CBX550-Brat/urban scrambler on a budget

NoRiders

Member
Hi everyone, Newbie checking in. Just though to share my project with the DTT collective as I am keen to gain knowledge and critique from those what do this better than what I does.

My name is Colin,I'm 56 and live in UK nr Oxford. I run my own business as well as paint and decorate for a living. I am into classic VW aircooled vehicles, attend VW events with my club buddies and live with meJoolia and 3x cats.

So, I've owned a perfectly stock Honda CBX550 since the mid 90's and rode it for over a year as my daily. It came to me with a Givi top box and rode nicely once I stuck a Bridgestone tyre on the front. The shonky Shinko on the rear never inspired confidence but at the time I was on a very limited budget to it stayed. It last ran on the road in 2003 when I moved house and rode it there.

Fast forward to 2014 and I had a hankering to throw a leg over it again. I never got rid and I always liked to say I have a bike haha!

Now, what to do with a 27K running bike that looks dated, had no special interest, not a collectors piece and not worth much....hmmmm?? I'd began to notice an undercurrent within the biking scene that didn't apply to modern sports bikes, or neither streetfighters....brat bikes were out n about. I liked the look and ethics and, as much as I don't want a beard, I liked the rebellious side to modifying a bike along retro lines with a modern take on certain aspects of the build.

This was how my Brat on a Budget project was born.

Here's it as was:



an early influencer...



..a bit dusty, but all there.



Now I should've started it, but I know this trusty old Honda runs just fine so a got right into the breakdown.



That's a mocked up seat to give me an idea it was going to look right....it looks right ;-)

Got to tidy this mess up...



The usual bucket of grubby parts to clean....



...some of the grubby parts cleaned :)





More to follow....
 

NoRiders

Member
Con't...

Modified the seat a touch, mocked up the subframe U section and hung a small rear light to get the feel....starting to see the potential now.



Seat hump in place, ready to be welded. I found a good used MIG locally for not a lot which will do for me to learn on.

I love a bit of detailing, so I replaced the rusty metal grill with a punched stainless grill and painted the brake/hubs in rattle can 'stainless steel' wheel paint....this is on a budget after all!

This bike is closer to the look I'm going for....



So I ordered these....


..but after a major let down by the supplier, I settled on MEFO Sport from Zenoverland, highly recommended by the staff who actually use these tyres.

ZEN Link: http://www.zenoverland.com/tyres_tubes/mefo_explorer.html

Here's a detailed view of the punched s/s grills on the brake hub/cover....turned out nice I think.



I want the bike to have a level of practicality so have decided to retain the chain guard...but funk it up a bit.



I'm going for drilled holes along the entire length and sprayed satin black. Not done it yet.

Coated the 4-1 zorst with BBQ paint....man, I should've read the manual, it required the paint to be 'cured' at very hight temps. Easy if the bike was running....I had to use a 500w worklamp to get it hot enough to dry it at least!



Wrapped the down pipes in two different coloured wrap...I was trying to make it look like a twin by highlighting the outside pipes and using black on the inner pipes, but it didn't work out.

Some of the other parts came out nice though.

Been reading about a jet kit for the Keihins to make them deliver smoother power, got this on my watch list.



More to follow....
 

NoRiders

Member
Although I love the original tank, and it's in great condition I thought it too good for this project. Sniffed out a 500/4 tank with flip filler, slabsides and horizontal lower seam.

Rough but complete with petcock and sits in place just fine.



Stripped the multiple layers of paint, including a flamed paint job...so it's been customised before.

During...



..and with a generous coating or three of rattlecan high build..



..nice n slim. I like the engine covers poking out a touch.



I plan to rattlecan paint it with a few flourishes here and there to finish the look.

More to follow....
 

NoRiders

Member
Slightly out of sync...but thought I'd share my most excellent day out at Kempton Pk, Surrey, despite the frantic wind, was as good as ever. Loads of good stuff to be had and keen prices to be haggled.

This is my swag for the day....



DOH....I missed out a picture of three s/s dome nuts for the speedo refurb...I'm sure you don't need to see them!

Gloves - Richer brown summer gloves with snap tab = £10

Honda speedo circa 1978-90 Inc mounting plate) ideal size, needs an easy refurb = £10
Dome nuts(x3) = £4


Aluminium front mudguard (used) = £10
Chrome guard hanger = £10


Athena pattern fork seal kit = £10

Zorst gasket rings = £6

All in all, a very good day out. Thank you Kempton Pk Auto Jumble.

Well worth the early start to brave the biting breeze. Saw some awesome old Montesa, Ossa, Triumph, Matchless, Ducati & Yamaha scramblers/trials bikes.....if only I had the money and space to use them. There were some 'for sale' and others in the indoor show n shine.

