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Discussion Starter #1
So a friend of mine's mother gave me her 1982 Honda 450 Nighthawk to use as transportation while I was in college. Now I ride a lot of BMW bikes and use this Honda as a fun little project. Problem is I have 3 bikes and a car, so as a renter I feel like I need to sell some stuff...

I am in the process of converting this Honda into a cafe racer with some modern additions, like a computerized display to your phone. Where the phone supplies a display and built in keyless ignition and everything else modern bikes have. Just to list a few ideas I'm working on: GPS plotting, anti-theft, auto speedo calibration, lighting control(headlight turns off after motor stops), navigation(through phone), air/fuel ratio, etc.

And I'd like to have it frame up restored to look perfect, but am I wasting my money? Is there anyone out there who would buy this from me after I'm done? If so what do you guys think it would be worth?
 

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Eh.....it depends on a lot of things. But on the strength of the bike alone? Probably not. I don't think you are going to make a profit on it if you had to pay fair market value for the bike. People who buy Hondas are notoriously cheap, and a cb450sc isn't a desirable bike at all.

if you did all those mods to a more desirable bike where followers routinely spend for quality work and service, like a guzzi, BMW, Ducati, norton, etc....there would be a greater likelihood you would not only find a buyer but someone would pay what that tech is worth. Considering paint and tech wise it will probably cost you the same to do a norton as it would this Honda, I just see it as you throwing good money after bad.

find a better bike to do that stuff to. I'm sure a Beemer hipster would be dazzled.
 

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A the end of the day it is extremely hard to make any money on custom bikes if you aren't charging customers an hourly rate.

since this is an advertising loss leader for you (a bike meant to get you press and fame and sell your services rather than make you money) a cb450 has zero value to you. Nobody is impressed by a cb450. But a commando, an r90s, a SOHC cb750, a kawasaki h1, a guzzi lemans - those are impressive bikes.
 

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I'd like to add a little more to making money from custom bikes...

Certainly there have been some people that do make money from custom bikes - unfortunately unless you have a TV show or some famous name backing your build the likely hood of making any money from a custom bike is slim to none. I would also add unless you have excellent fabrication skills and have a pipe line to NOS and custom parts and can paint a bike like a pro, your profit margin will more than likely bottom in the negative column. There are very very few guys on this form that have all the skills that could have a better than even chance at making any money. (I'd name a few but I don't want anyone to get pissey with me for forgetting someone that is in that can qualify in that category. I'll let the reader insert their own favorite builder(s)..)

Bottom line - if your going to build a custom bike then plan on spending more money that what the bike could potentially sell for. Let's face it - what looks good for you may make everyone else puke. The big market for bike sales on ebay has been for restored to original for a certain class of motorcycles. This would include your vintage Hd's, Kawasaki's, honda's and certain race bikes like an XR750 or road racers to name a few.

If your really interested in making any money - then I'd pony up some cash to pay Geeto to wash bikes dressed in a tuo-tuo at a major MC event - Sorry Geeto but I would pay to see that - no harm intended. Otherwise enjoy your own semi-expensive hobby.
 

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none taken....I would pay to see that too!!!! except it would be me.

If you asked me with a cb450SC EVER be worth anything? I think it is pretty easy to say the appreciation curve for that bike as a collectible is fairly flat. Honda's in general are like the ford mustangs of the motorcycle world - made too damn many of them for them to really be worth anything (with the exception of certain one year only models and race homologation specials).

Every bike I have ever modified - I always did it with a view of making it better for me for the long term. It was my rider and I am going to make it something I want to keep forever.

but fuck all this valuation bullshit - can we at lease get a taste of some of the techy stuff you are talking about? I love gadgets and want to know more (though the RIFD keyless motorcycle thing for me always seem a little unnecessary, but I like keys).
 

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The real question is did you ask all this BEFORE you put the money in??? :) Or was this a validation question?
 

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If you put some clip-ons on it, get a cheap bumstop seat and spraybomb it all satin black you will get the best return for your money. The clueless hipsters will beat a path to your door.

Doing all the fancy tech shit is just wasting money if you are looking at possibly re-couping on your investment.
 

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Oh - I forgot to add you should also remove all the functional things like mudguards, indicators, speedo, air box, half the subframe, chain guard and mufflers.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
none taken....I would pay to see that too!!!! except it would be me.

If you asked me with a cb450SC EVER be worth anything? I think it is pretty easy to say the appreciation curve for that bike as a collectible is fairly flat. Honda's in general are like the ford mustangs of the motorcycle world - made too damn many of them for them to really be worth anything (with the exception of certain one year only models and race homologation specials).

Every bike I have ever modified - I always did it with a view of making it better for me for the long term. It was my rider and I am going to make it something I want to keep forever.

but fuck all this valuation bullshit - can we at lease get a taste of some of the techy stuff you are talking about? I love gadgets and want to know more (though the RIFD keyless motorcycle thing for me always seem a little unnecessary, but I like keys).
The keys won't be RFID, I figure if the phone is already going to be connected then I will just use the unique ID in there.

As for removing all the functional stuff another member mentioned I'm at least removing all the gauges, hence the phone as a display.

And no I haven't spent too much on it yet, I'm still working out mechanical questions, like how to get a reliable 3.3V pulse from the ~20K spark pulse.
 

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cheap when it comes to motorbikes and clothes - but they will spend for vinyl records and smart phones.

Clearly you have not run into a Trustifarian - kid with a trust fund living on food stamps and other welfare programs but will drop $10K on a bike in a heart beat.

Fossum:

ok, you have me hooked. You should really post up some pics and a better description. This is probably the most facinating thing I have read in the projects thread in a while and it's like pulling teeth to get any info, meanwhile you can't get people to shut up about their shitbox cm400Ts.
 

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It will be what you make it in the end. if you are satisfied and content with riding it daily. I did up a lesser CM400T....
wow, that's not even a good non-answer. you could have cut and pasted beatles lyrics from Lucy in the Sky off the internet and that would have had more substance.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
cheap when it comes to motorbikes and clothes - but they will spend for vinyl records and smart phones.

Clearly you have not run into a Trustifarian - kid with a trust fund living on food stamps and other welfare programs but will drop $10K on a bike in a heart beat.

Fossum:

ok, you have me hooked. You should really post up some pics and a better description. This is probably the most facinating thing I have read in the projects thread in a while and it's like pulling teeth to get any info, meanwhile you can't get people to shut up about their shitbox cm400Ts.
Haha, well I've only half-ass started so... 2% complete. I have some restoration done, but it still looks like every other project bike(not started). The code on the other hand is about 50% stage 1 complete. I'm gonna get technical in the computer science part here so I may lose the gear heads.

I'm running an mBed LPC1768 with their proprietary RTOS. So far I have a debug LCD, dummy lights, hall effect speed sensor, temp, GPS and log file working, but not 100% debugged. Like I said before, I really want to get a RPM sensor working before I attempt anymore restoration on this bike. After I get either the microcontroller or the bike put together I can post some pics.
 

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this is my 82 nighthawk

wow, that's not even a good non-answer. you could have cut and pasted beatles lyrics from Lucy in the Sky off the internet and that would have had more substance.
just thought you might like to comment...minimal investment extremely reliable...goes decent stops decent...my first bike, inexperienced rider, lot to learn...lots of fun to build. View attachment 4689 View attachment 4690 View attachment 4691 View attachment 4692 View attachment 4693
 
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