CB550 Project Scruffy Racer

Experiments in Orange started today
i sinded,filled,sanded and primed the side covers, then applied RAL2003 Orange, which turns out to be not ORANGE! Enough.
Covers were nice and shiny but had strong orange peel effect. Tried lightly wet sanding and recoating one cover to little effect.
Wet sanded 600,800,1000,1200,1500 the other then compounded. WOW !
Under led light the difference painted, sanded, compounded is amazing.
Need more than 3 coats as sanded through easily
Prob 600 is too coarse as left some scratches
Can achieve a better finish than I thought possible with rattle cans!
still yet to try clearcoat, will seek out a better orange match first.


  • 20200712_144014680_iOS.jpg
    1.1 MB · Views: 176
Following the success with the side covers i’ve ordered paint stripper, rust stabiliser, etch primer, primer and some RAL2004 Orange paint.

i plan to test the Orange on the side covers and strip and prep the tank this weekend.....
Scruffy Racer is Road Legal !

papers came in the post yesterday so ordered a slightly small but almost legal numberplate, which came today.

paint stripper not arrived though so no progress on the tank.

Put Scruffy on one of my bike policies yesterday and so have been able to Test Ride !

initially discovered the steering wasnt straight, but loosening the top fork mounts allowed me to straighten this up
brakes squeeked like startled mice for a while but have quietened down
forks pogo‘d like crazy, swapped out the fork oil for 12.5 which has helped a bit
throttle has too much play but i’ve run out of adjustment

Scruffy rides great and is a lot of fun !

current ‘issues’ :

no speedo awaiting ne cable
leaky petrol tank cap awaiting seal
woildnt rev past 5k cured with new condensers
occasional stalling when coming to a stop- is this what the idle adjusters are for ? - carb adjustment tips welcome !

i think i’ll ride Scruffy as is for a few weeks to identify the list of jobs for phase 2, before I repaint the tank as this will take Scruffy of the road for a while.

really pleased with the progress, and can tell Scruffy is going to be a lot of fun to hoon about on

Old style forks used much thicker oil than modern forks. I'd try 20Wt or even 30wt if you can find it.
Old style forks used much thicker oil than modern forks. I'd try 20Wt or even 30wt if you can find it.
Thanks !
i’ll see what i can find
i had these forks , 550 twindisk, on my 360 and they were fine with fork oil
but the 360 is lighter?
Back in the day, OEM's typically recommended 2oW50 or 30W50 for forks. Now we have choices. In old Honda forks 20WT fork oil is often a good solution, but we have been known to use 30wt fork oil to get enough damping action.
Ive ordered some 30, thinking i’ll mix it if too thick.

watch this space ....
Despite my best intentions i couldnt resist stripping/sanding/filling/sanding/priming/repeating all this several times the tank!

also had delivery of speedo cable, fuel filler cap seal and 30w fork oil

i ordered some cheap rear shocks to put on for a few months too

so when the shocks arrive i’ll reinstall the primered tank and have some further testing

photos at the weekend !
pretty sweet bike. I love that exhaust. the 4 pipes close together like that looks great.

How thick did you lay the paint on at first? Is that why you got the orange peel effect?

According to the "rattlecan bling" thread most guys don't have to wet sand the color coat itself, just the clear.

I'm hoping to not get anything trapped in the paint that would require wet sanding. It's a pain i'd rather avoid as well.
I may have put the colour on too thick yes, was just a test.

wet sanding was quick and easy, just dont press too hard!
RAL2004 paint arrived today from Germany

the spray pattern from the (cheap!) rattlecans is terrible but i LOVE the colour!


the tank has some issues, old filler was attacked by the paint stripper and isnt very even now.

in keeping with the Scruffy Racer theme i’m going to do a basic job on the tank to get it on the road for testing, then repaint slowly in the winter when the engine is coming out

Plan to paint/sand/paint the tank this weekend
Initial mockup, tank needs a lot more paint/work, Scruffy is going to look good i think !
Here’s a view from the security cam showing the trio in the workshop.

the tank is very rough at the moment, but looks ok from range in lowres

Another mockup after more paint this morning, i even positioned the logos and had a ‘test ride’

Top Bottom