Club president Ivan Lacoursiere found the bike in Southern Ontario. It had not been ridden since being put into the barn 20 years ago. Needless to say, it needed a lot of work.
As is often the case, the old Honda may not have been needed for riding by its human owners, but for the animal world (namely rodents) it was an ideal home. This is a problem often found on barn find bikes, and although the rodents or other animals tend to use them within the first year or two of being stored, they are not often used again. However, that is not always the case and barn find buyers should approach the bikes with caution—the bike may still be a current abode!
The bike appeared complete on closer inspection and in generally good shape. The gauges needed replacing, or at least their faces did, as did the exhaust system, in addition to all the usual age related items such as the tires, brake pads and cables. In addition, the hydraulic systems of the brakes would need a thorough inspection and new seals and lines fitting throughout.
With the initial inspection behind them, the team approached the project with the lessons they had learned from the CB750F restoration. In particular, they found that having teams responsible for certain areas or systems on a bike was better than just doing the next job that came along. This approach ensured that team members with specific knowledge were allotted to that area. For example, drive train specialists would be given the engine, gearbox and shaft drive systems.
The team decided that three separate teams were needed, which, besides the power train team, included a team for body and electrical, and a chassis team (including the suspension and wheels).
As with most barn find restorations, the team decided to completely disassemble the Gold Wing. As the bike was being disassembled, they separated various parts out that needed re chroming, powder coating or outside specialist work (such as the gauge faces).
Another item that needed to be replaced was the LH lower frame rail which unbolts to get the motor in and out (a similar design can be seen on the CB750). The original item was damaged at the side stand mounting. This is a typical problem with heavy bikes like the Gold Wing. The mountings are subject to considerable stress every time the bike is set on the side stand. (Although the weigh on this mounting is a static weight, a large part of the bike's total weight is concentrated at this point when it is on its side stand.)
Within the first few weeks, the powder coated items were being delivered back to Honda Canada; these included the frame, swing arm, stands, shelter frame, AC box, and miscellaneous small parts. According to Pete Van Blarcom, our contact with the project team, the powder coating is better than the original paint work: “The powder coating is almost too good . . . it's better than paint; granted that's a nice problem to have, but it really puts the pressure on to make the rest of it look as good.”
If the end result of the CB750F is anything to go by, the team will make the rest of this bike just as good.