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Discussion Starter #1
hey, new to the forum
just picked up a 78 Honda cb400 hawk and want to do some work to it. it in excellent running shape, i wasn't sure what was out there to put on the bike? im going to start with clubman handlebars and thats all i can find. anyone know of what i can do to the exhaust and to the gauges? any other mount?anything would be great input. thanks
 

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typical newbie.

"oh, yes lets start with the bars because I don't know anything else and am not smart enough to think about the project in terms of anything but style". <-----this is me imitating you.

Let's start at the beginning:

you bought a 1978 cb400T hawk. Single handledly the most boring motorcycle on the planet. probably because it was cheap (only you don't know that comparativley speaking it really wasn't cheap - if you pay 1 cent for something worthless you are still overpaying). But little you can do about that now - you own it. sucks to be you.

But let's look at this project from a logical standpoint: why do you want a "cafe" bike? is it to get blow jobs from hipster girls? cuz let me tell you girls who give blow jobs bcause you own a motorcycle won't blow you because you own a honda. Is it cuz you want to look cool int he parking lot of that trendy burger joint/independant bookstore/coffee house where the cute grad school girls hang out? cuz if you are decent at paint and fab (I i doubt you are at either) that is about all that bike is good for.

And let's talk about your approach for a minute - clubman bars. The herpes of handlebars. They aren't good looking, they don't give your bike any "street cred" all they do is feed your head about how cool you think you look and maybe, if you don't fuck up the install the first time, some small satisfaction that you are "working" on your bike - all why telegraphing to the world of motorcycling that you actually know nothing.

here is a better approach:

1) does the bike run? if the answer is yes then congrats, you are not half as retarded as most of the newbies out there. If the answer is no then give your self a punch in the nuts because you fucking should have known better.

2) does the bike run well? can you tell if it runs well? If the answer is no - well get figuring this out in a hurry. forget bars, and dress up items. a bike is worthless if it can't get down the street under its own power.

3) did it come with a title? if yes then good boy, you are ahead of the game. If no, punch your self in the dick again for being a tard and once more for talking about clubman bars before you can actually prove you own your bike in a court of law.

4) Ok, if you somehow managed to grope your way through the newbie pitfalls and ended up with a clean bike that runs and has title - take a long hard look at it and ask yourself - if I were a smarter person than I actually am what should I do to this bike to increase my riding pleasure. The answer is not gay as fuck clubman bars. IT is: "maybe I should replace the worn out almost 40 yer old suspension with some modern components and real upgrades", or "is there anything on this bike that doesn't work that should", or "you know, those tires/cables/service items are unknown to me - maybe I should check them out and make sure they are ok", or "those brakes really don't cut it, a grandma in a honda civic can out stop me, maybe I should look for an upgrade. Get the point?

5) you need to stop thinking about bikes as a collection of individual parts and start seeing them as a series of systems. The bars/seat/pegs are all one system connected by the rider - and thus should be changed in unison to fit your particualr needs. Just throwing a set of clubmans on the thing isn't going to cut it because all you will end up with is wrist pain and backache. and no you won't look cool - you'll look like a dork on a honda who is doing his best impression of a dog dragging his ass on the carpet after he has taken an extra gooey shit. The suspension is another system (front and rear) because changing one radically affects the other.

6) plan the bike. sit down, figure out where you want to be, and then make a plan. figure out the small tasks as well as the big ones - that way when it comes time to actually work on your shit you aren't wasting money and time. Need new cables? well if you have already figured out your bar height then you can go ahead and buy a new bar, seat, pegs, and the cables to match. work smarter not harder.

all this could have been avoided with a proper introduction where you post a pic of your bike and actually tell us a little bit about your self. Since you gave so little we were left to assume you are just another TV watching, bandwagon jumping, hipster asshole. If I am wrong - then prove me wrong, give a real introduction.
 

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Geez Geeto, while everything you mention about practical aspects of getting the bike running/working right, ring true, do you always have to be a dickhead about it? I haven't been here that long, and I do respect your knowledge base, that I have witnessed here, but man, you just plain suck with your holier than thow approach. Sure he is a newbie, but act more like a mentor, instead of a bully. If you had that attitude as an MSF instructor, I would have seen to it that your sorry ass got kicked out. Lighten up and help educate the guy.
 

