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Author Topic: I call her Cattywumpus  (Read 8134 times)

Offline Mcgoo

  • Posts: 123
I call her Cattywumpus
« on: May 29, 2014, 11:31:16 »
Hi,
I picked up a CM400c in pretty decent condition late last year I know these bikes are not big favorites, but I did get it cheap, which was key for me.  It ran quite well before the winter - a bit "gutless" but not awful. 

The actual direction I was looking to take with the bike was a bit undefined when I bought it.  I liked the overall aesthetics of the bike well enough as stock, but wanted to change some things to improve them, not just for the sake of it. I love the looks of a well executed café or bobber build - but I wasn't sure this bike was the best candidate for either - and I didn't want to butcher a good sound bike through inexperience. I was also limited by my surroundings and physical location. I live in Boston... not near it, but in it... in a one-bed apartment... with no garage or workshop, and nowhere to pitch a car-port tent to work under... What I do have though, thanks to a good friendly parking garage operator, is the exclusive use of the corner of a public parking garage ... the dead corner where no car can park because of the column layout.. I have that for bike storage and "workshop". Not exactly ideal conditions for custom bike building - so I have kept the alterations to the bike to a minimum (no welding and frame cutting), but have still come up with a nice looking project bike.  It's the first bike I've got stuck into and I've learned a lot along the way.

The intended use for the bike also changed midstream... Initially it was going to be a runaround bike for me, but 2 things changed that - 1) My girlfriend expressed an interest in actually riding bikes instead of being stuck on the back, and 2) I bought myself a Bonneville.  So this bike, while it will still be a great runaround bike for me, will also need to double as a safe/solid first bike for my GF to learn on.

This is a couple of shots of the original condition of the bike...






« Last Edit: Jul 15, 2014, 11:40:30 by Mcgoo »
1972 CL450 (project) http://www.dotheton.com/forum/index.php?topic=64364.0
1981 CM400c (project) http://www.dotheton.com/forum/index.php?topic=60532.0
2013 Triumph Bonneville
1978 KZ1000 - Pending Project

Offline Mcgoo

  • Posts: 123
I call her Cattywumpus
« Reply #1 on: May 29, 2014, 13:47:55 »


The restoration was made challenging mainly because of  the location I was working in - it soon became clear that all bearings were notchy, all grease was turned to rubber, most rubber bits were cracked, a mouse lived in the air filter - but the engine was clean on the inside, compression was 182 in both cylinders and there was a decent foundation to work with.



1972 CL450 (project) http://www.dotheton.com/forum/index.php?topic=64364.0
1981 CM400c (project) http://www.dotheton.com/forum/index.php?topic=60532.0
2013 Triumph Bonneville
1978 KZ1000 - Pending Project

Offline Maritime

  • DTT SUPPORTER
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  • Posts: 9903
Re: I call her Cattywumpus
« Reply #2 on: May 29, 2014, 13:53:22 »
good start
The GL Rebirth: http://www.dotheton.com/forum/index.php?topic=68337.0
CX500 Low budget Bobber : http://www.dotheton.com/forum/index.php?topic=43617.0
"Beer makes you feel the way you ought to feel without beer" -Henry Lawson
"Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy." - Thomas Jefferson

Offline Mcgoo

  • Posts: 123
I call her Cattywumpus
« Reply #3 on: May 29, 2014, 14:06:34 »
Thanks!
This is what I thought of as the "point of no return" pulling parts off and repainting the frame... I used brushed on Por-15 on the frame, both as a rust inhibitor and because rattle can would have been a problem in my "workshop".



After getting her Rolling again - I tried some shorty 11" shocks and a single seat... I quite like the look of it, and can imagine with the subframe cut appropriately and a bobbed fender out back that it could be a nice bobber.  It was right about now that it became more of a bike for my lady to learn on though so I shelved anything radical either for a different day or a different bike.  Besides I really need a better workshop if I'm going to get into welding etc.

1972 CL450 (project) http://www.dotheton.com/forum/index.php?topic=64364.0
1981 CM400c (project) http://www.dotheton.com/forum/index.php?topic=60532.0
2013 Triumph Bonneville
1978 KZ1000 - Pending Project

Offline Mcgoo

  • Posts: 123
Re: I call her Cattywumpus
« Reply #4 on: May 29, 2014, 14:11:37 »


I also cleaned up the cockpit considerably - lost the big idiot light and gauges in favor of something a bit less imposing - replaced the headlight bucket and indicators.  I also replaced the big loopy bars with some chrome euro bars...
1972 CL450 (project) http://www.dotheton.com/forum/index.php?topic=64364.0
1981 CM400c (project) http://www.dotheton.com/forum/index.php?topic=60532.0
2013 Triumph Bonneville
1978 KZ1000 - Pending Project

