Workin Out The Kinks

So we got the CL450 fired up and running last week.  Josh and I were pretty stoked to get it out on the road, get a feel for the clip-on riding position, and see how it felt compared to our other 450, Rusty.  It turns out the CL feels AWESOME!  The riding position is spot on perfect.  The clip-ons seem just a bit wider than sport bike versions, and they don’t angle down too much; super happy with that.  The bike runs great; it turns over great with either the start button or the kicker.  It has the right amount of power and the carbs seem super smooth all the way through the rev range.  Super sweet.

Here’s a vid of Josh tearing through the local LDS parkng lot.  Best possible use for a churchproperty, in my opinion.

And, here’s a vid of me giving it my seal of approval.  Smoke, what smoke?  Oh, that…ummm we actually thought the bike was on fire for a second, which was kind of exciting.  Turns out brand new pipe wrap does that.  And keeps doing that several rides later.  Pretty cool.  It smells like baked goods, kind of.  It’s like you’re twisting the throttle of a croissant as your rip it down the street.  You don’t even have to pay extra for the added aural experience, Forrest!  Bargain.

Those vid’s were from ride number one.  Thirty minutes later I went for ride number two, and it ended like this:

In the bed of the Spin Cycle Ambulance, which has been getting a fair bit of use lately.  The bike possesses the usual CB450 charging prowess, or lack thereof.  With a new headlight, the charging system just cant keep up with the headlight output.  Unless you’re giving it some serious stick, which I wasn’t.  I was cruising for chicks.  The battery was super dead and I had to pick it up from a friends house the next morning.  Headlight switch to follow.

Next issue is that the bike was SUPER loud.  The owner wanted a super QUIET bike.  We missed the mark slightly.  So, with some quick goat thinking, we welded up some perforated screens to insert down stream from the exhaust baffles.  It was really a temporary measure to make it so our neighbors would hate us slightly less.  Amazingly, it made a HUGE difference.  It’s noticeably quieter than our other 450 now.  So, brilliant bit of exhaust gas engineering on our part, then.  Moto GP, here we come.

Also, the new inserts look SWEET.

Next challenge, the CL has developed a wee bit of an oil leak:

Okay, so that’s a bit of an exaggeration, that was actually the result of me changing the oil after the first ride.  Note to future owner: the oil all comes out at once, that sucker has a huge drain hole!  The bike does however have a fairly significant leak.  We spent most of the day yesterday trying to sort it out; it’s coming out near the front sprocket, possibly the sprocket drive shaft.  The challenge is that it wont leak while just running in the shop.  It needs to be actually run on the road.  Hmmmm.  Still working on that one.

Next up, the exhaust leak.  We rode it over to the Mechanic’s shop the other day, just to say hi, you know, cause we haven’t been seeing enough of him lately.  The second I pulled up he walked out and commented that we have an exhaust leak.  Doh!  How come he can hear that stuff from 40 feet and I cant hear it at all, even when told it exists.  Oh yeah, it’s because he’s been a mechanic for 40 years.  Anyways, he told me to replace the header gaskets and gave me a pile of ‘em.  I pulled it apart and sure enough, the old gaskets were squashed paper thin and falling apart.  We put it all back together and just the thickness of the new gaskets meant our exhaust pipes no longer aligned with their rear mounting hole.  So, we slotted the hole; problem solved.  Exhaust re-built, and less leaky.

Here are the old gaskets up front, an the pile of fresh ones in back.  Um, fairly significant difference.

Here’s a new gasket on the end of a head pipe:

While I was picking up another gasket at the parts store, I noticed this must-have accessory:  my truck’s gonna be in the shop getting this installed…

Oh, almost forgot to mention, we got the seat back from Red Hot Interiors, our upholsterer.  It is perfect.  These guys are awesome.  I think we’re fairly lucky to have them as a resource here in town.  Nice job Darrell!

And now for a bit of fun.  We finally settled on a direction for the tank & tail color & design.  We spent a couple of days sanding, prepping, spraying (and re-spraying) the tail & tank.  They turned out pretty well.  Here’s the tail:

And here is the tank stripped, as Josh was working out the final graphics.

And after the first coat of satin black:

Here’s the bike all assembled and out on the town.  It looks pretty dope, I’d have to say.

The Owner wants the bike’s paint to have a patina’d feel to it, hence the ‘antiqued’ and faded numbers and paint work after the fact.  It fits the bike pretty well.  The CL gets a TON of nods and thumbs up from people in traffic.  And, of course, you cant park it without having a conversation with several folks about what it is.

Okay, next challenge: the fuel tank cap’s gasket was toast.  So, we made a new one.  It seems to work great, and it’s very colorful.  We are trying to order an OEM replacement, but this should suffice in the mean time.

And finally, I don’t believe we have mentioned it on this bike’s blog, but we are hosting a vintage and custom motorcycle show this weekend here in Bend.  Here’s a poster, or check out the link on our home page for more info.  We have a great variety of customs & unique old bikes from the 50′s through the 80′s to show off, plus some bike inspired sculpture and photography.  It should be a good time.  If you’re in the area, definitely stop & say hi.  All of the Spin Cycle bikes will be on display as well.










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  • 22 January, 2013 at 8:20 am // Reply

    Hi guys, love your builds. Quick question: what did you use for exhaust baffles on these pipes? I have a similar set up and it’s loud as hell. Good call on welding the screens in, top notch stuff.

    • 22 January, 2013 at 9:30 pm // Reply

      We ended up making the baffles ourselves with some small perforated pipe, washers, and some FMF four stroke packing. If you need more detailed info send us an email at

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