I've been wanting to rebuild a trashed motorcycle for sometime, just to check it off the list of "things I must do in my lifetime". I have a couple of bikes (all of which I acquired for free over the years (2 bikes from family members and one incredibly great barn find). Anyway, the bikes I have all run well and since I really don't know what I'm doing, I just can't bring myself to dismantling something that works fine... at least for now.
This project had to be something that had parts easily available and small enough that I wouldn't get in over my head. After a few weeks of scouring ebay and craigslist, I found a 1974 Honda CB125 for $200 WITH A TITLE! The engine was described as "stuck" and the rest of the bike was "as is". Perfect little project for me and my new garage. I picked up the bike from Ben Salem PA and was pleased at how complete the bike appeared to be. While a lot of parts would have to be fixed or replaced, at least I know what goes where.
I got home and immediately started tearing into the bike, photographing every step so I'd have a record of what went where. All small parts were placed into ziplock bags with labels.
As I began dismantling the bike, I noticed what appeared to be lint all over one side of the bike. Looks like the bike was parked in front of a dryer vent for sometime. Mud and leaves also caked the engine and frame as well as the usual rust spots - however, nothing (besides the seat cushion) looked unusable (I kept the seat I kept in case I'd find use for the pan somewhere down the road.)
I pulled off the tank and it sounded felt like it was half full of dirt. This turned out to be rust. Below is a picture of what came out when I took the cap off:
Under the tank I discovered an old wasp nest. Nice! Imagine if there had been wasps in my van when I drove home?
A couple minutes later I was taking off the tail light and low and behold, another wasp nest! When I went to pull it off I was shocked to be face to face with a live bee. Whoa, I had driven and hour with these bees in my truck - windows up with AC on!. At this point I grabbed a hose and bathed the bike from a safe distance and called it a day.