About 4 years ago, in early September, my trusty (25 years of service) Moto Guzzi V7 spun a rod bearing. Panicking at the thought of not having a ride, I perused the local "Bargain Hunter" free ad rag and found a 71 Honda 500/4 for sale for about $400.00. Having lusted after a 4 cylinder ever since visiting the west coast (7,000 miles in 5 weeks) on a 72 Honda 450 twin (read maximum vibration).
When I saw the bike, it belonged to a woman who had it painted pink with white surround and black pin striping between the colors. Picturing a can of spray paint and the ease with which I could paint the tank and side covers, I bought it for $325.00.
It took me a couple of weeks to free up the front caliper and decontaminate the fuel system from tank to carbs. By this time, several of my friends had added "personal touches" including pink Oury moto cross grips and a large "Mary Kay" decal for the windshield. I found a genuine enamelled salad bin from a '60s salmon pink refridgerator to use as a trunk and bungied this to the rear rack. Some very interesting bumper stickers have been added since. If you have ever perused the stickers sold at swap meets, you know what I mean.
I have had more fun riding this bike than any other bike I ever owned. It is comfortable for long trips and convenient for short trips. It does not handle as well as modern bikes and is definitely not overpowered, but as I like to explain, I can experience butt clenching exitement at much lower cornering speeds. Of course, stopping at freeway rest areas is out of the question but generally speaking, most people, including Harley riders, find it hilarious.
Other than normal maintenance items, tires, chains, sprockets etc., it has been 100% reliable. I do however, have a low mileage 74 550 engine standing by, just in case.