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DustyRags 11-27-2012 01:56 PM

New boy in Oakland
Hey folks, first post in this nuthouse, but I already feel at home!

I dithered for years, but finally picked up my first bike last August- a venerable 1976 CB550.

It came home with a cam chain rattle, missing various minor bits, peeling paint, no front brake light switch and flipped-over bars, but damnit, it was mine and it was my first bike!

Then I did an oil change, which turned into a massive 50-day rebuild project, and by the time I was done the old beast ran like new and had a brushed steel tank and some other Mad Max-ian goodies.

Here it is overlooking the San Francisco Bay from Grizzly Peak Road in Oakland (maybe Berkeley at this point, I'm not sure).

These old Hondas are hugely popular with hipsters building cafe racers these days, so I sold it off at a hefty profit and sunk the money into a much newer 2005 Vulcan 500. Newer, reliable, and something I could focus on riding in stead of wrenching.

I picked the new steed up in Lemoore (about 40 miles south of Fresno) and rode it back to Oakland, more than doubling my total miles in one swell foop. The next week, my brother and I rode down to Santa Cruz for a shakedown, and came back up via Highway 1 and Halfmoon Bay. By the time we got home it was so cold we were clutching our engine blocks at every light. But boom- fast, reliable transportation! Already came with bags and a solo seat, all it needs is some racks for luggage, and I should have a sweet little beast for tuckering around the back roads.

High Country Herb 11-27-2012 02:32 PM


Originally Posted by DustyRags (Post 20128849)
...Then I did an oil change, which turned into a massive 50-day rebuild project...

Yeah, you'll fit right in. :lol3

You live in a great spot for fun day trips. The Hwy 1 to HMB is classic Bay Area. Skyline drive at the top of Hwy 92 is a mecca for motorcycles. Hwy 9 is another good road near Santa Cruz. The Sonoma area also has some great riding, too. When the weather clears in spring, Tahoe makes a nice weekend trip, especially if you avoid Hwy 80 and 50.:wink:


DustyRags 11-27-2012 06:10 PM

Thanks! That was my first attempt at tearing apart an engine, but with some help from the good folks over at it wasn't bad at all. And now I'm itching to get my hands into the Vulcan and muck with it. I needs a rack or two, a more comfortable seat for long trips, hand guards for rain...

I'll need to check out Sonoma- I went to school in Davis and Sacramento, so I know 80 & 50 all too well. I rode pillion from Davis up to Berryessa on 128, and ever since I've been dying to complete the loop down to the Bay Area.

High Country Herb 11-28-2012 07:44 AM

One of the largest makers of aftermarket seats in the industry is right down in Hollister: Corbin.

I don't see the 500 listed, but they do custom work too. Expensive, though, but most seats will be.

DustyRags 11-29-2012 07:13 AM

Yeah, I've looked at Corbin, and I may still go that route. I'm doing this on the cheap as much as I can, so I'll likely either see if my ass gets used to the solo seat or try my hand at reupholstering. The other thought was to call Corbin and see if they want to run a model off my bike- they sometimes borrow bikes for a few weeks to take a pattern off it, and then you get the first seat. The 500 isn't made anymore, though, so I rather doubt they'll go for it...

JStory 11-29-2012 07:22 AM

Pretty active ADV community in the Bay Area.

Check this thread, come out and meet some locals.

oFFicial EastBay Meet and Eat thread

Low594 11-29-2012 09:26 AM

Also, there is our almost weekly coffee night in Alameda. Wednesdays, Blue Danube Coffee, roughly 5:30-7pm

DustyRags 11-29-2012 02:42 PM

Cool, thanks gents! I saw the Eat and Great thread, but put it on the back burner for now- but the Blue Danube is a favorite hangout of mine, so that's more likely something I can pop out to.

New riders welcome? I've got less than 500 miles under my wheels (and a top-end engine rebuild, but that's a whole different kettle of fish).

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