Start Your Own Shop? Honda Motorcycle Collection

There comes a point when you accumulate so much stuff that it’s hard to know where to begin when it comes time to wind down the stash. In the case of one Honda motorcycle enthusiast in Montana, he’s unloading years of collecting of “…small singles and twins” as a retail opportunity – you know, the clearest path to starting your own restoration business. The seller is clear he’s not interested in selling parts or whole bikes right now, preferring that an entrepreneur hang their own shingle and start putting customers’ bikes back together with the spare parts he’s got, or restore the ones he’s already got spread around his property. Which path would you choose? Find the Honda bike collection here on craigslist with no price listed.

The property in north Georgia that I’m assisting with the sales aspect of has a stash of motorcycles like this, and I’ve talked with the owner more than once about just trying to find one buyer for everything. This has lots of appeal, as it’d be way easier than combing through and inventorying every last part and bike, even if there’s more money in doing it the right way and capturing everything you have. But I also know the likelihood of someone waltzing up and just agreeing to take on the management of hundreds of bikes and parts is extremely limited, so while it’s easy to put an ad like this up, it’s much harder for someone who just wants to slap some cash down and take it over.

Now, there’s perhaps more of an opportunity to view the property and make a play for some whole bike sales, at least enough for the seller not to be too disappointed that you’re not buying the whole shebang. This CT70 is a desirable model right now, especially in complete form. The crazy thing is you’re only seeing a snapshot here, as the seller acknowledges having a few trailers full of parts as well. If he’s got more CT70s, I can tell you those are flying off the shelf right now – we get a few emails per week for the remaining frames we have in Georgia after someone cleaned us out of all the complete bikes. If this seller has a few of these kicking around, it seems likely small bike collectors will want them.

I see a lot of bikes similar to what we have – CB350s, Trail 110s and Trail 90s, and other small displacement Hondas. There’s definitely a following for these, but they’re not necessarily big dollar bikes. The higher powered Hondas are where you want to be if money is your game, but the loyal fans of these smaller road and trail bikes will make you feel like a rock star if you suddenly find yourself sitting on a massive parts and bike stash. The desire to find someone new to manage your out-of-control hobby won’t be easy, but hopefully for this seller, it will at least be profitable.

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Comments

  1. Howard A Member

    This is why I have such a hard time with these vintage Asian bikes bringing big bucks. There are literally PILES of them. EVERYBODY jumped on the smaller Asian bikes( literally) They were cheap transportation, and as shown, they sold a bunch. Trouble was, when the fad fizzled, or they broke or people got hurt, they were too big for a dumpster, and could be had for nothing. I don’t understand how a person in Bumblescum, Montana could amass such a collection, it just shows how many were thrown away. I look at a pile like this, and think, everyone of those bikes was somebodies fun ride.

    Like 13
    • Frank D

      True and only the race bikes are worth money. Just like all of a sudden Japanese cars are thru the roof. Money bikes to me are Triumphs up the mid 70’s. All the early 1900 weird named bikes are worth restoring. Norton Dunstalls money bike. Japanese don’t get it. Must be Cultural!

    • Danonrt66

      Every thing comes in waves the Japan market demand strong. Now after years being idle Europe bikes in this way too!

  2. Nevadahalfrack Nevadahalfrack Member

    Some neat old bikes if you want to tinker. The SL90 for instance would be fun to redo, the 305 (350?) Scrambler too. Those old XR’s are good cowtrail/desert two-track bikes and seem to run forever. The little Trail 70’s were great for tying onto a camper but they’ve gotten stupid expensive IMO..
    It’d be fun to look over but what I’d like to see more of is what looks like a COE parked in there with them!

    Like 3
    • Cycle Salvage Kevin

      IF he has an SL90, the only year was 1969 and is as rare as hens teeth. I didn’t see one in his vague pics, though. The Trail 70 looks to be in great shape. The handlebars are usually bent as well as the knobs to loosen them being stuck in place 99% of the time. It would part out REALLY well and of course the value in parts is much higher than a complete bike. Unfortunately, it’s an automatic rather than the highly sought after 4 speed H model. You can tell the difference from a distance, the vertical or horizontal frame stripe tell it all.

      Like 3
      • Goatsnvairs

        Are you sure its not an H? It has a left hand clutch lever. If it was an auto there would be no lever on the left side, as the brake would be right side (front) and foot actuated (rear).

        Like 2
      • Nevadahalfrack Nevadahalfrack Member

        My mistake, Kevin-in picture 11 the black single in the foreground parked next to Trail (90?) Eminem’s me of a black S90 my HS pal had ..

