1972 Honda CB-500K
Many men buy a Harley when they hit mid-life crisis.
Since my mid-life crisis passed over a decade ago, I felt no need to
burn $20,000 on a motorcycle. Good thing, too, because my bank
account was in total agreement.
Debbie did, however, happen upon an antique SOHC Honda that had been well maintained and was not far from showroom condition. The owner, Bob, had reached the age at which he thought it was time to hang up the helmet and stick to four wheels. Bob made us an offer we could not refuse: we paid him fair market value for the Windjammer and he threw in the motorcycle for free.
The SOHC-4 Hondas are amazing machines. Mine is a 500 cc, the little brother to the Honda 750s that ruled the road for so many years. While it does not have the blazing top end of a CB-750, I can personally attest to the fact that it is capable of creeping up to triple-digit speeds if one is not careful. And it will out-accelerate my brother-in-law's Gold Wing, thanks to the power to weight ratio. It will cruise comfortably and quietly alongside anything else going down the road. I would not hesitate to head off on my CB-500K on a road trip to either coast tomorrow (weather permitting).
Just like my 240D, this machine is very easy to maintain. Working on a CB-500 is very easy. The first step in anything from adjusting the tappets to checking the tire pressure starts the same way: "remove the fuel tank."
This is simply a fun bike.
Cheap to buy, easy to maintain, very economical (50 mpg), and quite
And in case anyone is wondering, we do normally wear helmets (full-face Shoei) and leather jackets. We always try to "ride safe" and most of our riding is on country roads at 35 mph or below -- just cruising along slowly and enjoying the rural scenery.
For what it is worth, my bike of choice – given unlimited funds – would not be a Harley. It would be a BMW touring bike, probably the K 1200 LT. However, I am not sure that my wife would agree with that decision.