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Another Noob from Canada - Ground floor of CM400 Project

This is a discussion on Another Noob from Canada - Ground floor of CM400 Project within the NEW MEMBERS READ HERE! forums, part of the Caferacer.net Forums category; Wow, you read everything I wrote and then immediately went out and found exactly the type of bike I warned you against. And somehow you ...

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Thread: Another Noob from Canada - Ground floor of CM400 Project

  1. #11
    Senior Member Geeto67's Avatar
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    Wow, you read everything I wrote and then immediately went out and found exactly the type of bike I warned you against. And somehow you think it's a good idea. I mean, literally nothing is right about that bikes frame modifications at all, in fact I would be surprised if with a passenger on it it wasn't trying to break itself in half.

    there was a user on here years ago called spacmanspif300 who built a really great custom out of a cm400. He didn't cut the frame at all, used a cx500 tank, made his own rearsets and two up seat, and did meaningful custom upgrades. You don't no have to cut anything on these bikes to make a custom you just have to work at it.

    those aren't "curved subframe connectors" by the way, the are the shock mounts - and you'll be bummed to hear that the stock rear fender bolted in place actually provides some lateral support to them. Generally speaking curved metal can be very strong if used properly because it packs a lot of length into a small area over which load can be distributed. Honda engineers are very smart people but the never anticipated people taking hacksaws to their work to chase after a seat design.

    Of that bike you posted the only thing I liked were the brakes and maybe the front fork. There was another Aussie user here that used a houysung GT USD fork on his cx500 and it worked out pretty well for him. Ignite work out for you too since the 33mm forks the bike comes stock with are crap.
    Last edited by Geeto67; 04-20-2017 at 04:16 AM.
    Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.

  2. #12
    Junior Member YoungSonOfaGun's Avatar
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    Haha knew you'd hate that one. Like I said, we deemed it unsafe and royally unpractical before I was a member here. I didn't say I thought it was a good idea, it was just a good (bad) example for what you were explaining about the mono and then on the other hand, the brakes.

    More importantly, any word on the Mikuni's in my last reply? Compatible? How could I figure out if they are?
    Thanks
    1981 CM400T - Cafe Project
    2006 CRF250R
    1979 185XR - I'll fix it in my next life

  3. #13
    Senior Member drgonzo's Avatar
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    H.F. F'ing up motorcycle since 1977.
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  5. #14
    Member miniman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Geeto67 View Post
    Wow, you read everything I wrote and then immediately went out and found exactly the type of bike I warned you against. And somehow you think it's a good idea. I mean, literally nothing is right about that bikes frame modifications at all, in fact I would be surprised if with a passenger on it it wasn't trying to break itself in half.

    there was a user on here years ago called spacmanspif300 who built a really great custom out of a cm400. He didn't cut the frame at all, used a cx500 tank, made his own rearsets and two up seat, and did meaningful custom upgrades. You don't no have to cut anything on these bikes to make a custom you just have to work at it.

    those aren't "curved subframe connectors" by the way, the are the shock mounts - and you'll be bummed to hear that the stock rear fender bolted in place actually provides some lateral support to them. Generally speaking curved metal can be very strong if used properly because it packs a lot of length into a small area over which load can be distributed. Honda engineers are very smart people but the never anticipated people taking hacksaws to their work to chase after a seat design.

    Of that bike you posted the only thing I liked were the brakes and maybe the front fork. There was another Aussie user here that used a houysung GT USD fork on his cx500 and it worked out pretty well for him. Ignite work out for you too since the 33mm forks the bike comes stock with are crap.
    Chill he said that the bike was terrible. If I read his post correctly he was saying it was an example of what not to do.

    I do however agree that the cm isn't the best choice for a custom but hell it could be fun with some choice upgrades...

  6. #15
    Senior Member Geeto67's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by miniman View Post
    Chill he said that the bike was terrible. If I read his post correctly he was saying it was an example of what not to do.

    I do however agree that the cm isn't the best choice for a custom but hell it could be fun with some choice upgrades...
    yeah I mis-read his reply. That's what happens at 5am on the toilet.

    Mukuni VM's are a good carb and a popular swap on some of the smaller honda twins. I personally think the 32mm carb is too big for a 400cc bike and that VM28s (28mm) or VM30s (30mm) would be better.

    But here is the thing: is it a regular riding street bike? or a performance bike? For a bike that is going to be used like transport where you are going to get stuck in traffic and spend a lot of your time at part throttle, CV carbs are really hard to beat. Sure they don't always make all the power and the throttle response can be laggy, but the design of the carb is to lift the slide based on what the engine needs using the vacuum the engine is drawing - that makes it hugely adaptable for all throttle positions and much easier to live with in stop and go traffic and part throttle operation. If your only goal with the bike is to sneak out sunday mornings and ride the wheels off it on roads with no traffic lights or traffic and only when the weather is good then the VMs are probably more "fun".

    Personally, I am a big fan of riding the bike and letting it tell you what improvements it needs for your riding style. If you are out there scraping the pegs with it every chance you get it's going to need different things than if you are popping down to Cars and Coffee in the morning and having people stare at it in a parking lot.
    Last edited by Geeto67; 04-20-2017 at 08:43 AM.
    Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.

  7. #16
    Member miniman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Geeto67 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by miniman View Post
    Chill he said that the bike was terrible. If I read his post correctly he was saying it was an example of what not to do.