        Like 2
      • Mercury Man

        I also did not see a SL90. They are rare I bought one new in 1969. I now have another one with 1,100 original miles.(not for sale)

        Like 2
      • Cycle Salvage Kevin

        Goatsnvairs, the frame stripe says automatic. If I’m not mistaken, I believe they had both foot operated and cable operated rear brake. GTO’s and Corvairs? Interesting diversity.

      • Cycle Salvage Kevin

        Nevadahalfrack, it is indeed a S90! They’re quite popular among collectors/restorers. I currently have two seats, a tank, OEM NOS air filters and a tool enclosure cover.

        Like 1
      • Nevadahalfrack Nevadahalfrack Member

        It’s of comfort to know the eyes and the memory still synapse on occasion. Thank you, Kevin!!!

      • Goatsnvairs

        Didnt know striping was different. My ct70 has a right hand front brake, a foot actuated rear brake, and no lever on the left. My buddies ct70 has the clutch lever on the left, like the one in the pic. And yes, goats and Corvairs, but only factory turbocharged Corvairs (and a 65 riv). https://i.postimg.cc/W3nxH3tm/Screenshot-2020-06-25-11-29-40-1.jpg

    • John

      305 is the correct displacement for a Super Hawk.

      • Nevadahalfrack Nevadahalfrack Member

        It’s hard to tell by the photo if one of the blue Honda’s is a 305 (possibly the same engine in the red Dream) or a newer 350.
        Thank you though John!
        BTW-no one seems to making a comment about the Vespa!! 😁

  3. JustPassinThru

    Kalispell is just outside Glacier National Park – and it’s hardly Dogpatch. Motorcycling is big here, and there is a lot of two-wheel touring in the park and surrounding territory…thousands of miles in circumference.

    There’s a shortage of independent shops, so, one would think he could set up right in the region and start minting coin. But, there’s also a shortage of riders – as there is everywhere. Now’s a grand time to be buying a used metric bike, as past riders are aging out, and new ones not forthcoming.

    Like 5
  4. Jim

    Mike Wolfe of American Pickers fame visited an elderly man in his late 80’s who had over 100 very old cars in various stages of disrepair with many needing years or even decades to put back to running condition. This older gentleman did not want to sell any because he wanted to restore his collection to running + condition. I laughed at the time thinking this man must plan to live to the age of about 250 years of age. Many collectors have similar dreams but no reality!

    Like 13
    • Mike

      I collected a bunch of old Italian bikes from the late 50’s and they just sat there while I kept buying up more. One day, I had enough parts to cobble together a couple of bikes and had a friend who restores just about everything that moves work on them. he had both bikes done in less than a year. If I had to do it all, it would still be sitting in boxes. What a great feeling it is to have something restored and done. No more looking for parts, it’s finished. Anybody with a project should just get it over with and get it done. You’ll be wondering why you didn’t do it years ago!

      Like 13
      • Solosolo Solosolo Member

        It took me over 30 years to get down to restoring my 1933 Calthorpe 500 and just over 3 months to have it completed and on the road. Getting started was the big problem.

        Like 5
  5. Billy1

    I don’t understand how people buy bikes, leave them in the backyard(or behind the barn) in the elements to rot-then think “I will just jam this junk on Craigslist or Ebay and people with 6 figures worth of cash are going to beat down my front door” for all these “valuables”.

    Like 5
    • FrankD

      I call that a small retirement fund instead of giving it to a UBS Planner.

      Like 1
    • EJ

      Billy1,

      They do it because those people with $$$$$ do appear. Not every time, but often enough to make the practice feasible.

      Like 1
    • stillrunners stillrunners Member

      Ever thought somebody just drops it off at your place ?

      Like 2
      • Nevadahalfrack Nevadahalfrack Member

        Good point, Stillrunners. Used to be a guy up that way that was known to have broken bikes dropped off at his house for repair. Some folks came back, some didn’t; more than a few economically challenged people living up that way paid for their bike repair by paying what they could then bringing over an abandoned (not stolen) bike for partial payment.
        Not everyone with a bunch of anything is necessarily a hoarder-more than a few, but not everyone..

        Like 3
      • Cycle Salvage Kevin

        It’s happened a handful of times over the years but not as much as it could if I advertised my business. The drop off’s were mostly from farmers cleaning out their sheds. True dusty old barn finds!

