Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Think Tank: An Extra Degree of Era Correctness


Even the mosaic noticed a change. 

The title may not be entirely true, because there was rust in nearly every era we seek to recreate. Like Neil Young famously put it, “Rust never sleeps,” but I’m proud to say I’ve finally put it to rest on my longest-standing motorcycle project. When I bought my CL125 in 2013, it was in barn fresh condition with a mere 103 miles on the clock. There was a little rust and a lot of dust, but it was a running 1974 model and I couldn’t be more excited to bring it home. Everything on it was perfectly worn and featured excellent patina—but the gas tank had lost a great deal of paint through the years. That didn’t stop me from riding the bike as-is, racking up close to 2,000 miles on the East Coast, in the Midwest and finally out West. It saw everything from Virginia sands to Michigan mud to San Francisco’s hilly terrain—and it handled them all with ease.

A few weeks ago, my brother alerted me of a SL125 tank for sale on eBay. The color was right (metallic red), the price was fair and I pulled the trigger. Just as I had hoped, it slid right on and had my 125 looking much like it did more than 40 years ago. And because I can never leave well enough alone, I also fixed the clutch handle, damaged foot peg and gave the bike a thorough cleaning. (The chrome CL100 exhaust pipe that I had gotten as a graduation present also helped clean up the look.) Like I said, good as better than new.

The CL125 is the perfect bike for ripping around downtown San Francisco. Now I’m glad that it looks the part.

Before, feat. San Francisco  
What year is it? 
SL on a CL 
In the Haight. 
Beep's Burgers, Ocean Avenue, San Francisco, California.