The Blog of Zakspade

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  Time Pit
Saturday 5 October, 2019

In the early summer of 2006 I bought a 1977 Honda CB550. It featured a horrendous paint job and it had odd wheels, but the seller was the bike’s original owner. It was a runner and roadworthy, and I figured there was enough there to make a very interesting project.

Over the next year it proved to be a nightmare. The front wheel was 18” instead of the correct 19” (which explained the twitchiness over white lines at an indicated 60MPH and that 60MPH coming up when friends riding with me were only seeing about 50MPH. It turned out to be an aftermarket alloy wheel for a CB400/4 – which was a bit of a pain, but not as much as when I realised that the brake disc on the 400 uses four bolts and that of the CB550 uses six. Taking the wheel out and removing the cosmetic chrome cover revealed a honeycomb of holes bored through the alloy hub and I decided to bin the wheel straightway.

However, I sourced new parts. One item was a brand new shiny front mudguard (or front fender, according to the official parts catalogue). As things turned out, I offloaded the motorcycle in 2010 and was left with a few things I had bought that never made it onto the machine.

A root about my garage uncovered the mudguard. I unwrapped it from the plastic and it was as bright and shiny as the day it was bought. Having looked at the price they fetch these days, I decided it was going on eBay.

I took some decent photographs of it in good light and gave it a visual once-over to be sure. It was then that I noticed that a bolt holding the rear stay in place had no nut or split washer! I took it out of the plastic wrapping and searched for it within without any success.

After thirty minutes digging about in the shed, I found a nut and split washer of the correct size, although fitting it meant a clearly odd nut compared to the other three. As it was on the underside, it would never be seen, but knowing it was there was causing me pain.

It was now time to wrap it back in the protective cover and list the item. As I did so, there was a metallic clattering. There, at the bottom, was the original nut and split washer. Obviously they had been caught in a fold in the plastic when I looked before.

A wasted thirty minutes and a heart damaged when I thought the original thick-chromed nut was missing. The euphoria of its rediscovery didn’t make up for it, but the elation is longer lasting. . .


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