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Author Topic: My cb550 needs some help and I do too  (Read 273 times)

Offline lukieluke

  • Posts: 2
My cb550 needs some help and I do too
« on: Feb 20, 2017, 15:39:28 »
I'll try to keep it brief
First build
Second bike
Love the cafe racer look
On a budget
So.......
Where to begin?!?!
I have reached out to a couple shops and people I know but very few do fabrication or builds.
The few cafe shops I have talked with seem to be very busy ( it's winter and I love right outside Washington DC)

So what is some stuff I can do at home to keep this project moving?
Or is anyone out there able to help ( preferably in D.C. Area)

I'm looking and old empire cycles ripon build and I like it but it seems on the pricy end with a lot of futon fabrication

So I turned to kinetic cycles in Texas.
Love their monoshock, I think I am set on that idea
Exhaust kit is nice but with both those I'm almost running $1000

Here are some pics. All help appreciated




Sent from my iPhone using DO THE TON

Offline Tim

  • Administrator
  • Site Supporter
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  • Posts: 12611
  • ...38 when I'm on it.
    • DO THE TON
Re: My cb550 needs some help and I do too
« Reply #1 on: Feb 20, 2017, 16:07:45 »
Skip the whole mono-shock conversion.  If you want a mono shock for some reason, buy a different bike.

Put it together and get it running.

Put on some shoes
Download the Service Manual and Parts Manual - search the site - I uploaded them 10 years ago
Get some headlight clamps / bucket and get that on there
Put the front wheel back on
Find an original CB550 rear wheel - sell the 16" drop centre Harley conversion to someone building a bobber
Put some fresh AVON RoadRider tires on it (or something else - anything but Firestones)
Sort out your brakes - fresh pads, new brake lines (braided steel would be nice)
Put the wiring harness back on and connect the dots
Put the controls on the handlebars and connect the wires
Rebuild your motor - that's a good starting point given it's out of the frame and in pieces
Get a frame loop welded on the tail end of that thing - someone got happy with a sawzall
Sort out the mounting of that tank - Suzuki GS400?  Doesn't look familiar
Put the other Suzuki tank in the garbage
Sort out a rear bump seat with room for a small battery under the hump
Sort out rear brake light and signals
Ride the crap out of it


...38 when I'm on it.

Offline Dingle

  • Posts: 12
Re: My cb550 needs some help and I do too
« Reply #2 on: Feb 20, 2017, 16:17:07 »

Put on some shoes

Download the Service Manual and Parts Manual - search the site - I uploaded them 10 years ago
Skip the whole mono-shock conversion.  If you want a mono shock for some reason, buy a different bike.
Put it together and get it running.


Ride the crap out of it

These in this order.  Good luck

Offline redwillissuperman

  • Posts: 899
  • Keep it simple- engine, wheels, bars
Re: My cb550 needs some help and I do too
« Reply #3 on: Feb 20, 2017, 17:39:01 »
Skip the whole mono-shock conversion.  If you want a mono shock for some reason, buy a different bike.

Put it together and get it running.

Yes, for god's sake, skip the mono-shock. This is a useless modification, done wrong 99% of the time, and used mainly for bikes that will have pretty pictures taken in front of an industrial hipster background, and never be driven.

Could I design you a chassis with a mono-shock, yes. Would you even utilize it, no.

Offline john83

  • Site Supporter
  • *
  • Posts: 1527
Re: My cb550 needs some help and I do too
« Reply #4 on: Feb 20, 2017, 23:37:35 »
Skip the whole mono-shock conversion.  If you want a mono shock for some reason, buy a different bike.

Put it together and get it running.

Put on some shoes
Download the Service Manual and Parts Manual - search the site - I uploaded them 10 years ago
Get some headlight clamps / bucket and get that on there
Put the front wheel back on
Find an original CB550 rear wheel - sell the 16" drop centre Harley conversion to someone building a bobber
Put some fresh AVON RoadRider tires on it (or something else - anything but Firestones)
Sort out your brakes - fresh pads, new brake lines (braided steel would be nice)
Put the wiring harness back on and connect the dots
Put the controls on the handlebars and connect the wires
Rebuild your motor - that's a good starting point given it's out of the frame and in pieces
Get a frame loop welded on the tail end of that thing - someone got happy with a sawzall
Sort out the mounting of that tank - Suzuki GS400?  Doesn't look familiar
Put the other Suzuki tank in the garbage
Sort out a rear bump seat with room for a small battery under the hump
Sort out rear brake light and signals
Ride the crap out of it

All of this. Doesn't take a ton of money. Just reading stuff on this sight and patience. Luckily most cafe racer bits you could want are available for purchase at a reasonable price these days and don't have to be one off creations.

Offline hooligan998

  • Posts: 141
Re: My cb550 needs some help and I do too
« Reply #5 on: Feb 21, 2017, 01:27:55 »
And quit biting your toenails.  :o

Offline cbrianroll

  • Posts: 80
Re: My cb550 needs some help and I do too
« Reply #6 on: Feb 21, 2017, 02:02:51 »
Depending on your skills all of it. Welding is easy once the right person teaches you, same with painting. I still hate painting. Mostly it's patience and a little money and there till your done. If it were rocket science alot if people including me wouldn't do it. All the above posts nailed it. So much knowledge on here from really talented people. Good luck with your build.