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Old 03-22-2010, 08:46 PM   #31
Hawk Medicine
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Joined: Jun 2008
Location: NOR CAL
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Hey Dune,

Please don't take our comments too much to heart. This is your bike, your project and your lesson, so have at it.

OTOH, some of us have been down this road a few times and experienced our comeuppances along the way, just as we've seen really special bikes (Like yours.), modified into crap piles. A super-low-mileage Honda four like the one you have is a "Once-in-a-lifetime find" for most of us and for a true enthusiast, watching one get f*cked up is heartrending.

Leaving the cosmetics alone and concentrating on the mechanics for a riding season is always a good practice. That way, most of the rebuilding and service crap is out of the way before one tears the bike down. So is riding a new mount for a season and taking into account what the bike wants done to it. Some of us think that we and the bike are participating in this project together and would want to honor that. (Sorry if that goes over your head but it's something I think about with each new project!)

Whatever...

I rode my R-90 for a couple of decades before tearing it down for a rebuild and it was clear to me before I picked up the first wrench, what needed to be done. Therefore, I had 90% of the period resto parts on my garage shelves and a lot of the other stuff, like the trans and rear end, I had several good examples of, ready for installation. Just last night I was looking through my shelves and checked out several loose leaf notebooks full of vintage articles, clippings, tech pages, builds and catalogs.

Luckily, as with all good projects, my build took on a life of it's own and my "Old bike into a Cafe Racer" project:


Became something much more special. This Resto-Rod:


That bike isn't even close to what I first envisioned but I really love it now that it's done. Hopefully, your project, like any good trip, will take on a life of it's own and demand it's own conclusion.

One of the things I did, was to have my modified frame powder coated and I swear to the Gods of Speed, I'll never do that again! That stuff isn't nearly as tough as it's reputed to be, it stone chips and then rusts underneath, you cant touch it up worth a damn, many/most shop fluids will dissolve it. Next Winter I'm going to swap frames again and the next be will be painted!! If you're gonna trailer you bike back and forth to shows, powder coat it but if you're gonna ride and wrench on it, paint it and save yourself some $$$ and a headache.

Anyway, you've jumped in with both feet and you claim to know what you're doing, so lets see what you're gonna do with lots of pictures!


PS: Have you checked out Vanzen's "Rockerboxer" web site? What about Ohio Cafe Racers? Go there young Luke Skywalker. Go there....!
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Hawk Medicine screwed with this post 03-22-2010 at 08:52 PM
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Old 03-23-2010, 06:58 AM   #32
Dune OP
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thx for the info. I will check out those sites.

I am pretty set on putting the bike back together all original - minus the seat... the windjammer, and the luggage of course.

I may have the gas tank repainted its original color - as up close it doesnt look as good as in the photos - and repair the side plastic covers as one is cracked and both are faded.

Apologies if I actually claimed to 'know' anything worthwhile....
thats a farce - my better half will galdly tell you that!

I have done a few projects and worked in shops as often as I could - and can make my way around a shop.

That being said I have never done a bike frame up.... the last one I did was a KTM 640 Adventure - striped to the frame and wheels, cleaned and reassembled, and the painted with some minor mods. its here somehwere if you search for it you can probably find it. I sold it just over a year ago.

So Im hoping to hear and learn from everyones expertise, so that one day I might actually know what im talking about...

At the moment the carbs and fuel system is gummed up with a glue like substance, I am hoping most of it will be salvageable and to get through the majority of the cleaning this week.

I will see if I the frame can be painted instead, I didnt realize the powder coating would be so problematic. I have had a few things powder coated and had no real issues. and actually found what I had done to be very scratch resistant and performed quite well (though I had a ceramic powder coating - which is slightly different).

any thoughts on reassembly would be great!
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Old 03-29-2010, 09:06 AM   #33
Dune OP
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frame painted engine painted and polished slightly!

got the frame back! all painted up! and engine painted and polished slightly too!







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Old 03-29-2010, 09:18 AM   #34
McJamie
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dune
As some of you might have followed I was looking for a vintage bike to re-finish / restore / build / mod slightly.

WIth the help of everyones suggestions I came across a deal I just couldnt pass up!



- 2000 original miles!
- amazing shape! stored indoors for 30 years... hasnt ran in 30 years...
- came with everything included though I had a potential buyer for the panniers and windjammer and at the time didnt think of keeping them and they helped pat for the bike!
- now Im kind of wondering if I should have kept them... hmmm
Do you plan on keeping the optional " Big-Ass" seat. Might look a bit out of place on any sort of cafe racer type.
Should make a good project though. A friend had one, and I got to ride it a few times. Very well balanced bike, more-so than the 750, I always thought. Lots of revs, good handling. Worth putting time and effort into. You will enjoy it when it's done, no matter which way you take the project.
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Old 03-29-2010, 09:39 AM   #35
Dune OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by McJamie
Do you plan on keeping the optional " Big-Ass" seat. Might look a bit out of place on any sort of cafe racer type.
Should make a good project though. A friend had one, and I got to ride it a few times. Very well balanced bike, more-so than the 750, I always thought. Lots of revs, good handling. Worth putting time and effort into. You will enjoy it when it's done, no matter which way you take the project.
I think I will be keeping the bike 'mostly' original based on the low miles currently on the bike... and the condition in general of most of the parts - I will likely update the steering head bearings.. but try to clean and polish everything that came off of the bike and go from there...

