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So I recently purchased an 81 CM400T. I know there's alot of people who advise against getting a CM to build a Cafe, but I decided to give it a shot. So the question I have right now is regarding the seat. I've done my research and seen several CM's with the seat I'm going for but I can't seem to get over the "dip" there is in the frame. Anybody have any ideas how I can go about attacking this? Or can point me in the direction to read up on? Thanks in advance.
 

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So I recently purchased an 81 CM400T. I know there's alot of people who advise against getting a CM to build a Cafe, but I decided to give it a shot.
Because you lack common sense or the ability to take good advice?


So the question I have right now is regarding the seat. I've done my research and seen several CM's with the seat I'm going for but I can't seem to get over the "dip" there is in the frame. Anybody have any ideas how I can go about attacking this? Or can point me in the direction to read up on? Thanks in advance.
Sell it and buy something else. something with a bolt on solution. That is how you "get over" the hump.

Have you looked at this wreck yet? I mean seriously is it even safe to ride? It is guaranteed uncomfortable because you already did the noob thing and turned the stock bars upside down. Seriously that is a dumb thing to do, your wrists must hate you right now.

Ok since you are already stuck with this pile of garbage and probably need to get it back in one piece to sell it, take your stock seat pan and take it to an upholstery shop. pay them a couple hundred dollars (about $200) to shape foam and make a cover for your stock seat pan. Or buy this vietnam made seat since the cost will be about the same (I think you can get them to sell you just the foam and cover for your stock pan if you want to cut corners and recover it yourself).
Honda CM400 CM400T CM400A CM450 Cafe Seat Powder Coated Seat Pan 1979 1982 | eBay

Put the rear fender back on too. And a pair of superbike bars so you don't hurt your back.
 

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Because you lack common sense or the ability to take good advice?




Sell it and buy something else. something with a bolt on solution. That is how you "get over" the hump.

Have you looked at this wreck yet? I mean seriously is it even safe to ride? It is guaranteed uncomfortable because you already did the noob thing and turned the stock bars upside down. Seriously that is a dumb thing to do, your wrists must hate you right now.

Ok since you are already stuck with this pile of garbage and probably need to get it back in one piece to sell it, take your stock seat pan and take it to an upholstery shop. pay them a couple hundred dollars (about $200) to shape foam and make a cover for your stock seat pan. Or buy this vietnam made seat since the cost will be about the same (I think you can get them to sell you just the foam and cover for your stock pan if you want to cut corners and recover it yourself).
Honda CM400 CM400T CM400A CM450 Cafe Seat Powder Coated Seat Pan 1979 1982 | eBay

Put the rear fender back on too. And a pair of superbike bars so you don't hurt your back.
Don't really see the point in the harassment, but regardless. I still have all the original parts. I bought it complete and running from my Uncle for $400. Title and Key. The stock bars are still intact and sitting on my work bench. The idea for the bars (which you seem to highly against) came from another forum on a different site. I'm not here to reinvent the wheel or do some crazy shit. More rather build something I personally can enjoy. IF enough people say its a waste of time and effort then ok, but if not and there's opportunity for it to grow then why not take a stab at it.
 

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Don't really see the point in the harassment, but regardless.
I don't really see the point in people who read perfectly good advice, comprehend said advice, and then go and do the opposite anyway. it is a sign that you aren't really going to listen or consider the further advice people will give you so why should we bother? It's basically a sign of a closed mind and an attitude of "I know better than people who have been doing this for a long time because I am me and they are not". Either way you aren't the first.

I still have all the original parts. I bought it complete and running from my Uncle for $400. Title and Key.
yup, that's about what it is worth.

The stock bars are still intact and sitting on my work bench. The idea for the bars (which you seem to highly against) came from another forum on a different site.
I would love to know what collection on morons gave you that advice. Here's the real scoop - most dipshits that are jumping the cafe bandwagon see something like a bar or a seat as a cosmetic thing, They don't realize that those parts are part of a system. In this case let's call it the rider control system. Here is the simple concept: good ergonomics provide good rider control - bad ones do not. The three major components of this system are the bars, the foot pegs, and the seat because they are all connected by the rider. Motorcycles are not a one size fits all proposition, despite coming from the factory that way. Mods like the ones you are doing force you to make other mods, and if you don't do it you end up with a less ideal situation. Take your bars for instance. If you change nothing else what you end up with is your lower torso (below the waist) being locked in an upright sitting position while your upper torso is in a bent forward arch. This puts your feet at an un-natural angle and makes operating the pedals more difficult, it arcs your back so your vertebrae are pinched at one end and splayed at the other which can lead to lower back pain, and you are forced to support the majority of your upper body weight with your wrists instead of your core.

