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New Member from Los Angeles

This is a discussion on New Member from Los Angeles within the NEW MEMBERS READ HERE! forums, part of the Caferacer.net Forums category; Hey everyone, Just wanted to introduce my self, My name is GQxPhil. I picked up a 1972 Honda Cb450 yesterday. This would be my very ...

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  1. #1
    Member GQxPhil's Avatar
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    New Member from Los Angeles

    Hey everyone,

    Just wanted to introduce my self, My name is GQxPhil. I picked up a 1972 Honda Cb450 yesterday. This would be my very first bike that i have owned. It fires up right away. The owner before replaced the fork seals and gators. Runs great carbs just cleaned, New battery, and New fuel lines. The kick start fires up with one kick (first bike i have ever kicked started).

    My Plans:

    Change the tires
    Change or revive the drive chain(revive as in cleaning it off and soaking it in motor oil and letting it drip dry) if i was to change it im not sure of the size, i think its 530 non oring 110 link and just cut it down. Again not sure
    Lower the suspension
    Mount a cafe seat pan and seat, cause it shorter

    and ride it.

    Future plans:
    Hopefully trans form it into a cafe racer style
    Clubman handle bars
    Rear sets
    Change the tach and odm to a single digital one , maybe a acewell
    ETC...

    But for right now i just want to get on it a ride it safely.

    Any advice if greatly appreciated.
    Gqxphil

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    Last edited by GQxPhil; 03-19-2014 at 12:03 AM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Luckypabst's Avatar
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    Nice bike. I'd just detail it and leave it alone otherwise.

    Chris

  3. #3
    Member GQxPhil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Luckypabst View Post
    Nice bike. I'd just detail it and leave it alone otherwise.

    Chris
    I would but the tires are the original from 1972. They still look amazing but since it was sitting for awhile it kinda freaks me out. Same goes for the chain.

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  5. #4
    Senior Member hillsy's Avatar
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    42 year old tyres need replacing - you're right.

    As for the chain, chain lube is the stuff, not motor oil. Scrub the old gunk off with kerosene and re-lube. You don't even need to take it off the bike, really.

    Then inspect the chain and sprockets for wear / stretch. Just because they're old doesn't mean they're unserviceable (unlike tyres).

    Oh - and just ride the bike as it is. It's nice to see unmolested old bikes on the road instead of hacked up douche-cafes.
    FallenSaint likes this.

  6. #5
    Senior Member kenessex's Avatar
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    OK Phil, here's the deal. You currently have a functional 42 year old bike that needs tires. If you want to mess with it then only do the things it needs to make it function better than it currently does. That will keep you plenty busy for the next year as you accumulate some miles and knowledge about your bike. Besides the tires, I would replace the brake pads, brake fluid, rear shocks, steering head bearings, swing arm bushings and any other comfort or suspension items. I would replace the front brake line with a braided ss line and the handlebars with superbike bars. Do not lower the suspension (it adversely affects handling and ground clearance) and do not put a "Cafe" seat on there (it will adversely affect the handlebar-seat-footpeg relationship). This is a motorcycle, not a styling exercise. I mean it, don't screw this bike up!!!! Just ride it, learn what you are doing and enjoy it for what it is. I really mean it, don't mess with this bike other than a few functional improvements so it is not an unrideable slag heap torn apart in your carport because you were going to make it your own.

    Now that you understand that you are not going to screw around with your daily rider, but you really do want to make a CB450 "Cafe Racer", then you move on to the next phase. Start watching Craigslist and ebay and visit your local bike places and ask around about old CB450s and collect up 2 or 3 or 4, but make sure at least one has a title. Don't worry about whether they run or not, they are just parts bikes. Next pick the titled bike and strip it to the frame. That is the start of your next bike. Hopefully, one of the spare engines will run so stick it in the frame. Put the best forks and wheels on there so you have a roller and get the bike to run. Now you can begin to make a cafe racer. Remember, the reason cafe racers were created was to improve the performance of street bikes back before there were sport bikes, so form follows function. Make a plan to improve the handling, brakes and acceleration. This will involve suspension, i.e. fitting better front forks like off a CBR600F, taking off some weight and improving engine performance, i.e. installing mikuni carbs, exhaust system, etc. Now is the point where you can change the seat, bars, footpegs, fenders, tank, swing arm. In the mean time you will still have a street bike and a reference on how to put your cafe racer back together.

    Doing it any other way than this will be heading down the garden path to doom and destruction. You will end up with too big of a project and an insufficient pool of skill and or knowledge to pull it off. I have 40 years in this game and kind of know what I am doing and this is how I still do it. Maybe that is why I have 3 FZ600s and an XJ550 (same (ish) kinda motor) and 2 XL500s and an FT500 (same(ish) kinda motor) and a pile of other bikes to take parts from or put parts on.

