CB450 front drum conversion

stevendefense

torch cut & hammer fit
Thinking about swapping to a drum brake on the front of my 73 cb450 project. The stock disk set up is in pretty rough shape and would probably need to be replaced completely. And I also like the looks of the drum and no master cylinder on the bars.

Has anyone attempted this before?
I cant decide if I should just find a wheel and maybe use spacers to center it in the forks, or if I should look for an entire front end.
 
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The forks are different between the older CB450 and the 73 CB450. However, the drum brake was still being used on the CL scrambler models until the end of production. I would try to find a 73-74 CL450 front drum/wheel. If you can live with a 36 spoke wheel you could use the CB/CL350 front brake and it is pretty much a bolt on. A CB/CL 360 brake will also work. I have a couple of CB/CL 350/360 front hubs. Both are stripped and missing the linkage and probably the bearings. Just the hub and the brake backing plate. I'll give you one or both if you want to build a wheel. I am west of Atlanta on I-20. I will be out of town at the farm until the 27th but should be back on the 28th if something doesn't come up.
 
If you can live with a 36 spoke wheel you could use the CB/CL350 front brake and it is pretty much a bolt on. A CB/CL 360 brake will also work. I have a couple of CB/CL 350/360 front hubs. Both are stripped and missing the linkage and probably the bearings. Just the hub and the brake backing plate. I'll give you one or both if you want to build a wheel. I am west of Atlanta on I-20. I will be out of town at the farm until the 27th but should be back on the 28th if something doesn't come up.
The older CB350s had drums but the newer had disc while the CL350s had drum. Same w/ the 360; the CB had disc and the CL had drum.
 
The CB/CL 450's are pretty heavy bikes and at the very least, I'd try to find a 450 drum front brake, which is a bigger brake than the CB/CL350's. I found it pretty easy to fade the front drum on any stock CB350 I rode and can't imagine using one on a lot heavier bike. The Honda CB72/77 250 / 305 was the same brake size as the 450, but a 36 hole drum and rim. I haven't looked for one lately and have no idea on price and availability.
The easiest swap IMO, would be to find a complete earlier CB / CL 450 front fork and wheel as it should be a slam dunk bolt on, as I believe the steering head bearings were the same (you might want to check this).
Some of the vintage 450 road race guys use the early Suzuki GT750 4 leading shoe front brake, but aside from the high price these things command, they are pretty heavy even with some "remedial" machining on them and might be more brake than you need / want for the street.
Just my 2 cents worth.
Let us know what you finally decide on.
Have fun with your ride.
Patrick
 
I decided that Im going to go with CL450 parts just to make sure I have enough front brake for the bike. I did some searching on Ebay and fount a brake and wheel from a 70 CL450 that are complete and look to be in decent shape. Would that wheel work with my existing forks and axle? I know that buying the entire front end might be simpler, but Im trying to only buy what I really need.

And thanks for all the help.
 
To add to Pacomotor's coments, it's a heavy bike and drum brakes are pretty marginal, so you need the largest one you can get. I think the CL drum was smaller, but check that to be sure. We use CB72/77 or CB450 drums on our CB160 race bikes and they work really well. They fade on a 350cc race bike and are barely enough on the street with traffic the way it is and distracted drivers.

Try to find a Yamaha XS1 or Suzuki T500 or CB450 drum. 450 is 40 spokes. I don't recall what the other two are. You can probably use your existing fork legs but will need to fabricate a suitable brake stay (aka torque arm) to hold the brake in position when you use the brakes.
 
While I hate to disagree with Teazer, for a street bike I believe that a well set up drum will more than equal the stopping power of the crappy Honda single piston stock brake. The key is that the drum is well set up, which is not as easy as just bolting on a used front wheel. I have raced on both the stock single piston setup and on Honda dls drum brakes and depending on the track and bike, the drum will fade much more than the disk under hard use.
 
While I hate to disagree with Teazer, ....
And yet you go ahead and do it anyway.... Just messin'.

I think you are actually adding to the same point I made but more eloquently. I said drum brakes are not that good, and you added that they have to be set up properly and you added something I didn't address and that's how poor the stock OEM disks were back then.

I hate to agree with ex119x, but I will do it anyway..... :)
 
CB/CL450 drums are 40 spoke. I'm pretty confident that a later CL450 drum will bolt to the CB350 later style fork. The fork pictured in your other thread should work fine. I have a CB750 fork with a CL350 drum wheel and it all fits nicely together.
 
Yes I do, if you get the wheel from a 1973 or later and your CB350 forks are the later style. Here are a couple of pictures of a 1972 CL350 19" drum wheel fitted to a 1975 Honda CB750 fork. The wheel fits just fine. The entire wheel including the axle is from the 1972 CL350 and the fork is a completely stock CB750. Basically the fork is the same as the later CB/CL450 in width and length. Apparently the width of the CB/CL fork and the 450/750 fork is the same.
 

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