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CB500T Cafe Racer Project (and misc. ramblings)
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Hey, go here now to check the status of my cafe racer project as I will no longer update this site.


Thanks, and have a nice day.

Have no fear, progress is still being made on this thing. The tank and seat are currently in the paint shop. Hope to get 'em back in the next couple of weeks. I'll put up some photos when I get them back.

Other than that, I've got the electrical to sort out and new carbs to put on.

Thats all for now.

Current Mood: blahblah

The bike is coming along slowly but, at least its still coming along. The front brake is rebuilt. It had seized at one point in its life and now it is free. Corrosion had built up so bad that the pad had corroded to the caliper bore. Took the old pad out, cleaned out the bore, applied a slight amount of anti-seize to the bore wall, and put the new pads in. I thought that would be all it would take to free up the pads but, it ended up actually being a combination of pad corrosion and master cylinder corrosion! A buddy of mine ended up rebuilding the master cylinder. I had already ordered and had the master cylinder rebuild kit in my possession but, didn't think I needed it so soon. It took about 4 hours just to get the circlip out from deep within the piston cavity. Most of the time was spent trying to find the right tool and angle of approach. Once the clip was out, everything went in without a hitch. The trick to getting the clip out was grinding down the circlip tool just a little so that it fit easier into the holes on the circlip. The other trick was pushing the piston all the way down into the cavity to make more room for the modified circlip tool to work.

I had put the stock tank back on for now so I could putz around on the bike and try my hand at engine tuning. Its the first time I've ridden a bike ever and I had a blast! I was shaking a bit from nerves but, I got over it soon enough. I even got a chance to ride my buddy's Yamaha XS650 cafe project a little. His engine runs much stronger than my 500. His bike pulls hard! Makes my bike seem slow. I've got some noticible bogging near 2500rpm. With my inexperience, I immediately started messing with the carbs. Messed with them so much, now they're out of tune as well. I've learned since then from the CB450 forum group that almost 100% of engine problems with the 450 and 500 are ignition points related. Now ya tell me! I learned the hard way so, I've got 2 carb rebuild kits on the way to set the carbs straight. I need to order up some new points because they say if you're messing with points on a 30 year old bike, you better get new ones or you'll just be wasting your time. Oh, and not to mention all the spark plugs you'll go thru tuning the bike.

Other than that, I've been doing a lot of odds and ends. I mounted the headlamp brackets but, not the headlamp yet. Tightened down the ignition cylinder since it was literally hanging by a thread when I got it. Adjusted the throttle cable. I'm not sure what happened but, when I was messing around, I ended up mis-adjusting the throttle cable some how. Its all good now. I've mounted the clutch and throttle controls. I had to modify the housings so that the wires would come out of the housing. Previously, the wires went thru the handlebars. So now those are good. I applied a little motor oil to the throttle housing to make it feel smooth. It had been sticking and now its like butta. I'm in the process of prepping the fiberglass race tank. A couple coats of primer and filler putty have gone on there so far. I think thats how it'll stay until winter. I plan to have a few parts sent out for paint over the cold months. I have some closed cell foam for the seat pan so my butt doesn't hurt so much. I'm going to have to get some velcro to adhere it to the seat pan. The closed cell neoprene foam shapes really well. My buddy with the 650 used it for his seat and it worked out great. While he shaped up the the entire tail section in foam, I'm just going to apply a layer to the fiberglass tail section I already have.

I can't think of anything else right now. Once again I'm off to get more parts. Stay tuned...


Current Mood: chipperchipper

I'm not dead, just busy.  Got some big things at work happening right now.  Once that stuff clears I'll be more focused on the bike.  Hang in there.


Current Mood: numbnumb

I've been distracted by other projects recently but, I did get a chance to do some work yesterday.  I was able to mount the seat.  I had to drill some more holes out, fabricate some mounts, and fit and re-fit a couple of times.  It came out pretty well.  The seat sits just right.  I found that I do need to grind off some more metal at the end of the seat frame rails.  I left the stock mounting locations there for the turn signals but, now they've got to go.  Otherwise it may crack the seat pan.

