The ups and downs of owning a classic motorcycle
Chris' 1974 Honda CB450K7 before restoration.
Rider: Chris Malcolm, Winston-Salem, N.C.
Occupation: Truck driver
Rides: 1974 Honda CB450K7, 1974 Hodaka Super Combat, 1974 Yamaha TX750, 1975 Yamaha MX100, 1980 Honda CB750
Chris’ story: “As a former Honda mechanic back in the day, I am always looking for project bikes to restore. I had been trying to purchase this 1974 CB450K7 from a friend of mine for several years. He finally relented just before Christmas two years ago. It was in worse shape than I expected. It had been sitting for 25 years or more. Although most of the bike was there, a lot of it was not able to be used.
“I wanted to restore a CB450 after seeing the article in your magazine about the bike that Charlie O’Hanlon of Charlie’s Place had done. I spent many, many hours searching for parts, and I found them all over the world. The funniest parts story is the six-hour drive I made to buy a bunch of CB450 parts, and when I got them home the only thing in the huge box of stuff that I could use was a handlebar mount that I could have gotten shipped to my door for $10. But that’s all part of the fun.
“I spent about 23 months doing this restoration, working in my free time. There were times when I didn’t do anything on it for weeks at a time, but I was always looking for parts or thinking about my next step. The only parts I had chromed were the exhaust flanges. I did all the work with the exception of the paint and body work, which was done by Dinks Paint & Body in Yadkinville, N.C., and the cylinder head was completely redone by Charlie’s Place, who also provided me with an electronic ignition that works perfectly.
“I did change the color of the bike, as I didn’t really care for the color of the 1974 CB450. I liked the red and gold on the bike in your magazine, so I actually took my copy of the magazine to my body guy and told him to match it. As for the rest of the bike, I just tried to make each and every single part as nice as I could. If it takes a week for a single part, no problem. If it takes a month, no big deal. The bike purrs like a kitten and rides great, too. When the weather warms up and dries out I plan on putting some miles on her. A website I found recently, Hondatwins.net, has a scavenger hunt I intend to participate in. I’m looking forward to that.
“My next bike, which I’ve already started, is a Yamaha 175 Enduro that I’m doing for a good friend. When he brought the bike to me from Pennsylvania, I asked him what he wanted me to do with the bike as far as the restoration and he said, ‘Just get it running.’ Then I showed him the article about Joe Rankin’s ‘Dumpster Diving’ Yamaha 175 in your July/August 2012 issue. He said ‘Build me that!’ So, that’s what I’m doing. Wish me luck! Joe did a beautiful job on that bike, as did Charlie on his CB450.”