junkyard bike

Okay, a bit of the nostalgia and coolness of building a bike out of a junkyard find may be wearing off for us.  Now that we’re close to getting the CL running, some of the issues, which should have been expected, are starting to rear their ugly heads.  We’ll try not to think of them as huge pains in the ass, but more like ‘opportunities’.  Opportunities for us to become better bike mechanics…yeah, that’s it.

So first off, we had to come up with a way to get the CL360 front wheel & axle to fit into the CB500 fork, which is, of course attached to a CL450 bike.  We studied parts diagrams on line, looked at some of our other bikes, dry fitted a few options, and came to the conclusion that Honda made a shim that was intended to fill the need.  We were able to procure said shim form our good buddy Salvage Steve, so we were pretty excited about that.  We got back to the shop, and bolted ‘er all up, only to find that the shim from the 500 doesn’t really fit the axle of a 360.  Off to the machine shop we went.  Our other buddy Craig at ISCO machine shop had the modified piece back to us in one day.  Craig Rocks.  Oh, an on a side note, Craig’s shop is sponsoring a trophy truck race series her in Central Oregon, out at the Redmond Fairgrounds.  His company built themselves a truck and are entering it in the series.  Trophy trucks are RAD!  If you’re in the area, definitely go check out the carnage.  Here’s the freshly modified shim.  The interior was machined, not the exterior.

We bolted it up.  The interior is the proper diameter, but now that we can get the wheel in there with the drum brake assembled we noticed that the shim is too wide.  So, out to the side yard machine shop for a bit of flapper wheel action with the angle grinder and that problem was fixed.  We were finally able to get the wheel installed.  Then, after a couple of tries at centering the Frankenstein front end with axle washers, we got it all set.  One challenge down, quite a few to go.

At this point we naively, I mean optimistically thought all we had to do was install the fuel lines & filters then we’d be good to go.  Technically, that was true, but nothing is ever that simple.  After a trip to the Motoshop for some fuel line & filters, Josh set about to plumb the fuel system.  We noticed the CL’s petcock only had one connector for a fuel line.  Rusty has two, but we figured it was just a change that occurred over the course of the four years worth of development between the two bikes.  We got it all plumbed and ready to fire up, after another tip to the hardware store to acquire a sweet brass T fitting.  We flipped the petcock to the ‘on’ position and cringed as gas begin to flow out the face of the petcock, but not down into the fuel lines.  Ugh.

Long story short, we had to order a new petcock.  The old one looked exactly like what you should expect from a bike that has been sitting in a junkyard for the past 10 years.  Very rough.  And also broken.

In the mean time we got the chain installed.  Always love that sticky feeling you get after touching a factory new chain.

We are also still waiting for the seat to come back from the upholsterer.  It is taking a bit longer than hoped..

The bike looks sweet sitting amongst the other bikes, cant wait till it is complete!

Now that we’ve had some time to look at he bike, we are starting to talk more about how to finish off the number plate & tank.  The bike has gone through quite a few cosmetic iterations in our minds; lots of discussions between us and the owner.  We have discussed everything from fairly fancy custom pinstriped versions, to leaving the tank exactly as it is.  Each option has had some merit, and we are still contemplating.

Here are several options that Josh worked up in photoshop:

And finally, we made this photo to help keep us motivated.  Sometimes the details and wiring at the end of the project can start to feel a bit tedious.  It really helps to see how far we’ve come to keep our focus on the end product:






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1 Comment

  • 26 October, 2013 at 12:12 am // Reply

    Just wanted to say how cool your bikes are! Im in the process of doing a bratstyle project with a 73 cb450 I have, do you guys by chance sell those rear hoops I’ve seen on your builds (70 cl450) ? if so I’d be willing to pay for your time and materials and shipping of course. If your not interested I completely understand.

    Thanks Paul

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