    I do however agree that the cm isn't the best choice for a custom but hell it could be fun with some choice upgrades...
    yeah I mis-read his reply. That's what happens at 5am on the toilet.
    Glad I'm not the only one who kills time when on the throne with cr.net haha.
    I actually completely forgot about the time difference.
    Good morning anyway haha
    I'm waiting for the clock to tick past 4.15 pm here so I can go home and was some bike parts in the dishwasher before the missus gets home
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  8. #17
    Senior Member Geeto67's Avatar
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    so I have a fun little project for you if you are willing...

    Since you dislike the CM seat so much, why not get a CB400T seat cover and foam and adapt it to the CM seat pan:



    78-79 Seat Pans CM/CB

    I cut off the rear of the seat pan and then pushed it in on itself about 2 inches. I then riveted the section back in place and fiberglassed over it to further secure it. You will also need to shave the foam down flat in the back and cut off about 2-3 inches of foam on the front of the seat. After that just recover with a CB400 seat cover, i used a 78-79 seat cover.
    It makes the bike look less "chopperish" and honestly it will cost you $60-70 for the aftermarket 78-79 cb400T seat cover and the rest is your time and labor. Plus it's a fun little exercise in something few people actually do.


    If you just want to throw money at the problem here is one of those vietnam seats for your bike:
    1979, 1980 1982 Honda CM400 CM400T CM400A CM450 Cafe Racer Motorcycle Seat

    and another:
    1979 - 1982 Honda CM400 CM400T CM400A CM450 cafe seat #4304 - Motorcycle Seats Direct

    can't vouch for the quality but it's kinda where you are heading. and it doesn't require you to cut up anything...which again I still don't understand why any of your plans require a sawsall - if you wanted a bike you could cut up you literally bought the absolute worst example you could have because EVERYTHING (including those little sub-frame tabs on the back of the frame that you think you can trim) is structural.
    YoungSonOfaGun likes this.
    Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.

  9. #18
    Senior Member Geeto67's Avatar
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    ha! I found a pic of spacmanspif300's bike:



    Name:  9ad963605e0b74061c93d63f7ba5a5d2.jpg
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    I know he started with a CM, and this is a pic before he figured out the rearsets....but you get the idea.



    While browsing around I did find this one and I have to say...this is very easy to replicate, doesn't look stupid at all and looks fun to ride:


    It literally looks like one of those motorcycle direct seats, a flat track bar, some custom lights, a par of K&Ns (real ones not the shitty emgos), braided brake lines, and a 2-1 pipe, and some paint.

    In both cases it looks like someone just cut the stock rear fender straight out and honestly that's an ok use of the sawsall/cut off wheel on these bikes. If you look neither has the frame cut.

    I would ride the blue one and I literally hate these bikes with the fire of 1000 suns (and yet somehow I owned 3 of them).
    Last edited by Geeto67; 04-20-2017 at 09:12 AM.
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  10. #19
    Senior Member drgonzo's Avatar
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    In all seriousness keep your mods similar to this bike. Lower handle bars and black wheels give it a much sportier appearance. Couple that with some good tires and some better shocks and it can be a really fun back road burner. A braided steel brake line with high performance brake pads will give the front end some decent stopping power.
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  11. #20
    Junior Member YoungSonOfaGun's Avatar
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    Alright! Thanks for the knowledge guys, much appreciated. Geeto, first off, you're right on the "drive the bike and let it tell you what it needs." The plan is to clean the Keihin's, get the bike running tip top all stock and going from there. As for the type of riding I'll be doing, I wont be sitting in traffic with it, hopefully ever, as I dont frequent the city. I also plan to ride it a lot more than on sunday's so I guess that puts me somewhere in the middle but I can say, I believe I'd appreciate the better throttle response quite a bit.

    Thanks a ton for the link to OneTruePunk's seat re-upholstery! I'm looking at the CM drgonzo's posted and I think between the seat on it and the instructions in the thread from the honda twins forum, I have my plan for the seat. The moto direct seats are too costly and I don't aspire to walk funny after every ride from lack of foam on some of the cheaper seats out there. That thread is gold.

    I'm lucky in that I'm snagging honda spoked wheels off my old neighbour. Black em out for sure.

    I have to say, there are a lot of things I'm really digging with the last 3 bikes posted here. I like how they've avoided cutting the frame like you say and still made it look a lot better. The fender trimming on the yellow and blue bikes looks sweet, getting rid of the bulky rear signals, utilizing the plate as an extension for a little extra protection. Beautys.

    Now I have to bring this up: The yellow and blue bikes both have K&N pods, and lets be real, removing the airbox and freeing up that space some, it really sharpens the bike up. Appears the blue bike is running the stock Keihin's, and although less clear on the yellow, it does look to be stock carbs as well. Is this to say that with the right pods, the airbox can be removed? Or should I assume both those bikes run like trash as hillsy mentioned earlier? I talked to a bike mechanic today and when we figured out the VB's use vacuum diaphragm (correct me if thats the wrong name) he said that yeah, gonna be tough to ditch box without snagging the VM's. I'm just curious seeing yet more podded Cm twins.

    Braided steel brake lines! Got it. On the list. For sure tackling new bars at some point, thanks for the post drgonzo and sweet username lol, I'm reading fear and loathing right now.

    Tomorrow I'll have the old sled out of the shop finally. Got her wrapped up with a bow just in time to be put away till next year. Frigsakes. But that's alright because that means the bike is coming in and the carbs are coming off. Will respond with update on running condition once carbs are shined up and back on.

    Let me know about the pods if possible though, like I said, I'm curious if the higher quality of pod opens up the possibility of using them on the Keihins.

    Cheers
    Last edited by YoungSonOfaGun; 04-20-2017 at 08:56 PM.
    1981 CM400T - Cafe Project
    2006 CRF250R
    1979 185XR - I'll fix it in my next life

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