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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi! I'm Chelle. I have been wanting a bike ever since my boyfriend got one 6 years ago. I always have had trouble with saving money and since I didn't want a monthly payment it was a lost cause for me. So I just ride backpack and enjoy motorcycles that way.

All the while everyday at work on my breaks I would look at this bike propped up against a wall with nothing but a skid and plywood covering it from the weather thinking who the hell would do that to a bike? So for 5 whole years I have been searching for it's owner to see what they wanted for this bike.

One day I happen to see this guy I have never seen before throwing things in the dumpster. I just randomly asked him " Hey! Do you know who owns that bike?" He said "I do". I yelled back "I want it!" And to my surprise he yelled "You can have it!"

Now shocked that I had actually found the guy and shocked that he said I could have it I was thinking OK where is the catch? So I walked over to him and started talking to him about it. He told me that he didn't have the title and that he found it abandoned at one of his properties and that he doesn't have the key for it either. My heart sank. It's gotta be stolen or something.

I go on ahead and call my boyfriend to come and pick it up anyways till we figure out what I need to do to get the title and a key made for it. So here are the pictures we took of it and the sad sad condition it's in.

1974 Honda CB500T

















Needless to say it needs alot of work and I wont put any money into it until I get the title. But I have started to sand the rust off of her and it's just surface rust, None has gone thru any metal that I can tell. But she will be my project bike for sure. Any idea's and advice I would love to hear and talk with you about.
 

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Where there's a will, there's a way. The CB350 I just got came with no title. I ebayed a frame with a title and already transferred the title over to my name and have a license plate. Cost me about 100 bucks total for the frame plus paying the state their fair share.

It's in that gray area of ethics though. If you have trouble sleeping at night about the only solace I can offer is that IF the bike was truly stolen, it was probably stolen a long time ago and the owner has moved on in life. Most of the time around here it's a more likely story that someone old died or gave the bike away and didn't have the paperwork and they change hands rapidly when nobody has the title (and doesn't want to pay to bond title it.)

If you want to be completely up-and-up, check into a bonded title for your state. They'll do a background check for you and if it does happen to belong to someone and they step forward, you can give the bike back to them. If not, it's yours after x number of years on the bonded title (three years in Iowa.)

If you end up putting a lot of money into the bike while it's bonded and someone comes forth with the real title to claim it, you can legally charge them "storage fees" to cover whatever costs you feel appropriate. Most of the time, this will just force them to sign the bike over to you because they don't want to pay it.

ITS Title Service (search online) will be able to get you a title for about 100 bucks. I have had friends use them for old scooters and motorcycles in the past. It works in Iowa.

It's more likely that the bike is -not- stolen than it is stolen. Usually a hand-me-down from some goofy chain of ownership.
 

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Wow ! Nice find Chelle !

Are you going to tear the bike completely down ? Engine, tranny, forks, everything ?

Keep us posted with pix of your progress.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for the welcome!! And thank you Brown Bomber for suggesting this site!

Since the bike only has 5200 miles on it and since it is so old I'm really hoping that it was just hand me downs paper work problems. I'm going to look at the ITS Title Service and see what they can do for me. I have no clue when it comes to working on restoring a bike so I don't know if I need to re build everything or just replace things but my goal now is just to get the title then make it run, then I'll work on making it mine! I will for sure keep posting pictures and progress along the way!.


What is the best and least expensive way to get the rust off? Mind you I live in a apt building and don't have any tools lmao. I was just gonna take a sponge with the rough side to the exhaust and try to get it off that way but I'm scared to do that and screw the chrome up.
 

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Fine Steel Wool is best for removing rust on chrome, and cleaning aluminum without scratching.
Note, it has different grades like sand paper,
0 = coarse, 0000 = fine. it's cheap and you'll find it at Walmart, Home Depot, or Lowes.
Anything with less than 4 zeros is too coarse. Brillo pads, or Scotch bright pads are too coarse.
Don't scrub too hard, with some soapy water it will clean up chrome easy.
Allen
 

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Hey Chelle!

I think W.H. Honda lost their web domain or something. That's okay though, it is easy to call or drop by and get the parts in person.

For what it's worth, the first two owners of my CM400T were girls.

Did they put a key code under the lid of the gas cap? On on any papers under the seat?

Check out the National Insurance Crime Bureau (http://www.nicb.org) to find if it is stolen, salvage titled, etc. (this might not be perfect, but neither is Carfax [tm]). The DMV should have procedures on how to get the title issues fixed.

(Perhaps the previous owner didn't think it was worth the paperwork. Though I've seen vehicle owners go to prison or die with these things unresolved. Really.)

Good luck!

EDIT: Is that a 1.5-inch thick KG Engineering crash bar? Those things are built to last. Even tougher than the bike.
 

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Welcome, Chelle.

I've got an old bike that I'm doing a "learn as I go" ride and restore as well.

Get a Clymer's manual. It breaks down the maintenance schedule and procedures and explains how to do most things that you'll need to do with your bike. Also, if you can get your hands on one, the Honda service manual. I'm sure someone here can help you find one online, though it might be a pain (worth it). It took me a bit to find mine, but I'd be happy to keep an eye out for one for your bike if you need.

I'd suggest purchasing the tools as you need them. It may slow your progress down a bit, but it doesn't do you any good to borrow or rent tools when you'll probably need them again.

Keep us posted on the progress, and best of luck with the Title. I'd suggest picking an identical, titled parts bike and doing the ole' swaperoo. Most likely the bike's not stolen. It's a good deal not only for the title, but for the parts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Atreyu said:
Hey Chelle!

Did they put a key code under the lid of the gas cap? On on any papers under the seat?
Check out the National Insurance Crime Bureau (http://www.nicb.org) to find if it is stolen, salvage titled, etc. (this might not be perfect, but neither is Carfax [tm]). The DMV should have procedures on how to get the title issues fixed.

(Perhaps the previous owner didn't think it was worth the paperwork. Though I've seen vehicle owners go to prison or die with these things unresolved. Really.)

Good luck!

EDIT: Is that a 1.5-inch thick KG Engineering crash bar? Those things are built to last. Even tougher than the bike.
Hey guys, it's been a long time since I've been on here. As far as the key code *noob question* what's that lol. And I didn't think about looking under the seat!!! I sooo hope they did leave something for me.

I haven't done a thing to this bike yet. Except start getting some of the rust off. And I got to excited and forgot the mask and was coughing up my lungs lol. Oops! It's been sitting in the garage this whole time. BUT atleast she is outta this nasty weather nice and warm now!

I think I'm a little scared of getting in over my head with this. I just don't wanna let myself down I suppose. This thing is going to need Alot of work and time. And I'm not sure if I can have it torn apart and pieces of it laying around for months on end. I think what I might end up doing is asking a friend of ours if I can use his garage to tinker on it in. I want to do all of this myself more than likely with someone watching over my shoulder lol. But it's very intimidating. I dunno we shall see what comes of this lol.
 

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Hiya Chelle.... :D ...cool find, like the 5-year persisitence.....motormike here in Music city....there's more tricks to rust removal than Carter has little liver pills...Some of it comes off easy with nothing more than a chrome polish and a soft cloth, mind you elbow grease is involved.....stick with the 0000 steel wool to avoid scratching.....looks like your gonna be left with blemishes considering the weathering this bike has seen....its okay, she'll still please you the same in the end, we call those little things "character flaws"......the thing about this bike that I thought was cool is that brown seat..something about being different...glad to see you on here and fullof enthusiasm.....most of us here are full of something... :lol: :lol: :lol:
 
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