Pete and Laz

Pete and Laz
Yeah, Pete it's rough...but it's a runner.

Monday, October 10, 2011

A Moto Melee bike...?

Well, I just went and looked at some Moto Melee sites and it says that the event is for Pre-71 machines. So it looks like I'll be looking at some of my older bikes. But , at least it got me motivated to work on the SL's.
Might have to get the old 1969 CB 450 4speed up and running again. Or, if I really want a challenge I have an old 60's CB 150 that hasn't run since the 70's when a friend of mine, Jim Ward drove it to college.(He's the one that planted a moped in his cactus garden...previous post)  Or, another challenge would be to get the old BSA 650 "Desert Sled" running and registered. Just sent off an e-mail to see what it takes to get entered.


Shot of  "Old Orange" circa 1985
"Old Blue" tucked between the bug/truck and a CB 100

(Wrote up the following before I realized the 71 Honda probably won't be eligible to enter)

The more I read about it, and look at pics and vids of past events....the more I want to participate. Been thinking about which of my bikes I'd use, and I keep coming back to one of my SL 350 Hondas.  I have three of them, all 1971 models. This is the first SL 350 that had it's own frame, that wasn't a modified CB/CL series frame. The engine cases were different (no electric start) and gearing was better suited to off-road. 
One of my off-road riding buddies named the bikes "Old Blue" and "Old Orange". The orange bike was stone stock and always started and always ran well. It wasn't as fast, but was one of the most reliable. Old Blue was fast. It had a front end from an XL 250 with a 21" wheel, after market shocks, a custom supertrapp exhaust, knobby tires, and would wheelie and spin the rear tire like nobodies biz. It wasn't as reliable and things were always breaking or falling off...but it was a screamer. I let everyone ride these bikes and they were never treated gently. The orange bike still runs, and I commuted to work on it for years. Even had a sidecar hitched to it. It's also the bike I almost got killed on, when a 3/4 ton van hit me when he ran a stop.( I posted about that earlier on here.)  The blue bike was finally crashed once too hard by my brother when he looped a wheelie on it. By that time the engine mounts were broken on the frame and bottom of the engine cases. The exhaust system was bent into a pretzel. So apart it came, and has been that way for years. The third bike is one I picked up about 4 years ago. It was a runner, but missing a lot of parts
So, I have a street legal runner, just need to decide how to outfit it for the Moto Melee. I'll probably fabricate   a high level scrambler exhaust and run the Supertrapp muffler. Possibly run a larger tank for better fuel capacity. And maybe some newer rubber, something suited for on and off road. .

So....if I end up getting into the 'Melee" and use the 450, I'd probably set it up as a "Scrambler"...I do have a scrambler exhaust system off of a later 450. There were dealer kits to make early 4 speed 450's into scramblers...but they are rare as hen's teeth I'm sure. Right now the bike is set up as a "Caferacer". I think it might be better set up with wider bars, dual purpose tires, and a higher exhaust. 
The event covers a variety of terrain. It lasts for three days and is approximately 800 miles, I believe. More info as I get it.


  1. Didn't know that it was run over different terrain.......thought it was along the lines of the Moto Giro in Italy where small, older bikes are run through the countryside....kinda sorta like the Banbury Run or the British Singles Run, for British singles (MC, not people in case you as wondering ;p)

    Still sounds like a ton of fun, especially as it's out in the Northern Cali country instead of Southern Cali

  2. Hey Bodger. Still waiting to hear back about entry process...course it is a little early for next years event. More I read about it, it's tougher than some might imagine. Portions of it are run through some hot areas in the summer. The attrition rate is pretty high sometimes. In the earlier days of the event it was for bikes at least 25 years old. At some point they made it pre 1971. I can see the point of it, since it's about older machines and men and woman, seeing if they can make it through. Too bad though, the SL's are just extentions of the 60's CB/CL line.
    No matter, I have older bikes that fit the bill. How's that frame work going? One bike in a past Moto Melee was a 441 with a trick second alloy gas tank, masquerading as a tail-piece to the saddle. Really slick looking. I'll try to find a link or pic for you. Maybe you have seen it already.

  3. I dont know why but I dont get any emails when you guys update your blogs. I have checked my settings and says that I should. I have rejoined and reset and I will just have to see what happens.
    Cheers Mat

  4. Hey ya Mat, Mine might not be set up like that yet. I notice others have an e-mail notice thingy attached. I get e-mails at work when comments are made at my blog...and can't figure out how to change it to come to my home e-mail yet...oh well. How's things down there? What's weather like this time of year in your country?(that would be Australia for anyone who hasn't checked out the link to Mat's blog over to the left there) It's been getting cooler here, a bit of rain, even some good snows to the Northeast of here. Been working on getting some dirt bikes going again. Looking forward to reading some posts at your site. Cheers back at ya.

  5. Actually the links to other sites would be over to the right there.....