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Discussion Starter #1
Hi All,

I'm new around these parts but have long had a passion for cafe racers.

I am currently learning to ride (Learner permit in NSW, Australia) and have recently bought a used motorbike.

Meet Nancy, a Honda CD250U 1989.



Picked her up recently for what was an OK price for a first bike. The two previous owners had done some legwork to getting the old girl on her way to being a cafe racer although she isn't there yet. I knew going into it that I would need to put in some work to get her to the finishing point but I didn't realise how much work I would have to do as many problems are more than just cosmetic.

I've had her for one week, ridden her once and quickly realised there is a long list of issues I need to fix. This list is growing at the moment but here it is so far and in no particular order:
  • New front brake pads
  • new rear brake discs
  • rebuild front brake caliper system
  • bleed front brakes and replace brake fluid
  • take apart, clean, clear and rebuild front brake assembly
  • change sparks plugs from CR7's to CR6's
  • Change oil and oil filter
  • rewire electronics to get speedo light, neutral light and indicator light (all in speedo) to work
  • Rewire electronics and switch assembly to get front brake light to work
  • replace tyres
  • check and potentially replace seals on forks
  • general rust and corrosion removal
  • chain clean and re-lube
Cosmetic changes will include:
  • new handlebars (clubmans or clip ons)
  • New brake reservoir (chrome)
  • black metal grill on headlight
  • chrome tubing over exposed wire harness
  • new brake light
  • new bar end mirrors
  • new left and right handle assemblies
  • new paint job on gas tank (ideas o
  • maybe new seat
  • maybe rewiring to place battery behind seat to open up space under seat
  • new pegs
  • new kickstand
  • new black exhaust wrap, both exhausts
  • new chrome exhausts
I am well committed to this now and need to see it through. I want to keep a record of the exciting journey so where better than hear.

So please stick around and stay posted on the trial and tribulations of an amateur DIY cafe racer builder as he learns to both build and ride at the same time.

There will be laughter and probably more tears, and expenses, but hey this is fun so far and I am enjoying it despite the frustrations.

Jay
 

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I hope you bought that thing registered because you'll be up shit creek trying to get it passed in that state.

Welcome :D
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Thanks Hillsy.

Yes it was registered. 6 months left and its now transferred to me.

What makes you say I'll be up shit creek?

EDIT: oh because of the state, I thought you meant State as in NSW. Yes there is a lot of work to do unfortunately
 

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Hello Jay and welcome to CR.NET. Your enthusiasm is commendable and hopefully will outlast the work and cost ahead of you to get your new wheels safe and sound. Did you perhaps check out the "Read First" section of the site before your posting? I'm thinking maybe not. To bad you didn't stop by before the purchase and you could have taken a list of what to look for and or avoid. What exactly was the good price may I ask? Anyway depending on the price, the list of repairs and maintenance isn't unexpected given the year of the bike and there will be more but your other list needs some tweaking. Better yet chuck it out. Right now you need one list, making it safe, reliable and comfortable to ride. The last thing you need as a beginner is a dodgy bike under you. There's lots of knowledge here on doing the right thing but doing the wrong thing will draw critic that isn't sugar coated. Thick skin helps. Take more pic's of your bike from different angles and closer shots for better reference.
 

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New front brake pads
new rear brake discs
rebuild front brake caliper system
bleed front brakes and replace brake fluid
take apart, clean, clear and rebuild front brake assembly
change sparks plugs from CR7's to CR6's
Change oil and oil filter
rewire electronics to get speedo light, neutral light and indicator light (all in speedo) to work
Rewire electronics and switch assembly to get front brake light to work
replace tyres
check and potentially replace seals on forks
general rust and corrosion removal
chain clean and re-lube

Add bushings, bearings, clean and rebuild forks. May be able to get an FSM at Honda Twins. When you get the maintenance done just ride it. Learn how the bike behaves before you start changing it.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Thanks all for your posts your advice is much appreciated.

