1970's CB550 custom - Lazarus

dwysywd

Member
So decided to start my build thread. It isn't really a cafe bike, but more or less cafe inspired. I have a lot of moving pieces to this build. So I figured why pigeon hole it a cafe bike. I started with a 1972 CB 500. It has a long history with me. I have owned this bike 2 times and since I was 18, and I am 43 now. I originally purchased it, cleaned it up and rode it around town and what not. Then when i was 23 I sold the bike to a buddy for $400. I was starting grad school and had a new born, so I figured I could always get another bike later... and I did, several. Anyhow he rode it home that day, parked it outside and never rode it again for 6 years. I purchased it back from him 6 years later and have been working on it since 2005! I have had several visions and variations on what I thought this bike would become. But I guess as time changes so do tastes and personal interests.

After I repurchased the bike it didn't run. The motor was seized up. I had no interest in going through the whole thing again. So I started with tearing it down to the frame. Got that powder coated flat black and then that was the end of the project for like a year. Then we bought a house and I had room to work again, the house had a great barn. I started on the project again, sourcing a running mid-70s CB550 motor and donor bike. This gave me lots of extra parts. After that, I picked up a project 1989 NT650 GT. It ran great, had been dumped and the kid was selling it with lots of extra parts, mainly a complete front end that was brand new. I repaired the NT, rode it for a summer, sold it for a nice profit and kept the extra front end. Maybe it isn't the best front end, but I went up 20 years in technology and figured that couldn't be too bad. Anyhow, I had some issues with fitment but got it all worked out and started on the next item.

The wheels were rusty and looked horrible on both bikes. So I kept the ones that were not bent, snipped all the laces and ordered new stainless steel laces. I took the hubs out and painted them a nice high gloss black and had the rims powder coated flat black. I really like the contrast. Then I took the new laces and spent 3 weekends on the floor in the living room learning to lace those wheels. I did it wrong 3 times, had to undo it and redo it each time, but i finally got it. I took them into town and had the tire guy true them and put new skins on. He complemented me on my lace job saying not many people are willing to do it anymore. I really felt like I had accomplished something. Anyhow, I added Avon tires, 4x18 rear and 3.25x19 front, they were stock rims so I had to stick with sizes that would fit.

Next the seat, I took the best seat frame I had of the 2, took it apart, came up with a design, and had the pieces fabricated and welded on to the seat pan. I made a critical error in my rear section size that didn't make itself know until I had the lights ordered and they came in... they were too big. I haven't totally given up on using both the lights, but one will work, I am running no blinkers anyhow. I had a buddy who owned an upholstery shop, he lived right up the street from my house. So I took the seat into him and asked him to take my vision and make it reality. I really like how it turned out. He passed away a few years ago and now every time I see the seat it reminds me of him, he was a great guy.

The rear shocks are Progressive 11” adjustable. They were great people to deal with and I’d do business with them again. Very happy with the look and feel of the shocks.

That is the start. I am going to post some photos and I will update more when I get some more time this weekend. But this is the start of it...

Oh, and the name, my wife started calling the bike Lazarus cause I was trying to raise it from the dead and the name just kinda stuck. So here we are!

 

Hurco550

Keep er' Between the ditches
DTT SUPPORTER
DTT BOTM WINNER
Welcome to the fray.

No need to pigeon hole a bike here on dotheton. There are cafes, trackers, choppers, eduros, bratcafetrackerendurosidehackcustoms and everything in between. I personally like it that way.
 

trek97

No Custom Title
DTT BOTM WINNER
A neat story and will be fun to see the progress.
Welcome to DTT dude.
 

dwysywd

Member
Advanced Trail Calculator

https://www.rbracing-rsr.com/rakeandtrail.html

Not sure if you have ever used this site to calculate trail, but I have been reading a lot about it concerning Frankenhonda and a few other builds. So here are the details and the link takes you to the calculator page, just scroll all the way to the bottom.


Front Tire 19 inches
Diameter of front tire. 21" front typically 27.60". 19" front typically 26.10". 16" front typically 25.30". Hayabusa front 120/70x17 23.61".

Rake 26 degrees
Steering Neck Rake: Softail 31 to33 deg. FXRS models 29 deg. FXLR 31 deg. Evo Dyna FXD/DX/DXT 28 deg. Evo Dyna FXDL/DWG 32 deg. Evo FLH 26 deg. Sportster 29.6 deg. Twin Cam Wide Glide 34 deg. Choppers 36 deg to 45 deg. FLH series 26 deg. V-Rod 34 deg. Early Hayabusa 24.1 deg.

