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Hi all - CB450 project bike inside

47145 Views 275 Replies 54 Participants Last post by  borzwazie
Hey all, just checking in. Today is my birthday, so I conned the wife into spending some cash:

Only $50 bucks! Got a title and everything.

As you can see, the fork seals don't exist anymore, and the bike is very grimy with green and rusty corrosion in lots of places. The motor does turn over though. It's got a CB500 motor in it, apparently the guy that owned it before wedged it in.

That's the original tank sitting there on the floor, but I'm told it leaks, and it's crusty inside, so it may not be worth saving.

The mufflers you see on the floor are off some Harleys and the guy had his own CB with these on it, I've got em so I can pass inspection after I get it running, as the originals are cracked in a bunch of places and kind of rusty.

Heck, I even got the key, bonus!

If you follow this (\11\23\bikepics-472165-full.jpg ) you'll see pretty much what I'd like to do to it.

Happy birthday to me!
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mine is as far forward as you can get. I actually have rubber sleeves over the steering stops to limit the steering travel a bit so the stock switches don't get too close to the tank (they don't hit but they're really close otherwise). If you mounted the clipons above the fork clamp, or you had high-rise clipons, I don't think they would hit, and you might be able to squeeze the tank forward a bit. I suppose you could also bang some relief dents in the tank, but that would look bad unless done really well.

speaking of clipons, you may also wish to note that the stock bar mounts on the upper clamp can interfere with clipon mounting bolts. mine (bought from champ) happen to fit exactly, but for others, you might have to shave the bottom of the stock bar mounts off.
Plugging away, this thing has got to have a clock to pass inspection time:

A quick and dirty speedo mount, carved out of Al plate with a craftsman jigsaw:

The business end:

I want to end up with one of those Acewell electronic speedo/tach but I'm not gonna wait another summer of riding to get one.

The paint is kind of cracked and gnarly-looking, and I was gonna print out a new gauge face, but this has kinda grown on me, so I just greased up the gears and put it back together like this. I might scallop the sides and bottom of my mounting plate to make it flow a little better.

I re-used the old speedo cable (I'm such a cheap-ass). I pulled it apart and soaked the cable to get rid of the grime, then soaped the outer cover clean, covered the cracks in the sheathing with heatshrink, then just greased it up and put it back on. Seems to work just fine.

The seal where the trip reset knob comes out was missing, so I made a new one out of rubber saved from the old front innertube. I am such a packrat.
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Looks and sound great.
Now be a man and staple some vinyl to some plywood for a seat, get your plate and ride the hell out of it.
so today was gonna be a red-letter day. I have my plate, my sticker, the plate is mounted, I had a bolt-torquing session, and I had a couple hours all to myself - I was gonna hit the road!

I've spun it around the block a few times, and it ran good - with the occasional "pop" that I thought was mixture-related. Ran strong though - all ready for today!

So today, I put on my boots, helmet, and gloves, and rolled out for the first real ride power. it seems I'm only running on one cylinder now, no spark to the right side. I guess that explains the popping I had heard. crap. I'm guessing my right coil is dead. so close! :(
never seen a bad coil. make sure fuel is in the right bowl, and make sure that said fuel is getting sucked in to the chamber on intake stroke. may just need a new plug too.
no, I tried another plug, it wouldn't spark either. so I switched the coil wires from left to right so I could run it on the right cylinder, and sure enough, away it went.

it could have been worse - the coil could have died miles away from the house instead of yards away. Hell, I didn't even have to push - I was uphill from my house.

The spark on the left side honestly isn't that great either - seems a little weak to me. might as well fix it so I can forget about it. plug isn't firing. You swap it with another plug you use for testing, and that doesn't spark. you think to yourself "Coil! Wire!" You buy a set of coils, swap coil and wire and.....NOTHING.

feeling stupidity creeping up on you, you try something you should have done in the first place...try the other know, 'cause you've had 2strokes all your life, you know about fouled plugs, right?


on the plus side, I can verify that 4.3ohm XS650 coils work just fine on a CB450. Part number 12V CM11-50. At least I got them cheap ($14).
My lord it's been a long time. And, you people are sick of updates of a bike that isn't on the street. So, today I took it out on the street - my wife gave me the perfect excuse - we needed trash bags! Naturally, I could have driven there in the car, but screw that.

It ran great! Properly gapped and clean plugs, plus an oil change, and down the road I went. I was nervous as hell, and I left the turnsignals on several times, whoops!

* My helmet is very quiet, and the vents work great.
* The bike really wakes up around 5000 RPM and pulls strong after
* My cheap foam seatpad I glued on with carpet glue is very comfortable
* It's just loud enough to enjoy
* Everything works!
* Nothing fell off!

* As HackASaw says, it will never be "done"
* girlnamedgo, I swear I'll get you the seat measurements. I suck.
* try cramming garbage bags up by your crotch because you forgot a backpack
* I had to put the bike away for today
* I'm out of free space for bike pics at my ISP

So, since I'm on the road, let's finish this build thread with pics:

December 17th, 2006:

Nose shot:

Left side - check out my license plate bracket I made from the original plus a big hunk of metal from a big hinge:

Right side:

Gratuitous ass shot:

Finally riding feels freaking awesome.

:D :D :D
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Well done, friend. From your first post, I had doubts that POS would ever run, let alone see the road. How delightful it is to have watched every post, and now be proven wrong. Handsome bike.

(there's a very dead "Dead Man Special" post in the project build section. Keep a wary eye. Someday...)

Are you going to be at Mid-O? Be nice to meet you in person.
Looks great! Glad you have it on the road. The final pics tell it all,you don't have to read the whole thread to know that alot of heart went into your build.

Just curious. Hows the polished tank holding up?
I recently stole your idea and picked up a cx500 tank and I can't decide between paint or polish
thanks Judeyramone - I wish I could go to Mid-O but not this year again, I think. Next year, maybe.

cappys - I splashed a bit of gas on the clearcoat today when I gassed it up - I wiped it off quick, no damage done. Couldn't tell you how it will hold up - it just hit the road today :D

I don't know that the clearcoat will be the last paintjob on the tank. If (when) it wears out, I will probably throw some paint on it and bondo up the dings, but I kinda like it now the way it is - a little "character."
Bike looks hot !
that looks ace mate, love it!
That bike looks "way cool"! I will definatly be steeling some of your ideas for my bikes! Congrats on getting it running. Ihope you get to ride it alot and just know, you will never "be finished" but tweeking them is fun also.Nice job!!!
Been following this thread ever since I signed up as a member here. Great job with all the work that's been done to it and congrats on getting it on the road.
just one final postscript:

I got the bike inspected today so I don't get arrested riding. I pulled into the lot, and the mechanic walked up with this weirded-out look on his face and said "What the hell is that?"

It's a Harley/Goldwing town, what can I say.

I had some old guys gathered around my bike, joking about how they could have ridden that bike maybe 20 years ago before back surgery and asking me lots of questions. It was fun - they all thought it was cool I actually built something instead of bolting chrome to it, and they all seemed to like it.
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