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Dangerboy is Off the Wagon!

September 5, 2011

Just so we’re clear on this…

When it comes to motorcycle withdrawal, I did not “fall” off the wagon,

I jumped.

This is a willing and premeditated descent into Dante’s infernal pit of two wheeled madness.

The bike?

The crustiest 25 year old motorcycling appliance I’ve ever seen that still runs.

If you need to know, it’s a 1986 Honda VT500 Shadow.  Makes as much HP as a BSA, albeit with poor handling.

Plus side?

The utterly grotty engine is one of Soichiro Honda’s finest designs, capable of running for 50,000 miles with zero (as in no oil changes, even!) maintenance.

I’m the third owner.  The first was a colonel in the Air Force, bought it new in Oregon and put about 11,000 miles on it.  Parked it on Andersen Air Force base and nature took its course with chrome and alloy.

Not only that – local fauna took up residence on the machine.

These are mud-dauber wasp nests; they mix dirt and saliva to make a cement (seriously – one needs a screwdriver and hammer to dislodge the damned things) nest for their young.

There were no less than six nests on this bike.  The good news?

Three were unoccupied.

So that’s Dangerboy for you – it’s not bad enough he’s risking life and limb riding a motorcycle on a tropical isle filled with idiot drivers, he buys  a bike filled with instruments capable of killing him with a singe sting!

Yep, off the wagon.  Definitely.

You must understand, I live for this sort of thing.  The second owner was an ex-aircraft mechanic, and the bike ran as sweetly as if it were new.  He opted not to clean it at all – there’s a reason for that, a subject for another post.  While a stupid amount of money was paid for what was essentially a $100 bike, It was fair.


Getting a $100 bike from the Midwest to Guam is a $1300 proposition.  This was the cheapest bike on Guam this year.

I love this stuff.  I’ve cleaned up dozens of bikes, to take something as nasty as this pig and make it look good – well, that’s hog heaven right there.  I bought the requisite supplies from the World’s Largest Kmart and went to work.

Three hours later, progress was evident.

Some areas cleaned up better than others, but;

overall, the bike responded very nicely to the gentle ministrations of this addict.

Overall?  I’m pretty pleased.  This is a good bike, a good starting point for a mild custom, needing only a set of front brake pads and a rear tire to be fully functional.  I rode it around Tumon, and it has enough scoot to easily stay ahead of traffic.

The best part?

I’m shifting gears.  Mechanical morphine.  Ahhhhh….my brain is glowing.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. Jack Riepe permalink
    September 5, 2011 4:40 am

    Dear Chuck:

    Now that is pure candy to the eye. This model was always one of my favorite Hondas, though I never owned one. And I can’t believe how great this machine looks after the first scrub-down. Now it is a great 5-foot bike. The question is, will you go all the way in dealing with the pitting and the damaged chrome, making it a 6-inch bike?

    Fondest regards,
    Twisted Roads

    • dangerboyandpixie permalink*
      September 5, 2011 5:06 am

      Dis is de islan’ mon.

      Alloy gets paint, paint gets more of de same. Bars get replaced with low risers – the guy who invented buckhorns needs to be repurposed into Il Castrato, as they are absolutely the worst things one may hang onto any motorcycle, period.

      Low-rise bars, rigid rear, dropped front suspension to allow for 5K clutch drops, straight pipes with the requisite rejets and I’m off Harley hunting. I think it will hook hard without climbing the ring gear.

      It’s not about how it looks – it’s about how it looks with 4 lengths of daylight on the challenger.

  2. September 5, 2011 11:11 am

    You have elbowed her clean as expected….. The new mistress! The seat looks nice and comfy. You know how I like those back rests. She may seize up if I climbed on…mistresses are funny that way….the jealousy thing;)

    • dangerboyandpixie permalink*
      September 5, 2011 3:27 pm

      I figure it’s better (and cheaper) than a drinkie girl. Have to clean the clear coated alloy and paint it silver until I figure out a color scheme.

  3. jeff permalink
    September 5, 2011 3:00 pm

    I have that exact same bike sitting in my line of what to do with bikes out back. I like the motors a lot. So in Guam, you having that to ride around, youll be like pimp daddy, rite?

    • dangerboyandpixie permalink*
      September 5, 2011 3:32 pm

      Not after I rejet and straight pipe it along with a set of flat track bars…

      Painted the front fender hammer tone black as a placeholder, along with some of the plastic bits that had oxidized. When it’s 86 and relative humidity is 75%, even hammer tone will chill haze if applied too heavily – or so I’ve discovered.

      Have to hit it again with a thin coat.

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