Triple Clamp Offset 1.25 inches
Distance from center of top of steering neck to centerline of top of fork tubes. Typically in the range of 2.4". V-Rod 2.0". FLH series have a negative offset ( Enter -2.455")

Fork Length 31 inches
Length from to top of the fork tubes to the centerline of the axle. Harley forks are in the 30", 32", 34" or longer range. Length will not change trail if the triple trees are not raked. FLH Series 27.75". V-Rod 30". Hayabusa forks are 28.5".

Triple Tree Rake 0 degrees
For standard triple trees enter 0 degrees: The FXDWG uses 3 degree trees; V-Rod uses 4 degree trees; FLH series use 5 degree trees. For chassis that have been raked to 40 degrees or more, and too much trail is present, Raked Triple Trees are necessary. Enter the degrees of rake, typically 3, 5, or 7 degrees.

Note: Trail cannot be a negative number as this will adversely affect handling unless you are building a shopping cart. Typical trail figures are between 4 and 6 inches. Various Harley models have the following trail figures: FXR 4.22". Softail 5.0" to 5.8". Dyna Models 4.1" to 5.1". Dyna Twin Cam Wide Glide 5.2". Sportster 4.6". FLH models 6.2". V-Rod 3.87". Early Hayabusa 3.8".

Trail in Inches 3.24"
 

dwysywd

Member
So here is an example of the tail lights I planned to use on the build. I miscalculated the diameter of the chrome bezels for 2 lights next to each other and I am too big to put them both on the tail of the bike. But I will still use one, maybe I can make a way for both to work by trimming the vanity rings.
 

Attachments

doc_rot

Oh the usual... I bowl, I drive around...
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You need to put in the tire diameter not the wheel diameter in the calc.
 

dwysywd

Member
doc_rot said:
You need to put in the tire diameter not the wheel diameter in the calc.
Thanks, I missed that part! I’ll do it right now

When I correct for tire diameter it makes the trail 4.97 inches
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dwysywd

Member
The Jimbonaut said:
^ that's awesome! Thunderbirds Are Go!!!
Thanks Jimbo, I think that finally diving into DTT has sparked me to do something more with this bike besides let it collect dust. I am working on mock up and then I will tear it all down and clean, polish, clean some more and then I can reinstall. I’ve had it in pieces for the better part of 15 years. I need to get it all mocked up again.


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teazer

Well-Known Member
DTT BOTM WINNER
Scorpion sting in the tail. Sorry dude, that tail light is all sorts of wrong in terms of matching other style elements - IMHO.

"Thunderbirds". That takes me back. Way back. Thunderbird 2 was the best...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HkVuIRjoMhY
 

dwysywd

Member
teazer said:
Scorpion sting in the tail. Sorry dude, that tail light is all sorts of wrong in terms of matching other style elements -IMHO
That’s all good. I see your point. I’ve penciled this so many times, I’m gonna run with it for now. If it looks hideous when I’m done, the best news is it is an easy unbolt 2 nuts and wire up a new light. Maybe you will be surprised. Like many things here on DTT things like this are exactly why I won’t call it a cafe anything...cause it’s really not. And really, Thanks for the feedback. I do appreciate other people’s point of view on this.


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dwysywd

Member
So, not much to update except that I got buried in a maintenance project on my Grand Cherokee that ate up ALL of my free time this weekend. So, I have a 2014 Grand Cherokee Diesel with 121000 miles, it was due for an oil change on the 10s and I decided to do the fuel filters on the 10s as well. Dealership wanted $190 for the LOF and $200 for the fuel filter service, I purchased the goods for around $105 total OTD, and net savings was $285. Then my rear brakes started squeaking, and called the dealership for a quote, $400. I was OTD on parts $100 again, minus the lube (LOL), paid for brake lube and some anti seize ($10), and another net savings of $300-ish. It felt great to get this work done myself. The LOF and Fuel Filter took me about 30 min b/c it was my first time with this Jeep (Just purchased it from my brother in Dec), and the brakes took about 2 hours, again b/c my first time and I was given the wrong parts when I initially purchased the rotors. So, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday are shaping up to finish my trailer project and get back to the bike.

