1974 Honda CB550k
I'd been looking for a mid-70's Honda 4-cylinder bike for quite a while and I have to be honest, I don't know much about these bikes. I started looking mid-summer 2003 and met a lot of cool people that I learned a lot from while researching and looking over possible bikes, but just couldn't find the right one for some reason. I really wanted the original 4-pipe exhaust, even though everyone says that the 4 into 1 systems make more power, I think the look of the 4 pipes makes the bike. Besides if I wanted a fast bike, I sure wouldn't buy one of these! These bikes are all about retro cool.
Well I finally found a nice bike, the only problem is it was in Kansas City. I found it while looking on eBay and it was pretty cheap compared to all the other bikes I'd been looking at in similar condition. I guess it's true that prices really do drop in winter. I made a bid and won the bike for a lot cheaper than expected. In fact, with the cost of the bike and shipping it all the way out here, it was still cheaper than anything I could find locally. The seller was really helpful and shipped the bike through ForwardAir which had a local pick-up depot. They basically rent you a crate to fill and it's made specifically for bikes. It has a bunch of tie-down rings to strap the bike to, and a big channel down the center to keep the wheels from moving around. It was really easy and I'd recommend them to anyone.
The bike was in great shape when I got it. The pipes aren't perfect, but great for a rider. First thing I did when I bought it was put new tires, chain and sprockets. It rides great although the brakes aren't as good as I'd like, but that's pretty normal for these old bikes. It started to sputter a little and load up, and when I parked it would leak fuel out the carbs, so I pulled them off and rebuilt them along with new spark plugs. The bike runs really good now and is a blast to ride. Next up is to get rid of the floor boards and put the stock pegs and linkages on. I might try and get a straight handle bar for a cafe-type look.
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