Hey everyone. So this is my humble bike. I just started riding last summer when I caught the cafe racer bug. Before I saw a cafe I was never into bikes at all. Choppers and crotch rockets just never did it for me. Being a complete newbie to motorcycles, it has been a learning experience! I originally bought an '82 CB650 with the intentions of making it a cafe but later found out the frame isn't really suited for it without doing some welding. I stumbled across a '79 in the Columbus Craigslist (I live in Cleveland). The guy was looking to trade for a guitar, so being that I have over 20 guitars I went ahead and made the offer and got the bike. I know the CB650 is the bastard child of the CB family, but that's part of the charm of the bike to me.
Here's the bike originally.
Here's the bike the way I got it from the PO. He stretched the swingarm by 2.5". He also had stretched the clubmans by a couple inches, which I'm not quite sure why since the bars would clear the tank in their original state, but whatever. I'm going to use clip ons, so if someone wants some stretched clubmans, hit me up. Though I'm thinking they won't be too popular, haha.
The first line of business was getting the frame and engine compartment covers powder coated gloss black, though now I wish I would have done them gunmetal. The PO's paint job on the frame wasn't that great and it was pretty easy to scratch off the frame, plus I didn't like the color so it had to go. Though I must say that the paint job on the tank and seat fairing are pretty nice. I also got the carbs completely disassembled. Luckily it came with the shop manual and I was able to reassemble them with minimal hassle. The choke cable connection on the carb, which is plastic, was broken. Luckily I was able to find a metal one on eBay off of a CB750 that was a direct replacement. I also replaced the main and slow jets since I'm going to run pod filters.
After starting on the bike I realized that I was in over my head. Being new to bikes, it would probably take me a year to get this thing assembled, wired and running correctly. So I put out a cry for help on the Ohio section of DTT. I really wanted someone to help guide me on the build and not just put the thing together for me. I REALLY want to learn all I can about bikes. The member Reinhard hit me up and offered his services. He works at Pride of Cleveland (in Lakewood, oddly enough) as a mechanic working on scooters and motorcycles. Needless to say, I thought it was such a generous offer for a full-time mechanic to offer to work on my bike with me free of charge. The only requisite is that I buy the beer, which I am more than happy to oblige. I can't put into words how lucky I am to have someone that is that willing to help me. I have a lot of fun at his shop (a huge 3 car garage complete with a spray booth) wrenching, shooting the shit about bikes, drinking beer and having a good time.
I digress. So this past Tuesday was our first official work night. We greased up the swingarm and then got the engine onto the frame, which wasn't an easy task. 200+ lbs. that has to be maneuvered in just so was definitely a chore.
Here's a pic of the bike as it sits now.
I have an aluminum triple tree top and clip ons coming from DCC today. I can't wait to get them on the bike.
Sorry for so few pics. My next update will have more pics. The engine took quite a bit of time to get onto the frame, so the rest of the pics would have been of us lubing a swingarm, plotting out the engine mounts and plan of attack, and drinking beer. I want to lower the bike as much as possible while still being able to have it handle well. Eventually (probably after riding season) I'd like to paint the tank metallic silver and put knee dents in it, as well as paint the seat fairing gloss black with either no stripes or with metallic silver stripes. Mark (Reinhard on DTT) knows pretty much everything about bikes, so it's a real relief to have that knowledge right there while I'm working. I can't stress how excited I am about this project. I think about it 24/7.