1967 Honda CD175 Sloper
I finally decided that the GB500TT was not really being used that much and that as a good friend of mine wanted one, it could go to a new home. John and I had talked at length about my GB and it seemed to be exactly what he was looking for. It really was a lovely bike and I have thoroughly enjoyed owning and riding it - but it was time to move on. It also happened that John was thinking of selling his CD175 sloper, which was a model I had been tentatively admiring for some time. I also feel that I have given our previous Governments enough money in the past and they have only wasted it - so the fact that this bike is Tax Exempt (at the moment!) was a little bonus thrown in.
Chris and I were due to go South to the 60th wedding anniversary of our good friends Norman and Josie, so I measured the GB500 and the inside of my Citroen Berlingo van to see if was feasible to take it with us. I figured that with the rear number plate removed and fitted in rear wheel first it would be OK on it's main stand. It was then an easy matter to remove the front wheel and mudguard and with a wooden stand to bolt the wheel spindle through, it was in! Four ratchet straps down to the corner tie loops, already in the van, made sure it was not going to move during the 400 mile trip to Carlisle.
When we booked the ferry with Northlink, we found out that we could arrive in Stromness the night before and have a night on the boat (or is it a ship?) prior to the 06:30 sailing the following morning. This seemed a civilised way to start our trip and the en-suite cabin was wonderful - even a full breakfast was included! We were off the boat in Scrabster just after 8 and on our way down the A9 with very light traffic (just another reason why we love Orkney and Northern Scotland so much)
The plan was that we would leave the GB with John and stay over that night with them before the last bit of the journey to Southport. We would then pick up the CD 175 on our way home to Orkney - it fitted in without any dismantling, front first and secured in the same way as the GB.
The new bike is very complete and runs fine, but it will need a bit of cosmetic TLC before it takes to the road. There is quite a bit of history with it and one of it's previous owners was a life-long motorcycle dealer and enthusiast by the name of Jim Lee - there are a couple of letters from him in the file of stuff - very nice! Although it has been previously dismantled and painted, I would like to get it in the colour which it left the factory with. It's not far off and I am not trying for concours, but RS paints have the correct shade of Neptune Blue metallic for me to apply and I have said many times in these pages that I really love refinishing tanks, panels and the like. I have found someone locally who will apply 2-pack primer to my filling and blocking, so that I can put the colour on after flatting, before they cover that with plenty of 2 pack lacquer for me to flat and polish.
The engine has been 'top ended' but I will also strip it to repaint the crankcases and covers. Some of the bolts could do with re-plating and I have now set myself up with some simple equipment for that task. New gaskets and seals will probably be all that will be required, unless there are some unpleasant surprises in there - but the way it runs, I would very much doubt that. I usually de-glaze the bores on these early Hondas - it just helps keep the oil consumption low - but realistically, it's never going to be flogged up and down the motorway for thousands of miles each year is it?
The silencers are really good, although one has a small mark which might 'tease out' with the baffle removed and a suitable implement made to go inside - more on that later! The down-pipes will need re-chroming and few other minor parts too, so I will use the services of Prestige Electroplaters (now in Mexborough) again as I have always been very satisfied with their work.
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