Slowly but surely my vintage hobby is becoming my family’s hobby. The Honda CB550 is a perfect example.
As with all my vintage barn finds I added this bike to my collection through a relationship. Back in 2013 a friend of a friend had a bunch of bikes in a barn, so we went to check them out. We discovered a few complete bikes, a bunch of tanks and a bunch of parts, but mostly his collection specialized in little Honda QA50s from '70s.
He had a pair of Honda CB550s so we made a deal and drove these two Asian twin motorcycles home and sat on them for a year or so. We dismantled them and hung some of the parts, and really didn’t do a whole lot with them. One day I went to lunch with a few motorcycle friends and came home later that afternoon with a gift – a completely rebuilt CB550 motor. I love Alaska and its willingness to help. Our state is full of people what stop and help you with a flat tire or gift you a motor for your next project.
Enter my wife. The bike is going to be hers, so she gets to design it, color it, basically choose everything that goes on the bike, and I’ll work with her on how we make it happen as far as the engineering, the parts, and all of the other elements that go into a build.
It's been fun communicating with her on what she’s choosing for her bike, and helping her understand how her choices translate into what you actually have to do. For me, it's definitely an exercise in spousal communication.
It should be a pretty fun bike and it will be all hers. I'm sure she'll be out in the garage turning wrenches since she’ll have real equity in this build as she makes the bike into whatever she likes.
This will be the “date bike” because our intention is to hire a babysitter and take off for some motorcycle time together on a little coffee cruise. I look forward to the day when she says to me, “You feed these monsters…I’m going for a ride.” That is when I’ll know she understands what riding a motorcycles does to your life.
For our family, riding a motorcycle helps turn the volume down on less important aspects of life.
Here's a little sneak peak of what we're working with...