        Like 1
  6. Cycle Salvage Kevin

    Obviously, I see a gold mine of parts here, some really hard to find in good condition. I see 3 that are either SS125A or CL125A 125 twins. In the first pic there appears to be a one year only ’68 CL175K0 with the engine tilting forward, basically a bored out 160. There looks to be MANY SL’s of all sizes as well as many CL175’s and CL350’s. The latter are ‘street scramblers’ that are not suitable for offroad riding. They’re simply street bikes with high pipes and IMO, worth restoring. To me, the whole group is very exciting! Because of Montana’s climate the survivor vs scrap ratio is excellent. I see many decent seats as well. A parts guy’s dream……. As if I needed any of it as I’ve already got 800 bikes in total, most are outside parts bikes. For my own taste I’d rather have the smaller, older bikes up to 450cc but won’t turn down the odd big bikes, GL1000’s, etc. if priced right. What do I have most of? Honda’s of course, CB/CL/SL350s, CB/CL/CJ360’s, CB/CL450’s, CB500T’s and tons of CB650’s and CB750’s. They’re resting on sheets of steel roofing and covered with snow at the moment.

    Like 9
  7. Meyer Ranch

    I live just South of ‘Bumblescum’ and spoke to the seller on the phone today. He is very knowledgable about what he has and says that each bike has a story. He’d like them to go to a good home, but is realistic about finding a single buyer for the whole lot.

    I’m going to visit later this week and am happy to bring details about what I find back here to the barnfinds community. I hope to grab a few for my high school auto shop program.

    Like 18
    • Howard A Member

      I apologize for that remark, Meyer. If I had taken the time to actually see where it was, I almost went to Kalispell for a job as a bus driver for a rafting company that never panned out.

      Like 5
      • Mountainwoodie

        You’re a gentleman and a scholar HoA :)

        Like 3
  8. angliagt angliagt Member

    At first I thought this was another bike collection that I’ve
    seen a couple of times,but those were South of Kalispell,on Highway-
    93 ( “PRAY FOR ME – I DRIVE 93”).
    Lots of really cool old bikes.The best thing is that they’re on his
    property,& not mine.

    Like 4
  9. angliagt angliagt Member

    I used to really like going to Kalispell at least once a year,
    but don’t care to anymore as there’s WAY too many SOUTHERN –
    Californians there now.They’re turning it into what they came to get
    away from.

    Like 5
    • Gray Wolf

      Maybe the California’s people like the way your governor runs the state. They are investing in the state! Is that so bad? I think not! Our governor is driving out revenue, other states welcome the revenue. Plus you can build a bigger garage, which you can’t afford here!!

      Like 1
  10. FordGuy1972 FordGuy1972 Member

    The best way to sell this extensive collection is to go the auction route. It will take a miracle to sell it all to one person and who knows what the owner has in mind for a price? Is it realistic or is the seller looking for Powerball money? Have an auction or two and it all goes away. Some of the auction prices may disappoint the seller but some items will surprise him and it the end it will average out. Keep in mind there is a ton of work involved in removing everything but an auction brings buyers who will give you money and clean out the property for free.

    Like 7
  11. Steven

    I think it’s been picked through already by somebody who likes what I like because I don’t see a single bomber or CB77 CYB77 no CB92. Man if there was wouldn’t that be something!

    Like 1
    • Cycle Salvage Kevin

      I’ve owned several CA, CL and CB77’s over the years and they never stick around for long. I’ve never seen a CYB77 and only one CB92 Benly Super Sport 125. Wouldn’t it be something special to own an unmolested CB92R? Years ago I passed on buying a reasonably priced dismantled CL72. Dumb me!

      Like 1
  12. JS

    I’d guess you could count the number of titles in his name on one hand.

    Like 4
  13. Cycle Salvage Kevin

    Just looked at their listing again on my laptop and blew it up to 200%. An interesting bike popped up. I see a Puch Magnum pedal type moped, the most valuable of all Puch ‘peds. I have a nice silver MKII right now…..problem is most people into these bikes tend to stay away from expensive models and my price is firm. Another interesting vehicle……did anyone else see the IH pickup in the shed in the last pic? Now, I REALLY want to hire a few semi’s, buy everything including the semi trailers and get all this fantastic stuff here where it belongs!

    Like 1
  14. Stephen Brodie

    At some point in a man’s life his collecting items must come to an end. Many times that collecting becomes a mania which goes way beyond being realistic and in the process deprives himself and family of a reasonable lifestyle. Once this has happened items he has purchased take on a deteriorating value and become exposed to unreasonable storage conditions which causes them to loose value rapidly. This type of collecting does the rest of us a great service as it pumps up the value of our own treasures which have enjoyed a different life. Old motorcycles especially Japanese models are readily available in running condition at reasonable prices. They were truly well built durable machines built in huge numbers. I feel a certain sadness for this owner as he will never recover the funds and effort he has expended on this huge pile of bikes. 90% of those will never run again and they are not close to a huge marketplace. My advice to him is to sell what you can as buyers appear. Hopefully someone without reasonable storage will not come and purchase the better examples to just leave them out in the weather.

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