike and I wanted to have a bit of my own personality in it. I painted it a custom metallic orange instead of the original dark metallic red with stripes. Other than that, I've let it stay pretty true to the original and for the time being, I'm not planning on adding any aftermarket parts or customizations. This way if I wanted to go back to a restoration I basically need a seat and the original paint.

Throughout the process I found that I really, really love riding. I also really love fixing, restoring and working on bikes. I think this is something that I will enjoy a lot of! So I am already on the lookout for my next project... :)

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