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I would add my new seat hoop from the base of the tank and extend where the frame has been cut up to the new hoop providing support for the seat and the shocks.
That would give the cafe racer line and seat high enough for effective rear suspension.
 

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Before you start in on this it would be worth while to do a shopping list, see where you are going to end up on parts. It is old and poorly maintained it is going to eat money. The frame has been hacked, can you put cut up frames on the road in BC? With the pipes and pods it will never run well. It is early emission controlled and and the airbox and pipes, especially the crossover, are necessary to make it run properly. So even if you clean and /or rebuild all the systems, as they should be. Make the modifications need to install seating, replace all the wear parts. You are still going to have a poor running cm400.

I can buy a cm400, clean, 30,000km, original, nice chrome, ready for the road for $1500 ($1100US). I understand the will to learn but I can assure you that bike will be continual frustration. And when you are finished you will have an awkward looking, riding, running, $800 CM400.

I like to buy old cb twins and have quite a few and a bunch of parts. I actually have the airbox and exhaust components you need but I'm guessing they are worth more than you paid for the bike. Just for reference; the cb I posted above was a 20000km cherry. All bushings, bearings, fluids, fork seals, wear parts, cables, brake line, tires, grips, sprockets, chain were replaced. Rode like a showroom bike and sold for $2100 back in the spring, at the peak of the covid toy buying frenzy. With the bike, parts and time in, in reality I probably lost money. The satisfaction came from the fun of riding a really nice working vintage bike for a couple years.

If you put together a bike that is a joy to ride then odds are pretty good that it will also be a good looking machine. If you take the bodywork off any of the great bikes of the world they wouldn't be as pretty but they would still be a blast to ride. Function then form.

Long term you would likely be happier to find a different bike to work with.
 

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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
When I got home from looking at the bike and listening to it run I came home and started a list.

So there is a must do list, and a could do list like spending 3k on a whole set of new forks and triple tree and rear disc conversion.

But there will be a lot to do to make it run. But I love the project aspect and creation of it. So its what I have to work with and its going to be rad when its done. I could have just bought a bike that was already modified for cafe racer, but then it wouldn't have been made, it would have been bought.

Thanks for the advice people.
 

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If you really want a project and the street cred that comes with it, pick up "Motorcycle Handling and Chassis Design: The Art and Science" by Tony Foale, a frame jig, and some welding or brazing tools and make a custom frame for the motor.

It would take a long time, and several iterations, but would be 100% certified ichiban badass
 
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If you really want a project and the street cred that comes with it, pick up "Motorcycle Handling and Chassis Design: The Art and Science" by Tony Foale, a frame jig, and some welding or brazing tools and make a custom frame for the motor.

It would take a long time, and several iterations, but would be 100% certified ichiban badass
Check out this thread for other books too. I had some version of the Foale book but got more inspiration from this
 

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If you really want a project and the street cred that comes with it, pick up "Motorcycle Handling and Chassis Design: The Art and Science" by Tony Foale, a frame jig, and some welding or brazing tools and make a custom frame for the motor.

It would take a long time, and several iterations, but would be 100% certified ichiban badass
Frames have to DOT approved in Canada to get a VIN.
 

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Frames have to DOT approved in Canada to get a VIN.
I am not gonna dispute because I ran into this with a California salvage title here once and at face value it is the case 99.9% of the time. There is an option to have the frame certified by a qualified engineer and it will qualify for a new VIN. The same process as when someone builds a ‘32 Chev coupe from scratch. Only difference is cars don’t need an engineers stamp. The down sides are the cost and finding someone qualified to stamp it. Almost no one in Canada does it.
 

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I am not gonna dispute because I ran into this with a California salvage title here once and at face value it is the case 99.9% of the time. There is an option to have the frame certified by a qualified engineer and it will qualify for a new VIN. The same process as when someone builds a ‘32 Chev coupe from scratch. Only difference is cars don’t need an engineers stamp. The down sides are the cost and finding someone qualified to stamp it. Almost no one in Canada does it.
We took a brief look at the idea. Getting a test facility is the first problem in Canada. The second is that I think we learned you have to build at least two frames because they use destructive testing (tensile/strength test) as well as non destructive. Basically that it will take long term stresses and your welds are good. It is not a process for the light of wallet.

There is a company out of Quebec that build chopper frames. They sell into the US but I don't think they are approved for use in Canada.
 

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We took a brief look at the idea. Getting a test facility is the first problem in Canada. The second is that I think we learned you have to build at least two frames because they use destructive testing (tensile/strength test) as well as non destructive. Basically that it will take long term stresses and your welds are good. It is not a process for the light of wallet.

There is a company out of Quebec that build chopper frames. They sell into the US but I don't think they are approved for use in Canada.
You are way beyond my knowledge of this, thanks. I bought my bike as a rolling chassis in a damaged Canadian frame with a good California frame that was a salvage title. It was in perfect condition but the bike was deemed totaled likely due to the cost of parts exceeding the old bikes value. I was told by the MTO it would be no problem to title and swapped everything over to that frame. I then found out the lady who told me it was OK was dead wrong and it couldn't be titled in Ontario with out that stamp. I am now rolling on frame #3... I have a few friends and acquaintances that are engineers but no one who is qualified or willing to give it a stamp like you said.
 

