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The Antique Motorcycle Club of America Bi-monthly Newsletter
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February Newsletter 2018
At the bottom of the document make sure to Click "View Entire Message"

AMCA CHAPTERS

 
Dear ,

 
Lot's of AMCA members kicked off the 2018 season in Las Vegas at the Mecum and Bonham auctions at the end of January. The Las Vegas Chapter of the AMCA hosted the AMCA booth at the Mecum Auction and signed us up over 25 members. 7 Motorcycles sold in the six-figure range. See a details story from Hagerty by clicking the link above.

It's almost riding weather again! Is your Chapter planning a spring ride? Is your Chapter having a final pre-season meeting in February or March. Do you even have a Chapter? If not, click on the link below to see if there is a chapter near you, or one starting.  

If you are looking for a new AMCA Chapter in your area? If you don't see on one on the AMCA Chapter Map, make sure to click on the "Read More" link below to see a list of all the new areas of the country in the process of starting a chapter.

We've listed the forming chapter's contact information. Let them know you are interested in being a member of their chapter and get involved.


LOCAL CHAPTER EVENTS
   
 
 
 
Wolverine Chapter   
and The Gilmore Car Museum     
 
Loan Bikes Needed
 
Click on Wolverine logo for details 
 
 
 
SoCal Chapter

Borrego Springs  
Winter Road Run 
 
March 1-4 
 
Click on logo for details
 
 
 
   
 
 
 
 
 
 
Metro Detroit Swap Meet  

2nd Annual   
Motorcycle Swapmeet 

Sunday, May 6th
Waterford, Michgan
 
Click on logo for details    
 
 

Pate Swap Meet   

Special Cherokee Chapter   
Motorcycle area

April 26-29 
Fort Worth, Texas 
 
Click on logo for details  
 
 
 
 
Sunday, May 20th
 
The Busiest Weekend in 
   
Vintage Motorcycling  
     
 
 
Zia Chapter
 
Musketball Run 
 
May 18-20
Alpine, Arizona
 
 
 
Click on logo or map for details  
 
   
 
 
Click on logo or map for details

 

Empire Chapter

Sylvan Beach Bike Show 
 
May 20th 
Sylvan Beach, New York 
 
Wolverine Chapter

Bike Show

May 20th 
Centreville, Michigan 
 
 
Wild Ones: 
Vintage Motorcycle Rally 
 
Featuring the  
Pan Head Reunion

Saturday, July 14th 
 
 
Badger Heritage Chapter
   Pan Head Ride to Wauseon 
                      
Saturday, July 16th- 19th  

Click on logo or map for details 
 
 



Pandemonium Ride
 
Milwaukee to Wauseon 
 
 
 
Did you know that you can keep up with Chapter Events by going to the AMCA Website and clicking on "Chapters" then "Chapter Events" to see what's going on in your area?

If your Chapter is planning an event for the Summer and you want listed, please send the event poster or flyer to AMCA Executive Director



Read More  TopBlue 
 

TopDeals
DEALS FOR MEMBERS
Sponsors and Advertisers

Support the companies that support you and our industry. Click on Read More below for Details and links to each deal. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
TopBrown2

AMCA RACERS

The Tradition Continues
 
The Barnes Family and Indian Motorcycles 
by Larry D. Barnes #2826 
 

This article and accompanying YouTube video is to show how Indian motorcycles have been an integral part of the Barnes and our extended family's lives; and how we, and our bikes, have changed over the decades.
   
The black and white YouTube slideshow that follows was made from a scrapbook that photographed and put together by my dear late mother, Dorothy Barnes. The work dates about from 1947-1949. She shot the pictures with an old "box" camera, long before telephoto lenses and automatic focus cameras, of course. And she took the film to the drug store to get it developed. Back home, she pasted the pictures onto black paper pages using those little green stickies that you'll see. Thanks Mom. Great job!

YouTube Video 
Don and Dorothy Barnes    
 
I'm not in the black & white pictures, since I wasn't born until 1949. The little guy you'll see in them is my older brother, Roger. We call him "Skip." He can remember Mom building the scrapbook on the kitchen table.
Following the black & white section of the slideshow you'll see later pictures of Mom & Dad, pictures of me and Skip today, his grown son Steve, my wife Deb and our 5 yr. old grandson, Rider, continuing the Indian motorcycle tradition in our family.
 
 
 

  
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TopNationalNewsNATIONAL NEWS
Government Officials who support us!  
 