    You better trust me on this one!!!!
    FallenSaint likes this.
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  7. #6
    Senior Member Tonnystark's Avatar
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    as ken said....
    thats just too nice of an original to alter into a cafe ..
    78' SR500
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  8. #7
    Senior Member Geeto67's Avatar
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    Why on earth would you want to lower it? That is a stupid mod done by people who don't like to ride because it kills the handling of the bike. Seriously, these aren't cars, if you drop the suspension all you will have is a bike that can't go around a corner without dragging everything and the kitchen sink.

    oh and on the subject of tires don't buy firestone wide champion deluxe garbage rubber. No cheng shins either because the price is attractive. Buy real tires like bt45s, metzler lazertechs, Avon road riders, etc...
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  9. #8
    Senior Member goldy's Avatar
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    Wow, that's a nice looking machine! IMO, too nice to hack up. If you MUST do any mods to it, my suggestion is to avoid doing anything to it that you cannot easily undo. In other words, stick to bolt on mods, that way if you want to bring it back to its original glory all you need to do is spend some time with the wrenches.

    and....Listen to Geeto, he knows what he is talking about.
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  10. #9
    Member GQxPhil's Avatar
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    New Member from Los Angeles

    Quote Originally Posted by kenessex View Post
    OK Phil, here's the deal. You currently have a functional 42 year old bike that needs tires. If you want to mess with it then only do the things it needs to make it function better than it currently does. That will keep you plenty busy for the next year as you accumulate some miles and knowledge about your bike. Besides the tires, I would replace the brake pads, brake fluid, rear shocks, steering head bearings, swing arm bushings and any other comfort or suspension items. I would replace the front brake line with a braided ss line and the handlebars with superbike bars. Do not lower the suspension (it adversely affects handling and ground clearance) and do not put a "Cafe" seat on there (it will adversely affect the handlebar-seat-footpeg relationship). This is a motorcycle, not a styling exercise. I mean it, don't screw this bike up!!!! Just ride it, learn what you are doing and enjoy it for what it is. I really mean it, don't mess with this bike other than a few functional improvements so it is not an unrideable slag heap torn apart in your carport because you were going to make it your own.

    Now that you understand that you are not going to screw around with your daily rider, but you really do want to make a CB450 "Cafe Racer", then you move on to the next phase. Start watching Craigslist and ebay and visit your local bike places and ask around about old CB450s and collect up 2 or 3 or 4, but make sure at least one has a title. Don't worry about whether they run or not, they are just parts bikes. Next pick the titled bike and strip it to the frame. That is the start of your next bike. Hopefully, one of the spare engines will run so stick it in the frame. Put the best forks and wheels on there so you have a roller and get the bike to run. Now you can begin to make a cafe racer. Remember, the reason cafe racers were created was to improve the performance of street bikes back before there were sport bikes, so form follows function. Make a plan to improve the handling, brakes and acceleration. This will involve suspension, i.e. fitting better front forks like off a CBR600F, taking off some weight and improving engine performance, i.e. installing mikuni carbs, exhaust system, etc. Now is the point where you can change the seat, bars, footpegs, fenders, tank, swing arm. In the mean time you will still have a street bike and a reference on how to put your cafe racer back together.

    Doing it any other way than this will be heading down the garden path to doom and destruction. You will end up with too big of a project and an insufficient pool of skill and or knowledge to pull it off. I have 40 years in this game and kind of know what I am doing and this is how I still do it. Maybe that is why I have 3 FZ600s and an XJ550 (same (ish) kinda motor) and 2 XL500s and an FT500 (same(ish) kinda motor) and a pile of other bikes to take parts from or put parts on.

    You better trust me on this one!!!!
    Kenessex,
    Thank you so much for taking the time and giving me advice. I was planing to ride the bike for at least 1yr or more. Even then i dont know if i would really want to do a hack job.


    Quote Originally Posted by Geeto67 View Post
    Why on earth would you want to lower it? That is a stupid mod done by people who don't like to ride because it kills the handling of the bike. Seriously, these aren't cars, if you drop the suspension all you will have is a bike that can't go around a corner without dragging everything and the kitchen sink.

    oh and on the subject of tires don't buy firestone wide champion deluxe garbage rubber. No cheng shins either because the price is attractive. Buy real tires like bt45s, metzler lazertechs, Avon road riders, etc...
    I understand where your coming from about lowering it, but i dont know of any other way to accommodate my situation. I am 5'3 and a short inseam. When im on the bike im literally on my tippy toes. And at this point im not comfortable on my toes. I love in Los Angeles the road condition is horrible. I've also tried pivoting on one leg at a stop and im still on the ball of my foot. Its just not a comfy feeling. I was advised to lower the bike or put a cafe seat cuz it lower. If you have any advice you can give me that would be great.

  11. #10
    Administrator ffarl's Avatar
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    Welcome to the site Phil. That's a sweet looking bike.

    Sound perfectly reasonable to try the lower seat if you need to get your feet closer to the road. At least if you hate it you can bolt the stock back on. That looks like the same seat I've got on my 350, and it's comfy as hell. I can put in 100 miles and it's just my back that hurts.

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