now consider if you install rearsets: your pelvis pivots, the forc your body exerts against the pegs is backward not down so you have more leverage to operate the bars, your feet are not at an unnatural angle so operating the pedals is easier, your core is holding your weight up so you have an unrestricted range of motion in your arms and hands. Overall it is just better.

make sense?

final thing about bars that are turned upside down that weren't meant to be. They are designed with an inherent wrist angle and when you invert them sometimes it puts your wrists at an akward angle that causes you some loss of leverage and can even break your wrist easier if you crash. Did people used to do this back in the day? yes. We also wore no helmets and drank and drove frequently. Doesn't make it the smart thing to do. Does every bar have this? no, you have to look at it and figure out things like "are my wrists canted inwards (thumbs angled more down than level)?", does the pull back cause one of my arms to want to come off the bar when I turn or put my elbow at a weird angle?". get me?

I'm not here to reinvent the wheel or do some crazy shit.
If you weren't here to do that you would have bought a bike that had an aftermarket with bolt on solutions that would have made it easy for you to make meaningful and understandable mods.

More rather build something I personally can enjoy.
See my above comments about bike ergonomics. We want you to have something you enjoy as well but as a noob you aren't really going to know the path to your enjoyment. Listen to people who have more experience. Here is the reality: you will never build anything that is remotely a "racer" with that bike. It's too slow, it handles like shit, it has no aftermarket, and you don't have the skills it requires because you can't even figure out a seat solution. That doesn't mean it can't be a "fun" custom bike though. You have to readjust your view and play to the bike's strengths so that it is enjoyable to ride. this means you need to ride it. a lot. It also means a majority of your expensive upgrades are not going to be on things that have a tremendous visual impact on the bike or be seen at all. Things like shocks, swingarm bushings, neck bearings, tires, brakes, etc... Understand?

IF enough people say its a waste of time and effort then ok, but if not and there's opportunity for it to grow then why not take a stab at it.
Use the search function, the cb/cm400 is pretty much the most despised bike on here. Why? because it is usually bought by cheap people with no budgets who have too grand ideas and no skills. There is an opportunity here, but it may not be the opportunity you want. We ned to get that out of the way and get you to have a more open minded approach before we want to answer your stupid fucking noob questions about "the coolest" seat.

feel me? good. start asking real questions. and give a real background and intro, it helps if people can relate to you as a person and not just one of the nameless faceless noobs that comes trundling in here looking for the internet to build their bike for them.
 

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Those bikes are crap! The stupid honda cx500's are just plain dumb as well.


Gross, stupid, gross, crap.

The Hondas (in my opinion) get uglier and uglier after the 60's. Some bikes should not be resuscitated.
 

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Any one that talks about "thinking outside the box" better have a masters understanding of boxes and prove to build one fucking epic box.
other then that they are talking bullshit.

stay away from cat posters.
you are not a snowflake
 

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So you got the message that people are not big fans of that bike and there are reasons for that. They are plentiful and unassuming little bikes and are a total PIA to modify successfully to avoid making them worse than stock in safety and/or performance.

But not impossible and that brings up the issue of return on investment - of time and cash.

The place to start with a cafe "build" is to get the bike running cleanly and safely and then ride it for a while and learn to do routine maintenance and just enjoy riding it. And while you are enjoying that learning and riding experience, start the research. Think about what you want of your bike - just to look cool for the girls in your school or to be a decent motorcycle. If the former, it doesn't much matter what you do to it.

If you want to make it into a better bike, maybe after a season of riding you might change your mind, or you might decide to upgrade to a better bike more suited to your new found riding skills. Or maybe you make sweet memories of riding on that bike and decide to make it better.

Look at every bike you can get your eyeballs on and start to work out what you like in looks and why. Then looks ta CM400s and see if there is one that really appeals to you and then see if it would work for how you want to ride.

Just as a for instance, the seat can either sit on a new flat subframe that you design and build or it could be made to fill the gap. That's where that thinking outside the box helps. There are at least two solutions to most problems and often many more. Start looking for them and get the bike running as stock and ride it.
 

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So I recently purchased an 81 CM400T. I know there's alot of people who advise against getting a CM to build a Cafe, but I decided to give it a shot. So the question I have right now is regarding the seat. I've done my research and seen several CM's with the seat I'm going for but I can't seem to get over the "dip" there is in the frame. Anybody have any ideas how I can go about attacking this? Or can point me in the direction to read up on? Thanks in advance.
i love the irony in choosing the cm against advice, then complaining about the frame dip.

apart from it being a piece of crap with little in the way to recommend itself apart from pedestrian at best technical specification and a reputation as basic transport.
 

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The bike is a sows ear

The problem isn't a dip in the frame under your bum, the problem is the bike was designed to be as cheap as possible and visually appeal to the cruiser/chopper crowd, it is the antithesis of racer anything. Stop trying to lower the front, the problem starts with the rear being designed too low and every component on the machine was built as cheaply as possible. The longer you stare at the bike the worse it looks and the more you see wrong. (and that is after staring at the photo of a brand new one)



Best possible advice to someone who wants a cafe racer and currently owns one of these, is to clean it up nice and sell it to some poor sod who thinks he wants a bobber.
 