 
 
See story by AMCA member John Stein's of Hagerty on
the Senate Motorcycle Caucus
  
 
 
 
Are You Reading the Digital Version of the AMCA Magazine?
 
If not you are missing out on seeing it in advance of your printer version and all the cool features it offers. Regardless if you love your coffee table copy of the magazine, the digital version offers:
 

  • All issues starting with Jan/Feb 2016 are archived on the AMCA website for easy access.
  • Search function to look up any topic
  • Store your own notes permanently
  • Advertiser's Page. One stop shop for all the ads without scrolling through each page. Great quick way to find sources.
  • Content View to quickly access any article
 
 
Don't believe me? Listen to what member Richard Marshall had to say
 
"Good morning!!!  I am spending the first morning of the year as every antique motorcycle enthusiast should; looking at the electronic version of the January/February issue of The Antique Motorcycle.  In my personal opinion, this is by far the best motorcycle magazine of any type produced by anyone in the world, and it just keeps getting better.  The paper version is top quality paper, excellent photos and fine, professionally written text, and advertisements not only generate revenue but provide members with information about sources of assistance with rare old machines."
 
Richard goes on to say, "And here comes the electronic version which has many new features and capabilities to augment the hard copy "keepers".  I see that AMCA archives all electronic copies on their website so that they are accessible to members whenever they like.  In my opinion, this makes AMCA membership a unique asset to anyone interested in old bikes."   
 
  Not convinced? Click on the magazine above and give it a spin! 
 
 
Visit www.AntiqueMotorcycle.org for links to each event and details 
    

 Read More  
 
 
TopRed

TopBlue2
MEMBER'S RIDES

The Forgotten Honda Scrambler
By Mark Bayer # 1771 7
 
The Japanese manufacturers stormed into America after 1959 and had exponential sales of motorcycle s and scooters by the very early 1960's. Of the "Big Four," several sources indicate that early Yamaha motorcycles were imported as early as 1958, in small numbers. Honda came in 1959, but it is reported that test machines may have come over as early as 1957. Kawasaki is said to have come in 1962 and Suzuki came in 1963. Some of these dates are in dispute, but in reality many motorcycles were sent over as a sort of test to check out the market.
 
Early birds, such as the Miyata and Pointer motorcycle and scooters, appeared as early as 1961 with Yamaguchi and Tohatsu machines arriving in 1962. Small numbers of Marusho motorcycles were imported as early as 1960 and some say the Meguro (an older Japanese brand later owned by Kawasaki) came in 1962. I know from my own research that some Meguro's and Kawasaki's were sent to the US as identical bikes, but having different brands on the tank and engine cases.

 

This section is a feature section for AMCA member motorcycles or stories. If you would like to have your bike featured, please submit up to four photos and information about your bike and yourself to AMCA Executive Director, Keith Kizer. 
Want more information? Visit our website for more Chapter information or check out the Forum to see the latest discussions on topics that are pinpointed to your interest.
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Archive Newsletters
 

October 2017 Newsletter


Stories Continued from Above

MoreGreen
Chapter (Continued) 

If you missed the Mecum Auction in Las Vegas in January, you missed the opportunity to cash in on the Las Vegas Chapter Poker Chips and key rings. They can be purchased through the chapter by going to the Las Vegas Chapter Website or clicking on the above photos.

In our ongoing effort to add dots to the map, here is a list of Chapters trying to form.

South Alabama                 Contact Charles Barber     Sandy Hills Chapter
North Arkansas                 Contact Chris Gibbany
Tucson, Arizona                 Contact Cliff Steimle
Bakersfield, California     Contact Chuck Bent
Fresno, California              Contact Keith Kizer
Northeast Canada            Contact Mike Podger
Indianapolis, Indiana       Contact Keith Kizer  
Toledo, Ohio                        Contact Nate Church
Spokan, Washington        Contact Bob Morrill 
Salt Lake City, Utah          Contact Michael E. Jones

 
MoreBlue Local Chapter Events (Continued)

Local Chapters are the ones who bring camaraderie to enjoying the sport you love. If you are not a member of your local chapter, please look them up and visit their next meeting or event. You can find them in the block above by clicking on the Chapter Link which takes you to the map. Click on the state of choice then on one or more of the bubbles in that state. Once you click on the bubble, scroll down to the information for that club. Most have a website link, but if not, click the email link and ask for details of their Chapter.

For those who dedicate their time as Chapter officers, directors or volunteers please send me your Chapter Events so I can include it in the next newsletter.

