A really cool barn find.


soroush

Ford Gt Owner
Mark II Lifetime
Aug 8, 2007
5,156
what a fantastic story and a great project Chip... somethings are just worth the time and money.
 

Brombear

GT Owner
Mark II Lifetime
May 16, 2013
1,328
Frankfurt Area, Germany
Thanks for explanation.
 

ChipBeck

GT Owner
Staff member
Mark IV Lifetime
Le Mans 2010 Supporter
Feb 13, 2006
5,556
Scottsdale, Arizona
Back in time.

Gentlemen,

I’m almost finished with Charley’s 23 year old Z50 and getting quite an education in the process. If this bike was 40 to 50 years old it would be a lot easier as massive numbers were sold back then and almost everything is being reproduced. But production and sales of the Z50 from 1991 to 1999 (the last year) were very small and key components are unavailable at ANY price. 90% of what I needed was a mouse click and two days away. Other items sent me on a worldwide treasure hunt and involved a lot of time on the phone. Some serious collectors are paying crazy money for rare NOS parts and so did I. I also bought another Z50 to strip it of some needed items. I’m about 95% finished and the little guy is running good and looks happy and healthy again.

Every time I see it it makes me smile and brings back memorys of how excited my 3 year old boy was on Christmas morning 1995.

Chip
 

Attachments

Brombear

GT Owner
Mark II Lifetime
May 16, 2013
1,328
Frankfurt Area, Germany
Cool. But you didn‘t expect it to be easy, did you ? Makes most projects more than throwing together a bunch of parts and calling it a day.

Enjoy it.
 

FGT899

GT Owner
Mark II Lifetime
Dec 10, 2013
265
Scottsdale, AZ
Great story Chip, I really enjoyed this one. What are the odds?! So Cool.
 

GKW05GT

GT Owner
Mark II Lifetime
May 28, 2011
2,514
Fayetteville, Ga.
Very cool and and am awesome coming home present.
 

MJSFRX

GT Owner
Mark II Lifetime
Jul 26, 2010
767
Carlsbad, CA
How cool. Keep us posted on the progress Chip.
 

AJB

GT
Mark II Lifetime
Le Mans 2010 Supporter
Jun 28, 2006
2,717
Bloomfield Hills, Michigan
Chip - you fit nicely on the bike.!!

I am in the process of bringing back a 1973 Honda CB750 Four.
It still has the four exhaust pipes and I even found the four black baffles that are installed in the ends.
It will not be a 'restoration /' but a "survivor mode". It has 55,000 miles and I purchased it new in 1973.
It has been a 'hand me down' thru my brothers and the family and Dad rode it until he was 91 years old.!

So My question: "best place to find parts ?" I also have found that seats cost more than I paid for the bike new.
...any advice is appreciated.
andy (ajb)
 

Special K

GT Owner
Mark IV Lifetime
Aug 23, 2016
1,214
Franklinton, LA
Chip - you fit nicely on the bike.!!

I am in the process of bringing back a 1973 Honda CB750 Four.
It still has the four exhaust pipes and I even found the four black baffles that are installed in the ends.
It will not be a 'restoration /' but a "survivor mode". It has 55,000 miles and I purchased it new in 1973.
It has been a 'hand me down' thru my brothers and the family and Dad rode it until he was 91 years old.!

So My question: "best place to find parts ?" I also have found that seats cost more than I paid for the bike new.
...any advice is appreciated.
andy (ajb)
I’m glad to see other forum friends on the “Honda gold rush!” As you are finding out, there is an extremely high demand for 1970-1990s Honda bikes. The smaller they are, the more they are sought after. I believe this is primarily because they were the bikes we had as kids and also they don’t take up too much storage space.
Andy to your point, I find it cheaper to buy a good seat pan on eBay and have it recovered. There are people specializing in recovering seats, engine rebuilding and fuel tank repair offering there services on eBay as well.
Please, please, please, do not rebuild these bikes with cheap Chinese parts. It’s cheap and easy to do, but what makes these bikes so special is lost. I prefer to keep them the way I find them and let my friends and family have the same enjoyment I did as a kid.
My $.02

Some of my bikes, a few of which I’ve had since I was 10!













Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
 

ChipBeck

GT Owner
Staff member
Mark IV Lifetime
Le Mans 2010 Supporter
Feb 13, 2006
5,556
Scottsdale, Arizona
Chip - you fit nicely on the bike.!!

I am in the process of bringing back a 1973 Honda CB750 Four.
It still has the four exhaust pipes and I even found the four black baffles that are installed in the ends.
It will not be a 'restoration /' but a "survivor mode". It has 55,000 miles and I purchased it new in 1973.
It has been a 'hand me down' thru my brothers and the family and Dad rode it until he was 91 years old.!

So My question: "best place to find parts ?" I also have found that seats cost more than I paid for the bike new.
...any advice is appreciated.
Andy (ajb)
Andy,

The Achelles Heel of older motorcycle restoration is finding a perfect NOS seat. They don’t exist. Unlike metal and glass components, almost 100% of seats are destroyed by the passage of time and most are built with molded-stamped-graphics features that can’t be duplicated precisely today. And without a perfect seat there isn’t a perfect restoration. It’s not uncommon for NOS seats for old motorcycles to sell for more than the bike cost new. The next two tough items are gas tanks and exhaust systems which never seem to be available.

