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Discussion Starter #1
Hello,
I am new to these forum and kinda new to the vintage bikes. I restore vintage Volkswagens both air-cooled and water-cooled and want to try something different. I have looked at vintage Triumphs, Nortons, BSA, and BMWs but these bike are very pricey and want to start on something that I hopefully will be able to find parts for. While doing my research, I have learned a lot on vintage Honda bikes. They were very well made and popular back then. My old man use to ride them both road and off-road in the 60's and 70's.

I found 3 bikes in my area, two 1971 500cb and one 1975 750cb. . I want ask people here who truely knows their Hondas. I am not sure what would be a better project. Here are the details to the bikes I have been finding.

1) 1971 500cb- 10,000 original miles but the bike is completely disassembled. The gas tank is original green but has a dent in it. The frame has been sand blasted and ready for paint. They want $750.00

2) 1971 500cb- 28,000 original miles, no dent or ever been dropped. Does not run because carbs need cleaning. They are asking $650.00

3) 1975 750cb- 18,000 miles but the odometer say 40,000 miles (doesn't make sense). Gas tank has been repainted with an ugly hunter green spray can paint. It comes with two parts bikes. It needs a cleaning but I runs very strong. They are asking $850.00 for everything.

I am not sure what would be a better bike and which one I will find parts for. I would like to restore or convert to a cafe race. I would greatly appreciate any info or resources that you know of. It has been really tough to find people who know about the vintage Hondas. I live in the east coast. Please let me know!

Thanks!

The Older the Better!
 

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Hi there and welcome - be prepared to have a thick skin and enjoy yourself.

Read the n00b FAQ here on bikes: Beginner's Questions

Generally speaking, Honda CB's make great bikes. The inline fours seem to have the highest parts availability and best aftermarket.

Anyone that wants you to pay more than a couple hundred dollars for boxes of pieces is on crack.

Anyone that wants you to pay hundreds of dollars for a bike with 40k on the clock is on crack (I'll believe 18k when I see it).

Unless these bikes were rare potential showpieces (which these are not) I'd say offer them WAY down, or pass. Watch craigslist or the classifieds - I got a bike in a condition like your number 2 for $50. I've put hundreds into it already. Keep that in mind.


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My CB450 project:
http://www.caferacer.net/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=2827
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Edited by - borzwazie on Sep 26 2007 3:30:03 PM
 

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750 has the most potential and you get two parts bikes (do they have engines?)! if so, that isn't a bad price if it runs and has a title. if the other parts bikes have titles too man you can sell some stuff and pay for your project with the proceeds.

$1 per cc for a running bike is a good way to value vintage bikes (especially japanese).

good luck and keep us posted.

tex
 

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Discussion Starter #4
yes the cb750 does run and one out of the two parts bike has a good engine. I am going to take a look at these bikes and take pictures. I am not in any hurry in finding one. I just want a good deal. I would prefer the cb750 or cb450 because as my research shows, they are easier to find parts. The cb500 looks to be a nice bike as well but not too sure on parts.

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the cb750 sounds like a pretty good deal, considering the parts bikes. You can always eBay what you dont need. Ive paid for 50% of the stuff ive bought or replaced on my bike with parts i took off it or had laying around.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Well I came across a 1974 cb750K today. The bike has 6,600 miles on it. The bike is complete with all emblems. It currently doesn't run. It needs a new battery, the carbs need cleaning and adjusting. It has surface rust on the frame, pipes, gas tank, chain gaurd, spokes, and light pitting on the fenders. The rear fender is bent a little. The front fender has a ding. The gas tank has a dent from the forks due to when being serviced they had the tank disconnected and pushed forward. It still has the original tires but they started to rot. The seat cover is shot due to it sitting outside sometime ago. Also the gauges are slightly fade by the sun. The bike has been kept indoors for many years but at one time you can tell that this bike was kept outside. The pipes have some rust spots and will need to be replaced. This is the 3rd owner and he is asking $500 for the bike. He is also works at the sale dept at a Harley Davidsons store and he is also a (european car) mechanic. I am not sure if this is a good deal or not. It seems that the owner knows his bikes. He owns a Harley and a vintage Triumph Bonneville. This will be my first motorbike restoration. What are your thoughts?

The Older the Better!

