Found a $300 CB550

chesterburnet

New Member
I finally got the bottom end of the motor prepped and primed. I got this motorcycle on June 22 and it's taken 3 months to get the top end painted and the bottom primed. It's not show quality but it's not a hack job either. This prep work takes a lot of time if you want it to come out good. I'll do the finish coats tomorrow and let the paint cure for a week and then start putting it together. I'm happy to be moving on. I don't ever want to have to put this much time and effort into finishing a motor. This motorcycle was garaged for it's entire life. I can't imagine trying to put together one that was sitting outside rusting for 10 or 20 years. I also have a new appreciation for those bikes that started out as rust buckets and get fully restored. It's hard work.

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chesterburnet

New Member
I have used the inner front fender support as a fork brace. After removing the fender it can be made to look pretty decent.
That's an excellent idea. I'm not going to use the stock fender but I want a small fender. The stock one that I have is in really good condition and I hate to break it up.
 

chesterburnet

New Member
Bottom end with finish paint. The original guy gouged up the bottom end quite a bit trying to clean it up. In spite of that it came out pretty good. Time to start putting it together. New clutch plates, all new screws and bolts, pistons, electronic ignition & Murray's Carbs. This motor didn't need to be rebuilt but I was too nervous about getting junk inside the motor from Dremel brass wire wheels and using air compressor to blow stuff off and out. It's mostly for the love of wrenching on motorcycles.
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chesterburnet

New Member
With the motor fully painted and case covers polished out, I feel like I turned a corner tonight. Before I painted the head I lapped the valves and cleaned them up. Tonight I finished the valve job. The beginning of assembling this thing. The astounding thing about it is that I didn't loose any parts. I'm not sure how they got red paint on the valve springs but it's not hurting anything and I wasn't going refinish the inside of the motor. I'm not sure what kind of red paint it was but it seems to be nearly indestructible. It was a major ordeal getting it off the outside. If I ever see another red motorcycle motor I might develop PTSD. The good part is that within the next week or 2, there will be no visible red.
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chesterburnet

New Member
I crunched a piston trying to install them last night. Ordered a new one and should have them by tomorrow. I hate when I'm not careful and do stupid stuff. Sliding a set of jugs over the pistons isn't rocket science. My bad.

I had a couple more parts come in today. A beehive tail light and a set of cartridge emulators. Really retro tailight that is LED. I think it's pretty cool.

I have Ohlins fork cartridges and K-Tech rear shock on my MT10 and had K-Tech cartridges and shock on my previous FJ09. Good aftermarket suspension is amazing. I've always felt like I instantly became a better rider. I mention this because it appears to me that a lot of custom bikes get built with very little consideration for suspension other than a set of $99 shocks.

I wanted to come out with a better handling motorcycle. I ordered a set of Hagon shocks which are an inch longer than stock and sprung for my weight (265) for the rear. That should make it steer better. I bought a set of Race Tech cartridge emulators on sale from Power Barn. I am having a set of tubes made by Franks Forks. I'm having him make them to the longer CB750 length. This should accommodate the extra length that the emulators add. I also ordered new springs (for my weight) and seals from Race Tech. I'm also going to buy a fork cap with a preload adjuster. It's almost a $900 bill for all of it but to me, there's no point in building a pretty motorcycle that doesn't perform. In the process of buying this stuff, I was very surprised at how hard it is to get the correct springs. Most sellers don't even offer them as an option. It generally appears to be 1 size fits all. You can put on a brand new set of Ohlins on a bike and if they aren't sprung for the riders weight, they're pretty useless. You can't even set the sag without the right springs. Although the suspension stuff I've bought is not Ohlins caliber, it's going to be pretty good when assembled.



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Maritime

Over 10,000 Posts
I have Hagons on my GL1000 sprung for my 215 lbs and they made a huge difference. I firmed up the front GL1100 front forks with a brace and better oil and air delete. I need to go further when $ allow. Looking next to do an upgrade to my son's NT650 Hawk. We both push 200lbs and it's sprung for a 150 lb rider. So racetechs likely on it for the front and maybe a penske rear.
 

chesterburnet

New Member
I have Hagons on my GL1000 sprung for my 215 lbs and they made a huge difference. I firmed up the front GL1100 front forks with a brace and better oil and air delete. I need to go further when $ allow. Looking next to do an upgrade to my son's NT650 Hawk. We both push 200lbs and it's sprung for a 150 lb rider. So racetechs likely on it for the front and maybe a penske rear.
I wouldn't put Hagons on my MT10 but on a GL1000 or in my case a CB550, with the correct springs they're an excellent choice. Ohlins, K-Tech, Nitron are all good choices for the Nighthawk. There are some excellent European brands that we don't see in the USA that are excellent too. I know a few people that have Penske rear shocks and love them. I think K-Tech gives the best bang for your buck. Your right about springs and yet I've seen people argue to death that all you have to do is crank up preload and your fine.
 

Maritime

Over 10,000 Posts
I wouldn't put Hagons on my MT10 but on a GL1000 or in my case a CB550, with the correct springs they're an excellent choice. Ohlins, K-Tech, Nitron are all good choices for the Nighthawk. There are some excellent European brands that we don't see in the USA that are excellent too. I know a few people that have Penske rear shocks and love them. I think K-Tech gives the best bang for your buck. Your right about springs and yet I've seen people argue to death that all you have to do is crank up preload and your fine.
Yeah, too much preload and you run out of compression on the spring, and lose progressive too.
 

chesterburnet

New Member
I keep seeing these small front fenders and I want to get one that can be painted. I can't seem to find one except the ones for $150 on the cafe racer specialty sites. Any advice would be appreciated. I can't believe this is harder to figure out than carburetors, electronics and suspension which I've purchased already.
 

pidjones

Over 1,000 Posts
I keep seeing these small front fenders and I want to get one that can be painted. I can't seem to find one except the ones for $150 on the cafe racer specialty sites. Any advice would be appreciated. I can't believe this is harder to figure out than carburetors, electronics and suspension which I've purchased already.
Normaly abused front fender with mount, high speed cutoff wheel in angle grinder or air tool = Wala! custom front fender. Sketch guide lines to your preference. I even reversed one on a GL1000 to make it look about right.
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chesterburnet

New Member
I have my original fender. It's in almost perfect condition. Very little rust and I think it should go to someone doing a restoration. I like your idea but I can't cut this up. I also want to paint it to match the tank and not sure how to do it with chrome.
 

chesterburnet

New Member
After having to order a replacement piston and rings for my ham fisted attempt to rush through putting the cylinders on, I had my GF lend an extra set of hands and patiently got it done. I bought new bolts and screws for everything that is visible on this motor and now that I'm putting it together, it was worth spending $150. Goes together well and looks great. I'm pleased with my efforts so far but there's still a learning curve for everything you work on that you've never seen. I think there's a YouTube video for anything we might possibly want to do. It's made this process easier. Still they edit out the hour it took to finesse a set of cylinders over the pistons.

I've got a huge pile of new parts now. I guess I'm a bit compulsive about it but who gives a shit, it's only money.
Wait.....I can't be broke.....I still have checks!

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pidjones

Over 1,000 Posts
I have my original fender. It's in almost perfect condition. Very little rust and I think it should go to someone doing a restoration. I like your idea but I can't cut this up. I also want to paint it to match the tank and not sure how to do it with chrome.
Get a junker, cut, sand, sandblast. You don't have to remove the chrome, just rough it up (but the chrome layer is so thin, it will pfobably leave only the nickel). Then clean and hit it with a couple coats of etching primer. Worked well for me.
 

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