The Napoleon of mechanics

“Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through  continuous struggle. And so we must straighten our backs and work for our  freedom. A man can’t ride you unless your back is bent.”

At least, that’s what Martin Luther King said and I think he knew his stuff.   Mind you, he also said that he had a dream.   His speech in 1963 was a powerful statement against the suppression of civil rights in the USA, specifically in the South of the country.  His words still resonate and even 50 years later it is difficult to read the entire speech without feeling a finger on your spine.   My dreams are usually instigated by blue cheese and not remembered the following morning.  Still, who wants U2 to write a song about you anyway.

Let us get back to change.  Little Project is ready to go on a trip.   It is convenient but complete coincidence that HOAP arrives as the last bits of rusty Little Project are consigned to the ever-increasing pile of “things to go to the tip” and the frame (plus a few select other pieces) take a trip to the powder coating shop to come back glistening, clean and (hopefully) the correct colour.   It won’t break my heart if the powder coaters can’t match the exact shade of “Shiny Orange” that can occasionally be glimpsed through the rust but I shall raise a glass if they can get close (and also supply me with a pot of the same colour for the tank and side panels).   Little Project didn’t go down quietly, there was one more bit to remove; Known locally as the “rusty mudguard bit” and in Honda terms as “Fender, B,Rear (P/N 80102382670)” I’ve been putting off tackling it.   Four nuts hold it in position.   Four sheared nuts no longer hold it in position but the bits in the frame may cause an interesting dilemma. I drilled through the first rusty nut (anybody familiar with Dumpy’s Rusty Nuts?) and inserted my trusty extractor only for the extractor to snap.   I drilled through the second rusty nut with a bigger drill and a view to tapping a new thread in the remains of the hole.  The tap snapped in the hole so I’ve now 50% of the holes that hold rusty mudguard in place contaminated with tool kit.  I reckon that a bit of angle grinding and brazing some nuts on to the frame will fix the joby nicely.   Shame I don’t have an angle grinder and don’t know the first thing about brazing.

What of HOAP?   It arrived on Friday in a fanfare of phone calls and some excitement on my part.   After unloading it from the courier and importing into the “not shed but don’t tell anyone” it looked incredibly like this.


Now that is exciting enough for anybody.  Obviously HOAP is no longer Honda On A Pallet and that surely means that the name should change.  So please give a warming round of applause to Honda Off A Pallet.  Commonly known as, erm, HOAP.

Sadly, the delivery man forgot to leave one of the boxes of HOAP so I’m not sure how accurate Dave’s (vendor, not delivery man) comment of “it looks like it is all there” is.  I know that the missing blue box contains an engine.  I really hope that it also contains all of the nuts and bolts that hold HOAP together, otherwise we are in for a bit of adventure.

Now that HOAP has arrived,  it is a little like having a three dimensional jigsaw puzzle without a close up of the answer.  There are many bits that I think “I know roughly where that goes” but I’ve found five bits so far that have made me go “?!”.   I’m sure that their purpose will come to light as we move on but for the moment I am baffled.   One bit is so baffling I have sent a picture of it to Honda in the hope that they can explain it to me.  I suspect it might be off a Ford Focus and just in the wrong box.  Somebody will be cross.

I haven’t really mentioned the arrival of Seat.   I’m in awe of Seat!  I have been told that Seat can’t stay in the kitchen, can’t stay in the bedroom and in fact has to go to the shed!   Seat has smuggled itself into the boys room and is hiding under the bed for the time being.  Whatever you do, don’t tell G.

Thank you so much for your time.   I welcome your comments on the story of Little Project.  When you get the time, go and find out where the title of this post comes from, he’s a suprisingly inspiting man!


2 thoughts on “The Napoleon of mechanics

  1. Rob, two words… “Very jealous” …. Of your HOAP, that must have been like getting 4 Christmas mornings all at once. 🙂 I am also laughing at the comment regarding the location of the seat ( that looks a beauty! – can’t believe I just said that out loud about a seat!) and your wife’s request to relocate it in the shed.

    Good to here she is getting ready for the powder coater ( the bike not the wife), I have had the same fun and games with the rear mudguard but only sheared two of the bolts off (yet to tackle that problem).

    My little baby is currently nested in two boxes and two shelves, I don’t know if I mentioned but mine (yet to be named) came in a Honda trio and after careful consideration I have decided that the older, less desirable two Honda’s will be split and sold to help pay for the renovation of the CT125.

    Also to make even more work for myself, I purchased my wife a little Suzuki 125 to learn to ride and hopefully get through her test but in typical fashion it is not running 100% so time is currently split.

    Hopefully in the not too distant future work will continue on the CT, one thing you might be able to help me with, are the early XL rear mudguards the same as the CT’s? I need a new rear mudguard and am struggling.

    Kind regards


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