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quote:Originally posted by tabby

Geez Geeto, while everything you mention about practical aspects of getting the bike running/working right, ring true, do you always have to be a dickhead about it?
Yes.

Once you have been here for a while, or met some of us in person you'll get the inside joke. And it really is quite funny.
 

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also forgot to ask if the new guy rides.
and does he have any mechanical skills or tools.
also is there a budget or is this going to be one of those
"the guys back in the day just made everything so thats what im gunna do and it will cost me nothing" kinda things



and as far as getting girls....
funny side story...


that is a pic of the day i got my latest CB750.
it was parked on the side walk outside of the building i worked in over the summer.
it was in brooklyn.
i was outside messing with it for about an hour and had 3 different girls come over and talk to me. one even went out of their way to walk past me and talk.
i was amazed!
dude POS bikes are the new puppies!
 

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quote:Originally posted by Geeto67

quote:Originally posted by tabby

Geez Geeto, while everything you mention about practical aspects of getting the bike running/working right, ring true, do you always have to be a dickhead about it?
Yes.

Once you have been here for a while, or met some of us in person you'll get the inside joke. And it really is quite funny.
Well, when I get "it", and I get a laugh out of it, I gladly stand corrected.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
yeh thanks for shitting on the new guy, i mad a wise choice on the bike, from the orig owner with title in EXCELLENT running shape if you missed that in the one paragraph i wrote. im not looking to race the bike all over town. or looking for blow jobs but thank you, i like the look and style of that kind of bike and was looking for help from anyone who has had the same kind of bike with luck finding parts. i got the bike because i am new to riding street bikes, with a cheap bike that is not going to cause me any mechanical problems it was a win win for me. i didn't think i needed a pic right now as of im sure you know exactly what a 78 cb400 looks like, if not then you just did a ton of shit talking for no reason? as of the hipster asshole who is jumping on the bandwagon, unless im sure that you came out of your mother riding a cafe racer? only now am i able to have a bike and work on it because i just spent the last chunk of my life serving in the military.? not much time to work on a bike when you are never home. so if you have any good and logical input about the questions that i actually asked that would be great, next time i have questions for the actual answers that you gave, ill make sure to stick my head as far up my ass as i can so i can see it from your point of view.
as for anyone else that uses this forum for a responsible response and are trying to help out a fellow man id appreciate it, but from the response i received from him. im sure i can just look elsewhere
and for the dude who put up a survival suit? not sure what you mean but for a guy who had to wear on so he didn't die. maybe i missed the joke
 

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Jag,

Do you have an ad on the Pottsdam CK looking for old hondas? Just curious.

That fellow out at the Honda/Harley dealership has lots of cool stuff tucked away, but won't sell it. One time I took a list of stuff that I needed to restore a bike, real hard to find stuff, and he looked at the list and said "yep, I have it all", then in the next breath "But it's not for sale, I am saving it". Stopped in a couple more times while my kids were up there at school. Last time he said I would have to wait for the auction after he died. He was real healthy at that time..

Welcome new guy. Ignore Geeto's delivery, but pay attention to his advice. From your last post you will fit in well around here.
 

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I was shat out on to this earth fully formed with all the motorcycling knowledge at my disposal.

It is a flame suit, it is a joke. Lighten up.

Let me tell you about this place. What you went through is the basic litmus test as to whether you take yourself too seriously. We give it to the guys who show up here spouting the same cliche know nothin bullshit about cafe racers looking for the same advice that 20 min with the search function would answer for them. It is espically cruel if you forget to give us a proper introduction or show you activle want to participate in our community. If you get a laugh, can write back equally as witty, or get a laugh out of it - you pass. If you write an answer like yours full of defensive bullshit, insecurity, and frankly lacking any real humor, you....um...well, you don't pass.

But seriously, I have owned 4 of those hawks now, 3 I paid nothing for. I know a fair amount of tricks, and trust me when I say this: you are going to be making a lot of your own parts. They sell next to nothing custom for these bikes. It was a poor choice.

