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In the past, I've taken my 1967 CB77 on short stints on the freeway without any problems. This morning, I was riding on the freeway and all seemed fine for about 10-15 minutes riding at 60+ MPH. My bike started losing power and my boyfriend noticed a lot of smoke coming from the left exhaust.
We pulled off the freeway. I stopped the bike and then we started again and it was still smoking a bit. We rode the home via the city streets (35-40 MPH) and the bike was fine - running strong and no longer smoking.
We checked the oil and the compression when we got home. The left spark plug had some oil on it, but the compression was fine. The oil level was OK as well.
Any ideas/insights into what I might have experienced? Do you ride your CB77 on the freeway/highway? If so, do you ride longer distances - at what speeds?
I do a number of vintage rides which include riding on the freeway/highway at times, so any suggestions/recommendations would be appreciated.
P.S. I also have a 1967 CL77 which I've ridden on the freeway and it has not had any significant issues - other than minor oil leaks
I ride both my CB77 and CL77s on the highway (we just call them roads over here), not sure I'd want to ride them continuously at 60 mph plus for over 15 minutes but the type of riding I do that wouldn't be likely anyway.
Back when these bikes were new I recall that American Honda recommended rolling the throttle back every so often when riding at high speed. This creates a depression which draws oil up the cylinder and gives the rings a bit of help.
Hope your bike is OK next time you ride it but if not I'd suspect ring damage, particularly as you say one plug had some oil on it, keep us informed as to what you find.
Look, I got my first 305 Super Hawk back in 1963 brand new, a white one with silver fenders, and side covers-right from the dealership. I took it on the freeway all the time and still do. Loves to cruise at about 7- 8 grand 77- 88 mph or so. 70-80 all day long.
This is what they did when they were new but maybe as metal and parts age things change just like us...but, still don't hesitate to cruise on freeways 60-75 all day long, if I like. Still change oil every 1,000-1500 max. This may be a good question for Bill Silver.
Personally, and this is just a worthless personal opinion being an older grown-up type of guy who has ridden with enough women over the years.
I believe mechanical things have a life and personality. They live like us. Call it Karma, but I think it's possible to piss off animate and inanimate objects. My CB77 and other bikes are man bikes ridden solo. Rarely, a woman on the back, unless I'm trying to get laid.
The only two exceptions I ever knew were Jerry E and Lynn. Jerry is a Honda girl and Lynn a Harley girl. They rode their bikes fast and hard and could even keep up with this former Gran Prix racer on a 900 Ninja. They knew how to talk to their bikes in 'the secret way' and cajole them into always working...
Read Michael Stoic's riding logs they're brilliant and he takes lots of endless long distance trips, freeway et al, at least back in 1997 when I first read of them. Beautifully written BTW. He had a UK road test up about a CB77 that loved to cruise at 75-80.
...hard to imagine, it was back in 1997 when some of the reports were written. It is gratifying to hear that they are still read, from time to time :)
As for long distance +HWY riding, at first I did it because no one told me that it was not expected from a vintage bike (my CP77 was 34yo at the time). Then I arrived for a meet, north of Montreal (started in Boston) and everyone on their contemporary cruisers had a major face drop and a huge meltdown (a good kind). They could not believe what they were seeing!
I ended up riding most of the way back home without a clutch cable. First the barrel end went, then the frayed bits gripped by vice grips broke apart. Then I learned to rev it just right, ...and to seldom stop.