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Discussion Starter #1
:long but worth it: :)

Hello all, how goes it? Jason Michaels is the name and I'm in the process of building a Cafe Racer. The bike is mostly made up of CB450 and Black Bomber parts. You'll find some custom work, some Royal E and some modern crotch rocketry. First though I must share the story of how I acquired her.

I've lusted after a Cafe bike for over 5 years now. Growing up racing moto-x the dirt was my home. I made the gradual transition to crotch rockets around 18 and saw my life flash before my eyes..twice. After the third human death trap I vowed to never get on one again. So I stepped away from bikes all together until I picked up an XR250 just last year... Within a week I had stripped the entire bike down the bare frame and was rebuilding her from scratch to a Motard tune. What a blast it was! It really made me remember how much I loved turning wrenches on bikes. When she was finished she was a riot to drive around down, everyone turned there head. (not too many Motards here in Tampa) But even with the 50CC bore kit, gearing, exhaust, ETC she was still a tad to slow and I was found wanting. I was going to stay true to my crotch rocket promise so that was out... Well I started perusing the net and I saw my first Black Bomber. Oh god was I in love. :) Glorious lines, simplicity, power and pinache all rolled up into one sweet little package. So I started looking and wasn't prepared to spend the $$$ on a complete bike. Hell, I was going to rip it to pieces any ways! So I was patient and I started buying pieces...yes pieces before I even had a bike. Gas tank was first, front fender, rear fender, shocks, 500CC head, ETC the list goes one! My friends thought I was daft!

So moving forward, I am a member of the CB450MSN group and I saw a post from a guy who was getting rid a CB450 project for FREE. I called him immediately and snagged it up. A good friend picked it up and was kind enough to store it for me until I could lug my Land Rover up to Nashville to pick it up. Well, two weeks ago I made that trip...with my dog and box of basic tools. I had the bike mostly dissassembled in under 20 mins and put it in the back of the Land Rover One Piece At A Time. :) We made the trip in mothertruckin fashion non-stop there and back and even made it back to Tampa in time on Sunday to tear her down to nothing!

So now that we're up to current I'd love to share my ideas with all of you. If you care to indulge me great, if not so be it...

What I'm looking for in the end is not only a traffic stopper but an all around amazing performer. I realized I can't have the fastest bike if I have the best looking bike and the best handling, ETC...so I'm willing to compromise. A bit. As of right now the bike is completely torn down and the frame and essential pieces are at the powder coater. I should be picking them all up Friday to start to put her back together. I guess the best way to brake this down is to do it in sections starting at the front..

Front end -

The CB450 forks are small and IMOP simply not enough for what I'm going to put beind this bike. I've looked into swaping a Zuki front end with a single disc over which could be done with minimal effort but even still..it's tiny. Plus the handling could be much better with some modern advances in suspension. My solution? To swap over a complete late model CBR front end. Complete with the clips down to the dual disc brakes. The wider stance and inverted forks will allow for a tad wider tire along with the superior dampening of the inverted forks and dual front discs. Score! Two problems I see I face at this point (I'd love opinions) - the first being the shear fitment. I'm not so worried about this as I can mill down the spike and/or cut and add to get it to fit in the neck. The overall lenght is about right from what I can eye ball (going to measure this weekend) and other than that it will be a basic swap over. I can pin out and use all the existing controls on the bars including the throttle. My issue lies in the wheel...I hate mags! I'm in the process right now of trying to find a company who can build me a spoked wheel with the hub fitment that will match that of a CBR and support the dual discs. Any suggestions out there?

For the gauges I'm going to ditch the classic kit and go with a Vapordash (for tracking and tuning I'll go into this later) and will fit a air/fuel mixture gauge next to it (go into later about tuning) and I plan on going with two smaller sized round lights. A bit of a Tiger look.. I'm not sold on this but in my mind it looks so cool!

Center mass -

The tank is the piece of glory in my mind and I'll sacrafice the weight. A fully restored Black Bomber tank with NOS badges. God I love this! I'm building two seats, one a single for racing/hard riding and second for two people on the weekends. I can fab up some sort of a quick release system pretty easily I think. I'm building a small cross brace in the rear section behind where the air filters would go. Going to mill it up and tap the frame to bolt it in place. Should help with latteral collapse and shear wiggle... :) Ditching the center kick of course and some other metal... I plan on riding her on the street as well so I need lights. I plan on removing the battery completely and running a small capacitor. I've got this setup on my XR and it works great! It takes one or two more kicks to get the bike started (charges when you kick) but once it's going I have no problems. I'm going to stay classic on the turn signals and brake lamp. The front and rear fenders are original Bomber parts and are being re-chromed as we speak. I'll fit those until I get tired of them and then chop up some stock 450 fenders I'm sure.

Moving towards the ass -

I got a great idea from a guy on CB450MSN about the rear swing arm...and I took it from there. The CB450 is a tad to short IMOP compared to other 100MPH+ bikes you see on the road. 2 maybe three inches at the most could give some major higher speed handling. So then I started to think about the rear swingarm..so simple I'd hate to ditch it! Make it longer? Naw, it's worth more to sell on eBay. Solution? Looking at my XR250 the rear swingarm may fit right in place. I'm going to fiddle with it this weekend. I can tig up shock mounts on the sides and viola! 2.75" longer rear with a tad wider track and the same very simple chain adjustment. Oh yeah, and the main hub bolt is even the same diameter. What about the center shock mount? Gone! If this doesn't fit easily I'm going to mock one up similar and make it out of aluminum myself. Going with a nice aluminum rear wheel with spokes as well and a single disc.

