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Discussion Starter #1
I'd like to first say hey to everyone and then ask if I can ping some of you for information :) I just bought a 1979 Honda CM400T and here's the rundown: Tank is rusty inside, dented up front; Motor runs; everything else is in reasonable shape. I know most Honda's that are converted are CB models, but I've been badly wanting to do a cafe conversion for sometime now, and $100 bike was to good of a deal to pass up! I'm looking to tear it all apart, powdercoat the frame, frshen up the motor, and start from scratch putting her back togther. I'm planning on a nice set of clip-ons, a one-off tank from BCR, and making my own seat and fender.

So, where are the questions? Two main things: Has anyone made a rear seat section from the back end of a gas tank, and where is the best place to start looking for parts/mods? I've already looked at BCR like I said, but I'm sure there are a ton of resources hidden out there. Also, does anyone know anything particular about a CM model that I should watch out for? I'm a Vulcan 1500 rider and basically know about those bikes plus a little on Buells. Thanks guys and gals! Pics will be up soon.
 

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Welcome to the board. Take a look at the cb450 project that Borzwazie has going for the gas tank ti seat idea, and Pampadori is doing one to his CX500. Take a look, they are both current topics. I would be leery of spending the kind of money that BCR wants for a tank on a CM400. The gas tank issue has been discussed here a bit too. There is a CX500 tank listed in the parts for sale section. I would get it. Champ sells clip-ons. Check the member sale section and get them. Get Bridgestone BT-45 tires. Spend some money on suspension, the stockers barely hold the rear end up on the CM400. There isn't much bolt on performance stuff for the CM400 motor. I think Mac makes a 2-1 exhaust that will probably fit but might not do much for performance other than get rid of a ton of weight. Make sure you do some rearsets to go with the clip-ons or Geeto67 will come out of your monitor and rip your head off.

Now some questions for you.
Do you want it for show or go?
How different do you want it to be?
How well do you know the owner of your local bike salvage yard?
How much do you like e-bay?
Do you e-bay after you have been drinking?
How do you feel about the 7 wood? (Thanks for filling out your bio)

Ken
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Wow, thanks! BCR is pricey, the wife may not like that route so thanks for heads up. I was wondering what tanks were compatible.

Answeres to Questions:
1. Mainly for show although sqeezing a few more ponies from the motor wouldn't hurt.
2. Different...I want it too look like a real cafe', something that turns heads, has a custom look, something modern with a historic throwback. Basically I want to do it right.
3. Not at all, in fact I'm not sure we have a good salvage yard for bikes here, going to start the hunt ASAP!
4. Ebay works, ordered a few parts and books from sellers.
5. Limit myself to two drinks at a time so I guess not.
6. Unless it's the Callaway Warbird, I'm more of a 3 iron kind of guy. I'll the take the 7 wood over a hybrid any day. I play a Snake Eyes 600t driver, Lynx 3&5 woods, Lynx Predator irons and wedges, and a Wilson Fat Shaft Putter.
 

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Welcome and make it actually be a real cafe bike. Resist doing non or poorly functioning mods just to look like something to those that don't know any better. I do agree a real cafe "racer" should have some useful engine mods and be stronger than a stocker.

quote:Originally posted by zr140th


2. Different...I want it too look like a real cafe', something that turns heads, has a custom look, something modern with a historic throwback. Basically I want to do it right.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
That's my intent. I'm in no big rush to finish this project, I already have a ride. I really want it to stand out. If I can find a good CX tank, I'll do it, but I'm still thinking about the customs out there. I'm really thinking about making my own seat and rear end...I want that pride and "ownership." No matter what though, I'm not going to slap this bike together...I have time [8D]
 

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I'll post up a few pix of some rather unusual tank things I've done but for starters

here is a tank that got a Brit parcel rack, and then a new bottom with tunnel so it would be tailor fitted to a bike it was never intendd to fit



another one



this compartmentalized tank holds both oil and fuel, the oil portion has a replaceable filtered return whose return line flow is visible from the seat

