I think some of the failures were due to old parts but some of it is just plain old engineering and materials were not that great almost 100 yrs ago. Back then, 10,000 miles on a bike was probably a lifetime. Even today it is uncommon to find a used bike with more than 10,000 miles on it. Cross country on these bikes when they were new they may have experienced the same types of failures.
Originally Posted by charlie101
I was looking all over the forums for damage reports in order to learn something from the CB about the weakness in the engines, but very little was described in detail. I don't know if the guys where ashamed of mistakes they done in their restorations or if the parts where weak in construction. Some things a normal restorer can't have control of, coils, condensers and some is more difficult, generators, magnetos, metallurgy and such, but still I think there was little willingness to describe their obstacles and remedies.
Retro repro is what most already do more or less in these rare machines, and there is many nearly complete repro bikes out rolling. A few even in both CB's. Some think it's wrong, but I'm of different opinion. My take is that it is the original constructers and technology of the time that is celebrated not the metal in it self. That's why damage reports are so interesting in my mind.