as for the seat... I think shes gotta go!! I am thinking I will go with a OEM CB550 seat, just not the big ass one...

the more and more I learn about these inline CB550s the more I like about em! I didnt want to go too heavy and I think the 550 is a pretty good balance - but I will no more as I get er running!
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Old 03-31-2010, 12:39 PM   #36
Brad Felmey
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dune
I may have the gas tank repainted its original color - as up close it doesnt look as good as in the photos - and repair the side plastic covers as one is cracked and both are faded.
You might consider having the gas tank ultrasonically cleaned in rust-specific solvent. It will get the inside completely shiny clean. Then never let it sit with less than a full tank of fuel.

Make sure that you drill a small hole at the end of any cracks in those plastic side covers. This will ensure that the cracks do not continue to "travel".

Quote:
At the moment the carbs and fuel system is gummed up with a glue like substance
I can advise that ultrasonic cleaning is also the way to go here, but also (taken from Hondo's CB1000C restoration thread) soaking everything in PineSol works fantastically well. No, really.

I'm glad to see the progress you're making. The frame/engine looks great!
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Old 03-31-2010, 03:09 PM   #37
ctfz1
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Cool2 Time travel

Modern grease in the bearings occures to me(especially in swing arm, high moly?), ask the knowledgeable though.
In THE DAY fork springs and rear shocks were of great help, Save the stockers for restoration show or future use. Hagon has vintage lookers.
Do not know the price difference between a Dyna (lll?)ignition (still available?) and vintage points/condencers? For a time was less I think.
Aftermarket brake lines and pads?
I think these bikes tingled hands through the bars, might want bar end weights.
THE blinker bulbs are not bright enough in daylight, easy to leave signals on as I RECALL (maybe just young then?). ANYWAY...
The tool pouch will likey tear if used, replace and save original. And for a rider (bike that is) either replace wrenches that might be used with ones less likely to round off nut ends if adjustment needed. Combination with six point. A good T-handle screwdriver.
Would also go to o-ring chain to reduce mess etc. Neversieze adjuster bolts and do not over tighten.
Do not know if being excessive or redundant?! Trying to help. Enjoy.

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Old 03-31-2010, 04:46 PM   #38
LasseNC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XS500RUS
I'm glad to see the OEM-appreciative folks crawling out of the woodwork when it comes to taking apart a classic Honda with only 2k on the clock. Like others have said, it's too late now, but you should have kept disassembly to a minimum until you got the bike running. Cafe-ready rats are readily available, supply of all-original 70s Hondas are beginning to dry up.
Mr. Mister you are in no respect to say anything here.

UNTILL YOU POST THAT NEXT TRIP OF YOURS!

If you however should pass Iceland, let me know ;)
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Old 03-31-2010, 06:38 PM   #39
noman
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careful about going to an 0-ring chain, wider than the standard chain and will rub the inboard engine case. so say the boys on sohc.net

hand impact is a must-have for the engine case phillips screws. many folks replace w/socket head bolts.

if you need to take off the valve cover, be carefrul there too. are some tricks, also on install.

nice progress, btw!

is this your only bike? you are just north of me, a warm weekend heading in our direction. hope you can get out and ride, regards.
bobp
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Old 04-01-2010, 01:14 AM   #40
LasseNC
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Found it pretty straightforward to change all the topendgaskets. Including the bottom cylindergasket.

And I hadn't touched an inline four, only small two-stroke singles.

Getting the carbs back in place though. That is another story!
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Old 04-01-2010, 09:32 AM   #41
nachtflug
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dune


any thoughts??

more later...
I'd be all over that bike. I love 550 -4's but mainly that paint scheme. that is one sweet bike and the fairing is pretty sweet too. that is a real find in my book and looking forward to seeing it done.
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Old 04-05-2010, 12:27 PM   #42
ctfz1
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Did not know about o-ring chain rubbing, basically in my experience modern chains are stronger, rust and stretch less with minimal care. No matter how good old ones look.
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Old 01-14-2011, 03:00 PM   #43
legends117
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Dune - what did you wind up doing with the parts you took off? I've got a '75 CB550, same color and all, and I have been looking for luggage to add. If you still have the rack and bags, I'd be interested in buying them. Or at least seeing how they attach to the bike and try to fabricate my own.

Thanks - JD



Quote:
Originally Posted by Dune View Post
As some of you might have followed I was looking for a vintage bike to re-finish / restore / build / mod slightly.

WIth the help of everyones suggestions I came across a deal I just couldnt pass up!



- 2000 original miles!
- amazing shape! stored indoors for 30 years... hasnt ran in 30 years...
- came with everything included though I had a potential buyer for the panniers and windjammer and at the time didnt think of keeping them and they helped pat for the bike!
- now Im kind of wondering if I should have kept them... hmmm
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