I see you still fail to grasp why an intro is important. Or why a pic is important. Too bad. You'll get it someday.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
i appreciate any help, just not the way you went around it at all. you make me want to delete myself from the forum and find someone who is actually HELPful , ive looked around and used search and have found very little, thats why i asked. if i had anything else to say about my bike other than its a 78 hawk, i would have. if i can find the pic function and was able to use it that would be different, but alas i did not slip from my mom with a vast amount of cafe racer knowledge. thats what forums are for right?
 

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Clubmans are a bad choice, especially as a starting point. I would start by selling those. Then sell the bike. The Hawk is a little-to-no-fun motorcycle, as a cafe it is a bad choice and has no bolt-on pretty parts. IF you start asking the right questions, someone might offer you better advice on parts upgrades. OR you could use the search function. BUT really just sell it and buy something else.

If you really want to keep it, the first things you should consider doing are maintenance: cables, brakes, suspension, carburetors, fuel valve and line. You will need a shop manual: either factory or Clymer.

This approach not only increases the mahcine's safety and performance, but also helps you get to know the machine and figure out what changes you may want to make to riding position, suspension, brakes, or performance. DO NOT throw out the stock air intakes or exhaust unless you are a masochist or experience CV carb tuner. Do not put on clubmans or clip-ons without changing the footpeg position accordingly.

If it's all about the look, then keep the clubmans, ditch the airbox/fenders/lights, buy some emgo mufflers, and paint it black. After a week when you're tired of riding a machine that barely functions and wasn't much fun when it ran perfectly, park it or sell it.

The good news is that the CB400/CM400 is an unloved model. No one will care that you put another one off the road.


A couple other matters:
1. Kind of a cheap shot to use your military service as an excuse for acting like a poseur douche. You weren't drafted.

2. Geeto didn't shit on you. I read his post, and it actually wasn't that bad. Stop whining about it and move on. Seriously.
 

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We need to create a map of the webernets. Off the edge is (among other places) caferacer.net, where it says "Here there be Monsters.."
 

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quote:Originally posted by plarivee

i appreciate any help, just not the way you went around it at all. you make me want to delete myself from the forum and find someone who is actually HELPful , ive looked around and used search and have found very little, thats why i asked. if i had anything else to say about my bike other than its a 78 hawk, i would have. if i can find the pic function and was able to use it that would be different, but alas i did not slip from my mom with a vast amount of cafe racer knowledge. thats what forums are for right?
The forum is not here to be helpful to every person who drops out of the ether. It is in itself a social community. You don't know this but the core members here go out of their way to meet each other in real life. Of course it helps that the core members here are all involved in vintage racing to some point. You wouldn't follow some dude with a cool bike home, kick in his door, and start asking him questions - so why assume that people here exist solely to be helpful to you - we are not even helpful to each other half the time, but we are always entertaining.

quote:if i had anything else to say about my bike other than its a 78 hawk, i would have.
well that is assuming you are a massive expert on 1978 cb400 hawks. And you may be, but i would never know that because frankly you didn't introduce yourself like that. For all I know you could have serviced f-15s in the military and your fab and fixin' skills way exceed anyone else's here - how are we supposed to know. But let me tell you this is a 33 year old motorcycle you have, it has had a life of its own way before you got it. Most of us here are really good at evaluating bikes and projects and deciphering the life your bike has had before. Lets say for instance someone upgraded your forks wheels or brakes with later model honda parts - would you know or be able to spot that? Maybe your bike was in a wreck and put back together out of a million other bike bits - would you know to spot that? point is, assuming your 1978 hawk is just like every single other hawk out there is a mistake, sure it may have been built in the same plant as others, but 33 years is a long time for motorcycle to be out there in the world getting fucked with and ridden.


spif built this out of his hawk, I consider this a really well built example. It was basically built out of junk parts, but you would never know it:





here is his build page, read it and you'll understand:

http://www.caferacer.net/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=8434&whichpage=3

what did you end up getting for it spif when you sold it? $1200?
 

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I saw this and thought of the forum. Geets, you're the blue guy.



But for real dude. If you get some thicker skin, you'll love here. I'm balls deep obsessed with this forum, keeps my inspiration up and I get my yucks daily from the random shit thrown all over this place. Some fellas here REALLY know their shit.
 

