May 21, 2011

Jumping In- The Unexpected!

As you may or may not recall from previous blog posts I managed to purchase a neglected 82 Honda CB900custom several months ago.

Cosmetics seemed to be better than the usual faded out paint and tremendous amounts of rust.  Probably because it's spent most of its time in someone’s garage out of the weather.  That's not to say that mechanically it was kept up to snuff.  Yesterday began the rebirth of Cy.  Cy is the nickname the 900 was christened with when we picked him up from the "I never rode it" previous owner.  The buying story goes something like this.
    Bought from a "I never rode it" CL previous owner, Cy had no heartbeat, no electrical signs of life when we turned his key on.  He was DOA!  So out came the trusty jumper cables and a quick connect to my truck, turn the key and Cy lit up.  Hurray I thought, should I press my luck and push the start button or not?   That thought was halted quickly by the excited voice of son #2, "Fire it up dad, let’s see if it'll run".  Okay, why not?  Now lets' see, neutral light green, check.  Stop switch in run position, check.  Here we go!  Thumb hits the start button and it turns over but doesn't fire. Good sign!  Gas, "Hey is there any gas in the tank", I asked.  "Probably not", came the reply from the PO, “but I've got some in a can ".  A few gallons in and we're on the start button again.  Petcock to reserve, choke pulled out, hit the button and the old 900 fired up.  I'll say "fired up" for lack of better terminology.  It sputtered and coughed a few times and settled in on two cylinders running for a second or two then gave a half hearted sigh and stopped.  As he gave up the ghost he let it be known that he wasn't feeling to good at this point and decidedly puked gas out of his carbs and down on the driveway.  Thusly we named this neglected, once someone's road warrior, Cy.
  I knew that with all that happening right in front of the PO and hearing a female's voice from just inside his garage door yelling, " You finally gona get rid of that thing honey, maybe I can park my car in the garage for a change" the poor fella's fate was sealed.  He'd have to get rid of the bike right then and would probable let it go for next to nothing.  With cash in his hand, paperwork in mine, he bolted at the opportunity for a quick sale and offered to help push poor old Cy up in the bed of my truck.
   Flash to the present.  Yesterday I began the hopefully painless rebirth of CY.  Knowing I needed a new battery I decided anyway to throw some jumper cables on Cy and see if he'd try to at least get those two cylinders to fire back up.  If he did I'd spray some starter fluid in those other two that didn't want to fire and see if they fired.  That would tell me if I had an electrical problem in the spark plug systems or if I had a carb problem from it sitting to long and not running.  So with cables hooked up, truck running, I pushed the start button and Cy half butt fired but wouldn’t run.  Once more I tried with the same results.  I grabbed the starter fluid, a quick shot in the air intakes and Cy fired and sounded like he might have come up on three or maybe four cylinders for a second and shut down.  Cool maybe it's a carb problem and I’ll do the straight "Seafoam soak" for a week or so and loosen up what ever is gummed up inside those carbs.  But just to be sure that I can get fire out of # 2 and # 3 cylinders I’ll give the starter fluid trick one more shot.  Fluid shot, key on, push the button and nothing!  No starter, no turn-over, nothing.  Just a dull click from the solenoid. Several more attempts rendered the same results.  So now it’s go get the dam battery, like I should have done from the get go, clean all the starting circuits’ connections, and see if he’ll fire up the starter.  Jezz, I hope I didn’t screw up the solenoid or the starter. But, if I did, lesson learned!


  1. Good luck with reviving 'old Cy'. Will you restore the bike to keep it? What plans do you have?

  2. Anonymous-
    Funny? Kind words, thanks, but excentric more fits the bill!
    Howdy Sonja. I know I'll restore it for sure. Keeping it will be a decision after Cy and I get aquainted on the road. If you remember my last 900 a 76kz got me real friendly with the local judge and how to give to his, "I have grandkids that waterski fund".