Edited by - rusty pedal on Oct 10 2007 10:48:48 PM
 

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nope, stay away form that one. youll put 1500 into it between carb rebuilds, tires, brakes, chain, pipes, and a seat. plus god knows what else.


just my opinion

jc
 

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To me: 6,600 miles on the odo is a good indicator if it's accurate. Although it means nearly every gasket will be bone dry from years and years of drydock, the bottom end should still be in pretty good shape. Heck, even the top end could be okay. I suppose a compression test will indicate this. Does it turn over?

Look forward to a full carb rebuild. You'd have to do this anyway with an older bike, even something that sputters to life. Carburetors Need Attention. Don't ignore them. They're beautiful.

The dings you're describing appear to be superficial. Rotted tires are a given. Don't worry about that stuff. Approach this bike like a person you find in the outback lying still and moaning: Locate the bleeding. A dinged fender/tank is not a big deal.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
quote:
To me: 6,600 miles on the odo is a good indicator if it's accurate. Although it means nearly every gasket will be bone dry from years and years of drydock, the bottom end should still be in pretty good shape. Heck, even the top end could be okay. I suppose a compression test will indicate this. Does it turn over?

Look forward to a full carb rebuild. You'd have to do this anyway with an older bike, even something that sputters to life. Carburetors Need Attention. Don't ignore them. They're beautiful.

The dings you're describing appear to be superficial. Rotted tires are a given. Don't worry about that stuff. Approach this bike like a person you find in the outback lying still and moaning: Locate the bleeding. A dinged fender/tank is not a big deal.
The owner said (if it is true) that it has great compression and has plenty of torque (he drove it down his road a while back). It doesn't leak oil. He replaced the throttle cable and did the brakes. He also mentioned that the carbs need adjustment using the 3rd carb. It couldn't be turned over or started because the battery was dead and the gas tank is disconnected (he started to remeove the rust inside the tank).

Here is a crapy picture of it.


The Older the Better!

Edited by - rusty pedal on Oct 10 2007 11:26:48 PM]

Edited by - rusty pedal on Oct 10 2007 11:29:45 PM
 

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quote:
The owner said (if it is true) that it has great compression and has plenty of torque (he drove it down his road a while back). It doesn't leak oil. He replaced the throttle cable and did the brakes. He also mentioned that the carbs need adjustment using the 3rd carb. It couldn't be turned over or started because the battery was dead and the gas tank is disconnected (he started to remeove the rust inside the tank).
You have to bring your own tools to test the compression. It's not enough to hear it from the owner. Yeah, bad picture, but think about what we're dealing with here: A bike nearly 35 years old is going have some issues and require more than a bit of $ to get going again. Those carbs will need a comprehensive overhaul, not mere adjustment, my bet.

Throttle cables are nice and rebuilt brakes means you may not have to attend to them immediately, but an old bike will require nearly every possible inch scrutinized to it's full extent. Just underscoring what you're getting yourself into! It's a good thing!
 

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How can you really go wrong - $500 for what looks like a complete cb750. That bike has a kicker - see if the motor will turn over. If you buy, expect to rebuild everyting. I'm inclined to agree with Joe, however. Why would a trained mechanic, familiar with vintage bikes - Triumphs, no less, be unloading this bike so cheap? I would never expect to get a good deal from a mechanic. If there was so little wrong with it, why wouldn't he just spend a little time to get it running properly & then sell it for a decent profit?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
quote:
How can you really go wrong - $500 for what looks like a complete cb750. That bike has a kicker - see if the motor will turn over. If you buy, expect to rebuild everyting. I'm inclined to agree with Joe, however. Why would a trained mechanic, familiar with vintage bikes - Triumphs, no less, be unloading this bike so cheap? I would never expect to get a good deal from a mechanic. If there was so little wrong with it, why wouldn't he just spend a little time to get it running properly & then sell it for a decent profit?
That is exactly what I have been thinking. This bike has just been sitting in sheds most of its life and everyone that has owned it has not done anything to it. He did mention that he was getting two vintage cars this weekend and has decided to let go of this bike project. He also said that he would like to keep it but he needs the space to work on his vintage cars. The bike didn't look too bad (from a distance) execpt for the surface rust, tank, and fenders. It appears that there is no sign of the bike ever being in a crash or dropped. I looked at the handle grips and brake levers and they are in great shape and appear to be the originals. It does have a tach and it looks like no one has mess with the gauges. The right side rear turn signal is a little bent. This bike will need a complete restoration. I know if I am going to convert into a cafe racer I would be restoring it anyways. I just not sure if this is going to be a larger project than others.

