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Old 07-16-2013, 11:56 AM   #1
Chinorlz
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Starting CB450 Hardtail Build

Hi everyone! Very much new to the forum and to the bike world. Excited to start my first bike project and learn a bunch in the process.

My '72 CB450 arrived yesterday:

photo24 zps35d25015

The ignition lock keys are coming (hopefully arrive tomorrow) so I can see if/how it starts up and idles etc.

I've got a Honda OEM CB450 tool kit coming in the mail which should arrive in time for some weekend tinkering and a compression test gauge set as well to check the PSI.

A few questions/things to get the process started:

1. I need to tear the whole thing down to ship out the frame for hardtailing and to get some components welded on (faux oil tank to reposition and hold electronics, chain tensioner, rear brake linkage, bobber seat bungs/front hinge). Should I deal with engine fiddling/optimization after I get the frame welded and powdercoated and get everything back on the new frame or should I get it running first?

2. The bike is hard to push and the clutch lever does not seem to engage/disengage the tranny as pushing the bike around is no easier with the lever compressed or not compressed. There is springback/return to the lever when I let it go so I am figuring the clutch cable is still linked to the spring but beyond that I don't know what is going on yet in that casing. Two of the 4 screws on the case are partially stripped so I may have to get a screw remover kit to pull them and just replace with brand new screws.

3. When I attempt to click through the gears, I can feel/hear things engaging only twice and only the first is smooth. Reversing is pretty smooth back down to 1st gear... all being done without the bike running of course (is this not recommended?).

I'm reading Hondatwins.net pretty extensively and have downloaded the cb450 manual as well to understand more of the functions... as I go forward, are there Houston local shops that are capable of working on this bike engine say in case I need to do a full rebuild? I'd love to learn how to do it (along with carb tuning and overall engine maintenance) in the process too and compensate the teacher for their time too. I live downtown.

Very excited for the weekend so I can sit down with the bike and go over it in more detail (and of course with the ignition keys) and get going on this great project!

Thanks in advance gents!
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Old 07-16-2013, 12:13 PM   #2
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Houstonretrobobbers.com look them up they do mainly Honda bobbers and are very badass at doing it, they built my buddy's bike (600 shadow) and it came out amazing
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Old 07-16-2013, 12:55 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nastynesto85 View Post
Houstonretrobobbers.com look them up they do mainly Honda bobbers and are very badass at doing it, they built my buddy's bike (600 shadow) and it came out amazing
Thanks for the contact. At least a contact for powdercoating and a local honda based resource!
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Old 07-16-2013, 01:19 PM   #4
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Check with forum sponsor scooter trash for powder coat. Great guy, awesome work, fair price.

To answer your question, get it running first.
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Old 07-16-2013, 01:38 PM   #5
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Old 07-16-2013, 02:07 PM   #6
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Thanks gents!

I'll definitely contact the sponsor once I get the frame back.

Hopefully it doesn't take much to get it running yet. Was running before the previous owner stored it away about 6 months ago. Going to get an impact scewdriver with JIS head on it today to open up the clutch casing and change that out first. I'm thinking about changing out all the screws to nice SS hex ones to make life easier down the road and to have a nice look once I polish the engine as well.

I'll post updates regularly as things get going!
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Old 07-16-2013, 02:13 PM   #7
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Question number 3:
Doesn't hurt to shift with bike off, as long as your not forcing anything. Not being able to feel some shifts, with bike not running, probably doesn't mean anything since everything in tranny is relaxed.
That doesn't mean everything inside is ok, only riding will verify that.

That's partly why I suggested getting it running first. It will allow you to determine if there are engine/tranny issues that need to be dealt with.

Consider carefully the hardtail idea. Its gonna seriously change the ride and its hard to go back if you don't like it. Just my 2 cents.
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Old 07-16-2013, 02:16 PM   #8
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Good idea on ss hex screws. That'll look nice and make life easier down the road.
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Old 07-16-2013, 02:23 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bumblebee View Post
Question number 3:
Doesn't hurt to shift with bike off, as long as your not forcing anything. Not being able to feel some shifts, with bike not running, probably doesn't mean anything since everything in tranny is relaxed.
That doesn't mean everything inside is ok, only riding will verify that.

That's partly why I suggested getting it running first. It will allow you to determine if there are engine/tranny issues that need to be dealt with.

Consider carefully the hardtail idea. Its gonna seriously change the ride and its hard to go back if you don't like it. Just my 2 cents.
Thanks again! Will report back once I get the clutch cable changed out and see what happens when I fire it up.

I've been dreaming about a hardtailed cb450 ever since I saw the Dime City Sixty-Five. I plan on modeling mine after that one and have been talking to the DC folks for some guidance as well. The project after this one (ambitious I know) would be a cafe'd CB450. Love the black bomber look as well...

Just ordered the SS hex kit so as I go about taking things down and opening things up I can make the swap at the same time. Going to be a busy and fun weekend!

