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Thread: I bought the wrong bike

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
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    Ferndale, MI
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    Default I bought the wrong bike

    Well, after watching Long Way Down/Around and many other adventure documentaries (and stalking the posts here) I regret my purchase of a 1976 Honda CB550. I originally wanted to do another modern take on the classic, and just have a simple and fun bike. Now I wish I had just put that money towards a dual sport or something more capable off of the asphalt. Motorcycle camping looks amazing to me, as I prefer bringing less gear. I recently went on a trip with some other folks and they must have packed an entire house. I simply arrived and pulled my pack out of my truck, and they looked at me like I was crazy. I am envious of you all, and may have to pick up a different bike once this is complete (I'd sell if I hadn't just paid for a ton of parts).
    1979 International Scout Traveler
    2016 Toyota TRD OR *SOLD*
    2003 Lexus GX470 *SOLD*
    1976 Honda CB550

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
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    Northwest
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    Put it all up for sale. Worst case is you are exactly where you are now.
    Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, The moment one commits, then Providence moves too. Things occur to help that no one could have dreamed would have come their way. Whatever you dream , begin it. Boldness has power, and magic in it. Begin it now

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Elgin, IL (Chicago burb)
    Posts
    1,265
    Just ride what you have, till you really need something different. You'd be surprised where your current bike will be able to get you. It's lower center of gravity and seat height lends to more confidence off-road. You could even scramblerize it a bit (dual sport tires, bigger rear sprocket, raise front fender some) to make it handle trails better. Main thing is knowing when the trail is getting too tough for you or the machine and turning around. Advice from a guy that's done 600+ mile trips on a KE100.

    Let this video inspire you.
    Aaron

    2005 Astro (Gandalf) - AWD, 4.3L, 3.42, 140k+ miles
    1997 Astro (Grumpy - $250 Rally Van) - AWD, 4.3L, 3.42, LSD, 2" lift, 31" tires, 335k+ orig engine, $30 eBay fuel pump
    2016 Patriot (MaK - Her Jeep) Painfully stock
    1980 KE100 (Bessie) - 100cc of fury

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    NW Florida
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    Quote Originally Posted by mscuiletti View Post
    I am envious of you all, and may have to pick up a different bike once this is complete (I'd sell if I hadn't just paid for a ton of parts).
    Don't sell!!! You can get into a capable, travel worthy dual sport fairly inexpensively. Pick up a used dual sport for your off pavement camping and exploring. Just don't get rid of the CB550, what you have there is a nearly perfect Café project.
    .
    If we're honest with ourselves, our ratio between paved miles and dirt miles tips way to the pavement side. Bikes are a segment where specialization is king. No bike can do everything...well. Some flirt with competency in multiple areas but in the end, they are compromises. Bikes really are a tool...pick the best tool for the job. That CB is the right tool for looking cool around town.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    SF Bay Area
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    495
    Last winter we passed a guy taking his Harley through Titus Canyon in Death Valley. He wasn't as fast as the guy on the dual-sport but he didn't look any worse for the wear coming out the other side. Unless you need the money to get the dual-sport, I'd keep it to have both.
    John

    '13 Chevy Silverado 3500 HD
    - Crew Cab, Std bed, 4WD, Z71, Duramax

    '12 FWC Grandby Silver Spur

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Prescott, AZ
    Posts
    5,308
    I've had dozens of bikes, and they're never the right one.

    There's always another motorcycle you want more. Welcome to the club.
    Bicycles rule.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    NW Florida
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    Quote Originally Posted by Christophe Noel View Post
    There's always another motorcycle you want more.
    So true, for me it's a CRF1000L

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Northern Virginia
    Posts
    444
    Every bike I've bought has helped me better focus on what I really want. So there is never a wrong bike - just numerous test mules.
    Marc

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Littleton, CO
    Posts
    7,564
    That 550 is a classic. If it was me I'd restore it as close as possible to factory specs and ride it to bike nights. It will get a lot of attention.
    .
    I wouldn't necessarily shy away from an occasional dirt road but on the pavement that bike should be great.
    .
    If you can only have one bike (Blasphemy!) then at least sell the 550 to a collector who's going to treat it right and not to some cretin with a sawzall and a can of black spray paint to turn it into another "awesome bobber project." There's too much of that crap on Craigslist now.
    .
    It pains me sometimes to think of the great old bikes that have been butchered like that.
    Martin
    2004 Chevy Suburban 1500 LT in "Expedition White"

    Having a Suburban means never being able to say "We don't have room for that."

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Northern Utah
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    Quote Originally Posted by mscuiletti View Post

    Motorcycle camping looks amazing to me, as I prefer bringing less gear.
    Whether it's spent on or off road motorcycle camping is pretty amazing that's for sure. Nothing wrong with a CB550. Plan a long weekend, pack your gear up and hit the road--you might be surprised by where you end up and the good times you'll have. Heck given your location I think exploring the UP on a classic Honda would be pretty sweet!
    91- F350 crew - Turbocharged IDI

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