Engine -

This is the grey area for me and I'm looking for suggestions here. I've got a smart-ass kid (he rocks!) building my engine as I feed him info... I've got specs on CAMS, porting, ETC but I'd love to compare them to others and what they have done so please, speak up! One major thing is that I'm hearing I need to go with a 500T head vs the 450 head. Can anyone confirm this? As for exhaust I plan on running something very similar to the guy on this board that posted int he Black Bomber thread. With the K&N filters hanging on to those carbs for dear life! :) That brings up another question. I've got the stock carbs from this mid seventies CB450. Is there something else I can bolt on here? I really want to get as much performance out of this thing as possible...

My lord, that's enough for now! I plan on keeping this thread updated with all my progress and photos so please stay tuned and give me your thoughts!

- JM

Yes, this is an AK-47..
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Ooops for got to talk about the vapordash and widebandcommander. The Vapor dash is cool little thing - http://trailtech.net/vapor.html. It will replaced all the old gauges and allow me some additional functionality. More importantly though is the widebandcommander - http://www.widebandcommander.com/ this little bugger will allow me to tune/jet the biker perfectly. In short it has a datalogging feature and with an o2 sensor welded into your pipe you can monitor all your stats. After a ride you can plug in the USB cable to a laptop and download and analyse the data. I can take note of what type of riding I was doing and how the bike felt and make notes to adjust the jetting/air-fuel accordingly. Essentially, I can perfectly tune the bike for the alltitude, temp and riding style I commit to most often. A little anal I know but so cool!

...i did it one piece at a time
 

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sounds cool man, when can we see some pics?

Hey someone pas me the wrench........ Ahh screw it where is the torch
 

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now if every newbie posted their intro like this...maybe half of them wouldn't leave crying an wetting themselves.

great read man....pics please (if you need me to host them shoot them to me at [email protected])

as far as carbs, IIRC the stock cb450 carbs were CV and are more suited for street manners than all out performance. I would try a set of mukuni VM series carbs instead. not sure if the cb500t head will bolt to the earlier pree 1969 450 engine

Edited by - geeto67 on Jun 07 2007 09:18:15 AM
 

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That Vapor dash is awesome! That's so much better than what I was considering doing.

I wonder if it's a street legal replacement for the stock gauges in PA...you know, odometer stuff, etc...


EDIT: I just don't see any downsides to this thing. It's tiny, too.






******************************************************
My own project:
http://www.caferacer.net/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=2827
******************************************************

Edited by - borzwazie on Jun 07 2007 10:06:53 AM
 

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Got any pics of your project for us to check out ?

ProTeal55
Member: Ton-Up Club Chicago
1972 CB750 Hooligan/Street Fighter -4 SALE !
1974 CB/CL450 Cafe/Bar/Stripclub Racer
1955 Chevrolet Bel-Air Hardtop
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Hey guys, no really good pics just yet. I'll post what I've got but the good stuff won't come for a couple more weeks. As for all the other newbies...well, yeah. Fawk em! :p Glad I could post something decent for you guys. I'm always on the edge it's good to meet some people who appreciate that rather than shoot it down. My moto has always been built not bought! I've always got something crazy going on. I'm also in the process of building a 66 Triumph Bobber, old skool style. However that's put aside for this as I think it will be a little quicker to complete.

Thanks for the info on the carbs Geeto. Where would be a good place to purchase them from? I mean short of googling for them is there anyone who I should be giving my business to? Always down with keeping it in the circle.

Yeah the vapor & widebandcommander are tight! This CAT on a Motard board gave me the idea. If you want to read an amazing build from start to finish take a look at this. I thought I paid attention to detail. This fool is nuts!

http://www.thumpertalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=450431

It should prove to be pretty accurate. My plan is to keep it somewhat removable so I can pop it on other bikes to help friends tune theirs. With the exception of the a/f gauge and the 02 sensor that stay on my main bike I can easily rig up a portable setup I think. We'll see! As for the Vapor being legal I'm not sure about that. I know here in the Florida pretty much anything goes. Hell, you can just about title anything so long as it sounds within reason. They don't even step outside to hand verify vehicles. I guess it's probably because half the cars on the road would be taken off and the economy would start to crumble... God I love the south! :)

I'm picking up the frame and bits from the powder coater tomorrow and plan on fiddling with some stuff this weekend. I was going to dip and buy a complete CBR front end on eBay but I decided to drop the $850.00 on some new tat's tomorrow night. :) Plus, I'm not so sure about the whole setup just yet. It makes sense in my mind but that's a pretty fawked up place at times. I'd love any suggestions or input. Has anyone else ever seen someone put a modern front with hydra steer on a classic bike? To be honest it's not the mill work or fab that's got me bothered. I just hope it doesn't look out of place too much. Any how, we'll see. In the interest of ink I'll be foregoing a complete front end for at least another month so I'm gonna focus on some other aspects.

Thanks again everyone for welcoming me! I look forward to becoming a fixture in this scene..

Peace

...i did it one piece at a time
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Very nice reading! Thanks for the link.. This weekend wasn't very productive. I spent 12 hours under a tatoo needle so it left for little time to work on the bike. I did however though pickup the frame and all the bits from the powder coaters. Everything looks awesome. I went with a deep gloss black. I'll get some photos in and post up progress in a few weeks. It'll be at least 3 weekend before I can touch her again..

In the mean time, I'm curious about those front forks.. In talking with my engine guru last week and come to find out the way he paid for his mechanics school was working in a suspension shop for bikes. SCORE! In his opinion the inverted forks really will not yield that much a performance increase to out way the cost of the parts. He seems to be confident that we can get a set of custom springs for the stocker front end and go that route. If I don't go inverted I will need something else at least so I can have front discs. What are some good options that other people have done in the past?



...i did it one piece at a time
 
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