I found this bike kind of by accident. I was searching Ebay for a Harman front end and found one for sale. After doing a little bit off looking I found out the person selling the bike was actually parting out the whole bike. I knew from the minute I saw the complete bike it was to cool to get parted out. I contacted the seller and said I would take the complete bike. I had it shipped from California to Minneapolis MN. I didnít realize initially the person selling the bike was Camhello from this site. We got it all worked out and the semi showed up the end of last summer 2010.
Needless to say I was like a kid on Christmas morning unpacking everything and seeing what all I had. I was pretty excited seeing all the custom parts that had come with the bike. The bike was completely in pieces. Nothing was put together. Even the motor was partially apart. When I received this bike I was also in the process of redoing my Harley chopper. Getting it ready for final paint and chrome. I moved the bike into my basement for the winter and it sat for a while when I worked on my other bikes.
Having some frame issues with my Harley and parts were out getting painted and the frame reworked I had some free time. I would go down in the basement in the winter and started working on the Harman Honda chop. It was like an adult erector set, with no instructions. I couldnít believe how much gold plating this bike has (24K by the way). Every screw was even plated! I slowly started getting things back together. Measuring bolts and getting the motor in the frame and getting a rolling chassi.
One night working on the bike I found some paperwork that came with the bike. It had the original bill of sale from the guy who originally owned and created the bike.
After a couple beers and some google searching I found who I thought was the correct person on some CNC forum. I sent the person a message on the site and told him that this was way off topic but asked if he had ever seen this bike before. A couple days later I got an excited message from the person, Daryl Boulton, saying yes he originally made that bike back in the 70ís.
Back in the day he had John Harman build the frontend and the custom Honda frame for him out in California. Daryl did all the crazy work to it like the pipes and the crazy hand kickstand (If you look close the hand even has finger nails!). He eventually lost interest in the bike and sold it to a guy who in my guess sold it once more and eventually Camhello ended up with it.
I actually talked to Daryl on the phone about the bike and he was a big help explaining some of the things he had going on with the bike. It was great to talk to him about the old days and building bikes back then. He got a kick when I told him how old I was (29) because he said he built the bike when he was in his twenties (now in his 60ís). He was very happy to see someone had saved the bike and was getting his creation on the road. It was never finished by any of the previous owners and was never down the road.
After working through the long Minnesota winter I had the bike in pretty good shape. I ended up taking the frontend off and my buddy and I rolled/lifted the frame out the basement door around to the garage. This sucked as it was heavy and hard on the back.
Once the bike was out in the garage it was full on working on the bike trying to get it finished up. Bought some new tires to replace the rock hard old rubber. I ended up having to cut the oil tank open as something was loose inside. Turns out the vent tube had broken off inside. I welded everything back up and it worked great. It currently has a mini drum in the front that is useless. I actually took the pads out and Iím running it mainly as a spool wheel of sort for now. I may eventually run some old Hurst mini brakes on the front but this will do for now. The ARD magneto on this bike was a whole new deal for me. I took it to a local shop and they cleaned up the points and got it firing. I brought it home and put it on and kicked away. I got some bad backfiring. I actually caught my lift on fire one night when it backfired and caught some gas on fire. That was scary!
Over the 4th of July my buddy Bob (Roep0013 on this site) came over with his Honda and we grabbed his carbs off his bike to rule that out. After all day of adjusting the mag and both of our legs wrecked from kicking the bike all day I finally readjusted one of the mag pulleys and boom, started first kick. We were both kind of in shock at first but really excited to get a motor that has sat for 40 years running.
Since then I have been working and tweaking the bike to get it running right. Still need a few more adjustments (plus a title) but the bike runs strong. Tommy helped me take it to some shows this past month and it won first place at the Stillwater show. Not bad for itís first show in 40 years.
Big thanks to Tommy and the rest of the HondaChopper site. This bike wouldnít be back on the road without you guys. Also thanks to Roep0013 for letting me steal parts off his bike and using his kicking leg all day!
I plan to redo the
bike over the winter. New paint and plating but until then see you down