Honda CBR400 Gull-Arm


This bike had been tarmac surfing in Japan before being imported to the UK and I bought it from a Grey Importer in Aldershot.

I thought by repairing a damaged bike I might be able to save some dosh. Not So!

Although I paid the right money for all the parts, the price of secondhand spares at that time made it very difficult to keep it viable. Even with the ability to carry out the paintwork myself it ended up standing me in far tooooo much money. 

So how was the Pocket Rocket?

Well it did get a lick on, in fact it surprised my mates who were riding GSXR1100's etc. and would keep with them up to around 120 when it started to run out of puff. It also revved out to 18,000 with a top speed of around 130mph but this meant poodling through town at 30 mph had it revving at around 4,000rpm. It revved far too high for my liking and felt too much like a hooligan bike. The other downside was the riding position. Just didn't suit. Unless I was cracking 80 there was too much weight on my wrists and within a very short time my fingers were numb and felt like a couple of pound of sausages. I just wasn't for me.



So what with the cost of repairing it and the discomfort, I decided to put it up for sale soon after finishing it to minimise any further loss.

So if your thinking about repairing a damaged repairable, be careful with the costings, there are so many hidden extra's its very easy to get caught out. 

Day Van

For those interested in the Day Van in the background, it was an American Ford Econoline powered by a 7 ltr V8 turbo diesel automatic. Great tool, loads of kudos & comfort from a pose mobile but very rarely got more than 20 to the gallon out of it. It was expensive to run so it had to go. I took it to a local American Car Show, put a 'For Sale' notice on it and it flew away making a nice £1,000 profit to boot.

Or so I thought.

A guy who was interested after I had shook hands on a deal with another, asked me if I would take him for a spin as he would have it if the first guy dropped out. While I took him around the block he was chatting away ten to the dozen and distracted me just as someone four cars up decided to do a u turn using a turning to the right rather than use the roundabout further on. Net result, everyone hit their brakes, I was a fraction too late and 5 ton of Day Van skidded and slammed into the back of them, writing off a Sierra, an Escort and a Fiesta. It wasn't so much the speed that did the damage but the weight of the thing.

I sat there gutted. Just had it sold and now its got front end damage to boot but no, it was untouched. No one could believe it looking at the state of all the others. The only mark was a small nick out of the plastic insert on one of the bull bar uprights. That was it.


That night I delivered it to the new owner who was none the wiser. There was a sting in the tail though when I got my insurance renewal. That grand profit I had made on the deal was whittled down to about a hundred quid after they hiked my premium up due the the damage they had to pay for. But hey ho, no one was hurt, only my wallet!

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