Offline Maritime

  • DTT SUPPORTER
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  • Posts: 9903
Re: I call her Cattywumpus
« Reply #5 on: May 29, 2014, 14:24:10 »
Nice and clean, I put the same euro bars on mine, huge improvement in control over the mini apes from the factory.
The GL Rebirth: http://www.dotheton.com/forum/index.php?topic=68337.0
CX500 Low budget Bobber : http://www.dotheton.com/forum/index.php?topic=43617.0
"Beer makes you feel the way you ought to feel without beer" -Henry Lawson
"Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy." - Thomas Jefferson

Offline namelesspenguin

  • Posts: 49
Re: I call her Cattywumpus
« Reply #6 on: May 29, 2014, 14:39:35 »
looks good. keep up the good work.

Offline Mcgoo

  • Posts: 123
Re: I call her Cattywumpus
« Reply #7 on: May 29, 2014, 15:55:03 »
It was right around this point that I decided to ditch the stock wiring harness altogether. Well... except for the ignition side of the harness.. I kept that side as is for now - no need to go digging into the alternator if I don't have to, and the CDI and starter are sound. I haven't got to this bit quite yet, but will likely go for the GM coil mod that some folks have done with these bikes
.
I've done a huge amount to reading and thinking and researching over the past few months, and this site is a fantastic resource! Thanks so much - also HondaTwins is full of good advice and wit.

So... the wiring harness ... ordered a custom harness from a company called Sparckmoto. You may have heard of them - Sonreir - Senior Moderator here - made up my new harness - simple and clean - does all it needs to without all the redundant wiring that is on the stock harness. Matt is a super cool guy who asks all the right questions up front then gives advice willingly when it come to fitting to the bike. Anyway.. I'm not one to do a lot of pitches unless it is well earned - look into them if you need a harness... http://www.sparckmoto.com/...

so.. with all of the stock electrics out of the way I decided shift the electric tray somewhere under the seat.. but with no welding access I tried to fashion something with sheet steel - cut with tin snips, and either JB welded or bolted together....
that didn't work...
so....
Fiberglass....









I used a black dye to color the resin before applying it so I wouldn't have to worry about painting it after the fact.
1972 CL450 (project) http://www.dotheton.com/forum/index.php?topic=64364.0
1981 CM400c (project) http://www.dotheton.com/forum/index.php?topic=60532.0
2013 Triumph Bonneville
1978 KZ1000 - Pending Project

Offline Mcgoo

  • Posts: 123
Re: I call her Cattywumpus
« Reply #8 on: May 29, 2014, 15:59:27 »
I'd never tried it before so Youtube was my friend for "glassing lessons" it went fairly smoothly - I used lots of paste wax on the metal tape (which was covering a cardboard mold). I left it for 3 days to set and it was hard when I came back to it - then I stripped all the cardboard etc. of from it and trimmed the ragged edges with tin snips... looks good now... I can easily fit my solenoid, small battery (8-cell antigravity), fuse, flasher relay into this space - the Reg/Rec is bolted to the underside with rubber spacers to protect it from the vibrations.
1972 CL450 (project) http://www.dotheton.com/forum/index.php?topic=64364.0
1981 CM400c (project) http://www.dotheton.com/forum/index.php?topic=60532.0
2013 Triumph Bonneville
1978 KZ1000 - Pending Project

Offline Mcgoo

  • Posts: 123
Re: I call her Cattywumpus
« Reply #9 on: May 29, 2014, 16:07:53 »
I decided against the shorty shocks in the previous picture when I made the decision to make this a suitable bike for my GF. I found these sweet shocks on www.tecbikeparts.com when I was researching replacement shocks for the Bonny.. They primarily do triumph related parts but also some shocks for these old Honda's that we love so much. The US distributer is here...http://www.tecbikepartsusa.com... The shocks I got were set up to fit a CB400F - which I believe has the same stock shocks as the CM400c - anyway they fit easily onto the bike except I had to remove the stock helmet lock to give clearance to the remote reservoir.





I also opted for the MAC 2 into 2 exhaust - I've heard mixed reviews about this exhaust, but my options were limited - I didn't want to keep the stock system with the huge scavenging system under the bike - By removing that part the headers were too close to the front of the bike by 9 inches for a nice set of mufflers to look good.  I also couldn't fab up some pipes of my own because of my "garage" situation - so MAC was my only choice - we'll see what I think of the mufflers once I put a couple hundred miles on her - if they suck I'll replace them, but at least I have the longer headers.
1972 CL450 (project) http://www.dotheton.com/forum/index.php?topic=64364.0
1981 CM400c (project) http://www.dotheton.com/forum/index.php?topic=60532.0
2013 Triumph Bonneville
1978 KZ1000 - Pending Project