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quote:Originally posted by jaguar

also forgot to ask if the new guy rides.
and does he have any mechanical skills or tools.
also is there a budget or is this going to be one of those
"the guys back in the day just made everything so thats what im gunna do and it will cost me nothing" kinda things



and as far as getting girls....
funny side story...


that is a pic of the day i got my latest CB750.
it was parked on the side walk outside of the building i worked in over the summer.
it was in brooklyn.
i was outside messing with it for about an hour and had 3 different girls come over and talk to me. one even went out of their way to walk past me and talk.
i was amazed!
dude POS bikes are the new puppies!
Jag - Any brooklyn girl that will sex you up for that bike probably has the vagina to match it in condition and patina. fish for hipster chicks at your own risk.


http://www.hipsterkitty.com/brooklyn-cat
 

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quote:Originally posted by Geeto67
Lighten up.
quote:Originally posted by Geeto67
What you went through is the basic litmus test as to whether you take yourself too seriously.
quote:Originally posted by Geeto67
If you get a laugh, can write back equally as witty, or get a laugh out of it - you pass. If you write an answer like yours full of defensive bullshit, insecurity, and frankly lacking any real humor, you....um...well, you don't pass.
quote:Originally posted by Geeto67
You'll get it someday.
God, I love this place. It's way cheaper than therapy, and much more effective. Anytime I feel myself slipping into the default Orange County attitude (self-absorbed, narcissistic, overly serious) I just log on here. Instant reminder that I know fuck-all about a lot of very important things. Instant reminder that many of the things I know a lot about are not that important. Instant reminder that almost nothing has to be taken too seriously.
 

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Patrick,
The advice you have been given so far has been fairly accurate. Since you brought up your military service (thanks for your service, my son is active duty USMC), I will feel free to use it to illustrate my point. In the military, did you allow the boots fresh out to come into the squad bay and start running their mouths and asking the same questions that every newby asks, or did you expect them to keep quiet and figure out the lay of the land and then ask specific questions? Same holds true here. How would it have gone if a boot came in and started in with, "Hi, I'm new here, so help me out with everything. That is what you are here for, right."

Now, on to your bike. It is not the biggest POS ever invented, but it ranks right up there with the KZ440ltd and the Yamaha XS400 Special II as being among the most boring bikes ever made. If it were me, I would concentrate on tires, suspension and brakes. I would put a set of Superbike bars on it and ride it until I was tired of it (about 2 weeks) and then sell it for a profit and buy a bike that better suits what you want to do. Of course, since we don't anything about you or your intended use, since you wouldn't fill out your bio, I am just guessing that a boring 400 won't satisfy you for long. A good many of the people here live in the NE (not me), they may be helpful in person. Since you put in your first post that any input would be helpful, don't get all but hurt when it is advice you didn't want to hear.

My free advice to you is to lighten up, get to know the people here ( many of us do actually know each other in the real world, crazy in the interwebs, huh?) and do some reading on here. The CB/CM/CMX 400/450 has been covered many times here before. It can be made into a cafe bike but it isn't easy, the result is usually less than satisfactory and it is almost always more trouble than it is worth. I may and try to do one some day if I am feeling like a glutton for punishment, just to see one done right.

So, welcome. Stick around if you want to, otherwise I usually recommend that people that don't feel welcome here should check out Do the Ton. They are very nice over there.

Ken
 

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quote:Originally posted by JackC

Jag,

Do you have an ad on the Pottsdam CK looking for old hondas? Just curious.

That fellow out at the Honda/Harley dealership has lots of cool stuff tucked away, but won't sell it. One time I took a list of stuff that I needed to restore a bike, real hard to find stuff, and he looked at the list and said "yep, I have it all", then in the next breath "But it's not for sale, I am saving it". Stopped in a couple more times while my kids were up there at school. Last time he said I would have to wait for the auction after he died. He was real healthy at that time..

Welcome new guy. Ignore Geeto's delivery, but pay attention to his advice. From your last post you will fit in well around here.
yup thats me....
i scored a very minty CB350 for good money for my friend.
i figure its worth a try for some cheap bikes up here.
some of the times i come up with something cool for me or a friend other times it something to flip to keep the other toys going.

and that guy in the honda dealer is and asshole and ill never go in that place again.
all he wants to do is sell $300 harley belts....

he is no help at all when getting parts. and is ridiculously over priced on everything
 
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