Honda Classic Racer
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So I am a glutton for punishment.  The Bantam project is finished and is for sale (Now sold).  Retirement from daily work has finally arrived and new project rears its ugly head.  OK, so I could buy a stock production bike for less money than this will cost but where's the fun in that.  I have searched in vain for a classic British machine to spend my money on but prices and availability combine to confound me.  So, here it is - at least it will be here when it gets delivered.

 

 

Pretty ain't she...pretty awful that is!  The seller says 'Ripe for Restoration' but I disagree.  I think it is borderline and whereas I don't like destroying bikes, there comes a time when enough is enough.  To my way of thinking, if I use this as a donor vehicle for a classic racer, several other machines will be put back on the road using the parts I discard so everyone wins.

So, what's the damage?  It cost me 350 plus 90 for delivery so far then, 440.  I think I can bring this one in for around a Grand so watch this space.  I will provide rough running totals of expenditure as I go and a detailed breakdown will appear from time to time as long as my financial nerve hold out.

The bike arrived on 1 February and it really is in poor shape.  It's no problem as most of it will be discarded or sold on.  The frame is solid if a little rusty, and the engine can be turned over with a spanner on the end of the crankshaft.  Most of the fastenings are seized and damaged by the use of incorrect tools so some damage is bound to occur when I try to dismantle the components.  So far, the only real problem is a cracked top fork yoke but I have to ask myself why is it that it has to be like this?  Sounds Irish (No offence intended!) but sometimes I am really very disappointed with the way some people treat machines.  This poor machine has been abused to the point where if it were a horse, you would shoot it, and lock up the owner for mis-treatment.  Almost every nut and bolt is damaged by the use of poor quality or incorrect tools.  In particular, all the engine casings are held on by a selection of chewed up and corroded phillips screws.  I have managed to get most of them out by judicious use of a GOOD screwdriver and heat, the remainder by whatever means I could, in order of desirability, impact driver, hacksaw and bladed screwdriver, torque bolt and, in extremis, the dreaded drill and mole grips.  Its very odd because the engine has clearly been stripped and rebuilt previously using good quality gaskets, and jointing compound.  Even the oil I drained off is clean and of good quality.  Why then in the name of blue blazes did the 'mechanic' not replace the damaged screws?  To put this into perspective, I bought enough stainless cap head screws to rebuild the entire engine for less than 11, so why were such nasty items  used in the previous rebuild?  Answers on a postcard...... !

So-to work.  Stripping down presented few problems. none of which could not be overcome with the help of hammers, screwdrivers, spanners, heat and molegrips.  Follow the links above for the full story of the rebuild.

 

Useful Contacts.  Note, these are suppliers I have used.  I do not necessarily recommend their products although all have dealt fairly with me.

James Wheildon - Rims and spokes.

Steadfast Fasteners - Stainless screws

Ridgeway Classics - Breaker

Hales Honda - Honda K4 race components

D-M Engineering - Honda K4 race components

Bardney Racing - Race plastics

K3 Breakers (by email)

JTS Motorcycles - probably the most helpful supplier in the West!

David Silver Honda - Supplier of spares for older Hondas

Bike-it - Accessories and parts

Simply Bearings - The name says it!

Caswell Plating - Fuel tank sealant and electroplating supplies

Worlds End Motorcycles - You need it, they have probably got it