And thanks for posting about the first posters thread and advising to fill out my bio. All done now. Sorry I was just cruising the Project Builds thread when I created my account and didn't think to go into that thread.

I should make it clear that the bike is currently road worthy and fairly safe, except for some issues with the front brakes and speedometer lighting.

The front brake issue looks to mainly be with stuck pistons in my preliminary investigations. I will need to get it off the disc to do a proper inspection, I figure while I am repairing those I might as well replace the front brake pads and clean the whole assembly as well as bleed brakes and replace brake fluid (looking darker than amber at the moment). I have taken about the front brake switch because it wasn't triggering the brake light when pressed. I have cleaned this and rebuilt the switch assembly and it now works. Will post about this a bit later.

The lighting issue has been fixed this morning following some wiring and rewiring. I will post about this shortly too.

Out of interest for my own safety I have grounded all future trips until the front brake issue is sorted which poses the most risk to my safety at the moment.

I note that I may have come across as someone more interested in the cafe racer looks than performance or safety first. I can assure that is no the case. As a married 32 year old with 2 kids (and a mortgage I don't to leave them all with) I am 100% concerned with ensuring I get home to them every night.

My initial lists were intended to map out, really for my own benefit, what I needed to tackle in no particular order. The cosmetic items are the lowest priority unless it makes more sense to couple them with a safety/performance repair/enhancement (e.g. new clip ons/clubmans when I get around to replacing the levers and switch assemble on either side of the handlebar.

For those interest in price, I picked this one up for AUD$1,500 and apart from the lighting and brake issues, it really is an ok running bike and could probably do without me tinkering with it in the short-medium term. Regardless I am avidly interested in getting to know this bike and being competent in the maintenance, repair and restoration of it.

And ultimately I want Nancy to be a striking cafe racer gal.

EDIT: and yes, drum brakes not discs :p
 

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Your front caliper is a twin piston floating caliper - which means it moves side to side on sliding pins to follow the disc. A lot of the time the sliding pins seize up and this makes the brake stay locked on. Either that or the pistons are stuck.....or a combination of both.

If you don't have an air compressor you can take the caliper off and pump the brake lever until the pistons pop out (kinda messy, but it works). If you go this route you need to make sure the master cylinder doesn't run dry.

Then it's a case of flushing all the gunk, cleaning up the pistons and pushing them back in.
 

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i had to drill a hole in the end of the sliding pin boss on a caliper to get a punch in to knock a seized sliding pin out once. only way i could see to get it apart, worked a treat. don't recall how i plugged the hole now, maybe a little screw.
 

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i had to drill a hole in the end of the sliding pin boss on a caliper to get a punch in to knock a seized sliding pin out once. only way i could see to get it apart, worked a treat. don't recall how i plugged the hole now, maybe a little screw.
They can be tough to get out - I had one in the vice for about a week. Each night I would give it a twist and spray some more penetrating onto it until it finally came loose.
 

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YouTube is your friend.
Recently met a girl who is completely rebuilding her CB350 - no experience at all, but she has rebuilt the carbs, engine, and tranny on her own from what she learned on YT


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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I have grounded all future trips until the front brake issue is sorted which poses the most risk to my safety at the moment.
I am 100% concerned with ensuring I get home to them every night.

The cosmetic items are the lowest priority unless it makes more sense to couple them with a safety/performance repair/enhancement
And ultimately I want Nancy to be a striking cafe racer gal.
Yea stopping is kinda important, and is a huge part of your get home plan. You'll find as you clean the bike up and start improvements that it will come in to it's own look. Performance enhanced bikes that handle well just look good without trying. The term Cafe Racer has become so diluted as to what one actually is. From the "Hipster" to the "Track rider" they are different species. You mentioned possible performance enhancements during cosmetics and repairs. Don't know if it would make sense for what your doing but braided brake lines look the business and improve braking since your working on them anyway. Glad to hear your playin it safe.
 
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