Friday, 28 February 2014

Dreams Can Come True

George Acolina shared with me his story of owning his first 400F.  What a great story.

"This bike, along with Karim's yellow 400, were the last batch sold in Gibralter in 78.  The white one was burgundy.  I bought in 79 and paid £825 for it because the owner (a guy in his sixty's) wanted what he had paid for it new £850.  It had 2000km and was in very good condition and such was the demand for these bikes then that everybody wanted one! 

Had a crash racing a Mazda rx7 that spun in front of me and a spinning car stops quicker than a bike, smashed the front end and i landed on my feet after flying over the bonnet unhurt but with my pride and joy with bent forks and dented tank.  I felt that to repair as soon as possible.  

I bought a CB250 front end, painted the tank in white and a week later was on the road again. In 1980 went to Greece from Gibvia Morocco the frontier was closed between Spain and Gib so we had to go to Morocco and from there to spain!!!  This road trip we did with three four fours as we used to call them, two friends and me we crossed Spain, France and Italy and then disaster; one of my friends 400 was smoking like a two stroke.  This was in the middle of August and in Italy everything closes in that month.  I remember they were playing the World Cup and Naples seemed like a ghost town.  We had stripped the engine in the camping site; the rings had broken scratching the cylinders we were looking for spare parts but every dealer in Italy seemed closed.  We found a place that had a smashed up 350 four and bought the top end with no new gasgets.  We repaired the engine in two days and soon it was running again but still smoking my friend threw in the towel and returned in train back home only to find out that after running for a couple of days the smoke disappeared.  It was the oil in the exhaust.  Me and other friend Eddie finished our plans and went up to Greece and came back home safe and sound.

I had the white bike til 1982 when i sold it and bought a Ducati Pantha 600 from UK and Eddie bought a BMW RS600 but that's another story. 

After I sold the bike it was smashed up completely in an accident and I always remembered that four four.  Years later I found a side panel off the white bike in the police compound and have kept it for years thinking maybe one day I could have one again.  Last year I threw it away thinking I'd never have one these bikes again - until i found out about you people, and it all came back.  I wanted one again.  The red bike I was looking in Facebook opened a page of cars and bikes for sale and there was my baby.  I called the guy and he had bought it in UK and brought it over registering it in Gibraltar.  The next day I tested and bought it.  It belonged to a lady for the past 28 years and now it belongs to me! So sometimes if you wish enough your Dreams Come true?"

Tensioning the Camchain

If you find that you cannot tension the camchain on your CB400F, this could be one reason. A loose cam chain gouges out the hinge on the tensioner arm so it cannot freely move.
Here is our solution to the problem:


The CB400F Bug

Visited one of our customers today to take him a 400four for his next project. He's already building one, but the quality of parts we are supplying enthused him to have another go, plus he really enjoyed the experience! He also has a rather splendid Triumph cruiser.

The Latest CB400F to roll out of DSS

This is the latest CB400F that Dean has proudly completed. It was acquired in a rather poorly state, smoking on high revs and a crossed spark plug thread. The engine has been stripped down to to crankcases, barrels and rings changed. The head was heli-coiled by John Appletons, a vehicle engineers next door. The bike was on display at the recent London M/Cycle show Feb 2014.  Around £1500 worth of our replica and genuine parts have been fitted. The exhaust is a genuine Honda one that has been re-chromed. — at David Silver Spares.

CB400F Restoration Fever Spreads

Our own builder, Charlie, seeing all our CB400F's, decided that he would have a go at restoring one himself; here is the result.  This is a meticulous ground up restoration, parts came from us at David Silver Spares.


What do you get when you cross a Crazy Mechanic with an almost new CB400F?

Karim Lopez, pictured here in 1979 visited us at the MCN show February 2014.  He showed me these photo's and kindly agreed to share the story behind the bike. 
"I remember Pink Floyd's wall concert in 1981 as I was there.

This was the last CB400F to arrive in Gibraltar in 1978 before the introduction of the Honda 400 Dream which i disliked. Although i was only 16 at the time and couldn't obtain my learners licence i persuaded my father to buy it. The cost was £800.00 approx new and we stored it at the Dockyard Naval Base for almost a year during which time my father would take me nearly every weekend to practice my clutch control and clean it !! ( First Picture).

On the 17th July 1979 the great day arrived and i drove it out ( Second Pic with L Plate on the front fork). I soon managed to clock the first 1000km and took it to the local dealer for it's first service. Disaster was about to happen. When i went to pick it up later that afternoon i was told that the mechanic had test driven it and suffered a serious accident. My gleaming Four Four was a total loss. ( Crazy mechanic broken leg !). I walked back home devastated helmet in hand.

I was offered a 400 Dream in replacement which i declined and after a long struggle i managed to convince them that either they gave me a new CB 400 F which they couldn't obtain or a new CB 650 F (Black) in the showroom. I drove out with the 650. I would later drive this bike from Gibraltar ( closed frontier with Spain) via Tangiers and Algeciras to Earls Court Exhibition London to see Pink Floyd " The Wall" in 1981.

I would later on trade it for the CB 900 F Bol D Or — in
— in Gibraltar, Gibraltar.