We will include your local events with links back to the "Chapter Event" pages of the main AMCA website. If you have Chapter logos, Upcoming Event logos, artwork, or photos, please include those too. We are here to help you promote your events to other members.



 
DealsCont  Deals For Members (Continued) 
 
Sponsors and Advertisers

Support the companies that support you and our industry. Click on each company's logo to visit their website. 






60th Anniversary

$10 Rebate per Motorcycle Tire



AMCA Members receive a
10% Discount 
 Corporate Plus discount  
code is: CP M68H3Y

 
AMCA Members receive a
10% Discount 
  
Use code: AMCA10

10% off ALL AMCA orders
No min or max, No gimmicks.
USA Fluid Products.
Talk to Fready Frank
641-745-9360 non text
VOICE ONLY mobile phone.



 

5% Discount with AMCA membership


10% Admission Discount with
Active AMCA membership card.


Up to 15% Discount to AMCA Members






All new Kiwi Indian Riders Instruction Book by Mike Kiwi Tomas. 14.99 
Oil Filters $9.99
 
Kiwi designed performance pistons $64.99 ea (includes rings, pin, clips)
 
Discount with Active AMCA Membership 

Click on above photo for
Charles Binks Story  
 
Binks Carburetors
10% Discount for AMCA Members









The Automatic Brake Light
that has your Back



10% Discount to AMCA Members







Free Accessory
with Purchase by
AMCA Member.

Call for Details


 

 
AMCA Now Accepts PayPal for Membership and Merchandise!  
If your company would like to offer a discount to the ever growing AMCA membership, please contact AMCA Executive Director, Keith Kizer. Your company logo will be added to future Newsletters and the AMCA website's Sponsor's Page. 

 Back to Top


 
RacerAMCA Racer (Continued) 
   
Larry Barnes on Track 
My father, Donald Barnes, was one of those "Greatest Generation Guys." When he came home from World War II, he married my mother and adopted her son, Skip. Skip's dad was a WWII pilot who never came back.
 
Mom and Dad
Dad & Mom started an Indian dealership in Wooster, Ohio. Don Barnes' dad, Glenn, had run a bicycle shop before the war, so two-wheels were in his blood. But like so many other GI's coming back, Don needed a little more excitement than bicycles could give. So he got into motorcycles; in particular, Indian motorcycles.
 
And it wasn't long before he began racing motorcycles on the weekend. With his brother, my Uncle Cliff, as his mechanic, he specialized in TT racing. His favorite bike to race was an Indian 101 Scout, which you'll see in many of the photos in the video. TT racing was a type of racing that was on smoothed dirt terrain with right and left turns. They didn't have any jumps back then because these guys were running big 750 stripped street bikes with hard tail frames and maybe about three inches of travel in their front link forks.  
 
Dads First Racebike
Back then, before television and NASCAR, motorcycle racing was a big spectator sport. People would come from miles around to see those guys race...and/or run into trees and crash. There were no guard rails, so the people would stand right along the edge of the track urging their favorite riders along. Helmets were just coming into vogue, and Dad wore a little pudding bowl fiberglass job with no padding inside; just webbing.
 
I don't know how many people got hurt or killed doing that, but there were TT and flat track races everywhere. Every town had one or two events per summer. Dad got pretty good at these and by 1947 was ranked as an Expert by the AMA, all that time riding that same 1929 Indian 101 Scout, tuned by our Uncle Cliff. His little shop was busy and there was plenty of service work to do.
 
But the Indian Motorcycle Company hadn't survived the war in very good shape financially. Harley had won the contract to produce military bikes during the war, and when the GI's came home, they were more inclined to go check out and buy a Harley, the bikes they had seen running around during the war.
 
But Indian did sell a lot of 1947 to 1953 Chiefs, the bikes with the full fenders you most often see on the road today. But they are really the "end of the line" models from Indian.
 
To Indian's credit, they did see the need for a smaller version of bikes to be manufactured and sold, and pioneered the idea of building modular frames and making multi-model engine parts. In '49 and '50 they started producing an Arrow 220cc single and a Scout 440cc twin in pretty much the same frames.
 
But if you compared this new lineup of small Indians to the familiar '40-'53 Chief models, which were not produced any longer, they really missed the mark. I had one of those '49 440cc Scouts a few years ago. They were beautiful to look at, but just too small to appeal to the macho guys who just got out of the military. If you parked the new Indian models next to a '47 to '53 Chief or a Harley Panhead, you'd wonder what the heck were they thinking? Plus the new bikes had reliability issues. I think it was in 1950 or '51 when the Indian factory took ten race-prepped Scouts to the big race in Daytona, and all of them broke down with mechanical issues.
 