Any single shop that i can pick up basic bike parts (air filter, any cables for this bike, battery) in the area?
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Old 07-16-2013, 03:17 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chinorlz View Post
Any single shop that i can pick up basic bike parts (air filter, any cables for this bike, battery) in the area?
Might try Patrick at motorcycles unlimited. He's a forum sponsor also, very knowledgeable, straight shooter and all around good guy.
Don't know where you live, they are on 1960, far north. I live in Pearland and make the 45 min drive cuz I think its worth it.
Anyway call em up and I bet they can steer you in the right direction.
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Old 07-16-2013, 04:39 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bumblebee View Post
Might try Patrick at motorcycles unlimited. He's a forum sponsor also, very knowledgeable, straight shooter and all around good guy.
Don't know where you live, they are on 1960, far north. I live in Pearland and make the 45 min drive cuz I think its worth it.
Anyway call em up and I bet they can steer you in the right direction.
Thanks yet again my friend. I don't mind making a drive. Meeting folks and learning from them and also giving them my support is something I'm happy to make a little trip for
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Old 07-16-2013, 04:43 PM   #12
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Great foundation to start with! I always loved the CB's. I have a mini 1978 CB125 i'm rebuilding.

Get it running before you tear it apart. If there's anything I can do to help, feel free to PM me. I can also get you any parts you may need for your project at some unbeatable prices.

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Old 07-16-2013, 04:50 PM   #13
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Quote:
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Great foundation to start with! I always loved the CB's. I have a mini 1978 CB125 i'm rebuilding.
Pics please when you get it done.
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Old 07-16-2013, 05:14 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by houseofpaint View Post
Great foundation to start with! I always loved the CB's. I have a mini 1978 CB125 i'm rebuilding.

Get it running before you tear it apart. If there's anything I can do to help, feel free to PM me. I can also get you any parts you may need for your project at some unbeatable prices.

-Tony
Thanks Tony! Will do!

the JIS screwdriver with diamond powder tip and a wrench seemed to do the trick releasing just about all of the screws. Unfortunately it was successful on 3/4 screws I needed to get to the clutch. One was just too stripped to do anything with and the impact driver wasn't of much use either. Going to have to go back to the hardware store and get the stripped screw remover.
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Old 07-18-2013, 09:55 AM   #15
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A quick question as we near the weekend... do you gents know of local people that could potentially hardtail this bike for me? I had planned on going through TigMan (www.tanksbytigman.com) as they were recommended on another forum but it would be great to go local... For the hardtail and welding on a few other components such as the bobber seat bungs, faux oil tank, chain tensioner and rear brake linkage it was going to be around $600 plus me covering shipping there and back.

I'd love to build a connection with some place local if at all possible.
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Old 07-20-2013, 08:26 PM   #16
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Pretty productive saturday afternoon!

Work 1 zpsa18829d6

Work 2 zpsc3f5e1c0

Did a bunch today, but will have to wait for some things to come in before I can do more. Would love to hear some feedback and recs for some things that I came across as well... I've never owned a motorcycle before let alone worked on one.

Today:
- Checked compression. 135 psi on the left, and 140 on the right approximately. (manual says should be around 180... I haven't checked the valves yet)
- replaced old spark plugs with properly gapped new ones (The old ones could have been cleaned up but I wanted to go with brand new since the bike has been in storage since 1999).
- Had to use a breaker bar to open up to oil drain plug. A ton of gasoline reeking oil/fluid poured out. That petcock must have been left open for quite some time.
- Opened up both the right and left plates and examined the interiors... nothing grossly wrong/broken that I could see. Did not fiddle with the points at this time.
- Stripped off the old gaskets from either side. Dry as a bone and tore like paper. New set ordered today for next weekend.
- opened oil filter as best I could and took out what I could in regards to the gunk. Will need to revisit this once new o-rings arrive since one popped out when I took out the first part of it (right after the C clip comes off) and its so stretched out there is no way it could fit back in.
- checked all lights. Everything functions and flashes appropriately. Even the horn works
- put in fresh battery
- adjusted the clutch (was too loose before and wasn't disengaging the plates)

So what's next?

I know I need to replace the gaskets before I refill with oil appropriately and also put in fresh o-rings in the filter.

The starter spins but doesn't generate spark plug sparks (I did this early on before I realized how much gas/oil was in the engine). Not sure what that is about at this point.

I plan on replacing the carbs with dual Mikuni's with K&H filters. How much should I mess with the carbs at this point?

Once the gaskets arrive, I'll replace the gaskets, clean the oil filter, replace the o-rings, refill with oil appropriately and then check my valve clearances and adjust as necessary. I know my compression bilaterally is lower than spec.... really would prefer not to do a rebuild.... hope with some valve adjustments it'll be enough to get it to turn over.

As long as the engine fires up then it's all good IMO. Then I'm tearing the entire thing down and the frame then goes to get hardtailed with a 6" extension and some things welded on here and there.

While thats getting done, I'm going to rebuild the brakes since at least the front one is gummed up and nasty and maybe I can rebuild the master cylinder. Can throw on the carbs, change out fuel lines and get a new petcock while I wait for a K1 tank to show up for sale

am I missing anything as I go through this?

Hope the rain today didn't ruin anyones planned rides this weekend!
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Old 07-27-2013, 08:12 PM   #17
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Old 07-27-2013, 08:12 PM   #18
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Also picked up some high grit wet/dry sandpaper so once I pull everything off of the frame, I can get to work polishing everything up to make it all purdy
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Old 07-28-2013, 05:49 AM   #19
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Man, you're not gonna tear up that tank are you? There must be a better candidate out there to "bobber" than this, something not in such good cosmetic condition? I like a custom bike as much as the next guy, don't get me wrong, but this one seems in too good of a survivor's condition to hack it up. At least save the cosmetic parts and sell them rather than strip them down.
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Old 07-28-2013, 09:31 AM   #20
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No worries. I'm keeping all of the cosmetic parts separate. I wouldn't strip them or anything like that. The seat too is in great condition so all of those original components will go off to the side
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