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Help me identify what i purchased.....

3253 Views 30 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  jalsteve
I purchased a 1971-ish cb500 with a custom lattice frame and i am wondering if it might look familiar to it a kit, a one off, a race bike?
Here are a few things I know:
- Well built lattice frame, where the lower engine cradle unbolts from the rest of the frame
- it has an aluminum swing arm
- eccentric chain adjuster in the frame
- Arces triple tree
- Drilled rear hub for cooling (and brake shoes)
- Clear right side magneto cover
Really odd things:
- Cable operated kick stand
- Additional switched on the handle bars
- accessory red light above the left rear turn signal

I am wondering if it wasn't a race bike that someone tried to make street legal.

Any other ideas?






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It's a Bitsa

Bits of this and bits of that, definitely not a race bike.

Although I don't disagree with you, I'm curious why you came to that conclusion? All the street stuff looks like was added as a after thought. I can't figure out why someone would go through the time and expense of building such an elaborate frame. Apparently it had high end Fontana wheels and other bits and pieces too.

Oh, I also didn't mention that the license plates last tag was 1978....
Does it have a VIN ?

Who welds passenger pegs onto a race frame?
No vin#, at least that I have found...which is odd, if it was licensed for street use.

I thought the same thing about the passanger pegs....but the main pegs look like they were added back on after. The passanger pegs seem like they could be used for reversed controls ...

I'm just playing devil's advocate here....
It is interesting that others noticed what I did...
The time put it to the welds and design blow me away. There is a special "hole" welded in for the tach drive. Yet, the front pegs cover up the kick starter (that's one reason I think they were added after).
Also, to have an all aluminum swingarm, an eccentric chain adjuster up front, and majorly vented rear hub.....does not scream street bike, hahaha.

I appreciate all your thoughts on this.

Also, I'm not concerned about the vin# at this point. It was registered at one point and/or custom frames get licensed all the time.




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The lever on the handlebars that looks like a decompression lever connects via cable to the kickstand...odd, I know.

I do plan on disassembling and blasting it to get it clean before a new powdercoat.
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I am in Idaho.

The frame fits very tight to the engine...there are small notches is certain areas to provide the clearance from the engine. These notches are not hack job notches done to make the engine fit after it was built either. I think the engine drops out relatively easily with the lower frame section. Seems like a quick way of swapping out the engine.

I cleaned it up a bit more yesterday and still didn't find anything to identify it. In cleaning it though, it does look like all of the street electronics were added after (there were a few mounting holes drilled for the electronics, which doesn't match everything else that was done on the bike).

I also reached out to Bimota to see if they had a historian that might be able to identify a early bike....the said they don't, hahaha
Bimota kinda lied to you.

Bob is the knower of all things Bimota in the USA

It really does not look like any Bimota frame I have seen.
I agree that it doesn't look like a Bimota frame, other than a few elements. I am just trying to cover all my bases, hahaha

Thank you all for the resources!
Why would you build a chassis then notch tubes after? At the time of build I place and fit the tubes in a position that wouldn't foul the engine! Or rather why create work for yourself? What you describe is a classic modification to make one thing fit another and is clear evidence that the chassis was made for a different engine IMO.

Excellent point!! I appreciate your insight. I am planning on getting it torn down and blasted as soon as I get a few other projects wrapped up. I will take a look at it again to see in regards to the radiators though....that is a very interesting thought.

Thank you!!
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