And so began the dark days for the Indian Company. First they started selling European bikes, like Jawa, through their dealerships. Different groups of people bought control of the company, but then The Indian Motorcycle Co. finally went bankrupt in 1953. Brockhouse Engineering, from Great Britain, used the old Indian dealership network to try and sell their own Enfield bikes, rebadged as Indians.  That didn't work out long, either.
 
So back at the Barnes Indian Shop, with no in-coming new bikes to sell, things continued to get tougher. And then another thing happened in 1949: I was born. That meant now Dad had two kids and a wife to support. So he quit racing, went out of the Indian business, and got a real job at a factory. He sold off his Indian inventory, one by one, until the only bike remaining was his dear 1929 Indian 101 Scout race bike. That one sat in the corner of the barn.
 
But then Mom had twins, Carole & Darrel in 1952, the family finances got even tighter, so even that last Indian had to go. I can still remember the day; I was maybe five, and we watched Dad's favorite Indian go out the driveway in the back of a pickup truck. For the next 10 years or so, the Barnes family remained motorcycle free. We only heard about Dad's racing exploits once in awhile, and they usually ended with the phrase "I wish I had never sold my 101."
 
But time does have a way of repeating itself. First, I got a Sears Allstate moped and started riding it in the woods, helping its meager little engine by pedaling up the hills. Then came a 1965 Honda 305 Superhawk and I started riding it back and forth to high school and then to college at BGSU. And then one fateful summer I did my first motocross race in Medina, OH on a little Honda XL 125; and got hooked on the sport.
 
After graduating from college in 1972 with a degree in Journalism, I landed my proverbial "dream job" with Cycle News magazine in Austin, Texas. My favorite memory of that time period was getting to race in the Houston Astrodome, and then writing about it on the way home. That was the first major inside motorcycle race that I know of. But look at all the indoor Supercross races you see on TV now!
 
But after a year or so in Texas, I sure missed Mom & Dad and friends back home. (And I'm sure my girlfriend back then had something to do with it, too.) Plus I was doing more watching and writing about racing motorcycles than actually riding them. So I moved back home to Ohio and got a job at the local newspaper. And I started riding and racing motorcycles again. A lot.
 
Dad became my pit man at every race, as we rotated from motocross and hare scrambles to flat tracking and then even some of his favorite, TT races. Back then I rode a Bultaco 250 Astro and I even got to ride an indoor short track on concrete at the old Cleveland Coliseum. Dad was always there, ending many conversations in the pits with that fateful phrase "I wish I still had my 101." Finally, Mom had heard that line often enough. So in the late 1980's, she tracked down the guy Dad had sold his 101 Scout to, and low and behold, he still had it. At least most of it anyway. It had been parked in his dirt floor crawlspace and his kids had totally disassembled it. The gas tank and fenders had rotted away. But she bought the pile and gave the boxes of parts to Dad for their 40th wedding anniversary.
 
And so began a five-year project of our restoring Dad's 1929 Indian 101 Scout. But since Dad wouldn't be racing it again, we made the decision to rebuild it as a street bike. The first guy we took the motor to for a rebuild, Indian legend, Paul Gambacini, died before he started working on it. Thankfully, we rescued our motor before several other owners' motors got trapped by probate court.
 
That ate up a year or so and we got nowhere on the rebuild. Then we found a young guy who lived nearer to us, Jeff Javens, of New Philadelphia, Ohio who agreed to take on the restoration project. And that took a couple more years. It was mostly completed in 1991. I say "mostly" because there's always something else that needs done yet on a restoration project.
 
So that's the very same bike you will see in the old black & white racing pictures and in the color pictures from today! It's a 1929 Indian 101 Scout, one of the best bikes Indian ever built. They were especially known for their good handling. That's the bike you may have seen running, and still do sometimes in those "Wall of Death" domes at county fairs and other places.
 
I learned through this time, that when you restore an antique motorcycle, you should keep two things in mind: One, you don't know how long it's going to take; and two, you don't know how much it's going to cost. You measure time in years, not months.  
 
And you measure dollars in thousands, not hundreds. And that's what it took. But thanks to the good Lord, Dad got his 1929 Indian 101 Scout back in 1991. I'll always remember how he just jumped on it, started it and rode off like he'd never stopped. For the next few years, we did Indian rallies and bike shows pretty often and Dad was really proud of his new '29 Scout.
 
