CB350, homemade.

1chrisb

New Member
So I've been wanting to buy a bike for quite a while, now I finally have to job to support it, garage to house it, and time to burn on it! I picked up a 73 CB350 the week after Thanksgiving after months and months of searching craigslist. $200 and around 30,000 miles, but she started right up. I started tearing into her 10 minutes later. >:] She's a bit dirty, (looks like the prev owner lubed the chain with motor oil and drove down a dirt road in August) but I'm confident she'll purdy right up! Being winter in Iowa, I should have several months yet to work on it. So far, I've stripped down to parts, started clean up, built a sandblasting cabinet, and bought new(ish) forks. Started the paint stripping process, and realized my air compressor isn't *quite* enough for continuous blasting. Does the job though. Found a small crack in the frame underneath the left passenger peg bracket, but I got a guy at work to weld that up for me to the tune of a box of donuts. :)

My plans are to give it the full cafe treatment. Paint everything myself, build seatpan (and hopefully tank) out of fiberglass, upholster seat (already have the leather) myself, shave unneeded steel off the frame, clip-ons, LED signals (came up with my own tails since no one makes what I want), rearsets, etc... Haven't decided yet if I want to get rid of the starter, half just because I love the idea I have for the switch. One thing I DON'T want is a visible battery, so I will probably put it in the bump)

I am open to all ideas as well!

No pictures to upload yet, but they will be coming soon!
 

1chrisb

New Member
Also, hoping not to tear into the engine too much. I plan on replacing gaskets and such, as I have noticed a lot of RTV gasket maker oozed out of some covers, and I'd much rather have legit gaskets under there. Also plan on bead blasting the engine to shine it up real nice like, so taking covers off will aid that process.
 

Fox

I've still got those patches...
This sounds awesome. Will definitely be following the build. Excited to see what you do with it. Would love to see some pictures.

Can you talk more about making your own taillight? How do you plan to do that? Might be something I'm interested in.
 

Cloyd

If it feels good....do it....
1chrisb said:
Also, hoping not to tear into the engine too much. I plan on replacing gaskets and such, as I have noticed a lot of RTV gasket maker oozed out of some covers, and I'd much rather have legit gaskets under there. Also plan on bead blasting the engine to shine it up real nice like, so taking covers off will aid that process.
I see you have the disease too. Im right there with you. So many ideas and not enough time. Make sure you take pictures every step of the way because thats what I have done for all my bikes and its really cool to look at them to see how far it has come. Also I wanna see them. Good luck
 

1chrisb

New Member
Yogi: I am ambitious (and sometimes overly optimistic) , but I've come to expect that from myself. :D

Cloyd: I agree, I enjoy lots of pictures of builds, but alas, I haven't taken overly many myself, for two reasons: 1) I don't want to get my camera dirty, nor wash my hands every time I want to take a pic, and 2) I just get so wrapped up in it I forget! I have entirely too much fun.

I'll try to do better, I promise!

Fox: Aw come on, man, I can't give away all my secrets RIGHT away! You'll just have to wait and see once I get all the materials! Unfortunately, that means I need to get the seat done first. I have everything I need either in hand, or on its way, other than the actual fiberglass. I need to get on that.

Of course, being an engineer, I immediately started importing frame geometry into CAD, to design my seat and tank on and check for clearances/fit ahead of time. I could MAAAAAAAYBE throw up a render of what it should look like when done, but I prefer keeping it in suspense! ;D
 

1chrisb

New Member
Also, it's a lot better than what I originally wanted: frame powdercoated to look like copper, and brushed SS tank/hump. When you look at that, this is really quite the compromise!
 

Fox

I've still got those patches...
1chrisb said:
Fox: Aw come on, man, I can't give away all my secrets RIGHT away! You'll just have to wait and see once I get all the materials! Unfortunately, that means I need to get the seat done first. I have everything I need either in hand, or on its way, other than the actual fiberglass. I need to get on that.

Of course, being an engineer, I immediately started importing frame geometry into CAD, to design my seat and tank on and check for clearances/fit ahead of time. I could MAAAAAAAYBE throw up a render of what it should look like when done, but I prefer keeping it in suspense! ;D
Haha alright alright! Can't blame me for asking though. Maybe you can give me a sneak peek though? I'm looking at getting tails right now and would like the option to make my own. Cool if not, but again, can't blame me for asking!

