Turning a cb550 into a bobber; ideas welcome


See you in the wind.
So I've decided to turn a perfectly good cb550 frame and motor into a bobber. This is one of 3 cb550's I have. The idea at the start of last year was to have a cb for every occasion, I.e.- a cafe, a tracker and a bobber. I finished the cafe (see pics) and have started major details of the tracker but the bobber is on the docket at the moment. This starter as a separate frame and motor purchase. And I've got it to the point where a final strip down and powder is in order. Here are pics of build states through the past 6 months.


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I basically though her together with spare parts I've had lying around. And she been the "have fun with bike build" when I have spare time. Note to self never ever try to build three bikes in your personal garage at the same time. At the time of those last picks she was up and running. And was a good bike, first kick and all that. But just looked un finished and thrown together to me. So I've been playing around and using this bike as inspiration

The swingarm is off a gs550. Fabbed spacers to make it sit straight. Shocks came from a vt1100 I think. Rear tire and brake are also gs550. Rear caliper brake on a cb550! I sourced the exhaust from a member on here, Nicks thanks man! They are awesome and LOUD. I plan on extending them to reach the length of the back tire and fab a baffle to quiet them some. And either wrap them completely or powder them gloss black. The tank came from a Suzuki tc90. I wanted a mini king type sporster tank. But couldn't find one to fit the frame and my metal shaping skills aren't at the point to fab one yet. Tank sits up right and there's actually a bunch of room under it in the frame back bone area. I plan on somehow hiding the coils in there? If anyone has ideas on how or other locations for hiding them shoot them my way. I'm thinking I. Can weld a plate in on the underside of the tank for them to mount to. It'll help the ascetic of the bike greatly to clear the neck triangle and leave it empty. Something I have not scene on a cb. The rear tire is going to get a mooneyes disc treatment. I don't like have a comstar in the back and spokes in front. Front rim is going gloss black rim and spokes. I picked up a set of fork shrouds that were meant for a Harley. I've started cutting them to fit and I'll think they'll work nicely. That 4.5" headlight I like and they are easy to set up but I may challenge myself more by fabbing a dual or triple light set up . I used an xs650 battery box to cradle the electronics and battery. Amazingly I just screwed it to the frame using the existing holes. And then cut some 14gauge and bent it to mimic a horseshoe oil tank to cover it. I've got another 550 front caliper so will go dual front disks and drill all of them to match. I'm not sure yet about speedo choice. I think by adding another disc to the front I'll lose the area where the original speedo sensor sits, yes? So may go with a remote mag setup located at base of tank. The whole frame and tank are going to be powder coated a tan/beige gloss and everything else gloss black.

This build for me is just about the fun of it. And I want to do somethings I've never seen on a cb before. I also want to try some things I've never done before (like drill rotors or possibly turn some pegs). I don't want her to look like any other bike out there, but have a finished tailored to me look.

Tell me what you think she needs. I need ideas before I do the final details and start welding tabs before paint. These final pics are where she is now and of the finished cafe (may change the seat ;) and my cl360.





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Ran into my first hurdle. I've switched tanks going with a deep tunnel wassell style. Tunnel on the tank is 2". Neck with is 2". But when I sit it on the frame the tank hits where the tank mounts are. I have to remove the original mounts to get the new tank to sit where I want. Anyone have ideas on the best way to do this? Here are my options, I think

1. Use a hole saw and drill clear through the frame. Then weld a patch over

2. Take a hammer and nock the circular form down a bit

3. Try widening the tunnel of the tank. Use a "backwards" clamp and pry the tunnel a bit

I think #1 sounds like the best option but also the most work. How would you guys do it?


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Cut off saw and then finish off with a lap sanding wheel. Drill and tap new holes where you want them.
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