But then in 1996, Dad was diagnosed with a brain tumor. He lived about six months more. Toward the end of his days, I'd roll him out to the barn in his wheelchair and start the bike, just so he could hear it running. He loved that bike. Now that beloved Indian mostly sits in my work shop, and is the crown jewel of my collection.
 
But then in 1998 I started racing again. There is an organization called AHRMA, the American Historic Racing Motorcycle Association. And since I still had a '74 Bultaco Astro 360 in my collection, I thought what the heck? I might as well try it out! I was "only 50" years old and my leathers still fit. A little tight, but they still fit.
 
So me and my friend and bike tuner, Steve Benson, hit the circuit on weekends. I still had a real job in the newspaper business, but I did pretty good and finished 3rd in the nation in my class in 1999, inspiring me to move up a class and ride even harder the next year.  
 
But early in the 2000 season, I crashed pretty badly in Cumberland, Maryland riding a Yamaha 650 we'd built over the winter. Got broken ribs, a punctured lung and was knocked unconscious. Worse yet, in the emergency room they cut my vintage Bates leathers off me with a pair of scissors. Now losing them, not to mention the injuries effectively ended my second motorcycle racing career. At least for a few years, anyway...
 
But there was one thing I had not done yet, that I had always said I wanted to do. And that was to race an Indian motorcycle, like my father had done. I fought that urge for a long time, but I guess it was supposed to be. Shoot, I was "only 60."
 
So I bought a 1940 Indian Sport Scout race bike, owned by a former New York State Champion, Lloyd Washburn. Lloyd and his tuner, Roger Balas, and my friend Steve Benson, rebuilt it for me to run vintage half mile races again, which I continued to do until age 65 or so. That's when I finally hung it up. Never got top ranking, but I had fulfilled the tradition of racing Indian motorcycles. Just like my dear old Dad.
 
This brings me to the family tradition of riding street Indian motorcycles. I had bought this really nice '41 Indian Sport Scout and it was fun to ride around town.
 
But to keep up with traffic on the big roads, I bought a worn-out 1948 Indian Chief. And so began another long process of rebuilding it with Mr. Benson. It's now got a four-speed transmission and an electric starter. (I'm too beat up to kick start it these days.) I ride this blue Chief quite a bit during the summer. It's not a show bike, but it runs and looks pretty good.
 
 
And then I obtained an Indian sidecar that I thought I might put on the blue Chief when I "got old." But a year or so later, a high school friend of mine offered to sell me his '47 Chief and I couldn't refuse.   So I called Mr. Benson and another project began. The motorcycle itself was already in good shape so we painted the sidecar to match it. And we added an electric starter.
 
Now I don't know how you guys tell your wives about the fact that you want to, or maybe already did, buy an Indian. But I have proved to Debbie over and over again that an Indian motorcycle is always worth more tomorrow than it is today. They appreciate in value better than a 401K, and are a lot more fun. And now, since Polaris bought the Indian and is producing great bikes and promoting the brand, my collection of old Indians has continued to raise in value. Plus there's always a new Indian T-shirt to replace my old ratty ones. The tradition continues...
 
And speaking of "Continuing the Tradition," just this spring, my nephew, Skip's son, Steve Saurer, bought a 2017 Indian Sport Scout. That now makes three generations of Indian riders in our family. Pretty cool! Steve had a short career in racing motorcycles, too. But that came to an abrupt end at Mid Ohio when he crashed his Honda CBR 951 and got hurt. He's now a deputy sheriff in Wayne County and collects sport bikes, in addition to his new Indian Scout.
 
And finally, here's a picture of my grandson "Rider" on his Indian. With him hanging around with me down at the shop, I think it's pretty likely that he will continue the family's Indian tradition when his time comes. Life is good.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
   

BacktoTop


 
NationalNewsNational News (Continued) 
 





 

  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
The Inn at Reading is offering AMCA Members a special price of $94/night during the Perkiomen Swap Meet at Oley.
 
Call: (800) 383-9713
Mention Antique Motorcycle Club discount when calling.
 
