It wasn’t as easy as we’d hoped, or as quick, but my CB550 is up and running as of Saturday afternoon, thanks to mechanical help from my friend Josh and a few wrenches turned by my son. This is the first time I’ve had a pair of working motorcycles since 1999.
As some of you may recall, “Kellee” was sold to me with a repaired fuel tank that quickly developed dozens of pinhole leaks. By the end of the 2013 riding season, I couldn’t keep more than half a gallon in the bike, and even that would evaporate in the space of a couple of days. In early 2014, I saw that an eBay seller had a perfect NOS tank in the correct color for $349 plus $79 shipping.
What I should have done: paid the man and taken delivery
What I did: lowballed him via an eBay offer for $300 shipped
What he did in response: Told me absolutely not.
What I should have done: swallowed my pride and paid full price
What I did: refused to purchase the tank
What I did afterwards: bought a cheaper tank that didn’t work, then decided not to think about the bike in 2014 since I wasn’t in physical condition to ride it anyway.
What I ended up doing in January of 2015: paying $199 for a NOS tank in the wrong color that had been on a new bike in a Toronto showroom way back in 1975 but which had been taken off said bike when said bike fell over and hit the ground hard enough to dent both sides somehow.
So instead of paying $430 to make the bike look brand new, I wound up paying nearly $300 to make it look ratty. There is a lesson in here somewhere, if only I could manage to learn it.
Now for the question: Do I dare to commute on this forty-year-old motorcycle? The freeway I take to work runs at 85mph and dead-stopped in alternating bursts and honestly Kellee doesn’t do either of those things very well. Might just be best to keep her on weekend and short-distance duty. Either way, after a six-mile ride yesterday morning I remembered why I like having a “Universal Japanese Motorcycle”. It’s nice to sit up straight, it’s nice to go slowly, it’s nice to take a look around.
But I still want a Gixxer thou.