To explain "trailer project": so I purchased a nice 5x8 cargo trailer in great shape. I was mounting a wheel chock (HF special like the photo above) in the trailer. I had plans to insulate the trailer. It will serve triple service, motorcycle trailer, hunting trailer and temporary base camp in MT when I hunt this fall. So it is getting the whole outfit, insulation, shore power for generator, led light, 110v plugs, camper door and small air heater that runs on a cool timer (webasto heater). It should take me about 3 days, leaving me Saturday to start work below on the bike.
 

dwysywd

Member
Speaking of the bike, I think one of the worst feelings is not knowing what to do next. Because I took so long to get to this point, I don't really know what cadence is next. Feedback is welcome here. My plan is as follows, mainly because I don't know what to do but do something:
1) fab up a grab bar out of some flat stock that will mount to the existing holes in my seat sides (see photo) to mount my tail light to it. That way if I really don't like the look of the torpedo light, I can swap it out easily without having to monkey with the seat and drilling holes in my upholstery.
2) clean the engine and hoist it back into place. Dirty from storage and whatever... time to clean it again
3) remove the starter from the engine, going to stick with kick start for the moment I think
4) Mount the tank and seat
5) Mount the clipons
6) PROPERLY mount the front caliper with the brackets/spacers I had cut
7) mount the carbs
8 ) mount cables and make sure everything is moving all right
9) secure wheels and shocks (only hand tight right now)
10) head and tail lights, cameras and action... start electrical wiring job
11)WTF am I missing, I am sure there is a lot! LOL
12) rear sets need to be figured out, I have some "ideas" based on some photos of other bikes I have looked at

I am not trying to over simplify this list, just trying to develop a punch list so when I know I have an hour or 2 I can just put some time into doing something.
 

adventurco

Nick Ol' Eye
DTT BOTM WINNER
I'd say get your tank and seat mounted, handlebars set up and footpegs in position. Then work out the details from there.

I ditched the kickstarter on my 360 and I probably wouldn't do it again. It makes tuning a PITA.
 

Jimbonaut

Well-Known Member
DTT SUPPORTER
I know the feeling - I think that what changes the list from being an overwhelming pile of work to a succession of cool little projects is deadline. If you've got a deadline then no doubt the list could be daunting - and at times a headf#ck. But if there's no time constraints (or if you ignore them!), then you can just do the jobs one at a time and enjoy them. Grip it and rip it.
 

dwysywd

Member
advCo said:
I'd say get your tank and seat mounted, handlebars set up and footpegs in position. Then work out the details from there.

I ditched the kickstarter on my 360 and I probably wouldn't do it again. It makes tuning a PITA.
thanks, I will move up tank, seat, clips and then rears sets on the list. Next, I was going to keep the kick starter and ditch the electric start. Is that what you meant? I plan to keep the kick start.

The Jimbonaut said:
I know the feeling - I think that what changes the list from being an overwhelming pile of work to a succession of cool little projects is deadline. If you've got a deadline then no doubt the list could be daunting - and at times a headf#ck. But if there's no time constraints (or if you ignore them!), then you can just do the jobs one at a time and enjoy them. Grip it and rip it.
timeline, I wanted to get to vintage days at mid-Ohio this year July 5-7, 2019.
I have always wanted to go so this is my timeline for now. But if I don’t make it I’m out nothing.


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adventurco

Nick Ol' Eye
DTT BOTM WINNER
dwysywd said:
thanks, I will move up tank, seat, clips and then rears sets on the list. Next, I was going to keep the kick starter and ditch the electric start. Is that what you meant? I plan to keep the kick start.
timeline, I wanted to get to vintage days at mid-Ohio this year July 5-7, 2019.
I have always wanted to go so this is my timeline for now. But if I don’t make it I’m out nothing.
Derp. Yeah. I meant I ditched the electric start. It meant I could run a slightly smaller battery, but after kicking that bike over probably 1000+ times while troubleshooting, the next custom I build I'll just account for the bigger battery LOL.
 

LightsOut

Member
Do you plan on creating a hoop/subframe to support the seat? ...and will you be painting the frame afterwards? If so I’d do everything frame related first: subframe, seat mount, taillight, foot pegs, exhaust hanger, electrics/battery box etc. Then paint the frame and start reassembling the rest.


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dwysywd

Member
LightsOut said:
Do you plan on creating a hoop/subframe to support the seat? ...and will you be painting the frame afterwards? If so I’d do everything frame related first: subframe, seat mount, taillight, foot pegs, exhaust hanger, electrics/battery box etc. Then paint the frame and start reassembling the rest.


Sent from my iPhone using DO THE TON
Frame is already done. The seat is all welded and supported. So, I can mount the light right to the seat hoop and it won't interfere with the frame. I don't need it to support the seat. Thanks for the tips.
 

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