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I would REALLY advise you to find another bike. REALLY! REALLY!
First off, that frame is probably ruined for Canadian roadworthy inspections. Secondly, I an guarantee that you don't have the tuning experience to deal with pod filters on those carbs. Even good tuners can get a compromise of performance, at best, with those vacuum type carbs. There are a few out there that might be able to get close to the stock performance out of them. Thirdly, the CM series Hondas are cruiser motorcycles. It will never "be rad" as you are envisioning it. Let me put it in a simpler way. You wouldn't take a 1985 Cutlass Ciera (or whatever they were called in Canada) and say "I want to make a Rally Cross looking car out of it (or better yet, a Fast and Furious style). It just would look ridiculous.

There is most certainly a better bike out there that hasn't been hacked already and is a patter starting point for your project. Look for and CB series Honda (Even the ubiquitous CB400T is better...and it's the same motor), or a GS450T, A Kawasaki KZ400/440. Just stay away from CM Hondas, Any Honda that ends in "C", any Suzuki that ends in L, Yamaha "Specials", or Kawasaki "LTD"s. These are the cruiser/chopper styled bikes that start you off on the wrong foot when trying to build something that resembles a cafe racer.

Once you do find a god bike to start with, plan modifications that are functional and improve performance, handling and ride ability. Then start looking at the appearance. I believe if you make it perform better, it will look better. You don't have to chase the look.
 

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I thought I would pipe in on compliancy testing, If its anything like the state I live in it still seems to come down to the cop who stops you. even with all the right stuff approved you might be in strife.
We don't have yearly Inspections, we have "random inspections" the car has all the mod plates. and I was stopped in my 56 VW type3 rat rod all approved. lowered, flip, front, wagon chopped into a ute (pick up), roll cage......you get the idea.
It passed all the normal safety tests with flying colours.
And I was getting roasted (bad cop) "clips on the front will tear a pedestrian in half", "looks to low", when was your last inspection? answer about 20 years ago. The padding on the roll cage is to thin.......all things as approved and unchanged. I was looking at $1500 and impounding.
Then another inspector came over (I think he over heard the story) sent the other inspector away and gave me the all clear.(good cop) :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #32 ·
If you really want a project and the street cred that comes with it, pick up "Motorcycle Handling and Chassis Design: The Art and Science" by Tony Foale, a frame jig, and some welding or brazing tools and make a custom frame for the motor.

It would take a long time, and several iterations, but would be 100% certified ichiban badass
That would be Bad ass.

It would take me some time to get good enough to weld a frame though. That takes mad skills.
 

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was a time when you could buy a good running performance bike from the 70-80’s for a few thousand $$$. plus a few hundred to make it a “cafe racer”. now it seems people buy a non running, bad start point bike for a few hundred $$$$ and thousands to make it driveable / never mind anything that is “cafe racer”. i prefer the former choice. the latter seems like way to much work. i guess im just lazy . carry on , good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #34 ·
Yeah, that the thing with some bikes here too. I could have purchased a few bikes with seats, bars, batteries, indicators, headlights, exhausts, gauges and controls that I would replace. And maybe they'd have brakes, pads/shoes, rotors, chains, tires that needed replacing. Most of them would need the frame chopped a bit, welded and repainted.

All of those bikes would have costed me 1000-3000 dollars with parts that I'd be wasting. Instead I bought a running bike with parts as listed above for $400.
 

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Yeah, that the thing with some bikes here too. I could have purchased a few bikes with seats, bars, batteries, indicators, headlights, exhausts, gauges and controls that I would replace. And maybe they'd have brakes, pads/shoes, rotors, chains, tires that needed replacing. Most of them would need the frame chopped a bit, welded and repainted.

All of those bikes would have costed me 1000-3000 dollars with parts that I'd be wasting. Instead I bought a running bike with parts as listed above for $400.
So do you figure it will be on the road for 2022
lol wait until you see how much license and insurance costs for a cheap bike.
 

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Discussion Starter · #38 ·
How much is pretty cheap
... and how many kilometres did you ride it, did it cost more of less then 1$ per kilometre lol
I rode it for 1.5 years, and it was less than 100 bucks a month for me whereabouts. So yeah, where I come from is not bad
 

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I rode it for 1.5 years, and it was less than 100 bucks a month for me whereabouts. So yeah, where I come from is not bad
So 1200$ per year just for insurance and you dropped 1800$+ to have a plate on it for 1.5 years. That sounds about right. It's also about 3 times what I paid a few decades ago for a much larger motorcycle and well in excess of your original motorcycles list purchase price.

... the problem is, they want just as much coin to insure an old bone pos motorcycle as a brand new one. That kind of kills the value of fixing up old motorcycles for the road.
 
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