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you know, i spent about 1500 on my cb550. i got it for 650 and had to put about another 1k into it. chain, brakes, cables, tires, tubes, sprockets, oil change, filters etc etc...now, i guess what im getting at is, you can pretty much get a running bike, that you can ride for that kind of $$$. or, if you really gotta have that particular bike, its worth it. the roads been down before here. if its your first bike, and youre not interested in building something and spending alot of time asking questions and buying tools, and spending weekends in the shop, get something that runs already and is ready to go. i look at it like what youre going to have to put into it, its probbaly worth looking for something a little closer to being done. check the bikes for sale section. bills bike is a deal, but i know there is someone looking at it this weekend.

jc
 

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Discussion Starter #14
quote:
you know, i spent about 1500 on my cb550. i got it for 650 and had to put about another 1k into it. chain, brakes, cables, tires, tubes, sprockets, oil change, filters etc etc...now, i guess what im getting at is, you can pretty much get a running bike, that you can ride for that kind of $$$. or, if you really gotta have that particular bike, its worth it. the roads been down before here. if its your first bike, and youre not interested in building something and spending alot of time asking questions and buying tools, and spending weekends in the shop, get something that runs already and is ready to go. i look at it like what youre going to have to put into it, its probbaly worth looking for something a little closer to being done. check the bikes for sale section. bills bike is a deal, but i know there is someone looking at it this weekend.

jc
I agree with you. That's why it's hard to decide on a bike like this. It's nice to know that there are trust worthy people on here. You never know on online forums but I like what everyone has said on here!

And Yes, Bills bike is nice!<img src=icon_smile_big.gif border=0 align=middle>

The Older the Better!

Edited by - rusty pedal on Oct 11 2007 12:17:05 PM
 

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i'd still buy the 1975 cb750 for $850.00 with the two parts bikes.

sounds like either project your gonna invest some money. i'd just do it with some bikes that you can make some of it back (i.e.-parts bikes to sell parts on the ebay).

good luck!

tex
 

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or you could just buy chad's bike for $1000.00 in bikes for sale section. see:

1974 CB 550 Cafe racer FIRST $1000 TAKES IT

it's a real clean looking bike, that seems to have everything a new guy would want in a first bike. plus, warren, pa isn't that super far to travel to get it.

i unfortunately get no percentage for all of the suggestive selling or hosting chad's pictures. i'm hoping he'll send me some x-mas cookies after he sells it.

tex
 

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quote:
i'd still buy the 1975 cb750 for $850.00 with the two parts bikes.

sounds like either project your gonna invest some money. i'd just do it with some bikes that you can make some of it back (i.e.-parts bikes to sell parts on the ebay).
i couldn't agree more. especially titled frames.

NCNR
 

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Discussion Starter #18
How about this?

A 1976 Honda CJ 360T. Here is the description.

Recently purchased on eBay to restore, but have since purchased the same motorcycle used to own about 15 years ago. Nostalgia got to me, so I am going to restore that one instead. Therefore, I am selling this one now. I will tell you what was told to me. This has been stored inside for about 5 years in a dry heated garage. It sat without gas in it. Recently, the previous owner put 1/2 a gallon of gas in it to try and start it, but was not able to find enough time to work on it. I have since looked closer at it, and see that one of the problems is that the starter lever is in poor shape and will need repair. No electric start. You MAY be able to bump-start it, but I have not tried. I also noticed that the on/off switch on the handlebar is missing also, so that will need to be replaced. Otherwise, things look good. The brakes seem to work. The tires look really good. The seat has no tears and looks great. The REAL bonus is that the exhaust pipe looks FANTASTIC. This is the rare pipe which goes from two pipes into one on only one side. Very cool and VERY rare. You could not buy a pipe for the price I am selling the whole bike for. Chrome on the pipe is nice also. They do not make replacement pipes for this bike. The tank looks pretty good. One minor dent that I noticed, and it was repainted poorly in my opinion. I have a title which was signed by the previous owner for transfer.

Here are some pics.





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