Zen of Moto-Recycling


1979 Honda CM400A Hondamatic - PROJECT JOURNAL

Yup, we found another one up in the hills and drug it home.  So now I am learning all about the Honda CM400 models. 

This A model means it is a hondamatic, which has a 2-speed clutchless tranny using a torque converter. It’s simi-automatic because a foot control is used to select the 1st, neutral, and 2nd selections.

We got it home, without the promised title and side panels, and found the motor to be frozen up for some reason - not looking good.  So I removed the left engine cover to expose the rotor, and found that water had entered the chamber and caused a lot of corrosion.  Stuck a hose into where the wires come out, replaced the side cover and filled it with vinegar.  After a couple of days, off with the cover and on with the WD-40.  Good news; the engine broke loose and turned over, and after a struggle, the flywheel bolt did come off so that a puller could be used to get the flywheel off. The bad news; there the stator was, fairly clean but damaged beyond working.  So stator fried, but  there seems to be good compression, and it’s not a blown piston or something like that seizing the engine. So, at this point I’m not convinced this is a good project, it will get some more evaluation.

However, if it goes forward, this journal will keep track of the challenges involved with restoring this very cool and unusual bike - Lord willing and Time permitting. 

This is what a new CM400A looked like in its snazzy Candy Maroon paint and ‘laser’ striping, ComStar wheels, and lots of chrome!  Beast weighs in at 393 pounds dry!


Hey - sometimes things work out! 

The parts bike described below was combined with a nice survivor bike with 6400 miles - and a TITLE! -  found on CraigsList to make one all-original collector bike.  Both bikes were manufactured in December of 1978 and have vin numbers differing by only 117 digits.   Since this is such an odd-ball bike I plan to just keep and enjoy - it someday may become a hot collector item but I don’t really care.  It is a keeper!

July 2, 2013 - found in the field where it sat for 10+ years.

You can "restore" it many times, but it is original only once!