Back in May, the C70 left me stranded about 3 miles from the garage. It just gradually lost power. After cooling down for a while it started right up, but then quickly deteriorated again. After diagnostics back at HQ, I suspected the coil. It was harder to find than it should have been, and then had to be modified slightly by drilling out some rivets to get mounted. With everything back together, the machine started and ran ok on the first concentric circle around the block. Since the issue was after running for a while, I tried the 5 mile circle. I took along tools and a fully charged cell phone. All was fine. Next step, a new air filter, and some extended running.....
1981 Honda C70
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With the garage finally getting above freezing, the few items needed for the C70 seemed like a good way to get back in the swing of things. First a simple blown bulb. Once common dual filament 6v bulbs are now available only via mail order. I ordered a half dozen before the supply dries up. Instant tail light. Next up a mirror. The tap and die set came out to turn the pass through into a threaded passage for one of many mirror stalks laying around. Last, the headlight bucket needed a cleaning of a few connections and replacement of the headlight.
The Holidays provided some quality wrenching time, and the C70 motor is back together. Valve timing is spot on, and ignition timing set. It fired on the second kick ! And, it idles perfectly. A few throttle adjustments, some inline fuel filters, and the machine is back in business. A trip to a local Japanese salvage yard produces a hard to find fairing, with a few blemishes and a crack along one seam, but it matches the rest of the machine. A new seat cover was found online. It looks almost too nice, but I'll live. This thing now looks and runs like the rider that it is. A few electrical gremlins to sort out yet, and still no electric start, but real progress.
This can not be called a true discovery phase as I might normally call it, because I already knew just how bad this machine was. No carburetor, missing battery, a disintegrated seat cover and foam, unknown electrical, etc. There were three positives; the motor turned freely, the miles were super low, and so was the price. Perhaps there is a fourth positive; Honda made 4 gazillion of these, and parts are plentiful and cheap...let the online ordering begin...
1981 Honda C70 Passport
1981 Honda C70 Passport
- Like the 1980 model with only a few exceptions
- The VIN had the 17 digits which indicated the country (first character), manufacturer (second character), year (10th character), and factory (11th character)
- Example: JH2DA0107BS100001
- S=Suzuka factory
- Parakeet Yellow
- Angel Blue
- Monza Red
- Long seat: black and white
- Leg guard/cowling: white
- Cowling now had another cutout next to the cylinder head
- Accessory: basket and rack were mounted above the front fender and a short luggage rack was mounted behind the seat
- "PASSPORT" logo appeared on the fuel tank
- It had a six-volt system like the previous models
- Ignition: breaker points
- Starter: electric start
- Engine: 72cc OHC single cylinder
- Transmission: 3-speed with an automatic clutch
- Serial number began JH2DA0106BS100003
The first motorcycle I ever rode was a Honda 50 step-through. It was the first Passport, and arguably the most important machine of the 20th Century. The quest for a cheap bike to run around Limerock, Mid-Ohio, etc had been going on for some years. Craigslist is great for this kind of machine. Cheap, cosmetically challenged, possibly not running. This C70 was all of those things. The seat had no cover left, the carb was not on the bike, there was speaker wire connecting things, no leg fairing. Bad news, but this holds the record for being the most produced machine in the world. I should be able to find parts....