Exile - 1972 CL450

Mcgoo

New Member
So a couple of months ago I picked up the remains of a 1972 CL450. It really is a basket case. The prior owner was using it to learn about motorcycle mechanics. So when I got it the bike was completely dismantled, the frame was stripped, head was removed from the motor and all the cams, followers, valves, etc. were out. It looked like the head and jugs had been bead blasted. The bottom end of the motor was intact but open at the top to whatever wanted to crawl in and die.

All the rest of the bike is in various boxes. It seemed to largely be there, except for the gas tank... Discovery begins...
figured the best place to start was the engine, if that was shot then I'd be parting out the rest.

I like to pick music related names for bikes I'm working on and this one is Exile ... after Exile on Main Street... Released in 1972...







The PO left oil in the bottom end of the motor - it was nasty dirty oil - but still oil and it preserved the transmission and crank quite nicely.



The bolt holding the shift roller and neutral detent to the shift drum is a staked bolt. someone working on the motor at some point had tried to remove it and shredded the JIS/Philips head - I drilled it out and replaced it. I'll lock it in there with red thread lock and stake it also.



 

Mcgoo

New Member
Inspection of the bottom end revealed a couple of things. All of the transmission / crank tolerances are within spec. once clean, there should be no problems putting things back together and having a good running bike. The starter clutch/chain drive are gone - there are a couple of link shaped dents on the inside of the case so I'm guessing the bike threw the starter chain at some point and the starter clutch was removed as a result. The starter motor is in place still but it is just to plug the hole into the case. I'm taking the whole thing off and inserting a plug into the hole to keep the oil in, but reducing the weight by at least 5 pounds, and going kick start only.

I stripped the forks - again the oil was nasty but doing a decent job of preserving the internals. After a quick cleaning I'll reassemble. I'm not sure if it's worth replacing the springs. I probably will just because these ones have been compressed for 43 years. Fork seals and snap rings are in the mail.





The side cases were chromed at some point in the past and the chrome is now flaking badly - which means they need to be stripped down. I tried various grades of course sand paper and barely left a scratch. so I went to the the grinder. The grinder will remove it but it's a ton of work to polish material that's been ground and get all the marks out... Figuring that there's gotta be an easier way... I went on ebay and found some cases being parted out. for approx. $10 each I had a new set. dirty and in need of a clean and spit shine, but at least not chromed...



to this .. still working my way through sandpaper grades .. approx. 600 here ...

 

Mcgoo

New Member
And I got this in the mail the other day...



It's a hardtail from Voodoo Vintage in Austin TX. David's a super cool guy and a great craftsman...

Before I went in this direction I wanted first to make sure the bike could be a runner, then decide if I wanted to go in a café/brat direction, stockish scrambler, or hardtail it... I opted for the hardtail. Can't wait to get this puppy put together! I'm building a frame jig now.
 

Mcgoo

New Member
Just sizing things up to eyeball to see if the hard tail will fit before I go ahead and start cutting the frame ... also picked up a tank on ebay for not a lot. It's in decent shape too. There were some badly dented/rusted ones on there for hundreds... nuts...





also got my cases back together - new cam chain and seals...



I think I'm going to rebore 1mm over...
 

Mcgoo

New Member
Slow going working on the bike this week - the Snow around here is unreal!
Spent some time playing around on SketchUp to see what the profile looks like.





I like it!
 

Mcgoo

New Member
This started out as a rebuild on a pretty strict budget because the bike was not titled. The intent was to get it up and running then register in a state that is less constipated than MA when it comes to the registration of vintage bikes without titles.

All that changed yesterday when I received in the mail from the PO the certificate of title that was thought lost but now was found.
The plan remains to execute the bike on a pretty strict budget, but at least I know that at the end of it all I can have the bike titled and registered in MA.
Happy Days!!
 

Mcgoo

New Member
So... I've reached a decision point with the bike. Getting the title for the bike, means that I am willing to spend slightly more to get this thing going than I was previously. And now that I've had a chance to go through the top end of the engine I've found a couple of things that may change the direction I want to go in. The cam lobes were lightly rusted when I got the bike. I cleaned them up with PB blaster and some very light rubbing with 800 grit paper. The rust is off but there is some slight pitting on the nose of the cam lobe on all 4 lobes. Also the cam follower/rockers, are in ok shape but not great - 2 of them are for sure showing some wear. If I put these parts into the bike as is then the pitted cam lobes will make short work of the rockers. The solution to all of this is to send the cams and the rockers off to Megacycle to have them resurfaced and hardened. The cost of that alone is $770. That's way more than I have into the bike so far. The original plan was to knock out a cool bobber/chopper for less than a grand.
I really don't think there is any point in rebuilding the engine without doing the head-work, but what I can't decide is whether I should put a race engine with Megacycle cams/rockers and Wiseco pistons into a hardtail, with 35mm forks and drum brakes all round... Or... Should I go for a more speed orientated, café/brat/race replica. I honestly don't really know what to do. I start each day with the decision to go for a racer then by evening I'm back to a bobber - advice appreciated
 

