Jeff, a motorcycle friend I met in 2000 through Ninja 250s, noticed on Facebook that I’m in school to become a motorcycle mechanic. When he asked if I was taking repair orders, I simply had to say yes. It also meant a quick trip to Louisville, a town I’ve always enjoyed visiting. Since I’m between quarters, I’m up there now to check out the work that needs to be done.

Project 1 was to revive a 1982 Yamaha Virago 750 cruiser. It’s been parked for over a year (we think), and it needs to be sold for a former housemate of Jeff’s who moved away a while ago. Overall, there isn’t that much wrong with it, save it a most-likely-expired battery. While it really should get a new front tire, steering head bearings, and a couple other new parts, it’s good enough that I would ride it myself without much worry. Then again, I’m pretty good at ignoring or adapting to a bike’s problems, so long at they’re not too likely to be fatal (to me or the bike). I did manage to fix the very crusty throttle, and I hope to take a swing at synchronizing the carburetors before leaving Louisville in the morning. (I’m told the valves were adjusted 1,000 miles ago, so I’ll leave those alone, although I might measure the clearance on the front cylinder, since it’s easy to get at.)

Project 2 is another story. This is for a friend of Jeff’s, and it’s a 1967 Basketcase–err, Honda Dream. The first thing I said when I saw it show up on the trailer was a joke about it needing a headlight. I honestly figured the headlight was in the truck, but apparently it had fallen off on the trailer-ride to Jeff’s. I predict this will be an expensive article to replace, but time will tell. The budget for the bike is more-or-less open, so if I can source the parts, the owner will pay to get them.

Project 3 will come after the Dream. It’s also a 1967 bike, but made in Italy, even though it’s a Harley-Davidson. It seems our American standard-bearer did some outsourcing back then. Not sure if it will be metric or inches, but it could be interesting. But we’ll see how the Honda goes, first.

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