’64 Honda ‘Chopper’
I don’t know why but, I seem to have a bad history of getting people involved in motorcycle riding. When I first started riding I was hooked for life and all I wanted to do was share the excitement with everyone I talked to. I imagine I was pretty annoying, even to my stepdad, who got me started?!? The first person I infected with this sickness was Eddie Campione, we ended up having a one-upmanship competition for years until he got married and had a family…excuses, excuses. My next victim was Mike Kaller, I did have help from his girl friends brother so I can’t take all the blame. Mike got himself a Suzuki X6 then went quickly, literally and figuratively, to a Yamaha XS650. We both then started in on Benny. Benny liked fast stuff, he raced around town in an Opel GT for a while before stepping up to a Camaro RS (slightly breathed upon by a local engine builder), but we knew he was destined for two wheels.
I had a little Honda 350 hangin’ around the garage ( I still have three of them..it’s a sickness ) and taught Benny how to ride on one of them. His words were, “that was fun but…….I don’t think bikes are for me”. Liar.
I didn’t see Benny for a few months, I was busy with school and work and racing…all the normal stuff. Benny on the other hand, was building himself a motorcycle. He kept it hidden from everyone and when he finally revealed it, I knew why. He had built himself a ‘chopped’ Honda CB350. Extended front forks, root beer and gold metalflake paint job, mufflers cut off, an ugly uncomfortable seat and a mile high sissy bar. What else could you possibly do to embarrass a fine little motorcycle?? I was shocked, disappointed and…intrigued. Hmmmm, it’s actually not too bad.
Benny rode that little chopped Honda for a couple of years before he pitched it down Mulholland Highway one Sunday morning and finally did say that two wheels was not for him. Thirty five years later I sent him a picture of an old Honda 350 chopper and asked if it brought back any good memories. It did and maybe he’s thinking about two wheelin’ it again.
So, I found this neat little Honda chopper on ebay this morning, I’m sending the link to my friend Benny. It’s a 305, which is a great little motor and the owner seems to have done all the ‘period correct’ stuff to it. It needs some love for sure, but it runs and is a good start to a fun project for someone who is, as the Brits would say, “a bit daft”.
Click on the pics below for some more info and a good little smile on your face. And check out those dual headlights, too cool for school.