Found a $300 CB550

chesterburnet

New Member
The motor looks great man
Thank you. It feels good to have positive input from here. There's so many great builds over the years. It gives you a standard to aspire to. I've been working on motorcycles since I was a kid. I also was a musician and had an older mentor teach us about professionalism. It's led me to demand professional results for whatever project I'm working on. I feel like if you decide to accomplish that then you will. I'm having a really good and satisfying time doing this.
 

Luugo86

'73 CB350, '78 XS650 Cafe Killer
Thank you. It feels good to have positive input from here. There's so many great builds over the years. It gives you a standard to aspire to. I've been working on motorcycles since I was a kid. I also was a musician and had an older mentor teach us about professionalism. It's led me to demand professional results for whatever project I'm working on. I feel like if you decide to accomplish that then you will. I'm having a really good and satisfying time doing this.
I think that's what it's all about.. Happy for you man
 

chesterburnet

New Member
Another cool fork component arrived today. These fork caps with preload adjusters are very nice quality but at $140, a little pricey. Otherwise you have to screw around with spacers inside the forks to adjust preload. Having good aftermarket suspension stuff on my Yamaha(s) has ruined me. I don't think I could go back to a crappy stock suspended motorcycle. I like the idea of having a fork set that looks stock but has got all of the good stuff inside.
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chesterburnet

New Member
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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I took your advice and picked one up off of Ebay. It was the most cost effective way and insured that it's the right profile for a 19" wheel. Now I have to figure out how to prep chrome so I can paint it.
 

doc_rot

Oh the usual... I bowl, I drive around...
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You'll be happy with the race tech emulators and springs. Gets rid of the fork dive and they really do work well. Im not familiar with the CB550 forks but it may be worth looking into new teflon bushings.

Its pretty hard to get paint to stick to chrome long term. I would sandblast the chrome first it if you have the option. gives more tooth.
 

chesterburnet

New Member
You'll be happy with the race tech emulators and springs. Gets rid of the fork dive and they really do work well. Im not familiar with the CB550 forks but it may be worth looking into new teflon bushings.

Its pretty hard to get paint to stick to chrome long term. I would sandblast the chrome first it if you have the option. gives more tooth.
Thanks for confirming what I thought. I'm not sure if they have teflon bushings on these but I haven't taken them apart yet. I've worked hard at becoming proficient at working on modern motorcycle suspension. It seems to be neglected by a lot of people. My fork tubes had some rust under the headlight brackets so I'm having a new set made up by Frank's forks. If the tubes are good, and per your review, a good performing set of forks can be done for around $400 and it keeps the stock look. These forks are easy to work on compared to modern cartridge forks. There is so much out and out bad suspension advice on motorcycle forums. For my new motorcycles, I've bought and gotten great advice from the US distributors of Ohlins and K-Tech and they are really generous with their time in helping to understand this stuff. Everything on Race Techs site is right in line with them. I also had Bella Corse put together a set of Hagons for this build and that guy is really on top of his game. Any fork or shock company that doesn't offfer a range of springs to match rider weight is not even worth talking to let alone buying from. For around $800 total, I'm expecting to have a well suspended, nice handling CB550.

I just received a dinged up chrome fender from Ebay for $30. I'll cut it down and get rid of the dented section and then work on making the chrome paintable. I'm finding most the work on these cafe builds is grinding, cleaning, sanding and polishing parts. It took almost 3 months to get my motor cleaned up for paint. 3 hours to tape it off and 30 minutes to paint.

BTW....the stock fender for this bike is in such good condition that I didn't want to cut it up. I figured it would be better to sell it to somebody that is doing a stock restoration. If anyone is looking for one, pm me.
 

john83

Over 1,000 Posts
Nice progress. You'll love Murrays carbs. I believe I had the first set he made for a 550 and they were great.
 
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pidjones

Over 1,000 Posts
I found that etching primer was helpful in getting paint to stick where chrome has been (after sanding or blasting). You can find rattle-cans at most auto parts stores. Most are lacquer, so watch for compatibility but usually Ok as the primer, just keep layers thin.
 

chesterburnet

New Member
've been slowed down for the last few weeks. Mostly because I've never had to open up one of these motors to work on one. Truth be told, once I got this one opened up I saw that it was in incredible condition. This motor is easy to work on but there have been a few bumps in the road. I mis-installed the cam chain tensioner and ended up twisting it up. Vintage motor parts are crazy expensive, new or used. That was a $300 lesson. If the tensioner is not perfectly installed, the cam chain appears to be too short. I finally got it together correctly and now am very confident that it's better then if I just painted the motor. I hate doing half assed work, be it construction (my trade) or mechanical. I was so frustrated that I went to bed last night trying to figure out what I did wrong and how to fix it and woke up this morning and couldn't fall back to sleep thinking about it so I texted in sick and figured it out today. I am now experet on CB550 cma chain tensioners.


The one on the left is new. The one on the right is what I did to to the original. I tried really hard
to ruin the new one but somehow avoided it. Perhaps it was divine intervention.
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pidjones

Over 1,000 Posts
Sometimes lessons are expen$ive. But, it is how you learn unless you do extra study and find where others have made mistakes. I probably spend as much time (or more) reading about a new task as doing it. Just makes the final product more valuable.
 

chesterburnet

New Member
I feel like I'm over the hump with this motor rebuild. The top end rebuild is done and valves are adjusted. I bought replacement for all of the nuts, bolts and screws and they really make it pop. As I am not a master fabricater, the next best thing is to pick out and assemble cool components. The clutch, electronic ignition and carburetors are up next and then bolt on the polished chrome covers and motor is done. All pretty simple stuff. The Murray's Carbs set up is all preset up and synced for this bike and just bolts on. That makes things even easier. I've got a huge pile of new stuff, wheels, tires, suspension and I'm looking forward to getting going on the frame and suspension. I know I'm probably crazy but I am replacing virtually every electrical component on this bike and I'm very excited about doing it. The M-Unit and Motogadget stuff just blows me away.
Here's the latest.
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chesterburnet

New Member
I got home from work and these were sitting outside my back door. They are not Ohlins or K-Tech quality but they are still good quality and way better then the stock shock and the $99 specials I see everywhere. They are going to work well for this bike.
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chesterburnet

New Member
I felt like I was running in place for a long time but I'm getting to the end of building this motor. I got the electronic ignition installed, sprocket, clutch plates and springs, starter and the manifolds. I happy with it, I think I have everything right so far and it looks pretty cool.
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