Just what is the minimum cost to build a chop?
With that as the goal I started at the local Honda repair shop’s back yard scrap pile. The owner was happy to have me haul off three 1970’s era motorcycles; all dead, rusted hunks, 450, 550, and 750 c.c.
Next, down the road to another but more independent repair shop of off-road and cruise bikes, another scrap heap out back produced two more motorcycles of past decades (250 and another 450 c.c.). Again, the owner thought he was through with them.
Into my shop they went one after the other chopped into their many pieces. Good parts were cleaned and put on the shelves. The rest went out the backdoor into my own scrap pile.
Then the Honda shop owner calls. He has just taken in a 1975, 4 cylinderCylinder The cylinder shaped space (obviously) in an engine where the piston moves up and down to compress and explode fuel, which generates the engine's power., CB 550 that was parked in 1993 out from behind a barn. Do I want to see it? It’s the worst of all the motorcycles in appearance. The tires are flat, the fenders are rusty. Rust is leaking out of the tank, but it has a title and it may be made to run.
When it was parked in 1993 it had been rebuilt with 19,000 on the refreshed engine. I gave the owner the front end of a 1979, 450 Honda to install on one of his customers machines and he gave me the 1975 Honda with title.
Taking the hulk to the shop, I jacked it up, stripped off everything except the motor and carbs leaving the wiring hanging in place. I chopped the frame off behind the old tank brackets and down to just above the swingarm. I made it look ready to get out the back door also. But I saw something no one else could see. I saw a clean 750 Honda front end, 39 mm, 8” o/c with reversed drag bars and an old Harley headlight was installed. In back was welded another swingarm. Another rear tire and wheel were installed, along with another fender and a diamond plate under the seat on top of the welded swingarm. Everything except the diamond plate came off my parts shelves.
The gas tank is off my old Sportster as is the lone mirror. The seat is a larger bicycle seat from the hardware store. All cables and wires are the originals. The brake and taillights are 1981 Honda.
After 14 years the carburetors had dried up. Trying to remove any bolts only produced more trouble so I resorted to pulling the air and fuel mix screws and using compressed air in them to clean junk out, adding carburetor cleaner to the new gas, revving the motor to a high rpm and slapping my hand over the opening forcing them to choke and swallow their own crud. All four exhaust pipes finally got hot and down the road it went.
The cost: Sixty-five dollars for the title and transfer and the plates.
Chop til you drop,
The Horse BC Issue #70$7.99