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Author Topic: Honda CX 500 1st Café Racer Build (from the UK)  (Read 5141 times)

Offline Chill

  • Posts: 18
Honda CX 500 1st Café Racer Build (from the UK)
« on: May 11, 2013, 07:54:17 »
Honda CX 500 Café Build


I've been wanting to do a Café project for a while and finally decided on a CX500 after discovering a barn find, a 1981 CX500B (last of the twin shock models) . She's a bit rough cosmetically but the frame is solid with no rust and the engine runs as sweet as a nut. Low mileage at 16,000 - that's an average of about 500 a year.

The plan is to build this with my son and teach him mechanics (we did a 2 stroke scooter last year but time to do a proper bike  ;D ), and then ride it to the 2014 IoM TT - which means it's going to have to be a two seater Café racer (it's going to be a challenge to get the seat to look right scratch ).

I have some ideas on how the build will go, but will make a lot of it up as I go along. Whilst it's never going to be a sports bike, I'm going to try and improve the handling and make sure she can do a ton.

Here she is



I've already started ripping her down (looks like I need to clean the garage out  :lol




Offline Chill

  • Posts: 18
Re: Honda CX 500 1st Café Racer Build (from the UK)
« Reply #1 on: May 11, 2013, 09:19:03 »
I have already started ripping her down (by the looks of it I also need to tidy the garage  ;D ).



I'm probably going to do this in an unconventional way by rebuilding the front (wheel, suspension, brakes and clocks), then the rear (wheel, suspension, swing arm etc), the engine & battery relocation, and then finally paint and seat.

Here's a close up of the front wheel (a bit of work required)



Offline Chill

  • Posts: 18
Shocks
« Reply #2 on: May 11, 2013, 09:25:23 »
I was planning of using some Hagon shocks, but the bike came fitted with some lovely Marzocchi Strada piggy back shocks. These were standard fitment on late 70's/early 80s Ducati's, Hesketh's and even the last of the Meriden Triumph Bonneville's, so they have some pedigree.

I need to get a rebuild kit, repaint the body, and probably get the springs powder coated (unless I can source some new original springs).







It also came fitted with a Motad 2 into 1 exhaust, which is in mint condition. This is a bit quiet and I prefer the look of megaphone's, so this will get eBayed.



I will probably fit something like a pair of these



Offline Chill

  • Posts: 18
Fork Rebuild
« Reply #3 on: May 11, 2013, 09:32:29 »
Fork Rebuild


The forks were in reasonable condition, but to try and improve the handing of the bike, I have stripped them down and rebuild them. The were tested and found to be straight. Whist rebuilding them, they were fitted with some Hagon progressive springs, some 15 wt Silkolene Pro RSF 15 suspension fluid (a bit overkill but I had half a bottle lying around) and new seals.



Someone had painted the fork legs and the paint was flaking off, so they were stripped of the paint and the bare alloy polished up.



Whilst I had the forks apart, everything was soaked and thoroughly cleaned in a mix of AFT fluid and acetone. Fitted some gaiters as well.



These were then finished by adding some lovely custom made alloy headlamp brackets (quality items that are adjustable if you have replaced the head bearings with taper roller ones - and even come fitted with O rings to create a nice seal), I managed to source from caferacerkits.co.uk. These managed to cover the slight pitting that was on the top of the fork tubes.


Offline Chill

  • Posts: 18
Front Wheel Refurb
« Reply #4 on: May 11, 2013, 09:36:30 »
Front Wheel Refurb

I thought about converting the wheels to spoked ones, but the standard fit Comstar's are fairly iconic (one of the 1st tubeless wheels fitted to a production bike), so these were refurbed.

It would have been too tricky to take them back to the bare allow and polish them up (plus they may look a bit too bling, so they were repainted with some alloy wheel paint).

Whilst I was at it I changed the wheel bearings and seals. They did have some fairly new (but rubbish) Koyo bearings fitted but some clown had damaged one of the dust shields hammering them in. They were fitted with some quality SKF bearings, and to prevent any damage I made my own bearing tool from some threaded bar, some suitably sizes washers and a couple of nuts.

Having measured the discs, they appeared fairly new. To improve the looks and wet weather braking, I got the disks drilled by the very helpful John @ the wingovations.com Honda Goldwing fan web site, who very kindly created a template for CX500 discs for me - so any other CX500 owner that wants their discs drilling drop John a line.



Offline jakeschmidt

  • Posts: 17
  • 2007 Triumph Bonneville Black
Re: Honda CX 500 1st Café Racer Build (from the UK)
« Reply #5 on: May 11, 2013, 10:00:10 »
looks like you're making some good progress alaready. awesome that you're teaching the kid we got to keep this passion going. look forward to watching this build.
“On my tombstone they will carve, "IT NEVER GOT FAST ENOUGH FOR ME.”
― Hunter S. Thompson

Offline Chill

  • Posts: 18
Taper Roller Headset Upgrade
« Reply #6 on: May 11, 2013, 10:08:25 »
Taper Roller Headset Upgrade

Whilst the forks were off, I decided to upgrade the headset bearings with some taper roller bearings. I prefer Timken roller bearings, but having measured the headset tube, I found that I would require non standard bearings, so I had to settle for some AllBalls racing bearings (which to be fair look half decent quality), which came with some nice dust shields (better than the stock Honda one's).



It was a nightmare getting the old lower bearing cup off the steering stem - I had to resort to sticking the stem in the freezer and then heating up the bearing cup before I could tap it off with a drift.



The new bearings were smothered in some quality Rocol Sapphire bearing grease (probably a bit overkill for this application, as it is usually used for bearings revolving several thousand times a minute in a hostile environment).






The lower bearings were tapped on using a drift (on top of the thin spacer supplied with the bearing kit.



The bearing cups were pressed into the head tube with my home made bearing press (I have seen these damaged when hammered into place).


Offline Chill

  • Posts: 18
Re: Honda CX 500 1st Café Racer Build (from the UK)
« Reply #7 on: May 11, 2013, 10:12:54 »
looks like you're making some good progress alaready. awesome that you're teaching the kid we got to keep this passion going. look forward to watching this build.

Cheers buddy. He really enjoys helping and it keeps him off his Xbox  ;D. In fact he now wants to be a truck mechanic when he leaves school. Plus he is really looking forward to watching the TT races next year and ride the TT course on mad Sunday.

Offline jakeschmidt

  • Posts: 17
  • 2007 Triumph Bonneville Black
Re: Honda CX 500 1st Café Racer Build (from the UK)
« Reply #8 on: May 11, 2013, 10:15:44 »
thats awesome. funny i'm a diesel truck mechanic.
“On my tombstone they will carve, "IT NEVER GOT FAST ENOUGH FOR ME.”
― Hunter S. Thompson

Offline Chill

  • Posts: 18
Re: Honda CX 500 1st Café Racer Build (from the UK)
« Reply #9 on: May 11, 2013, 11:08:41 »
thats awesome. funny i'm a diesel truck mechanic.

Spooky, plus one of my buddies has a Bonneville like yours.