But to answer your question, the best source of rare hard to find parts is to GOOGLE them. There is no best store or web site. There may only be one example of what you’re looking for in a far corner of the world so google what your looking for several ways, by model year, make, model, and use several different descriptions of the item. If you’ve got a part # try that too. When you get a hit don’t hesitate because you’re not the only one searching. When knotheads like me are restoring a car or bike that’s meaningful to them they will pay irrational money for needed parts. So, unless you have a good reason to do it, it’s always cheaper to buy the best existing example of a car or bike you want rather than taking on a restoration. Cheers.

Chip
 

ChipBeck

GT Owner
Staff member
Mark IV Lifetime
Le Mans 2010 Supporter
Feb 13, 2006
5,556
Scottsdale, Arizona
Gentlemen,

Perhaps the best barn find car or motorcycle isn't the most unique, rare, or special vehicle. It may be one that has great significance to the finder. Everybody remembers their first car or motorcycle. It's not things mechanical that make a first car or bike special. It's where they take us between the ears. A flood of memories, people and events in our past, good times long forgotten rediscovered. A car or bike we owned decades ago can take us back in time.

Looking at old pictures of my son Charley on his 1996 Honda Z50 Mini Trail brought back great memories of Christmas morning 23 years ago. The bike weighed twice as much as my then 3 year old son so I built training wheels for it and put a limiter on the throttle. Soon he was riding it all over the back yard. At age 4 the training wheels came off and he rode it till he was 6 when he graduated to a Honda XR-70 (which I still have). The last year the Mini Trail was produced was 1999 and it always bothered me that I sold Charley's first bike.

Those photos of young C4 on his Z50 had me wondering where that bike is now? I didn't have the phone number of the guy I sold it to 20 years ago. He bought it for his then 4 year old son who would be 24 today. But I knew where his house was so I drove over to see if he still lived there. Two decades later and lo and behold, he answered the door! I had to explain who I was and then he remembered me. I asked whatever happened to the little bike and I was shocked when he told me it had been sitting out in the weather by his back fence for the last 15 years. It didn't run and was covered with dirt and leaves. He told me it wasn't worth fixing and he just never got around to throwing it out. I told him I'd like to buy it back but he said if I wanted it I could just have it!!!! I was so happy to get my son's very first motorcycle back! I hauled it home and it's in my garage and out of the weather. It looked pretty sad and neglected, but like the Charlie Brown Christmas Tree it was special and just needed some attention. It's back home where it belongs and in good hands. I've already ordered $600 worth of new parts and by the time I'm done it will look just like it did on that Christmas morning 23 years ago.

How cool is that? :banana :banana :banana

Chip
 

Attachments

Last edited:

john gourley

GT Owner
Mark IV Lifetime
Apr 27, 2006
385
What a great story. Can't wait to see it finished up. Love the photo.
 

Spirit

Heritage GT Owner
Mark IV Lifetime
Le Mans 2010 Supporter
How cool is that? :banana :banana :banana

Chip
VERY COOL CHIP !! WELL DONE. :thumbsup
 

STORMCAT

GT
Mark IV Lifetime
Le Mans 2010 Supporter
May 25, 2006
7,413
Ft. Lauderdale
Gentlemen,

After work today I started tearing down the little Z50. First I photographed every detail of the bike so I’ll know how to reassemble it. Then I power washed away a decade of dirt, oil, and spiderwebs before removing the fenders and seat. It’s going to take a while to assess everything it needs and assemble the necessary parts, some of which are no longer available so I’ll need to search eBay and other sites. I really enjoy projects like this. Charley is 6000 miles away in Uruguay but this brings him back home a bit.

Chip
Great story. !!. she actually looks pretty good all cleaned up.. !!
 

STORMCAT

GT
Mark IV Lifetime
Le Mans 2010 Supporter
May 25, 2006
7,413
Ft. Lauderdale
There is no wife, I wonder why...


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
Hey ,, I can relate to that !! :biggrin
 

steved57

GT Owner
Mark IV Lifetime
Le Mans 2010 Supporter
Mar 29, 2008
1,747
kilgore tx
Great pic and story Chip - So I've been riding/racing 48 years and started with my dad so I sure get it
 

The Grey Ghost

GT Owner
Mar 13, 2009
567
Kansas City
Just saw Honda is bringing back some of the oldies.

The red one in the pic at the beginning of the article is identical to the one I had.

https://finance.yahoo.com/m/0d595a27-b08a-3481-96ad-08e22360b415/ss_honda-monkey-and-super-cub.html
 

JWZ

GT Owner
Mark IV Lifetime
Nov 17, 2013
575
West Texas
That's great, Chip! Thanks for sharing!
 

Vince H

GT Owner
Mark II Lifetime
Jul 23, 2012
2,349
Southern California
Awesome project. Not sure if you have let Charley in on your find but I bet it's going to blow him away.

Vince H
 

nota4re

GT Owner
Mark IV Lifetime
Le Mans 2010 Supporter
Feb 15, 2006
3,647
Damn it Chip.... I didn't really need a tear duct check!