Come See My Woody! (1979 CB400Ti) ***FINISHED*** (for now ;))

spmc

New Member
Hey! New to the board, name is Sean and I'm from Southwestern Ontario. Picked up my bike couple years back, been riding it basically stock since I got it, but have decided to put my stamp on it. First build, not super knowledgeable, diving in with both feet. Well actually just doing cosmetic changes so I can get back to riding it as quick as possible, then when winter bares her cold tests I'll toy with the idea of an engine rebuild and new carbs with pods, losing the air box and hiding the air box.

Here's how it looked when I first got it.
 

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Re: Come See My Woody! (1979 CB400Ti)

And here's where it stands now.
 

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And here's where I hope to end up!
 

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Re: Come See My Woody! (1979 CB400Ti)

Its a nice bike to start with. Yeah ride all summer. Cambridge here. yourself?
 
Re: Come See My Woody! (1979 CB400Ti)

Nice bike - Looks tidy for a 1979.

Are the forks clamped into the axle on the CB400 or do they just go through the hole and sit free?

If they're not clamped you might want to add a fork brace here to keep them moving as one. On uneven ground you might get into issues with oscillation that can induce a face to pavement scenario.
 
Re: Come See My Woody! (1979 CB400Ti)

Down in Windsor, and Ribo the fork brace will go back on once I trim up the fender and get it powder coated.
 
Re: Come See My Woody! (1979 CB400Ti)

spmc said:
Down in Windsor, and Ribo the fork brace will go back on once I trim up the fender and get it powder coated.

Roger that! I'm originally from Warwickshire but been in US for a while now.
 
Re: Come See My Woody! (1979 CB400Ti)

A little progress... Wanted to try to make the cafe style seat use the same mounting hardware as the stock seat so I began mocking up my mold with a styrofoam base. In order to achieve the straight flat line I want I had to cut the inside plastic fender that was attached to the air box. So I just hacked it out just before the mounting bolt. Now I should be able to have my butt bump start just before the mounting bracket which will be concealed inside the bump itself. At least that's the hope. First time building a seat!
 

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Re: Come See My Woody! (1979 CB400Ti)

So I made a little progress today despite some rolling thunderstorms (no place to work inside). I shaped the front portion of the seat leading up to the tank as well as the basic butt bump curvature. It really is an art to get a consistent uniform look even though the florist foam is pretty easy to work with, it's high stress as I want it to turn out nice! My tools included a bread knife, a utility knife, and a cinnamon grater all from the Dollar Store, plus some sand paper. Here's the progression so far.
 

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Re: Come See My Woody! (1979 CB400Ti)

I did the same on my cm as it was my only bike and I needed it 2-up capable but wanted the solo cafe seat. I mounted a light in my tail with a quick connect and then mounted another of the same light to the factory 2 up with same pigtail connect and could swap seats in like 1 min or less. Worked great.
 
Re: Come See My Woody! (1979 CB400Ti)

Coffee guy, yeah fibreglass after getting the shape, first time doing that so should be interesting! And Maritime I went through your build thread, that's a great idea, though the occasion for me to do 2 up riding are pretty few and far between, but definitely an awesome solution for what you had going on!
 
Re: Come See My Woody! (1979 CB400Ti)

Okay so the seat is (maybe) finalized and covered in painters tape. I also used Dime City's trick with the tubing around the back rest and on the back tail light area.

I'm posting a bunch of pictures as I know CB400 and like cafe conversions can be few and far between, although Frankenfe has done a great job compiling them. So I hope if someone is like I was and a little afraid to take the plunge they can see that it's not all that bad.

So here's where it stands, though I said maybe finalized because after looking at the photos I may chop of a little more of the backend... I don't know, what do you guys think?
 

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Re: Come See My Woody! (1979 CB400Ti)

that looks really good I like it
just remember to verify clearance with whatever shocks you will be using at full bottomed-out travel before you finalize the design
an easy way to do that is mount one shock and on that side pull down the suspension hard against the bump stop with a ratchet strap
then you will have to leave some clearance from there
 
Re: Come See My Woody! (1979 CB400Ti)

Well I got a lot of work done on the seat today, trouble is now I'm further behind then I was yesterday!

SO! Laying fibreglass is NOT as easy as it looks on that Dime City How To video... at least for me it wasn't. I don't know what happened, but it was a GD clusterf$&# for me out there today. First time I started to pour the resin, mixed it to the proper ratio, put some on the seat and spread it with a brush. Then laid my fibreglass mat on top of that, which I had tried to cut to match the curves. I start brushing pouring and brushing on more resin and it starts gumming up, all the fibreglass is gathering on my brush and pulling off the mould! I'm trying to get it laid quick and fibreglass is all stuck to the brush, my gloves, everything. I finally say I don't want to loose this mild and I just peel the whole thing off and toss it while it's still pliable.

Attempt number too. Cut the mat to strips to make it easier to apply. Mix up the proper ratio, get going and it's going a little smoother, getting a lot of bubbles though and not being able to get the material to lay flat along the sides, by the time I get to the butt bump and curves all hell has broken loose again. Pieces are folding over the curves horrendously, big thick chunks I can't get to wrap around the sides, and never mind trying to get the details in my painstakingly applied tube detailing. Looked like a chunk of untouched amber. Figured I'd let it dry and see what happened, maybe I could salvage it.

After it hardened I went at it with a grinder and quickly realized I was fighting a losing battle. It was just nothing like the original form, way too much work to try to level it all off. Tried to salvage the mould out of it and was only able to retrieve the butt bump in tact. Plus to make things even better the heat of the glass melted the top of my styrofoam base plate, so I had to replace that, refit trim that to the frame, and now I currently have two fresh chunks of foam on the front to redo that bump.

So all in all, quite a crap day! Any advice on what I might have done wrong? Too hot a day, doing it in sunlight bad? Too much wax on the mould maybe?
 
Re: Come See My Woody! (1979 CB400Ti)

use laminating resin and lay up a couple layers of cloth not chopped strand easy peasy
 
Re: Come See My Woody! (1979 CB400Ti)

So after a day of bondo and sanding, and bondo, and sanding, and bondo, and sanding, and more sanding... this is where I'm at. Gotta more work to do in the next day or two, final coat of bondo, sanding, then probably a glaze coat to really level things out, annnnnnd, more sanding. I tell you when comparing buying a seat pan vs. the cost of materials for making my own, I really didn't factor in the man hours this was gonna take. Truth be told, if I could do it all over again, I'd just buy one, though I will be very happy and proud if this one turns out well!

Here's where it stands currently
 

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Re: Come See My Woody! (1979 CB400Ti)

Looking good man - the difference in buying one is those hours you put in you bought yourself some experience and learnt a lot I'm sure. There's always more than one application for these things too so you're better off as a human being now than you were before cos you have this experience to work from next time.

This is a big part of what we do - I always try and give it a go, cos even if it turns to shit you'll know more than you did before and certain more than if you never try. I like that you just took it on dude and frankly, with minimal resources - it looks bad-ass. Can't wait to see the final result.
 
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