® A Day in the Life: The Signature CBX

The Honda CBX was introduced and in production while I was well on my way to becoming a career mechanic. So it's no surprise that I was at the forefront of much of what happened with the new Honda model. I worked on them steadily from the beginning in late 1978 until they faded from view in the mid 1980s, and then later when they began to reappear as vintage bikes. In fact, I did a lot of wreck repairs and probably did as many crankcase replacements as tune-ups in the earliest years, due to the bike's propensity for bending its number one connecting rod and holing the cases. One day in 1979 I was a service manager at a tiny Honda shop in L.A. when a fella rode up on a CBX. We started talking and it evolved that he had just bought the bike and wanted us to check it out. Among other things he wanted us to confirm that the bike was in good condition as the seller had told my customer that the bike had a new engine. Many folks are unaware that Honda actually shipped new engine cases and frames without serial numbers and had their dealers stamp the parts with a Honda-supplied stamp set. Before VINs came about, this was not unusual, but of course it stopped by then. For some reason however many of the Honda shops I worked in, though we had the official Honda stamps, never used them. So we always everything blank. Well, almost always. So I happened to be eyeballing the customer's bike over closely, and Bingo! There it was. Blank engine cases alright, with one small difference. That difference was my name engraved on the engine's serial number pad, which I had done to a couple bikes I did crankcases on while I was a mechanic at a shop not very far from this one. So I was able to tell the customer about the bike's recent history. He was thrilled.

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