How to Restore Honda Fours | Rider’s LibraryHow to Restore Honda Fours

Back in October, we told you about Ricky Burns’ great book, “The Beginner’s Guide to Classic Motorcycle Restoration.”

That book covered the field of motorcycle restoration in a broad sense, with techniques and guidance applicable across most brands of bikes and most types of restoration efforts the average motorcyclist is likely to attempt.

Burns has just published a follow-up companion book that is more technically advanced and narrower in focus – “How to restore Honda Fours.”

Burns covers key restoration elements for the CB350, 400, 500, 550, 650 and 750 single overhead cam models from 1969 to 1982. The 176-page soft cover book carries on the tradition Burns established with his earlier book, providing nearly 650 clear, detailed color images with equally clear captions and technical information to guide the reader step-by-step through everything from assessing the suitability of a prospective project bike to fine points of engine rebuilding, reupholstering the seat, restoring paint, decals and badges and electrics.

A very handy feature Burns includes in the opening chapter on project assessment is his list of parts that will most likely need to be replaced on virtually every restoration. The appeal of this type of list is that it allows an honest appraisal of the basic costs to just make the project bike operational.

There are a few items that could well be added to the list such as air and fuel filters, fuses (which come in a variety of configurations), throttle, clutch and brake cables which are often among the first things to fail out on the road, even if they appear fine at the point of purchase and other odds and ends you will invariably find missing, corroded or failed.

The list is also very helpful in considering sourcing of these seemingly routine things, which, depending on the vintage of the bike may be more difficult and expensive to replace than one might think.

The book’s 15 chapters include how to track down those hard-to-get parts, disassembly, cleaning, polishing, engine and fuel systems, brakes, exhaust, electrics, aesthetics, gauges, switches, suspension and—perhaps the most important—reconstruction of the whole thing. Burns even goes the extra mile and offers a chapter on safe riding.

If there could be a complaint made about this volume, it may be that the standard soft cover book binding doesn’t let the book lie flat on the workbench without really pressing it out, which suggests that a spiral binding or even an updatable ring binder format would be a more practical system. A minor point, to be sure in the context of a book as well produced as this one is in term of content.

Whether you are doing a full-on restoration of a vintage SOHC Honda Four or you’d just like to have some help with working out some issues with yours on a limited basis, “How to restore Honda Fours” is a superb resource to have on hand.

Book Data:

  • Title: How to restore Honda Fours
  • Author: Ricky Burns
  • Published: 2014 Paperback.
  • Publisher: Veloce Publishing, Parkway Farm Business Park, Middle Farm Way, Poundbury, Dorchester, DT1 3AR, England
  • ISBN: 978-1-845847-46-3 MSRP: U.S. $59.95 U.K. £35 Canada: $64.95