I started with a tank which I used only a section of the two outer shells

everything else was fabbed using polished stainless

so if you like metal arts and crafts and can make metal stick together

you can make many things happen even if you don't own an English wheel and planishing hammer



good luck
 

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zr, I'm working on caffing an '82 CM250 C. I'm sure we're going to be running into some of the same problems along the way. I threw a pair of drag bars with a 2" pullback on for now because clipons and clubmans would bash the tank. But my next two mods are going to be new fuel tank and the seat/rear fender conversion. Keep me posted!
 

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sounds like you are going to fit in just fine here. This also sounds a lot like my project, though it is two totally different bikes. I wanted something "period" and historical, but i also didnt want to look like i needed to wear bell bottoms to ride the bike in style. there are lots of resources on here, good luck with the bike and one thing i learned on my build up...it always takes longer than you think. I thought when i tore mine down to the frame i would have it together in 2 months! but i only get to work on my bike 1.5 days a week, and some of those days, i couldn't "do" anything because i was waiting for my painted parts to dry! but just be patient because all that time i took to paint everything, is paying off now!
 

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Thanks, closest thing to an offspring I have although a couple of my fbed bikes are wanting to be written in the will. I blew up the tranny last year when I broke 100 mph on it and was very proud to have done it.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Well done on breaking 100! Question on rearsets, should I go new or try and find a good set off a modern rocket?
 

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fzr600 controls are what you want. Get thee to eBay.
 

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When I got this bike the controls and the highly bizarre JD green with Whacko blue paint scheme came with it

I do not know from whence the controls originate but I'd guess something mid 90's

I didn't like the "mounting" attempt since nothing was square true nor did the fasteners square up and they there was this matter of the nuts fighting the whole/hole ugly mess on the back side

Here it is shown after I made a link rod from stainless bar stock



the other side and it really looks innocent and ok enough but it was really bad



so I got sick of it and broke out the whiz wheel



by the way, have you ever seen a goofier or sillier folding kicker?

I molested that brand new yet totally stupid part with extreme prejudice

got both sides finished nice and smooth



anyhow, I was thinking about how much I like to drill holes, spinning up threaded bungs, and even welding

so I did





they finished out acceptable and I'm much happier with the very solid mounting of them

good luck and thanks on the hunnert

btw...... if you end up facing mounting something like this

there are easier ways to do it, I could have much more easily welded threaded or unthreaded tabs to the tubing and not had to fuss with those reasonably tedious weld joints or drilling huge holes in that thin wall tubing

In fact, I actually made some out of 3/8 steel, had them contoured to fit up to the tubing..... but the desire to penetrate something over-rode that plan and dictated the mission from that point on...
 

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oh..... well then...... I take back everything I posted
 

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Discussion Starter #16
LOL. Thanks for the input...I'll have to check the pics you posted at home - damn government computers!
 

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HackASaw:

About your rearset mounts there - isn't that kind of dangerous drilling big holes right through the frame like that? I talked myself out of doing that very thing you've done there...
 

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quote:Originally posted by borzwazie

HackASaw:

About your rearset mounts there - isn't that kind of dangerous drilling big holes right through the frame like that? I talked myself out of doing that very thing you've done there...
I think he welds the bungs back in in which case being mostly solid pieces it should restore a large portion of the rigidity back if not more. Plus there are frame tubes that you can drill that are not structural (like the passenger peg mounts on a cb750).
 

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it can dangerous if you are a poor engineer and welder

otherwise it can be done and the result can actually be stronger

would you like to see a featherbed with many many bungs inletted and welded in place?

then you can see how scary it is, in fact I could show you pix of these rear sets welded if you like.

have to dig up the pix
 

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yeah, that would be cool. It looked like you just drilled a through-hole and stuck a bolt through. welding a bung in sounds much better...
 
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