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Technical/Restoration Support

5. Transmission

Sandcast Gear Change Cover (Mission Cover)




 Hello again to all you sandcast owners. I had one of the members comment to me that the Indian Owners Club was a great group of people who were happy to share their experiences and knowledge of the common and not so common stuff about the Indian marque, but that sandcast owners were a very secretive lot and getting any information from them was like pulling teeth. I can say that Andy Morris and Steve Swan do not fit into this category and are more than happy to share their knowledge with anyone who asks. However, no secret squirrel business here. For the uninitiated, secret squirrel business is that secret stuff that cannot be shared and if someone tells you such secret stuff they�ll have to kill you, lest you reveal to all. A bit like secret men�s and secret women�s business. Hmmm!


Enough, and on with the topic. This article refers to the gear shifter cover, sprocket cover, mission cover or whatever you want to call it. I�ll refer to it as a mission cover. When I got my first sandcast, the removable side covers were all chrome plated so I had to go and get either NOS or good used side-covers to complete my resto. Now, if you�re like me, my initial understanding was to assume all covers for the CB750 SOHC were the same and that the sandcast would be no different. Well I was wrong to some degree at least. The sandcast engine has a few unique side covers including the said mission cover. My original sandcast mission cover is perfect except that the chopper owner, who modified this engine, sought some solace in chrome plating. Why every wood-duck chopper owner needs to chrome plate every bit of metal always amazes me. I mean fellas, I can polish a piece of alloy to shine like Granddad�s head yet the trick with these guys is to chrome it. Look out Granddad. The 70s will be forever known as the �chrome every Honda Four side cover� era. Reminds me of Romsay Quince, a reputable motor journalist of the day, who advocated that every car should have bobbly fringe around the outer boarder of the rear window, to give the car some class. Long live bobbly fringe.


After studying the parts book, I discovered that the original sandcast mission cover is unique to the sandcast engine. Prior to knowing this, I was able to get a late K0 side cover off an ebay seller and I was as happy as a pig with wings when I received it. (You thought I was going to say a �pig in shit� didn�t you). I gave both covers a cursory look initially and thought no more about it. When it came time to get all those parts together, I was still not happy about not using the original covers. A friend and knowledgeable sandcast owner said to me that the early covers were unique and the parts book confirmed this. On much closer inspection I discovered that there are indeed many differences to the sandcast cover and the later K0 and K1 covers. The later again covers have the gear change info cast into the side of the cover. Honda must have realized that the average motorcycle owner in the 70s couldn�t change out of 1st gear so cast the correct gear change sequence into the cover. Mind you this assumption by Honda of the inability to change gear was the case with most chopper owners of the day, hence the need for highway pegs without gear levers. (a little joke there chopper owners, not that you guys can read any of this)


Guys, study the two sets of pics and you will see the differences between the sandcast and later covers. These differences are significant and easy to see when the covers are off the bike. There are two covers side by side with the sandcast cover to the right. I�m not going to do a commentary of the differences as I think you will be able to work them out by studying the pics. Guess what? There is only one difference to these covers that can be seen from the outside. So really; unless you are an expert, not a lot to be gained in chasing down that original cover other than authenticity. Can anyone strip chrome from alloy????

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