Next thing to do?  I guess now its on to the front end.  I need to fix the front brake.  Its in a frozen state right now.  Then its on to the cosmetic things like mounting the headlight, mounting the clutch lever, fork gaitors, bar end mirror, etc...

Untill next time,


Current Mood: tiredtired

Here are those pix I promised.

Here is the brackets I welded to the frame to hold the tank and seat.

Here is another view of the same thing.

Here is a good shot of the new clubman bars and gauges I put on.

Better shot of the gauges and the top tripple.

And an updated shot of the bike.  Tank mounted and seat sits flat now.

This past weekend was great.  The tank is mounted.  Seat bracket welded on.  And I didn't take pix but, I put the new fuel lines on with the in-line filters, put the exhaust back on, installed the new petcock, and mounted the throttle with a new brake power lever.  I'll post up pix when I take 'em.

Till then,


Current Mood: thirstythirsty

Yesterday I welded for the first time ever in my life.  Went pretty well if I do say so myself.  I had to fab up some mounting surface for fiberglass tank and seat.  The tank is on there solid now.  I was a little unsure Friday night but, come Saturday morning I was definitly on a mission to mount that tank.  I'll be posting up some pictures shortly on that soon.

Other than that I ended up putting the exhaust back on today.  I also put on a new brake power lever.  I had to do some modification of the throttle housing to mount on my new clubman bars.  The stock throttle and clutch lever housings fed thru the stock handlebars.  Bastards.  So I'm having to mod the housings so that the wires hang out of the bottom (like any other bike on earth).  I can work around that for now.  I may just get fed up with it and splurge for a new master cylinder, throttle, and light/clutch housing.  Now that I've got the top tripple all polished all the old stuff looks bad.  The price we pay for wanting a project bike.  Its more like a money sponge.  So far the satisfaction of building my own bike has outweighed the money sponge aspect.  Its when the two are reversed is when I sell the bike and move on.

Like I said, I'll post up pics a little later.  I'm too lazy right now frankly.


Current Mood: lazylazy

Just for fun, here is a "before and after"  more like "before and where I am right now building this thing".

Alright.  I've been polishing, stripping, sanding, grinding, painting, and ordering parts.  I've got the paint and polish to a decent state as you can see in the pix below.  I also got my tank and seat pan in the mail today.  I've got quite a bit more parts on the way.  Can't wait for those.  Especially the gauges.  I picked up some tiny chrome ones with black faces.  They should look pretty sweet sitting on that polished triple.

So far the bike has been coming together pretty quickly.  I do have quite a bit more to do.  Now that I have the tank and seat I need to mount them.  The frame needs a little more grinding so the seat sits properly.  I'll also need to fashion some way to mount the tank properly.  I've got some ideas so I'm not too worried.  Once I get the pod air cleaners I ordered I'll be able to fab up the backbone cover (to hide all the wires and such) and a new, smaller battery cage.

Here it is in its naked state.  No tank, seat or exhaust.  Just frame and motor.

BAM!  Here it is with the tank and seat pan.  Note:  seat pan needs frame modification to sit properly.

Front 3 quarter view.  Here you can see all the front chrome polished up real nice.

Rear 3 quarter.  Here you can see the painted frame and polished rear shocks.

And last but, definitly not least, is the purdy top tripple all polished up.

Untill next time,


As far as the car goes, it had a dead battery.  Replaced it without much of a problem.  I'm not sure why the new battery doesn't fit properly (or why VW doesn't have brackets that accomodate universal batteries) but, it doesn't.  Got it to work though so I've got juice.

Here are some pix of the progress on the 500T.

Headlamp and cluster removal.  Make sure you mark those wires good.

Battery cage removal really cleaned things up a little.  Oh, and don't forget the rear fender.

Frame grinding action.  Taking off all the stock seat mounting brackets.

Here it is half way thru grinding.  I still need to clean up a bit.

And here is a shot of me with my winter shop gear on.  Can't wait for sun.

Here's the fiberglass race tank that fell in my lap.

And the matching fiberglass seat that fell in my lap.

All in all it was a good Easter weekend.  I was able to get quite a bit done.  Stay tuned for more updates.


Current Mood: tiredtired
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