Next job - strip and refurb forks....ooeerrr :-/
 

NoRiders

Member
Alright, alright........I'll show you all my secret snaffle. 5 of our English £s secured me this little treasure which I will suspend from the rear seat subframe in an adventurer fashion.

Handy place for my TicTac and playing card survival kit....heheh!



For scale and interest...



The back..



The seller thought it might be German?? All I know is it's cool and will look very smart in place methinks. Hope you all like as well?

Thanks for checking in. Colin
 

NoRiders

Member
cxman said:
do you have or know where i can get a crank for that bike?
Hi CXman, You could try this dealer http://www.davidsilverspares.co.uk/CBX550/ they are UK based and don't list a crank but they are a well known Honda parts dealer and may know of where you could get hold of your crank?

I've had a quick look on UK ebay but nothing, not even an engine.

Good luck with your search.
 

NoRiders

Member
canyoncarver said:
Nice bits.
Thanx CC, I'm very pleased and love attending this event, wish there were more like this. Folk seem to favour internet sourcing which has an impact on proper swapmeet events in the UK...apathy could kill them off which is a shame. Attendance is critical to keep these events alive. Plus srounging thorugh rusty/greasy shit will always turn up a nugget of gold ;D
 

NoRiders

Member
DohcBikes said:
Those bags are classy.
Thank you Dohc, My best spot of the day IMO. They shall be the final piece to attach to the bike to signal completeness...a kind of topping out ceremony ;D


Just need to figure how to attach them.....I'm thinking a thick wire bracket to support and attach to the seat subframe?

Any other ideas?
 

cxman

Active Member
i have asked david last time i spoke to him he did not have one

i have a buddy in canada that has one and it needs a crank
 

NoRiders

Member
cxman said:
i have asked david last time i spoke to him he did not have one

i have a buddy in canada that has one and it needs a crank
I'm always searching UK ebay for CBX550 parts, I'll keep an eye out for a crank or complete engine for you cxman.
 

Maritime

Active Member
cxman said:
i have asked david last time i spoke to him he did not have one

i have a buddy in canada that has one and it needs a crank
I was just about to say you may find one here as they sold the bike for a few years. I have a bone yard not far away, I'll reach out and see if they have any cranks.

Nice work so far Colin, I almost bought one of these as my first bike but it needed more work than I was comfortable with at that time so I passed.
 

NoRiders

Member
Maritime said:
Nice work so far Colin, I almost bought one of these as my first bike but it needed more work than I was comfortable with at that time so I passed.
Thank you Maritime. I didn't go out specifically to buy CBX, it came my way for the money I had at the time and has been with me over 17 years.
 

NoRiders

Member
So, back to the build. I wanted a simple rear light to mount on the plastic rear mudguard, and ended up with this neat little number.



Painted the rear brake cover and made a new s/s vent grill, looks nice I think?



The Pro-Link swingarm turned out well.



Love the copper end caps. Need to make the chainguard into something different....hmmm...I'm thinking drilled 25mm holes along the length, using s stepper drill the inner profile can be nicely rounded if I get it right?



More to follow....
 

NoRiders

Member
The aftermarket Neta exhaust was cleaned and treated to BBQ paint which had to be cured at high temp....I used a 500w work lamp which eventually did the trick. It'll do for now...



This is the completed rear brake assembly, I'm pleased with that.



Had a mare sourcing the Heidenau tyres, so aborted that deal and settled for this brand instead, Mefo ME99 Sport Explorer in 110/80 front and 130/80 rear. They came highly recommended by the suppliers ZenOverland - website: http://www.zenoverland.com/tyres_tubes/mefo_explorer.html



These beauties are going on the rims this weekend :)
 

NoRiders

Member
Seat update:

Using my knee I made a hump...



..and shaved a stock seat foam down to size. The original seat is mint and I didn't feel like hacking it about, so I bought a cheap split seat to play with. An electric carving knife cuts foam cleanly enough, and 80 grit paper smoothes it nicely.



Half n half...



I'm liking the overall shape.



My first attempt at beading....pleased with it to be honest.



The clamping strip is only partway done, it's there to hold the leather when I have it upholstered.

As I'm using real leather for the cover I thought to add a water proof layer....turns out a yoga mat is ideal :D



To position the seat I used the stock subframe bridge, opened out two holes enough to accommodate two bungs (off a VW splitscreen) to locate the seat. Just need to figure a fixing system of some kind, might even use the stock lock mechanism?...of a simple bolt and wing nut through one of the other holes in the bridge.



More to follow....
 

NoRiders

Member
cxman said:
i have asked david last time i spoke to him he did not have one

i have a buddy in canada that has one and it needs a crank
Hi CX, this ebay listing states 'loads of engine parts', may be worth contacting the seller for your buddy's crank?
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/1984-honda-cbx-550-carburetors-/321920711845?hash=item4af3f83ca5:g:b2IAAOSwQItT4TtE
 

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