 
 
 
  BacktoTop   
 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
    
 
 
 
 
2018 AMCA National Meet & Road Run Schedule 
  
 
February 23-24
Fremont, NE       Omaha Chapter National Meet
 
March 5-7
DeLand, Florida      Sunshine Chapter National Road Run
 
March 9-10
New Smyrna Beach, FL     Sunshine ChapterNational Meet   
 
April 27-28                                   
Oley, PA    Perkiomen Chapter National Meet                   
 
May 18-20
Denton, NC     Southern National Meet         
 
May 25-26
Raalte, Netherlands   European Chapter National Meet
 
June 10-13      
Round Top, NY     Hudson Valley Chapter National Road Run
 
June 15-16
St. Paul, MN     Viking Chapter National Meet              
 
June 15-16
Dixon, CA     Fort Sutter Chapter National Meet
        
July 20-22                           
Wauseon, OH     Wauseon National Meet
 
July 26-28       
Cottage Grove, OR      Oregon Trail Chapter National Road Run
 
August 3-4                         
Terryville, CT    
Yankee Chapter National Meet *New Location 
 
August 25-26                    
Bulli, AUSTRALIA     Australia Chapter National Meet                  
BULLI Show Grounds
 
September 4-6        
Onalaska, Wisconsin     Driftless Chapter National Road Run
 
September 12-14    
Deadwood, SD      Black Hills Chapter National Road Run
 
September 28-29             
Jefferson, PA      Chesapeake Chapter National Meet        
                          
Visit   www.AntiqueMotorcycle.org for links to each event and Event Details.
 


 
RidesMember's Rides (Continued) 
 
"The Forgotten Vintage Honda Scrambler"
 
 
 
By the end of the 1950's, Japanese manufacturers were already over-producing scooters and motorcycles and were urgently looking for larger markets to sell them. They had copied the best of the British and German brands and were beginning to make their own innovations which were designed to improve reliability. What the Japanese had in spades was the willingness to make adjustments to their products in order to sell their machines and the ability to build large quantities of well-engineered motorcycles at low costs. The many on-going improvements made to the Japanese motorcycles made them better suited to the US market, which included giving them a reputation for reliability!  
 
Bill Silver, known affectionately to many as "Mr. Honda," has made the comment that in the early years of the dry-sump 250/305 twins (C71 & C76 series Dreams), Honda had used as many as 31 different crankshaft designs, in order to create a much more durable engine; especially when used at continuous high RPM levels. The point is this, the Japanese manufacturers moved quickly and decisively to make more desirable motorcycles for the markets in which they intended to enter. This resulted in many on-going changes to nearly every part of their motorcycles to an extent much greater than either American or British motorcycle manufacturers did. The end result was that Japanese motorcycles began to sell well and the manufacturers learned to make adjustments to their models quickly to catch all the market share that they could. The Japanese motorcycle invasion, occurring after 1963 is proof that they learned quickly what Americans wanted!
 
The Honda CB450 unveiled in 1965 was Honda's first big motorcycle. I suspect that using a non standard engine size, 450 (444cc) rather than the standard accepted market size of 500cc was Soichiro Honda's way of saying that they (Honda) could do more with less. Whatever the case, the Black Bomber was not as successful as Honda had hoped it would be. Chris Raiber, vintage Japanese motorcycle builder, restorer, and parts distributor, states that according to what he has seen, it appears that around 23,000 to 24,000 CB450 were sold worldwide. These numbers don't indicate that the bike was a sales flop compared to many other motorcycles of that time period, but these were just low sales figures for a company used to building motorcycles at a much higher volume. The reasons generally expressed today for the low sales figures are that the first edition CB450's were perceived as being ugly, being overpriced (1), initially had some mechanical problems (2), and that they were not accepted by the big bike buyer of the time. I have argued for some time that the real issue was that the Japanese motorcycles were still not accepted by the older riders of that time period and the odd size would have been undesirable for the "big bike" buyer of that time as well. The Japanese were known for making smaller machines and the seasoned riders who wanted a big bike would have wanted a 650cc or larger motorcycle. Even a 500 was seen as a junior size big motorcycle in the late 1960's. The exotic specifications of the engine were not enough to offset the other concerns about the motorcycle. Whatever the reason, Honda was getting in gear to revamp the Black Bomber and turn it into a motorcycle which could appeal to their buyers in greater numbers.
 
