Honda CB450 Cafe Racer

Mike450

Active Member
It took quite a lot of trial and error but I think we finally have a solid solution for the rear brakes. I didn't want mess around with bending the brake rod and trying to make that work, it seemed like that would flex too much and make the rear brake considerably less effective. I thought about trying DCC's cable conversion kit but with the cost of the kit plus shipping it was a little pricy. I'm also not a huge fan of cable operated brakes. Fortunately the way the rear brake pedal mounts on the CB450 frame makes it quite easy to work with.

Here's what I came up with:


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I'm waiting on a return spring that I ordered. It may or may not work. I'll let you know either way.
 

Mike450

Active Member
those look killer.

Thanks.

As promised, here's the update regarding the return spring. The first one I ordered ended up being too big but it worked as proof of concept. It was off of a VW of some sort and I had just guessed at its size based on a photo in an eBay listing. I should have known better. I ended up ordering a handful of different springs from from my favorite supplier of any random thing I can think of: McMaster-Carr. I should have started there as they have their spring sizes broken down exactly as I needed. I ended up using a "Torsion Spring, 120 Degree Angle, Left-Hand Wound, 1.342" OD" (Part number 9271K928). The winding is important because it determines what side the legs are on.

I welded on a tab to keep the spring in place and I'm going to bend and trim the spring legs to ensure it doesn't work its way out of place.

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Mike450

Active Member
The cold weather has really slowed down progress lately but I did manage to get the rearset mounting plates done. I cut them out of some scrap 1/4" steel plate that I had. I rough cut them with an angle grinder and then did the finish work with a file. It was quite a bit of work as you can see in the video but the result was worth it.


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Mike450

Active Member
Finally! Back to work on this project. We moved back in February so the months leading up to that were consumed with finding a house, packing, moving, etc. so no time for bikes. After the move there were (and still are) endless projects and repairs to be done around the house but I think I'm finally at a point where I can start sneaking out to the garage again for more fun projects. My first task, which should have been a relatively easy one, was to mount the Dunlop D404 tires that had been chosen for this project. The front went on fine but the rear tire refused to seat properly after numerous attempts. Ultimately I accepted defeat and we order a different style tire. According to Dunlop's website the tires are meant for much narrower wheels which seems odd since they are such fat tires. I think it's a combination of that and my relatively limited experience with mounting modern tires on older wheels. At least that's what I'm telling myself. Oh well, we all know that things rarely go according to plan when modifying these old bikes. I'm just happy to be wrenching again!

 

Mike450

Active Member
I'm going to make an effort to post more pictures going forward, I realize that not everyone wants to sit through my rambling videos. Hell, I don't even want to sit through them sometimes. I started on the new exhaust today. I had the headers made by a company called J&D Tube Benders a few years back. I provided them with the design and specs and they made me 3 sets (6 headers total). The flanges and collars were machined by friend of mine out of 1/4" mild steel.

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biker_reject

Over 1,000 Posts
Man, that’s coming along nicely. I went through two moves in the last five years, so I know how that goes.


Sent from my iPhone using DO THE TON
 

Mike450

Active Member
What do you guys think about this setup for the mufflers? I was thinking about doing a 2-1 like I had done before, but just for fun I dug these out of the parts bin and to be honest I'm really liking the look.

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Maritime

Over 10,000 Posts
Yep, do it, I have the exact pipes in the exact position on my GL and love the look and sound.
 

teazer

Over 1,000 Posts
DTT BOTM WINNER
I just fitted a similar set of replica Dunstall mufflers to a CB160. The foot levers had to be carefully sculpted and bent to clear and I needed a very different kickstarter, but the sounds is so mellow. The bike sounds more like a Triumph or BSA twin than the itsy bitsy twin that it really is - without being obnoxiously loud. The picture was early on in the build process making things fit in some sort of logical sequence.
 

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Mike450

Active Member
I just fitted a similar set of replica Dunstall mufflers to a CB160. The foot levers had to be carefully sculpted and bent to clear and I needed a very different kickstarter, but the sounds is so mellow. The bike sounds more like a Triumph or BSA twin than the itsy bitsy twin that it really is - without being obnoxiously loud. The picture was early on in the build process making things fit in some sort of logical sequence.
Did you end up using the included mounting bracket or did you have to fabricate one? I used similar mufflers on my CB77 but the included mounting brackets kept vibrating loose.
 

teazer

Over 1,000 Posts
DTT BOTM WINNER
I used teh flat bracket that came with the pipes, but I suspect that will need to be replaced with a traingular bracket to provide more stiffness.
 

Mike450

Active Member
I got the angles worked out and the rest of the exhaust tacked into place. I'm happy with the way things turned out. The bracket on the right side interferes with the current brake linkage setup but I had planned to switch to clevis pins anyways so once that's done I'll have plenty of clearance there. I also purchased a metal bender from Eastwood. The vise brake is fine for thin metal but the thicker stuff, even 1/8" flat bar really strains the vice and I don't want to to ruin another one.



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