As some of you have mentioned, I have failed to write a new blog entry since we came back from our trip to Montana and Canada, and although I wish I could say that it is because we have just been so busy riding that I haven’t had the time, we all know that isn’t the case, since I would have been sure to blog about it if it were. No, instead we have been remodeling bathrooms and having a new roof put on the house, and prior to that it was too hot to put all of our gear on and go ride (and actually enjoy it), and as you know, we are ATGATT (All the Gear, All the Time) so riding without it was not an option.
We did ride a handful of times, but there was nothing worth writing about, and we didn’t take any pictures to share, so I didn’t want to bore you all to death. So I’ll just skip past that stuff and jump right into this past weekend when we went to Barber Motorsports Park and Museum for the Barber Vintage Festival.
We always make sure to get there bright and early on Friday morning, right when the gates open, and we start walking through the swap meet area before everyone is even set up for the day. We do this in hopes of finding something good before someone else snatches it up first. As it turns out though, this year they let vendors come in and set up on Wednesday and Thursday, so the only thing that I saw that I would have definitely been interested in, which was a 1968 CL450 that would have been a perfect match to Ruby, was already sold and put in an area with a bunch of other bikes that had all been purchased by Mach IV Motors out of Wisconsin before the general public even had a chance to see them. They sell parts and bikes on ebay and make a ridiculous profit, so I’m sure it will pop up on there before long. Do I still sound bitter about it? Maybe a little *shrug*.
We walked the swap area a few more times over the weekend, and the only other thing that really caught my eye was a ’70 cb450 for $1,500, which was a pretty decent bike, but did have some things that would need to be addressed. I also saw some 450 side covers that were pretty nice, the guy had a whole stack of them, but he wanted $30/each for them, which honestly isn’t a bad price, but I didn’t really need them, mine are all fine, so I didn’t buy any of them. Had they been more like $15/each, or if he had offered to make me a bulk price, I probably would have bought most of what he had, just to have and to share with others in my 450 group if they needed them, but they weren’t and he didn’t, so I let him keep them. I also saw a CD175 that looked like a miniature version of Ruby mixed with a baby Dream, and I was semi interested in it, but it didn’t have a title, and it was missing the side covers and original mufflers. I ended up passing on it just because I didn’t want to put the kind of effort into it that it would have required, and getting a title in Indiana is a major pain!
We spent a little bit of time in the museum on Friday, which is absolutely incredible, if you’ve never been you really need to go. We really only checked out the new addition they opened this year since we’ve been completely through the museum each of the last two years.
We always get Ace Corner tickets because there is usually a lot of vendors in that area, and entertainment, as well as a great viewing location for the races. This year it was not worth paying the extra fee, though. We only went there once, and we were only in there maybe 20 minutes at the most. I won’t be purchasing those passes next year.
We checked out the Fan Zone a couple of times, mainly the Triumph and Rev’It tents. I bought a new Triumph t-shirt for $18 at their tent, and we checked out all of the new bike models, you know, for at least the 10th time, haha! After that we went over to the Rev’It tent and we got to talking to a couple of the guys in there who turned out to be from the Savannah Triumph dealership. We told them that we were heading to Savannah after Barber, so they told us to stop by and see them at their dealership while we were there and they would hook us up.
Other than that, we mostly sat up on the hill in the trees across from the swap meet and watched the racers practice and race. That is the best place to sit and watch the races, other than ace corner, because it is nice and shady and there is always a breeze. It is much more enjoyable than being out in the sun baking.
Usually the festival lasts through Sunday, but with Hurricane Nate heading right for Birmingham Saturday night, they had to make the decision to cancel Sunday, and close things down at 5pm Saturday to get everyone out before it hit. We had already decided not to stay Saturday night, and to go ahead and go to Savannah a day early to avoid driving in the hurricane the next day. Dwayne started getting a headache about 11am, and we had pretty much done everything we wanted to do, and he didn’t feel like watching the races with a headache, so we both agreed we would just go ahead and head to Savannah since it was a 6 hour drive.
All in all, I was bummed that we didn’t find anything at the swap meet, we drove the truck just so we could bring home whatever we found to purchase, but everything was either astronomically overpriced, or just not worth buying. Plus I was still a little salty about those jerks buying that CL450 before I even had the chance.
During the trip to Savannah I was scouring Craigslist for any deals that may have been available along the way, but again, I came up empty handed. It appeared that we wouldn’t be bringing home any good motorcycles or motorcycle parts. We spent Sunday and Monday in Savannah, and it was just so hot and humid, and rainy on Monday, that we decided to just come on home Tuesday instead of Wednesday. It isn’t that we weren’t enjoying ourselves, Savannah is always a wonderful place to be, but we saw that the weather back home was supposed to be cool and perfect, so we figured we would go home and spend a few days riding before we have to go back to work this weekend. We did swing by the Triumph dealership to see the guys from Barber while were there though, and they ended up hooking me up with 20% off of the Rev’It jacket I had been wanting, so I jumped on that.