Honda was preparing for the release of a greatly upgraded CB450 for 1968. This new K1 model had a restyled gas tank, rubber gaiters on the front forks, a 5 speed transmission, individual speedometer and tachometer, and bright cording around the seat. It was also to be available in bright colors but above all, the deficiencies which plagued the first edition motorcycle were supposed to be corrected. The new 5 speed transmission was installed to resolve the complaints that the previous 4 speed transmission had gears which were too widely spaced. The big news, however, was that there would be a new CL or Scrambler model of the 450. At that time, the street scramblers were the big sellers in nearly every size category that Honda made! The K1 CB450 had an official release date of April 27, 1968. Cycle World magazine tested both the CB and CL models in the May 1968 issue. The magazine makes it clear that the newer 450 was not a revised 1965 to 1967 CB450 but included many major changes. In this test, Cycle World noted that the 5 speed transmission was not interchangeable with the older 4 speed unit, the clutch was also new, the carburetors were new, the piston chamber shapes have been changed, higher compression pistons have been installed, there is a new starter, there is a new oil pump, there are larger valves, and above all, the outward design has been greatly altered to be more stylish. As the magazine notes, "The second generation Honda 450's must be regarded not as reworkings of the original, but as new machines well designed, well engineered, well manufactured, and well aimed at a specific market," (Cycle World on Honda 1968-1971, p. 10).  
 
With the original 4 speed CB450's being slow sellers, Scramblers being the most demanded models, a new 450 model being in the works which included a desirable CL model (the Street Scrambler version), and the new K1 1968 version of the 450 scheduled to sell for slightly less than the less desirable Black Bomber (Cycle World noting that the new CB was to be sold for $957), Honda made an attempt at creating a makeshift model to help get rid of leftover 4 speed 450's. This model was called the CB450D Scrambler or what I refer to as the "forgotten Honda Scrambler."   The CB450D Scrambler was offered only during the last half of 1967 and was sold in only very limited numbers. It was replaced in less than 10 months by the new 1968 CL450 5 speed Scrambler.
 
The CB450D was offered in a kit form which included 64 individual parts according to Honda's original "D" model parts list. There is also ample proof that there were a few very rare "D" motorcycles built at the factory, this will be discussed later. Most of these parts making up the "D" model were nuts and bolts. The main parts were a new gas tank, upswept pipes which went along each side of the engine, a slightly shorter seat with 1968 styled cording, braced handlebars, a new tail light, chromed fenders, and minor parts which supported these more significant parts. The minor parts were a kick start lever which was extended to go beyond the exhaust pipe on the right side of the engine, extenders for the back foot pegs, longer throttle and clutch cables, additional braces to hold the two individual exhaust pipes, and other miscellaneous nuts, bolts, and washers. There are numerous questions about this super rare model which seem to be allusive, but here is what is known about this rare Scrambler:
  • The "D" model was intended to be a transitional model till the 1968 CL models were available.
  • They were available during the second half of 1967 only.
  • Many dealers never received one! During my interviews, many Honda enthusiasts and old time dealers had never heard of the model. I am a VJMC Field Representative for Missouri, and the vast majority of the over 50 vintage Honda enthusiasts I have spoken with about the "D" model hade never heard or seen of one of these models! Nearly all assume that I am speaking of the post 1968 Scramblers. If most of the scholars of old Honda motorcycles are not familiar with the model it must be rare!
  • There was a "D" kit made available and a few were assembled at the factory.
  • More parts can be found than complete motorcycles. I am aware of very few complete motorcycles. I have heard of "rumored" motorcycles, however, fewer than a dozen can actually be documented as being in the US(3). This is an important point because I have called and interviewed many so called specialists but when I talk to them they state that they in fact know little about the actual model. I am not arguing that my numbers are accurate but I can say that after months of calling people supposedly in the know, I can actually verify that only a very few can be found to exist as complete motorcycles. I have heard of private stashes of parts and bikes but I can go no further than what can be actually verified! The rumors exceed the verifiable numbers. Perhaps this article will draw out any stashed "D" model bikes?
  • They were offered in three colors. Silver, candy blue, and candy red which looks like more of a orange.
  • There were few kits made and fewer motorcycles manufactured.
  • There appears to me more "D" Scramblers located overseas than in America. Of the 24 motorcycles listed in the world CB450D registry(5), 16 are listed as being in 8 countries while 8 are located in America. The registry is known to be incomplete but can be used as a general guide.
  • 1967 CB450D motorcycles are considered to be one of the most rare and collectable Honda motorcycles.
Here are the arguments that there were factory "D" bikes made. First, Honda had a sales ad back in 1967 calling the model the "Super Sport." It was not officially listed as a kit but a complete motorcycle. Secondly, Honda had an official release date of 6-24-1967. Thirdly, the official parts list notes the "D" bikes had serial numbers past #1025863. Next, the CB450D bike in the Honda museum in Japan displays the motorcycle as a model, not a kit. Lastly, an authority notes: "Later examples of the CB450D were also assembled at the factory." (4)  I might also note in addition to the above information that in Doug Mitchell's book "The Ultimate Guide: Honda Motorcycles, " he includes the CB450D as a 1967 model. He lists it as the "CB450D", the Super Sport, and as a CL450 (p.47). Some sources have referred to the model as the 1967 CL450K0.
Here is what is not known:
  • How many kits and complete motorcycles were produced? Numbers as high as 2,000 and numbers as low as a few hundred have been offered as estimates. Nearly everyone agrees the number of production motorcycles or bikes with kits is not known.
  • How many unassembled kits currently exist? There exist many individual parts but few complete factory kits are known to exist. One collector claims to have enough parts to create around 7 kits but they represent a collection of parts rather than complete factory kits. One person I interviewed had purchased an original kit years ago which came in 7 different boxes. It came from an old Honda dealer which had gone out of business. In all of my research, I have been told of only two unmolested and complete kits in the US.
  • Honda offered parts buy backs on several occasions where dealers could return parts at the full retail value. No one could even guess how many "D" kits or parts were returned to Honda from these programs. This would alter the total number of existing "D" kits or parts. It could be assumed that many dealers would not want to keep a kit for a less than one year model especially since a newer less expensive alternative was available.
  • How many Black bombers were fitted with partial "D" kits? Numerous CB450's have been found with just a tank or a few other parts and not complete kits. Several dealers from the late 1960'stold me that bike owners liked the tank and chrome fenders from the kit but not the other parts. Several vintage Honda parts collectors told me that they have purchased many individual "D" parts on standard motorcycles. There is clear indication that many "D" kits were used for selective parts rather than as kits to build complete motorcycles.
  • What the kits cost back in 1967. A number of people had suggested that Honda had possibly given kits to dealers who had an overstock of Black Bombers. From all of my research no kits were found to have been given to dealers. I found one source which estimated that kits were sold for approximately $100 which would be around $750 in 2017 dollars.
The 1967 Honda CB450D Super Sport/Scrambler has been a largely forgotten motorcycle. When speaking to many old timers about the 450 Scramblers, nearly all made reference to the 1968 through 1974 5 speed models. Most had never even heard of the "D" Scrambler! The "D" model is not only an obscure model but one in which little vital information is available. I have studied Japanese motorcycles for decades, attended innumerable vintage motorcycle shows, held VJMC (Vintage Japanese Motorcycle Club) shows and events for years, but had never seen a real 1967 CB450D motorcycle until 2017. Since seeing my first one, probably a genuine factory model, I have seen a second one. This one was at the 2017 Barber Vintage Days event at the VJMC motorcycle display area. The first bike is owned by Jerry Juenemann and the second one is owned by Paul Paddock. Jerry has been a long time friend and I have spoken with Paul over the phone many times.
 
