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Thread: My free Honda

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Sarasota, Florida
    Posts
    4,156

    Default My free Honda

    I was walking our dogs this morning and I went by an abandoned house (victim of the housing bust in Florida). Obviously someone had been doing a lot of work on the property over the weekend but I immediately spotted a motorcycle in the carport. It was a mid 70s Honda 550-4, and there is the limit of my Honda knowledge. I left a note on the seat, and to my surprise, I got a phone call about 1 hour later. I told the man I was interested if he had a title. It turns out he was not the owner, but the cousin of the owner. He described the guy and I remembered him. My wife also remembered him with a shudder, and said she thought he looked like a child molester. Cutting to the chase; there is no title, and no keys, but I did get it for free. So, I would like to tap into the wisdom pool here and get some advice. . . . Even smartass advice

    The following 3 pics show itís current condition, but it is in surprising good condition considering how it was neglected. Does the engine number tell the year?





    Eric Smith
    AMCA #886

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Jersey City
    Posts
    2,075

    Default

    Eric, The year of Mfg should be on the neck tag. Honda does not go by engine vin. Bob

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Lamoille County, Vermont
    Posts
    1,147

    Default

    Cool score!!!

    These are getting collectible... any of the early 4's. You can't beat the price. Get it titled in VT or some state where you can do it on a bill of sale if more than 25 years old.

    Clean it up, recommission it and ride it. It's a cool machine! Looks to me like 90 percent of what it needs is elbow grease and small stuff. The other 10 percent won't be cheap (pipes, tank/paint, tires, etc.) but you don't have anything in it to start with. So have some fun making it a presentable machine!

    Congrats! I think you scored a great machine with a lot of potential!

    Cheers,

    Sirhr

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Vermont
    Posts
    741

    Default

    I'm going to agree with Sirhr on this. We have a college across the river, and over there there are such things as "fraternity bikes", old Japanese bikes that someone bought a couple decades ago or more and no one even remembers who owns them. In the late nineties one of these bikes ended up at our house, a Suzuki triple, weathered and beat up but it ran like a watch. So I got some new tires for it, re-lined the front brake, replaced the broken lights, and put a good seat on it (Rice Paddy Cycles had all the parts) and one of my son's friends rode that bike to work for two summers, all it cost him was gas. Dunno what he did for plates, but it was a good, fun ride for someone who was trying to save $$$.
    Pisten Bulley is Harry Roberts in Vermont.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Posts
    455

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Queensland/Australia
    Posts
    96

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by len dowe View Post
    The problem with this link is it is for VIN numbers from 1982 onwards, the CB550 in question here is a 1974 model. As was mentioned above the year should be on an id plate on the steering head of the frame.

    However failing that this site http://www.sohc4.net/cb550/ will help a lot, particularly this page with engine and frame numbers http://www.sohc4.net/cb550-model-guide/

    This is a good score as it is an example of the first series of this bike CB550 K0 produced in the first year of production, 1974.

    Cheers
    Steve
    1914 P&M
    1915 Indian (project)
    1930 M50 Panther
    1958 M35sport Panther

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Louisville, Kentucky, USA, Earth
    Posts
    36

    Default

    The 550-4 is often said to be the best handling of the early Honda four cylinder machines and all of the Honda Fours are becoming sought after. I would think it would be worth looking into a titling processes in your state or other options.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Sarasota, Florida
    Posts
    4,156

    Default

    Thanks to everyone for educating this Honda neophyte. I've been wanting a 70s vintage Honda for awhile now as I've grown to appreciate the styling. Of course, the fact that this is a basket case makes it even more appealing to me. I'll keep you posted on the process.
    Eric Smith
    AMCA #886

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Beautiful Northern New Mexico
    Posts
    2,762

    Default

    Of course, the fact that this is a basket case makes it even more appealing to me.
    Basket Case? I think not Eric. It would probably run in 30 minutes work...
    Robbie Knight Amca #2736

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    1 mile east of the Rocky Mountains.
    Posts
    868

    Default

    http://www.sohc4.net/cb550-model-guide/

    CB550K SERIAL NUMBERS

    Model Model Year Starting Frame # Starting Engine #
    CB550 K0 1974 CB550-1000001- CB550E-1000001-
    CB550 K1 1975 CB550-1200005- CB550E-1029182-
    CB550 K2 1976 CB550-1230001- CB550E-1067334-
    CB550 K3 1977 CB550-2000007- CB550E-2000001-
    CB550 K4 1978 CB550-2100001- CB550E-2100001-

    CB550F SERIAL NUMBERS

    CB550 F1 1975 CB550F-1000002- CB550E-110004-
    CB550 F2 1976 CB550F-2000003- CB550E-1109887-
    CB550 F3 1977 CB550F-210001- CB550E-1135380-

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