I recently came across a rare find and after years of owning various scoots (always Hondas), and drooling over some of the custom jobs i've seen out there I decided to finally commit to taking on my first project! I am by no means a bike builder, and in fact after picking up my prize CB450 the second thing I did was invest in about $500 worth of tools to get this started.
Hereís what she looked like after a little tear down: ..overall not in bad shape (11k miles on the speedo)
Iíve never owned a cafť bike, except for a 50cc Zundapp Famel XF17 during a stint in Europe back in the 80ís, itís exactly like this one here, except mine is actually still tucked away in my grandfathers barn where i left her.
Those bikes were light, quick and could turn onto a dirt road like it was asphalt. So thatís what Iím going after with this project, light, low, and fast! Although to get real light Iíd have to lose lots of the oem parts and ultimately lose the classic cafť look and feel, so for the time being Iím focusing on low and fast! I plan on dropping her about 3 inches, and to compensate for the weight issue Iíll try for more power by overboring. ...although I wonít know to what size till I find some pistons.
I've already dropped the engine at a buddies shop to break down while i look for the parts and dropped off the frame and other misc parts to be blasted and powder coated. In the meantime Iíve accidentally taken up the hobby of polishing!!! I started with the forks which looked like this:
And after using a 15 year old porter cable 3500rpm electric drill, a wire wheel, sandpaper, some buffing wheels, and a few beers, it ended up like this:
Not perfect, but it was close. I tried the rear wheel and a few other parts but quickly learned this was tedious, dirty, and hazardous to your ears! Tedious because the few parts below took about 20 hours! Dirty because there is the appearance of permanent mascara on my eyes lids from the aluminum dust, (the stuff is impossible to get off!) And apparently the hours of the same constant frequency from the ringing of the drill tends to leave the ears with an annoying ďsensitivityĒ which doesnít go away. Nevertheless, I'm pretty satisfied with the result.
I have a few more parts and the front wheel to do, but am now using goggles, a mask, ear phones hooked up to my iPod, and on top of those I have a good pair of padded ear protection. ..live and learn I guess!
I plan on having a rolling chassis in about a week (hopefully), then I can begin the seat and tank mock-ups...got an idea for the color of the tins and design of the tank, but the seat is still in the air, what's holding me up is whether to do solo or dual, i'll post my progress as i go but in the meantime if anyone has any suggestions on where I could find oversized pistons and new cam parts I'd be grateful, they're proving harder to find than anticipated. Cheers, Herm