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CB900 Cafe Racer project

This is a discussion on CB900 Cafe Racer project within the Project Builds forums, part of the Caferacer.net Forums category; Post 1: This is a 1982 Honda cb900c and is the base of this project. while skeptical at first of the 9200 miles on the ...

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Thread: CB900 Cafe Racer project

  1. #1
    Member tjurek51's Avatar
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    CB900 Cafe Racer project

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    This is a 1982 Honda cb900c and is the base of this project. while skeptical at first of the 9200 miles on the odometer, given the grime and stiffness, i think this is accurate. I chose the C platform for a couple of reasons, but primarily because of the longer frame. i'm 6'7" and want to extend the size to fit me wherever possible. However, this bike is friggin heavy. So, here's the plan; strip it down to the frame, literally. throw away those parts that are just too old, sell the parts i won't need (anyone interested, just let me know. i'll give you a great deal). replace the tranny with single stage, racing gears (no hi/lo, just straight shifting). replace the front fork, stainless brake lines, and of course the handle bars, fiberglass, etc. as for the back end; to cut weight, i was considering having a new swing arm fabricated to move the back wheel back and allow for a single rear shock v. the current dual air shock set up. anyone done this before? if so, i'd love to see pictures. i may also have the seat area lifted to, again, give me a little more room.

    Folks, i know this will be a lot of work and a bunch of you will be tempted to say "scrap it" and "don't bother..." i'm new to a project like this, but have the time and money to make this a fun build. i look forward to asking your guidance through this journey and appreciate all the help i anticipate receiving from you far more experienced individuals.
    Last edited by tjurek51; 01-18-2016 at 08:31 PM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Geeto67's Avatar
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    Why on gods green earth would you strip the bike down to the frame? Seriously. Tell me why you think that is the logical first step.
    drgonzo likes this.
    Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.

  3. #3
    Senior Member kenessex's Avatar
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    Geeto has asked a very good question. Leave it as a rolling bike while you work on it. Go ahead and remove the bodywork, then replace the front end. That way you still have a bike that you can move around, but much more importantly a bike you can sit on to see how it fits at various stages. Next, I would fit the gas tank and then redo the subfame so you can put the seat where you need it to be, followed up by the footpegs where they need to be. This is not a styling exercise, it is about getting a bike to fit. That means seat, handlebars and pegs. Whatever you decide to do with the drivetrain and rear end has no effect on the ergonomics at this stage.

    BTW there are no such thing as "racing gears" for that abortion of a sub gearbox/ transfer case that Honda stuck on the 900C. It is just a set of gears and whatever you would replace that gearset with would not provide any difference in performance. If you really want this to be a project, then I would look at converting to chain drive and getting rid of the whole shaft drive mess. I don't think it will be easy, but could be done. Since you have explained why you want to go with the C chassis, then you could look at getting an F motor and a new longer swingarm and move the pivot closer to the rear of the engine. that would give you more room for a monoshock and linkage. I would look for the suspension, brakes and wheels off of a 1990 or later CBR1000F. They are pretty cheap and not bad pieces for what you want.

    But you should really follow my advice in the previous thread and just make it a super coll power cruiser.
    thechief86 likes this.
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  5. #4
    Senior Member 8ball's Avatar
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    Please don't make multiple threads for the same project!
    I always find a soap box useful to get on my high horse.

    Quote Originally Posted by roccitycafe View Post
    .... same thing with furniture, it doesn't have to be straight or not wobble, or keep thing from rolling off it, or not collapse when sat upon, it's personal taste man... if I want a dining room set that endangers the life of my dinner party guests, then it doesn't need second hand approval

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  6. #5
    Senior Member TrialsRider's Avatar
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    That bike weighs 611 pounds Dry, for gods sake don't get it wet!
    I'd say, if you want a light-weight CB900c, jack up the stickers and slide a new bike under it.




    sorry, couldn't help myself
    in all seriousness :I have something fairly close to that headed for my garage in about 1 hour. I'll throw a few of it's parts on my bathroom scales, and see if I can find anything on it that could be considered light enough to want to keep. Maybe I can help you identify some of the weight offending parts.

    Update: Guess I can't help you, the bike turned out to be a 1982 650 Nighthawk with almost no milage and all original parts.
    :| they tip the scales at 451 pounds dry and it's chain drive, so this is basically the bike You should have bought.
    I'm just fixing it up as a favour for a good friend.
    Best luck with your build is the best I can do for you.

    Last edited by TrialsRider; 09-19-2015 at 08:35 PM.

  7. #6
    Member tjurek51's Avatar
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    if for no other reason... to learn more about the mechanics.

  8. #7
    Member tjurek51's Avatar
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    thanks. two things i failed to mention. First, when i say i want to replace the swing arm, i want to actually convert it to chain drive. yes, i realize it means taking out that "abortion of a sub gearbox/transfer case..." what i have not heard from anyone yet is whether or not, if i unbolt these components from the engine, i'm looking at the same engine block as the 900F. also, not trying to make it a 900F, really want to make this my own invention. Finally, i've seen lots of places offering Honda Racing transmissions. is this not something worth considering?

  9. #8
    Senior Member Geeto67's Avatar
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    You want to convert to chain drive? Take out the cb900c engine and put in a cb900f engine. Then use the F swing arm and rear wheel.

    By the way, you keep talking about the C as being your choice over the F because of its size of the frame. The F's frame isn't smaller.
    Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.

  10. #9
    Member tjurek51's Avatar
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    hmmm. according to specs, it is longer to accommodate the larger transmission box. you're saying this is not true? the other difference in the frame was the seat are subframe is supposedly lower as well. one quick question; instead of hunting and pecking for documentation, do you have any recommendations on where to find a better source of documentation for these bikes?

  11. #10
    Senior Member TrialsRider's Avatar
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    If you remove that secondary transmission / transfer case, I think you are committed to altering the swingarm, frame and rear wheel. The chain will be driving from the opposite side and the new countershaft sprocket location is going to be so far away from where your swingarm pivots, you would need all kinds of chain slack to accommodate the movement of the swingarm.

    That's how swing arms work! The greater the distance between the swingarm pivot point and the countershaft drive sprocket, the more chain slack you will need.
    :/ or plan on making it a hard-tail.

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