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Discussion Starter #1
Hey everyone, my name is Tony and I just registered for this site and wanted to say hi. I've lurked for quite a while but decided I needed to become a real person, not just a stalker, and join. I'm picking up this 71 CB500 at the end of next week for $800 from one of my girlfriend's friends and plan to start work on it this spring.




Here is the girl's bike, a 75 CB400. She won't let me hack on it though...



So, again, hello to you all, I look forward to chatting with everyone and sharing pics when I get to working on the bike!
 

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Howdy and welcome. Good luck with the 500, looks like a good project.


FR
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Yeah, she does have a sister, but she hates motorcycles...
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Okay, little dilema. The guy that I'm buy the 500 from also has a CB750 that he wants to get rid of. I don't really have the time or space for two projects right now. What bike would you guys choose? The 500 or the 750?

 

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i know someone who would probably buy the pipes off that 750 right now. how much for the 750? if it runs, and is around $1k, its probably worth it. those pipes are rediculous if they are that clean both sides.

jc
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I think the guy wants $500 for the 750. Its a 78 I believe. I think it runs as well, I need to ask him. He doesn't think the 750 is as "desirable" as the 500, so he is asking less for it.
 

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It's easy to get strung out on a couple different projects at once. Nothing looks like its happening and things get frustrating, not cool. You had a plan for the 500, get it and get rolling, my two cents. have fun and welcome to the show. cheers, bcr
 

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That second one isn't a 750. It is a 550, but 78 looks about right. I would get them both and put the 550 motor in the 500 frame, double disk the front end, put a 4-1 pipe on it and then sell the remains on e-bay to pay for most of both bikes. The 400f is close enough to good shape that I wouldn't mess with it much. I would put stock 75-76 bars back on it, replace the swing arm bushings and shocks. Make sure it has good tires on it and enjoy it.

Ken
 

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I owned a 73 cb500 and it was a great little bike. I use to take it to the drag races and pull high 13 with it as a stocker. Now I have cb750's. It would be a hard choice between the two bikes. The 500 was a pretty good handling bike and might make a nice project (cafe). The only down fall I can maybe see is getting racing/custom parts for the 500. There are more available parts for a cb750. If your gf has a 400 - the cb500 might be a better choice...

Objects in the mirror are closer than you think!!!!
 

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I owned a 73 cb500 and it was a great little bike. I use to take it to the drag races and pull high 13 with it as a stocker. Now I have cb750's. It would be a hard choice between the two bikes. The 500 was a pretty good handling bike and might make a nice project (cafe). The only down fall I can maybe see is getting racing/custom parts for the 500. There are more available parts for a cb750. If your gf has a 400 - the cb500 might be a better choice...

Objects in the mirror are closer than you think!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Sounds like the cb500 is the right choice. I had no idea that the second was a 550, I was told otherwise. I don't really have the time or space for two bikes, I already have 5 in my garage! Wrenching on the cb500 will be plenty of work for now. Maybe this summer if the guy still has the CB550 I'll pic it up.

The girlfriend bought the bike like that, and doesn't want to change it. Maybe I'll build the 500 up and give it to her, giving me a reason to buy that 550!

Profile update, I'm currently in Klamath Falls OR for school, and during breaks I go back home to Edmonds WA.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Sounds like the cb500 is the right choice. I had no idea that the second was a 550, I was told otherwise. I don't really have the time or space for two bikes, I already have 5 in my garage! Wrenching on the cb500 will be plenty of work for now. Maybe this summer if the guy still has the CB550 I'll pic it up.

The girlfriend bought the bike like that, and doesn't want to change it. Maybe I'll build the 500 up and give it to her, giving me a reason to buy that 550!

Profile update, I'm currently in Klamath Falls OR for school, and during breaks I go back home to Edmonds WA.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Well, bought her and brought her home today!


I need a decent set of clip ons right off the bat. Anyone know where to get some that don't cost $300?
 

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quote:Originally posted by TonyDanger



Profile update, I'm currently in Klamath Falls OR for school, and during breaks I go back home to Edmonds WA.
Right on, I'm in Eugene, and KoiHoshi is somewhere here in Oregon too...
 

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we gotta break you rookies of this first impulse to throw a set of low bars on the bike. It really isn't the first thing you should be thinking about when starting a project. Swapping out the bars first thing is a clear sign you don't know what you are doing - which I find unlikely since your girl rides a 400F.

I have said time and time again, think out your egoronomics and you'll have a decent street racer you can ride all day, thow a set of bars at an otherwise stock bike and all you build is a torture rack.

That being said, champ on this board sells a really decent pair of clipons for less than an arm and a leg. I don't remember whow much they were but I think they are around $40.

If I were you, the very first thing I would do is service that bike from stem to stern. Plugs, points, oil, filter, inspect the tires, bleed the brakes and make sure you don't need rear shoes, inspect the steering head bearings, change the fork oil (this is a good time to go up to a heavier weight), go over the wiring harness for any bad splices or breaks in the wiring, etc. It doesn't cost much and it insures you have a good running platform. One area of particulat interest is the front caliper on these old hondas. The are the frist thing to freeze from sitting and almost always need a rebuild. If your caliper is working as it should I would inspect the pads (or put a fresh set in) and bleed the brakes and then make sure it doesn't seize by riding the bike.

The first custom work you should be thinking about doing is a little game I call "What can I live without". Look at your bike and decide what you absolutley want to get rid of. Not what do you want to replace with other parts, but the crap you don't need on the bike at all. Get a big box (or a milk crate) and put anything you take off this bike in there. A lot of old honda parts are not made anymore so you need to understand that any stock stuff you take off is probably going to be worth more than a $1 on ebay so treat it as such. This doesn't cost anything and it makes you think about where the hell you are going with this bike.

The first things I usually ditch are the passenger pegs (cafe bikes are solo bikes), the reflectors, and if I am going to run with out a front fender I will seperate the fender from the bracket and keep the bracket on (old hondas use the front fender as a fork brace, keeping the mounting bracket holds some of that rigidity until you get a proper brace).

The next step is to figure out what you are going to remove and replace. There are come component systems which reqquire more than one piece, like if you are going to do bars I recommend you also do the foot contols so that you get your riding positon sorted out. If you are going to do a custom tank and a custom seat, I recommend you get the tank first as there are a wide variety of seats and only a few tank options. Some things are small details which you will need to do to do other things (like fork ears for below the top clamp clipons) and you can usually knock those out of the way quick.

The first place I usually start is the suspension. Rear shocks are probably going to be the first big ticket item you are going to buy so buy quality. Progressive shocks and hagons are good budget shocks that really make a huge difference out back. This is a good time to check your swingarm bushings also. I would also go to a 10wt fork oil to stiffen up those crappy forks (the original stuff is usually ATF which is around 5wt). Next I would look at tires - I recommend metzler lazertecs and avon venoms but you can do your own research on that. The best front tire for a SOHC for is one with a ribbed pattern (like an avon speedmaster) to reduce headshake that older SOHC bikes have but they are 1) not good all weather tires, and 2) have few rears that work well with them. I use metzler lazertecs and still get a little headshake but they are much better than other modern tires.

that should get you started......
 

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oh and one more thing....people pay stupid money for honda factory paint on original parts so if that tank is in decent shape (which it looks like it is) and you are planning a re-paint or any other (stupid) tank mods (like knee dents - ick) I suggest you find a beater tank and not to bash original stuff.
 
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