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Any one that talks about "thinking outside the box" better have a masters understanding of boxes and prove to build one fucking epic box.
other then that they are talking bullshit.

stay away from cat posters.
you are not a snowflake
Well I do!!
It's always easy to cup people up when they are trying to do something different.
I've already build custom cars and bikes and won trophies and today I work in the development of the next generation of cars. So yes I an a snowflake and because of that I'm still alive today.
Why cut up a build when they ask you for help in creating their dream, F**k my very first built project was 1983 CB 450 and I learned a lot. Each project got better and more advanced as I went along.
It's sad to see how people have nothing better to do then criticize their choice of bike model. "Always make the best of what you have"
 

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Well I do!!
Each project got better and more advanced as I went along.
"Always make the best of what you have"
That's the way life works, isn't it? You learn, you get better. It amazes me that many of our old fart peers forget at one point they were the know nothing newbies.
 

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Honestly don't get this.

why start with shit? It isn't like good bikes are hard to find or more expensive.
 

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Of course you should "always make the best of what you have".

Making the best of a CM400t would be playing up it's strengths, not turning it into something it's not.
 

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"I'm not here to reinvent the wheel or do some crazy shit."
I'm old but as far back as I can remember I never got all stewed up over the "dip" there is in a frame. That is just such a non-issue in the realm of riding motorcycles and possibly the worst imaginable place to start a "build" of anything that resembles a performance enhanced motorcycle, if this thread is not all about morphing the appearance of something that was designed from the ground up to look like a cruiser into something that looks vaguely like a cafe racer, what is he talking about?


I wrote a whole bunch of stuff you could do to that bike to improve it, and a whole bunch of mistakes he could make, then deleted it all because I realized there would be so little left of the original motorcycle. I honestly didn't feel good about encouraging him to spend a ton of time and money on something that would indeed qualify as crazy shit.


The biggest problem I see with the motorcycle in his photos is the bike was never cleaned or mechanically cared for, it was ridden hard and put away wet. Had he opened with 'how do I rebuild the front forks' or 'how do I get it running better' I would have been totally impressed.
 

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" Had he opened with 'how do I rebuild the front forks' or 'how do I get it running better' I would have been totally impressed.
That would indicate he had some idea of what he was doing, as he doesn't, then the onus should be on the knowledge guru's to say "whoa, there is a lot to do before you think about modifications" or "in my estimation the cost to make that anything but a cruiser would far exceed what you could ever recover in a sale". The part that was ignored was he was interested in learning.

Instead he was given abuse and ridicule by a group that obviously have scads of knowledge, that should be passed down to the next generation. If he spent $1000 and ended up with a $500 bike how is his losing money any different to 95% of the guys building bikes or muscle cars, he at least would have learned something about bikes.
 

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Fair enough; "whoa, there is a lot to do before you think about modifications" Forget about what lines don't appeal to you in that style of economy motorcycle, start with cleaning and servicing the entire bike to the point of getting it running and licensed with all of the existing parts you have. The obvious things that will need to be changed will be all of the fluids including the front fork oil. The filters, chain and battery will all be toast and replacemet of those plus new tires is going to cost you an additional 3 or 400 dollars. You now have 8 or 900$ into the bike before you have purchsaed a license plate and insurance which if you live in a developed country will also require a vehicle fitness certificate from a licensed mechanic, you are now easy up to a grand. Absolutely everything will need to function correctly and things like the tail and signal lights will need to be free of cracks in the lenses. Excellent likelihood that your wheel bearings are shot and your swingarm bushings are probably made of rust coated plastic. Stock rear shocks on that bike are almost total crap to start with and one of the first things you should consider upgrading with expensive aftermarket parts, once absolutely everything else is sorted and you are wanting to make the bike perform better then stock.

Guys building bikes or muscle cars that are not for riding just do not impress me in the least and I believe a majority of the regular posters on this particular site would say the same thing. Most of the guys here are gear heads, not butt candy artists. Ask questions that appeal to the concept of form follows function and how do I make this gizmo work, not 'will this bike make my ass look fat'

You're going to want to purchase a decent helmet and gloves, my helmet cost near 800$ your milage may vary depending on what you think your head is worth, make sure you set enough coin aside for that stuff.

Does the bike run? The carburetors will absolutely need to be cleaned, do you know how to do that or do you have anybody that you know who can show you how? It's easy once you've seen it done, not so easy to explain in writing. Texas is a long way from where I live or I would offer to help.


… woodsman, do you post on this site under another name or are you a totally new member to this site?
 
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