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      01-15-2013, 10:51 AM   #1
MERLIN335i
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England
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Drives: 335i M Sport Coupe
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Buckinghamshire


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A Nostalgia Trip Back to My Youth.

As per title really, A Nostalgia Trip Back to My Youth.

Couldn't make my mind up which section to post this in, primarily it is a "for sale" post, but I feel it needs the story behind it to do it justice, which makes it a bit long for Classifieds, so I've posted it here, will let Tony/Viv decide).

I know there are a few bikers and ex-bikers on here, however probably no classic bike collectors, or anyone else old enough to remember, but here goes anyway, somebody may know someone who might be interested in it.

Maybe non-bikers should stop reading now, this is likely to get anally boring for them (no, not that type Will), and those with some interest, to ask WHY !

Many years back I felt a dose of nostalgia, some may call it a "mid life crisis", anyway I needed to relive my youth and some great times, So I decided to build myself a bike from my youth. Now I could have picked any of the "superbikes" of the 1970's era that I had owned, but these are commonly restored, and I wanted a bit of a challenge and to be different, so I chose (don't laugh, those of you who even know what the following is) a Honda CB125S.

The model/colour combination I owned was only available for a very short time, and only in the UK, very similar models were available for a few years after, but I wanted a 1972 "Candy Ruby Red" model with a "Trumpet" shaped exhaust.

One of the nostalgic "moments" from my youth that spurred me into this mammoth task, probably can only appreciated by those who have had a similar experience. It is a dark winters night, pissing down with rain, myself and a mate, both flat out (65mph) on identical CB125S's with poor 6V lights, slipstreaming each other along a narrow "B-Road". As we approached a long steep hill, we began to catch a big 40ft long truck, Gary was in front, as we reached the back of the truck, I popped out of his slipstream and crept passed him, feeling all smug with a grin on my face, I looked up the hill to see another 40ft truck thundering down the hill towards us ! Too far alongside the truck to drop back, and no power to finish the overtake, Gary on my rear number plate, and no room between the trucks for even a bike, my boxers changed colour !

The next moment I found myself ducking down and laying flat on the tank and diving under the bed(floor) of the lorry trailer (between rear wheels of the tractor unit and in front of the trailer's wheels). Garry instinctively followed, and as soon as the oncoming truck was passed we popped out again, and finished the overtake. We pulled up a mile or so up the road, and said to each other "did we really just get away with that". As we stood there the truck pulled up, and a very, very, irate driver jumped out, shouting "you silly young bastards, when you disappeared I though you'd gone under the back wheels !!".

So on to the Restoration:

To try and cut a very long story short, as models of this colour and exhaust were rare even in the 1970-80's, the chance of finding one basically good enough to restore were nil, so I found a frame of the correct year (required to maintain classic status and retain a "age related" registration number). I began scouring the world for new genuine Honda parts, eighteen years later I had every single part, nut and bolt I needed, Engine and Chassis parts, except for the Rear Mudguard. I could have fitted a very similar earlier or later part, but I was adamant the bike would be 100% correct, just as the day it rolled off the production line in Japan 38 years before, so I had the chrome stripped off them, cut them up and fabricated one from three rust ridden examples, then had the finished article badly chromed (to match quality of early Japanese chrome plating). Most of you may think a bolt is a bolt as long as it is the correct size, but my model had bolts and screws, with unique markings on their heads, so finding these was another reason why the project took eighteen years. Towards the end of the build, the subject of tyres suddenly crossed my mind, how the hell was I going to come up with exactly the same tyres it rolled off the production line with ! Bridgestone has stopped making them 23 years ago, and even if I found new ones they would be so hard, they would be unusable. At this time I was working in F1, and Bridgestone were the tyre supplier, so I cultivated a friendship with one of their technicians, who located the old moulds for the two different tyres I needed, and arranged for a pair to be hand made ! So after eighteen years, and an obscene amount of money, my nostalgia trip was complete.

The above was intended to illustrate the authenticity, quality, uniqueness, of the restoration, but probably only succeeded in boring you, and confirming my OCD, and raising serious doubts over my sanity.

Since completion, it has lived in an air-conditioned "cocoon" in my garage, has done just 156 miles. The reason it has done so few miles, and why I very reluctantly want to sell it is, that I no longer have any likeminded local people to ride with, and riding around on your own is very boring. In the last three years it has done only 6 miles, to and from the MOT station.

Value: Hard to know, I obviously have a minimum figure in mind, but would like offers. The bike has always been insured on an agreed value policy (Inspected and value set by "experts" from the Vintage Motorcycle Club), and we all know how Insurance Companies always undervalue things, the "agreed value" is 4000.

Lots more photos of build and complete bike available.

Any contacts, or suggestions on how/where (not ebay) to sell will be appreciated.

Thanks

Michael.
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