Hopefully more information will come out of the vintage Honda motorcycle community about the "D" Scramblers. If you have some additional information, please pass it along to me so I can add it to my CB450D file. E-mail: nkcma@yahoo.com
 
When you think of it, the Japanese manufacturers made so many models, types, and sizes of motorcycles back in the 1960's that a one half year model could be easily overshadowed. This variety of models was in response to what the Japanese manufacturers saw as what the marketplace was demanding. The "D" model is an example of the quick response by Honda to add life to a model which was not meeting expectations. The "D" bike was a response to the marketplace (scramblers were the big sellers), a response to sagging sales (a means of making the 4 speed bikes more desirable), and a means of transitioning to the 1968 CL model in a seamless manner. The 1967 Honda "D" model Scrambler is a very rare motorcycle deserving its fair share of attention.   Perhaps this model will get more attention going forward!
    
 
(1) Using information from Wikipedia and a simple internet British Pound conversion chart, the 1965 to1967 CB450's would have had a suggested retail price of approximately $1,173. As one article from the era noted, the CB450 cost as much as a British 650 single carb motorcycle.
(2) The two big problems were carburetor slide issues on some motorcycles and a poorly chosen gear selection corrected when the 5 speed transmission was offered in 1968. The carburetor problems were supposedly resolved by 1966 but the bad experience by early buyers had already damaged the image of the motorcycle.
(3) There are at least 23 known to exist throughout the world. Most are in Europe. These numbers are recorded on the CB450D Registry which is known to be incomplete but can be used as a general guide or starting point.
(4) Ron Burton's Classic Japanese Motorcycle Buyers Guide page 30. The quote is by Troyce Walls.
(5) www.CB450D.com   If you are unable to log onto this address, go to: www.markbayersvintagehonda.mysite.com, then to the "CB450D" page, then to #5. Click on the direct link.
Mark Bayer President KCVJMC
   
 
 
 


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