Now that you dropped that you're an engineer, I'm really excited. It's nuts I'm this curious and I haven't even seen a picture of the bike. Give us SOMETHING!
 

1chrisb

New Member
Unfortunately, I don't have access to a state of the art machine shop with all the funs toys like CNC and water jet and laser. I work for a large ag equipment company, which has a darn process and tracking for EVERYTHING.
 

Fox

I've still got those patches...
That. Is. SO COOL. I'd give a pretty penny for one of those...
 

1chrisb

New Member
My plan is to have the back of the tank fit into the curve in front (which, I admit, was made by cutting a piece of cardboard to width on the frame, sitting on it, finding a comfy position, and tracing the outline of my crotch). I'll make sure not to make it too tight though. ;)

I originally thought of the old beehive glass taillights, but the smallest I could find were 2". Real glass woulda been real cool, but I think I would have had to make them myself! Then I was thinking more bullet shaped, which, coincidentally enough, is exactly like what was on the '59 Cadillac. They also make frenching kits for said taillights. But I didn't want mine to be any more than 1", to keep the scale better. I saw a few pics of bikes with actual '59 Caddy taillights, and it did NOT look good. Way too big. I will say that I'm using standard 1157 red bulbs, but I'm not going to give away what my lens is yet. ;)
 

1chrisb

New Member
PICS.

Here is the bike mostly as I got it. Realized partway into teardown that I better take some before shots. Dirty, but mine!



I already took off the awful rack/backrest monstrosity, and rear signals.
Also had a gaudy looking pipe bolted to the front down tube I'm assuming were either highway pegs, drop protection, or both. Off they came.

This picture is a bit dark, but front shot. You can see the rack and backrest behind, on the floor.


Dirty bum shot.



Seat, tank, gauges, lights, fenders removed.





Tank, after a halfhearted attempt at paint stripping.



Looks reeeeeeeally rusty. Also, I may be wrong, but that's not a stock CB tank, is it?

Engine pulled, sitting on a small furniture dolly for easy wheelin'. Did some preliminary cleaning, but this thing is dir-TAY.



Motor work will most likely wait until after the rolling chassis is done, mainly so I'm not tearing into too much at once, unless something comes up and I have nothing else to work on, or decide to do polishing all at once (along with 3-tree and forks, etc.)

I have more, but they're on my phone, I haven't loaded them onto my computer yet, and it's bedtime.
 

1chrisb

New Member
Got all the parts in for my taillights, and I just have to say, I think it's going to look GREAT! I've even had more ideas racing through my head since I got the super bright 1157 LEDs. One question though...are there any regulations or rules about DOT-approved taillights, or requiring a certain amount of taillight area?
 

1chrisb

New Member
That's what I thought about the tank, but what makes the forks CL? Just curious. Had to get new ones (from CB360) anyway because those are unsalvagably rusty/pitted.
 

Fox

I've still got those patches...
Very cool. Looking forward to seeing that taillight in real time. Best of luck on it.
 

1chrisb

New Member
Unfortunately, I'm being forced to reveal my hand ahead of schedule due to new ideas! I need some opinions people!

Here is a new rendering of my latest brainwave.



The light will be provided by bright-ass LEDs in the ends of a bent acrylic tube. The back side will be roughed up and painted body color, then set into a slot cut into the fiberglass. More layers will be built up on the inside of the seat, with the two ends of each light (or one, if so be the end result) containing a LED. The outside will be cut flush with the surface of the fiberglass through the thickest section, then sanded smooth. This should give a good light effect, if all works out.

My other idea, so you can compare it and vote which you like better, can be seen above, where I will take aforementioned bright-ass LEDs, and shine them through a pair of C7 christmas tree light bulbs, cut at the widest point, and frenched into the bump to resemble miniature bullet/59 Caddy taillights.

The good (and bad, lol) thing about the acrylic taillight is I can make it in any shape I want. Wide V/Chevron, curved V (like a simple bird in a painting), upside down curved V, parallel vertical or horizontal lines, or something like I have modeled here.

So, what's it gonna be? Any thoughts, comments, or concerns?
 

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