Hurco550

Keep er' Between the ditches
DTT BOTM WINNER
Mcgoo said:
So... I've reached a decision point with the bike. Getting the title for the bike, means that I am willing to spend slightly more to get this thing going than I was previously. And now that I've had a chance to go through the top end of the engine I've found a couple of things that may change the direction I want to go in. The cam lobes were lightly rusted when I got the bike. I cleaned them up with PB blaster and some very light rubbing with 800 grit paper. The rust is off but there is some slight pitting on the nose of the cam lobe on all 4 lobes. Also the cam follower/rockers, are in ok shape but not great - 2 of them are for sure showing some wear. If I put these parts into the bike as is then the pitted cam lobes will make short work of the rockers. The solution to all of this is to send the cams and the rockers off to Megacycle to have them resurfaced and hardened. The cost of that alone is $770. That's way more than I have into the bike so far. The original plan was to knock out a cool bobber/chopper for less than a grand.
I really don't think there is any point in rebuilding the engine without doing the head-work, but what I can't decide is whether I should put a race engine with Megacycle cams/rockers and Wiseco pistons into a hardtail, with 35mm forks and disc brakes all round... Or... Should I go for a more speed orientated, café/brat/race replica. I honestly don't really know what to do. I start each day with the decision to go for a racer then by evening I'm back to a bobber - advice appreciated

"when in doubt, bob it out"..... I hear ya though, kinda pointless putting a bunch of money into making a performance hardtail. Now we don't need to get started on the conversation of "bobbers were the poor mans race bike of their time".. yeah we know, but a bobber these days is an around town bar hopper bike, so 7+ bills in an engine that is supported by a chassis that will not show its true potential seems like a waste to me.

That said we all have had those $3000 projects that started out as a under $1000 deal. One thing to think about is if you do it right now and put together a sturdy engine, you will never wear it out on a hartail chassis. (unless your a straight badass who will put 15k miles on it every year, in which case I digress)

Good luck and sorry I just sat there and argued with myself. It will be cool whatever way you go im sure!
 

Tune-A-Fish

BOTM LOSER Proudly Deplorable
Keepsake or for sale? If you plan to keep it and ride it a fair bit then keep the rear suspension, if it's going to go to bike night or whatever a few times for grins (and grimaces after g-outs) then hard tail it... make it cool, but safe and some youngster will be happy to own it.
 

Mcgoo

New Member
hurco550 said:
Good luck and sorry I just sat there and argued with myself. It will be cool whatever way you go im sure!
That's funny - you just did exactly what I've been doing for 2 weeks now... :mad:
 

Mcgoo

New Member
Tune-A-Fish said:
Keepsake or for sale? If you plan to keep it and ride it a fair bit then keep the rear suspension, if it's going to go to bike night or whatever a few times for grins (and grimaces after g-outs) then hard tail it... make it cool, but safe and some youngster will be happy to own it.
I'm planning on keeping it for a couple of years at least - maybe more depending on what else catches my eye - it won't be a long distance bike, but a city bike...
I know there is no one answer and I just have to build what I want most.
 

canyoncarver

'hacking is learning'
DTT BOTM WINNER
Remember that engine is only a 450 and nothing like the 450 of yours that was stolen. A bore job and cam would be a welcome addition to that motor. Even with a hardtail.
 

Flugtechnik

My bike is not transportation, it is a respite
You could always find another cam on eBay for much less than a resurface. I got an entire head from a guy on Hondatwins for $80.


END OF LINE
 

Tune-A-Fish

BOTM LOSER Proudly Deplorable
Flugtechnik said:
You could always find another cam on eBay for much less than a resurface. I got an entire head from a guy on Hondatwins for $80.


END OF LINE
Still seems like a lot for a little head ::)

But yeah I see them once and a while for dirt cheap, gonna hit some spots this weekend I will keep an eye out.
 

Mcgoo

New Member
This is all true. I could pick up some ebay cams for much less. The rockers are still off though, and they are much less common on ebay so I will likely get them resurfaced. That keeps the cost within reason. Thanks for the help guys!
 

Hurco550

Keep er' Between the ditches
DTT BOTM WINNER
Flugtechnik said:
You could always find another cam on eBay for much less than a resurface. I got an entire head from a guy on Hondatwins for $80.


END OF LINE
was that for a 500t?
 
Top Bottom