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Discussion Starter #1
Hello,

My name is Jacob and I'm an alcoho..... I mean I'm from Wyoming, 20 miles East of Cody. I was born and raised here so really getting bagged on by the older generation for my stupidity is normal. I have a wife (we've been married for 10 months) and we just had our first kid in May (girl ^_^). I'm new to motorcycles, but it runs in the family. My Grandfather and Bio father raced them, but pa killed himself when I was 4 and grandpa lost him memory due to the old-timers I mean Alzheimers (really it's an awful disease) so I have to resort to other different generations for wisdom. I have a 1983 Honda CB650SC (If you don't know that's a Nighthawk). Picked it up not running, but complete for $400 as a starter project bike for a a Cafe Racer. I have basic mechanical knowledge, but also realized that I'm a little bit in over my head with this project, but I'm not giving up and I'm very determined. I'm excited to be apart of this forum and look forward to gaining new knowledge.

Thank You,
Jacob
 

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Hey Jacob,

Welcome to the site. I haven't been to Wyoming in about 40 years, is it still over there by, um, damn... you know, all those other states with the mountains and what not?

I know nothing about Hondas so will be of no use but I'm sure the others will be happy to "help" in their own special way.
 

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Congratulations on the new addition (girl not bike). Not a great bike to do anything with, shaft drive cruiser. I'd leave it together, get it running and functioning and either ride it as is for a while or flip it and see what else you can find.

Despite the title this really isn't a "Cafe Racer", in the modern use of the term, forum.
 

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Congrats!
They are a pig to push around in the garage aren't they! Get it running decent before you do anything else, and you won't be doing that unless you can figure out how to put the air box back on.
Stick around you are going to need the help you will find here, but if you are going to bobber chop it then you better have tough skin towards some of the comments that will follow :|
... the one I have here is chain :/ forgot what year model it is, is not mine I was just fixing it for a friend.
Any bike scrap yards in Wyoming? They are a wonderful resource for economical used replacement parts, like a new brake master cylinder or wheels.
... is hard to get decent tires for the stock wheel size, you are probably going to end up riding on shite tires.

Clean only the bottom half of the carburetors real good, new air filter, hook it up to a car battery to crank it and if there are no mouse nests in the wiring it will probably run.
 

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You shouldn't need to remove anything more then this but the air box needs to be unbolted so it can be moved around.


#2 carb has an accelerator pump diaphragm plunger piece of shite on it, that needs to be cleaned and working too, should be no problem if you pay attention to how it comes apart.
If there is signs of green in the float bowl like these ones had then the copper parts have been corroding, if it is full of white powder instead it was left dry and your aluminum has been corroding.
 

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TrialsRider -

Thanks for the advice. I had already agreed that my first goal is to get the bike running. No point in putting new stuff on it before I can even ride it. My first step is changing out the ignition coil cables and new plugs, then taking care of the carbs. I currently have the Air Box out so that should make handling the carbs way easier. Externally the carbs look really good, but I'm sure the inside will tell a lot more in detail. As far mods I'm going to do to it.... some will be left unstated, but I'm not going to do a bobber chop.
 

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As Saturday morning cartoons have taught me...Wyoming is native american for "No State Here"....lol

Anyway, since you are new to motorcycles...the "cafe racer" is, and should be a dream for you to realize a year or two from now, and likely not with this bike. I have to be honest, I despise when newbies who haven't ridden motorcycles come here and want to do too much at once - fix a broken old motorcycle, learn to ride, and modify that broken old motorcycle they barely fixed into something that really a new rider has no business on.

Ideally what you should have done is bought a running, riding, motorcycle that is fairly recently made, taken an msf course, taken the tests to get your licenses and spend the next 2 years learning not to get killed by a motorist looking at their phone or in your case a wild animal that does't know that traffic laws are a thing. You should be spending your hard earned on gear like a good armored jacket, good over the ankle riding boots, a decent full face helmet, and really good gloves - the gear that barring an expansion in your waistline should last you a lifetime. If you want to play with a project bike on the side for when you have gotten good at not dying - then so be it, but riding, not fixing, motorcycles is the point of this hobby, master the basics first.

congrats on the new baby.

let me give you some other advice:

- generally speaking for newbies, the cheaper the bike, the more expensive it is going to be before it hits the road. You buy all the previous owner's parts at a 75% discount and get all his labor for free so...it's a better value often to spend a little more to get a lot more. Generally speaking it costs about $1000 to get a derelict bike going again between tires, cables, fluids, carb rebuilds, and fixing whatever caused it to stop being ridden way back when and what damage entropy has done. yes, you pay over time by buying parts, but honestly you can get a really clean running, rideable nighthawk 650 for $1400.

- you want to buy an old bike that has an enthusiastic community, a decent parts aftermarket, and has an existing knowledge base. Your 1983 DOHC 650 nighthawk has none of these things at all, which is why it makes a terrible cafe racer - everything is going to be an uphill battle. This isn't a challenge for you to dig deeper into, please don't read this and think "challenge accepted", you'll only waste both our time. The basic value in the 650 is learning how to work on old motorbikes, getting it running, and learning to ride at this point. As far as customs go save it for another bike - maybe change the handlebars (no clipons or clubmans, use superbike bars), signals, mirrors, and paint it - but that's really about it.

best of luck and ask questions. help will always be given here to those who seek it.
 

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"haven't ridden motorcycles come here and want to do too much at once - fix a broken old motorcycle, learn to ride, and modify that broken old motorcycle they barely fixed into something that really a new rider has no business on."

Has a point there :| How do you modify something to run right if you have no clue how good right can be? and all this on a terrible bike to learn to ride or work on.

"
a little bit in over my head"

na, what could possibly go wrong.


 

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I realize my advice may sound harsh, but in reality I want every new person who comes here to have a long lasting love of the hobby and personal success with their project. Trying to do too much often increases the chances of failure.

And the 650 nighthawk isn't entirely a bad bike - stock a new one made 65hp, as much as 750s made before 1979, and it handled better, was narrower, and looked good for the time in an 80's sort of way with it's flat track inspired bodywork. If you do manage to get it running and working as it should - ride the wheels off it.
 
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