well here you go, this is a thread to describe the events regarding the rebuild of my 1978 CB550K into a cafe racer. Hope you like the pics and comments regarding the progress. Please feel free to comment or to just to tell me i'm mad.
To turn this :
I appreciate that the second picture is that of a $38,000 US Norton Twin. But styling wise and quality of finish (relatively speaking), that's where i'm heading....
Originally I was sold on a Deus Manx, see pic below, but when I saw the $20,000 price tag I had to think again.
Surely I could emulate something for half the price, if not for a bit more?
Initially I tried to find a SR400 or 500, alas they are few and far between. Most are imported from Japan.
Luckily for me I never found one, so I turned to other manufacturers to find an equivalent:
Alternatives that I considered:
In the end I got a beautiful 2 owner 78 cb550 in excellent condition for $3000. I fairly big outlay of money i guess, but in perspective I got it for a excellent price. Most 70's era honda's CB350, 400 & 750 all were at least this price, some ranging up to $12,000. If I imported a SR500, it would cost at least that, so I think I did alright.
The downside is that the bike is in such good nick, it would really suit a restoration. I guess purists out there will not be happy that I will be stripping and replacing so many original parts. I've seen some negativity regarding turning cb550's info cafe's on other forums. Its not a big deal in Japan for SR400's so I don't see why it any different for a CB. All the old parts will be sold on ebay for a budget prices, so if your into CB's pick up a bargain!
Things to be done (in no particular order!)
Bike to be completely stripped
Existing tank to be replaced with ally tank
Existing seat replaced with custom solo seat
Battery and electrics to be relocated to new tail section
Engine stripped and rebuilt (not sure what that entails yet) and blast cleaned.
Existing tail section cut, new section welded in, frame to be powdercoated
Handlebar, headlights and instruments removed, new drag bar or ace bar added.
Mirrors scrapped, new bar end mirror
New tacho mounted inside new headlight.
New electronic speedo/odometer/warning lights with custom hidden flip cover
New front and rear indicators
New Tarozzi rearset pegs and gear levers
Existing front forks and triple clamp retained, but polished.
Engine bits removed and polished (eg crankcase and gearbox covers, sprocket cover etc)
Wheels to be respoked and polished.
Existing airbox removed, new 26mm race carby installed.with 4 stainless steel airpods
Existing 4 into 1 exhaust scrapped, replaced with custom 4 into 2 pea shooter style chambered exhaust
Scrap centrestand, replace sidestand with something more substantial.
Current ignition timing with points replaced in favour of a electronic ignition.
New front and rear sprockets with shorter gearing and new gold x-ring chain.
Existing chain guard scrapped
Existing front rotor to be pattern drilled, new aftermarket 6 pot calliper big brake kit added.
New master cylinder and levers
Steel braided brake line.
Other cables dressed up
Existing rear shocks scrapped and replaced with fully adjustable suspension (gas shocks?)
New race camshaft and valve springs (perhaps)
New sticker for the logo to be produced, placed on tank both sides
As to date, the tank and seat are still being fabricated, the exhaust is finished and being shipped. Here is a picture of them on the builder's beautiful pinas cb550:
As a first draft, i've come up with a name for the bike, faux 550.
Its french for imitation, and is a kind of a self deprecating name, which i like. But in reality that's what my bike is, a fake of a much more expensive bike like the Norton above.
1st draft of the logo:
I'll put up some pics when the bike is stripped to show you what a big mess ive made.