It is about an 11 hour trip from Savannah back to our house, so I decided to once again check Craigslist for our route home to see if any deals had popped up. There were a couple of decent things, but nothing that caught my eye, so I figured I would give Facebook Marketplace a try. Every once in a while something good will pop up on there. I checked South Carolina, nothing. Tennessee, nothing. Then I checked Kentucky, and that’s when I saw a bit of a blurry picture of what appeared to be a beautiful 1968 cb450 k1, exactly like Ruby, only in much better condition, and with only 3977 miles.
The price was good, way too good for it to be in the shape that it appeared to be in. I mentioned it to Dwayne, and he seemed surprised about it, but not overly interested. I am sure that he was probably thinking, “We already have one, why do we need another one?” My curiosity was peaked, though, so I sent the seller a message asking if the bike had a title and if it ran. I had already told myself it either didn’t have a title, the engine was locked up, or that there was something fishy about it, considering the photos were kind of blurry,
I didn’t get an answer for a couple of hours until we were getting close to home, but when I did the seller replied, “Yes and yes.” meaning that it did have a title, and that it was in running condition. So I asked him if the paint was original, since it looked incredibly good in the pictures. He explained that they were the 2nd owners of the motorcycle, but that they had done a full restoration on the bike 11 years prior for the original owner who was a friend of theirs. I told him that I already owned the same bike and that I was interested in it, but I would have to discuss it with my Fiance, because he may not understand my need for a 2nd one.
That is when he told me that he would be willing to take a lot less if I was really interested. At this point, my heart is beating fast, and I’m getting excited. The price listed would have been a bargain for this bike, but I honestly couldn’t really justify spending that kind of money for a bike that I already have. I decided to ask him what his bottom dollar was, and told him that I would be willing to come the next day to get it, with cash in hand if the price were right. When I saw his reply, I nearly passed out. $1,000 less than he had it listed for. I immediately told Dwayne we had to buy the bike, and he totally agreed. I told him that if nothing else we could sell it to someone I know who has been begging to buy Ruby and double our money, and that person would still be getting a great deal. I told the seller to consider it sold, and we set up a time the next morning for us to come get it. They were located 2 hours from us in Owensboro, Kentucky, and he wanted us to be there at 10am, so we set our alarm for 7am, with the intention of leaving at 8.
In our excitement, we failed to remember that Owensboro is on Central time and we are on Eastern time, so we actually got up an hour earlier than we needed to. Luckily we realized before we got ready to leave, so we just relaxed for a bit before we left.
On the drive there, I had a lot of things going through my head. I was concerned that we would get there and the VIN wouldn’t match the title, or the pictures he had posted were from 11 years ago when it was restored and it had since been wrecked or trashed, I mean, it’s Facebook Marketplace, you never know. I was just really hoping that everything would be legit when we got there, and that the bike looked as good as it appeared to in the pictures.
When we got there, we were greeted by the sweetest 78 year old man, and his grandson which is who I had been speaking with about the bike. Then I saw it, the most beautiful cb450 I have ever had the pleasure of laying my eyes on. It was breathtaking, I was speechless. I couldn’t believe that I was about to purchase this bike at the price that I was purchasing it at. I instantly fell in love. Any thought that I had about possibly flipping this bike flew out the window, it will never leave my possession for as long as I am able to enjoy it.
For over an hour we stood and talked with Jim (the owner) and Cody (the grandson), and they told us all about how they restored the bike and the gentleman that they had restored it for, and showed us pictures of the before and afters. Jim made sure I knew that if it weren’t for the fact that his mobility is making it impossible for him to ride and work on motorcycles, he wouldn’t be selling it to me. I thanked him repeatedly for allowing us to buy it and assured him that it would be well taken care of and extremely loved.
We continued to swap stories, and I absolutely loved listening to theirs. I honestly could have stayed and talked with them all day, but we had a 2 hour drive back home. I did give Jim our number and told him to keep in touch, though, so I hope that he does. Maybe we will ride down and visit with them again sometime.
Jump ahead to today, and we finally got out on the bikes again. We took the Tigers for a 150 mile ride to start the day. We didn’t have a destination in mind, we just headed down some of our usual roads until we found some roads we hadn’t been down before, and then we hit those. There was a nice mixture of asphalt and gravel, and we saw some pretty scenery along the way.
We did stop once so I could snap a picture of the bikes beside a creek on one of the gravel roads, but other than that, we just rode. It was upper 60’s and lower 70’s and partly cloudy all day, so it felt amazing to be out on the bikes.
When we got back we changed the oil in Dorothy, which is what we have decided to name the new 450, and then we took her on her maiden voyage. Technically this is my first time getting to ride the bike that I have been lusting after for nearly 3 years now, since Ruby still isn’t running quite right, but hopefully my friend Steve will have her figured out soon. I never dreamed that Ruby wouldn’t be the first one that I got to ride, but I can promise you that my smile was from ear to ear and I was giggling like a school girl anyways. Dorothy is like a dream. She looks stunning, and she rides beautifully. I couldn’t believe how quick she was, and the sound of her engine is like music to my ears.
The weather looks perfect again for next week, so I will hopefully have more to share with you then. I am pretty sure this is the longest blog entry I have ever written, so if you’ve actually read this far, hopefully you don’t regret it, lol!