CB550 Project Scruffy Racer

Hi Steve great looking bike. Love what you've done with it. I recently bought a CB550 that needs some work too. Hope mine looks as good as yours when it's done. The only problem is, i know nothing about motorcycle mechanics. Here are some pics...


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Excellent, good looking bike and you have the sexy exhaust!

whereabouts are you?

In Montreal. Jimbonaut was the one who referred me to the site.
Thanks, I too like this exhaust, unfortunately it had a small repair on it that rusted through. Will probably need to replace it next season. You've done some really nice things to your bike, and I love that you've tried to keep it as original as possible. I love the handlebar you put on. Was actually thinking of replacing my handlebar with one identical to that in order get some clearance between my tachometer and master cylinder.
Have you kept the original gauges?
The handlebars are just the european spec, i much prefer them
i am keeping the original gauges at least for now, am planning custom faces for them .....

Small update, Scruffy has new Hagon adjustable rear shocks, with matching progressive fork springs.

seems to handle well but i do need to tune the suspension for my usage style, mainlynlocal cafe rides and country blasts.


Next it’s head off for 600cc conversion, and then proper tuning of the carbs etc.

i’m loving Scruffy, really nice to ride, looks good and a real contrast with my other bikes.
Project Scruffy Racer enters Phase III - Go Big !

have a set of +3mm pistons to take motor out to 600cc, and today started stripping down the bike ready to take the head off.

this bike came to me siezed solid, with burned out electrics and literally nothing working......Phase I was to get it running, Phase II to make it look and handle ok, so it’ll be interesting to see the state of the bores/pistons/valves.

here’s where we are after a morning in the workshop :)

i’m hoping to get the head in for boring this week, if the engineers are working

does anyone have advice on any worthwhile mods to the head whilst it’s off?

Engine came apart pretty well

head pulled off easily after a gentle tap or two with rubber hammer
barrels needed gentle prying in the thoughtfully provided slots
head all rebuilt now and barrels are at the engineers for boring out

+3mm pistons look quite a bit bigger than stock!

Lockdown here in the UK look set for a while, so i’ve decided to remove Scruffy’s engine for a repaint.

today i stripped off the rest of the covers, which i think i’ll polish, starter etc and will remove the engine and bolt it into my engine stand over the weekend.


For the repaint i was thinking of keeping it silver as that looks ‘original’ but a friend suggested Black would look cooler with the Orange...

Opinions ?

Ha! Sorry. I like the blacked out jugs and heads with polished fins a lot. Contemplating that on the little CB125 we are doing. It's harder to do the cases without pulling the whole engine so blacking out side covers and or polishing part of those can give a similar look with less work.
I do like the idea of black with polished fins....... but the fins are rough in places so not sure thatbwould work.

leaning towards silver with maybe polished cases, but who kmows!
So for polished fins, do i paint the whole thing black then sand/polsh the ends of the fins?
I sand flat first, then us thin masking tape then paint. But you can sand then paint then sand off too. Sanding a flat edge on first is the part that makes it work out. I used a belt sander and a block.
Yeah, that's how I did it after Maritime suggested the same thing to me. Sand a flat edge on the fins with a block (you may need to go coarse to get a decent flat profile) and work your way up to 2000 - then polish. At that point I masked using 3M auto masking tape (very sticky) but you'll have to trim it which was a bit of a pain. Then paint. I recommend getting some pin striping tape -


- I used this stuff to mask off polished details on my comstars and it worked great. You'll get 6 widths too - one should be just right for the fin profile. Here's what my fins looked like after sanding -


and after polishing -


I think there are other ways around the job but this way worked for me. Takes a while though, can't lie.
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