CB550 Project Scruffy Racer

Had a test run earlier today, 100 metres or so....., bike ran great and the tank doesn‘t leak but the tap and one overflow do :)

indicators wired in and are actually ok

also shaped up an aluminium panel to mount a smaller rear light, based on yesterday’s Cardboard Aided Design template ....


Thats it for this weekend i think

Secondary piston is the rubber cup that you have to stretch over the rod. It keeps fluid from coming out the rof hole, plus it is needed for the pumping action.
Not much progress to report but am heading to the workshop this morning for :

forks out to fit new headlam ‘ears’ , and led headlamp
fit new rear lamp
fit new horn
refit brake master and twin disk setup
bleed brakes, planning to use gunson speedbleeder and modified original cal

in less good new the seller of the bike has ranaged on their agreement to rix or replace the Tank and Exhaust can

when i agreed to buy the bike i specifically asked if the tank leaked and the exhaust can was solid, this was confirmed but both are rotted out.
the individual i agreed this with confirmed it by email, but is no longer with the company and the owner says he’s not responsible and is not going to honor the agreement.
i’ll take them to the small claims court as i have written evidence so am confident of a win

in the meantime I’ll be needing another CB550 Tank thats solid, don’t mind repainting, and either an original end can or perhaps the Mac replacement end can if anyone has one?

Good progress this weekend!

fitted :

headlamp ears and headlamp, both look good i think
tail lamp, much smaller than standard but still in keeping with the 70’s look
new clutch cable, made a huge difference to the lever effort !
twin disk braking reassembled, issues with non-genuine caliper taking non-standard sized seal...

everthing works !


i’m awaiting carb parts from 4into1, regrec from Sparcmoto, pod filters from somewhere .... maybe this week as they are in the UK Now.

main thing i need is a decent fuel/gas tank, anyone have one ?

my plan os to get the ‘Scruffy Racer’ registered for which i believe i need an MOT Even though it’s 40+ years old.

so i’m doing what i jeed to get that then going to ride it for a while and formulate plan for Phase 2.....
I recently re-registered my CB250 in the UK (bike wasn't an import), as part of the process I had to fill out a declaration of MOT exemption; https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/declaration-of-exemption-from-mot

Might be useful for you or not.
Did you have any trouble in getting a proof of manufacture from Honda for re-registering the bike in the UK? I see this mentioned on the eBay listing of imported CB550's (my intended next project).

I had a US title with the hike so that proved the age, sent the docs off this week so will see what happens.
Lots of deliveries this week so today :

wired in the Sparckmoto regrec, not getting any charge so need to investigate
new o-ring in the petcock seems to have cured leak
4into1 shaped gaskets and jets installed, bike fored right up !
uni pod filters fitted too, looking good.




my focus at the moment is to get the bike registered and rideable

need to :

fix leaking brake caliper, seems it’s not genuine and the genuine seal doesnt fit !
sort out the charging system
new tyres once its registered

then I plan to have some fun with it this summer / autumn and then engine out for paint/600cc kit in the winter

Not a lot of progress to report.

after much investigation of the charging system i’ve rebuilt with the original components and the bike is charging !

lesson learned, dont assume that the old components are junk !

am awaiting another petcock as the ones previously ordered are m18 not the m20 i need, and the original doesnt close reliably

on a positive note i checked out the cost of adding the 550 as a second bike on my Superlight policy, cost is £10!
so once the registration comes through i’ll get the Scruffy Racer road legannand ready for testing

It's all looking good....sorting the final niggles takes time and patience, especially having to go over previous work and change new for old!!
I'm not entirely convinced about tank sealants and would avoid if possible, but some report good results....perhaps that's an option? You have nothing to lose with a leaky tank....except sealant shit in the carbs that is!!

What/where did you get the carb jet kit? I've also gone the foam filter route as the airbox has been redeployed, and know I'll have to rejet....did look at a Sigma kit from the US. However, found Allensperformance in the UK who supply individual jets etc.

Good luck with the final jobs and have fun :)
I bought carb kits off ebay initiall..... then realised that fitting round float bowl gaskets into rectangular holes was a nightmare..... so ordered shaped gaskets and jets from 4into1 in the us.

deliver took about 4 weeks and there were customs charges, but at least thy fit!

i know i’m nowhere near ‘final jobs’ on this project, just want to get it rideable so i can assess what’s needed

its a good distraction from covid isolation though !
Not a lot of progress to report, am awaiting registration papers which seem to be taking an age.

bought and fitted a set of Avon Roadrider Mark II tyres which i really like, sorted out the brakes and fitted a GL1000 master cylinder.
also redid the valve gaps and the engine is less tappy now but still has a bit of cam chain rattle

still need a replacement tank, there is one on ebay here in the uk so will see how bidding goes on that

At last some progress to report !

found a supposedly decent CB550F tank here in the UK on ebay so snapped it up.

its been repaired before but to a high standard, the paint is black with gold stripes and lettering.

i couldnt resist a quick DA coumpounding and WOW it looks great ( from the right angle !)

my plan is to go Lively Orange or a close RAL alternative, but the Black and Gold does look good......


I’m leaning towards Orange..... so today filled, sanded and primed the side cover in prep for an Orange Experiment.....

That's come on a treat. Black n gold smacks of John Player Special colours.....perhaps?
Yes it does look like JPS, its a classy look.

the tank paint does need redoing, i showed its best side above :)

i’m going to test the orange look with the side panels, i have a set of the correct blue ‘550 Four’ stickers to complete the look.

still awaiting registration docs from the dvla, but otherwise it’s going well
Yes it does look like JPS, its a classy look.

the tank paint does need redoing, i showed its best side above :)

i’m going to test the orange look with the side panels, i have a set of the correct blue ‘550 Four’ stickers to complete the look.

still awaiting registration docs from the dvla, but otherwise it’s going well
Cool....orange with grey lettering or accents/stripes is a good combination IMO.
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