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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Most of you don't know me. Only a few of you have met me in person, so I will give a little background to go with my story here.
I grew up in southern Virginia, my mother was tasked with raising 5 very awful children as a single mother. She worked 16 hour days, 6 days a week. Her brother, my Uncle Billy, was my hero. He was this wild and crazy guy, who grew up running shine with my father for my granddad. He was a Viet Nam vet, and always had a story to tell. He lit up my life with his smile. He was only 5'6" tall but was a giant in my eyes. I modeled a lot of my life based on his stories. He talked me out of the Mariens and into the Army. I probably owe my life to him for that.
I had broken a tooth about two weeks ago, and oddly enough my dentist appointment was on Veterans Day. I had the repair done, went home and laid down. Every year on Veterans Day I call my Uncle Billy to wish him a Happy Veterans day. He didn't get the kind of reception at home when he returned from Viet Nam that I got after The Gulf War. So it was kind of a big thing, at least to me. Well I missed calling him. The following Monday I got the call. Billy passed away.
I am so mad at myself.
When I was twelve Billy gave me a Honda 400a. It was quite a bike for a kid who only rode dirt bikes. I logged about 3500 miles on the bike, mostly off road, before going into the Army. My brother in-law showed intrest in the bike and I let him get it. He and his sons fixed it up some and he rode it for a while before getting a bigger bike. His son Robert was killed by a drunk driver and he could never part with the bike because they shared that time building it.
He called me today to tell me to come get the bike. Tears flowed. Billy's bike will be coming home next weekend with me.
Sorry if this is all sappy, but it meant the world to me, and was the bright spot of a couple of rough weeks.
 

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Glad y.ou shared your story, Thomas. Uncle Billy sounds like a guy all of us would want for our role model. Don't beat yourself up over the circumstances, but continue to take a moment every Vetern's day to honor your personal hero, and keep retelling your story--its a good one.
 

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Thomas, you are a nice and thoughtful person; You owe your mother and Uncle Billy for that.:)
 
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Very heartfelt post Thomas. And it hits home. While I have no history of military service myself, thank you.

My wife is from Wilkesboro, NC, and we are planning to come back there next May. I hope to meet up with Murray again, and perhaps Phil in Lowgap.

One can only find solstice within ones' self when it comes to things like this. Bow the head, nod, and say nothing but grace.

Joel in the Couve
 

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+1 to the don't beat yourself up over one missed call out of multiple dozens of others that I'm sure were most appreciated. I have over 1000 hours of combat air time in 1968 and even my wife is also a Viet Nam era veteran.

Don't ever apologize for telling it, for yours is not a sappy story. It is a family story and the glue that binds them together. As a veteran yourself, I pray there's someone in your life like your uncle had in his. God bless you brother!!
 

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Great story, not the least sappy, it is heartfelt and true. Don't beat yourself up anymore over missing the call or it will cloud the memories of your uncle. Running shine for grandpaw, WOW, shades of copperhead road.

Enjoy the 400 it is a talisman to the past and the people around it. I have a few things like that make me smile with tears in my eyes. Thanks for the story.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)


Today was the first time I have seen this bike in almost 10 years. The first time I have sat on the bike in almost 25 years. It's funny how time flys and how the past tugs at my heart strings. Billy's bike has been parked since 1995, so it needs everything. I guess I have my winter project.
 
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Look pretty good for sitting almost 20 years. Enjoy the project, and your weather down there. Was just above freezing in my garage today.
 

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Great story! And a wonderful tribute. Get that thing on the road and let everyone enjoy it as much as it has ment to be enjoyed!

What kind of bike is it? Has to be an early 80s bike with those comstars on there
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)

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View attachment 18471
This is the color it was originally. This is a pic off the internet and no one that I know. But the bike looks just like Billy's did.
 

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Saw one of those last year here in Penticton. Was a new rider doing the first riding exam. (parking lot test)
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
It's a good one for that. I may finally be able to teach my wife how to ride. Might ought to try that before fixing the bike up too much. Lol
 

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i have one of those as does vc3

i also have a 750a they are great bikes

treat the cars on the 400 the same as the cx500 do everything in cleaning the same way and it will run like a watch

if you need to i can run them through my ultrasonic cleaner for you
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
You are the Best Murray. Thanks. I will be sure to take you up on that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Well about time for a brief update. I know this doesn't really fit in here on the CX/GL website but I appreciate the interest in the bike and my story.
I pulled the bike down to see what I was going to need to get it right again and came up with a pretty big list of cosmetic and mechanical parts needed to be sourced for the repairs to the bike, and have slowly started acquiring those. Got some help with some hard to find stuff from some nice folks over on Do The Ton, thanks for the heads up on that Murray, and all the help.
So in the mean time, its cleaning and inspecting, and servicing, go through the basics and try to get it up and running. Safely.
Couple pics.




 

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Sorry for bumping an old thread, but I just had to express my appreciation for you sharing that story. I hope the rebuild is going well this winter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Sorry for bumping an old thread, but I just had to express my appreciation for you sharing that story. I hope the rebuild is going well this winter.
Thank you. It's going ok. I've found a bunch of NOS parts and some good old pieces. I pulled the frontend off today, and preparing it for some new forks. Slowly but surely. Thanks for the bump.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
How it sits right now. Waiting on boxes from all over North America to slowly start rolling in. I found bits of the parking brake assembly missing so it took a little bit to find a good replacement. Still looking for fenders. They seem hard to find straight and rust free. Imagine that? Anyway. That's were its at.
 
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