1972 Honda CB500/Four
Started putting the bike back together and finally got it up and running with a fresh tune up.....she purrs like a kitten. Still need to finish the exhaust and seat....plus a few small polishing items. This build has been a blast.
Some of the latest pics:
October 2006 Pics
Making more progress on this bike...shooting to have it finished before the weather completely craps out on us. Finished the custom OCR alloy tank..turned some of the alloy at the front(scallops)and painted the rest flat black. Still need to get some pin striping done before its finished.
Will be installing a new 16" rear rim with some nice wide whitewall tires here in the next few days...then this bike should be done. Oh....forgot about the seat...still need to figure that one out.
August 2006 Pics
Okay....so I didnt like the way the alloy tank came out on the first try. Spent this afternoon grinding down the welds and recutting the pieces to get the tank to flow better. Here's what we have now......I like it alot better.
Alloy tank try #1......redo!!
October 2005 Pics
May 2005 Pics
The polished motor parts are finished and reinstalled....looks really good. Still need to finish the body work. Also, you will notice an alloy seat pan.....this pan was built in a friends vintage race shop. Looks good on the CB500, but not sure if its the look that I want for this bike. Phils race shop make some amazing parts and I recently got the chance to see a BSA Goldstar road racer they are building.....absolutely beautiful bike.....with all the handmade alloy parts. Anyways, the CB500 is coming along pretty good...stay tuned for the finished bike.
April 2005 Pics
Above is the beginning process of sanding and polishing the alternator cover. If you are familiar with these bikes you will know how the inner emblem cover is always missing. This was a poor area of design, as the little alloy tabs break and thus the emblem falls off. Rather than replace it($85.00 thru dealership), I have decided to grind down the lip using a 4.5" grinder and then sand and polish to a smooth finish. Covering the alternator cover with a good layer of Vasoline, I ground down the lip and have started sanding out the grinder marks....polishing will soon follow.
The frame and motor have finally been painted.....and reinstalled. Starting on the front, you will see I am not using the stock CB500 headlight or fork covers. Instead, we are using the stock fork covers & headlight from a 1972 Honda CB350. The upper fork covers have had the insides reshaped to fit the 35mm CB500 upper fork tubes and have the forks internals shortened approx 3 inches. The bike is coming together quickly.....check back often for pics
March 2005 Pics
The bike has been dismantled and the rebuild has begun. I have added a couple pics of the recently sandblasted frame and swingarm. As soon as the weather breaks, we will begin the paint. Also, there is a pic of the half way finished....polished upper triple clamp. Polishing this has been a job. The factory casting is very rough and it is taking for every to get a nice mirror polish. Few more days of buffing and it should be ready to go.
February 2005 Pics
January 2005 Pics
The teardown has finally begun on the "Roadster" project. This project has been a little delayed in getting started. SuperMoto racing last fall seemed to consume me.....but now that the weather has gone to crap and the holidays are over......its time to get down to business.
Recieved this 500/4 as payment for some work I did on a sportbike and really didnt have much history on it. All I really knew was...it looked like crap, the motor was free....but no clue as to how long ago it had been in running condition. A quick inspection soon found that old gas had been left in the tank and carbs.....so both would need a good cleaning. Once the carbs were removed and float bowls opened...my jaw dropped. I have never seen so much varnish(old gas...turn to glue). Truely I wondered if pitching the carbs in the can would be the best option.....but decided to try a good cleaning first. Breaking down the carbs, I soaked each carb is some heavy duty carb cleaner for a bout a week each.....and about a month later I had four carbs that looked almost new.....I was amazed. After cleaning all the jets....I reassembled the carbs and remounted them on the bike. Using a spare CB350 tank I hooked up some fuel lines and double checked all the electrics. Amazingly the points and plate looked like new.....and the plug wires all connected. After about 20 mins of kicking the bike.....she rumbled....just one cycliner and one fire. WOW!!! Soon a few more kicks and the CB500/4 came to life. All be it....reving to the roof and the carbs were way out of adjustment. After a few back fires and a carb adjusting the bike was running really nice. Now....you must under stand here in Ohio the weather has been a little on the chilly side.....with temps at 0 or below. So, mister intelligent here decided to take the fine running machine for a quick spin around the neighborhood....to see if the tranny was in as good a condition. Okay......so the temps were around 2 degrees outside with 4 inches of snow on the roads/with ice. Having only a small jacket on, we twisted the throttle and motored down the road....1st gear....not bad...okay......2nd gear......good....getting a little cold on the bare hands......by the time I reached 5th gear at about 45mph........it felt like someone had a lit torch pointed at my hands from 2 inches away......oooooOOOUCH!! The ride back to the house was spent alternating hands under the coat......not one of the brightest moments in my life. But the bike was running fine and nothing bad in the tranny. Time to tear down!!
First order is gonna be to remove the front end and get the forks and front rebuilt and polished. After the forks the rest will be broke down to ready for paint, cleaning and polishing. There are several pics above showing some of the progress. I'll try and post pics of the progress when I can....mostly, I plan to use the pics as a reference for rebuilding......since I dont feel like going to get a manual. Enjoy the pics and the info....and drop an email if you have a question on a particular area i'm working on. I'll help the best I can........LATER!
AUGUST 5, 2004
Okay.....this little bike has lit a fire in my a$$. Looks like we are straying away from the cafe racer route on this one. I've seen some nice CB500 roadsters cruisers on the net. Dont get me wrong.....I love my racers, but sometimes a longer ride with a little more comfort would be nice. So, we are going for the hot rod cruiser look with a few extras to increase the comfort level a little. I may even put a radio on this baby....to listen to a few tunes while cruising the black slabs.
A couple noticable things are the windscreen/fairing with hard saddle bags. These originally were on the CR350 cafe racer when I purchased it back in 1996. So, no more taking up space around the house....on the bike they go. The windscreen will be chopped down, so that it only sticks up around 4" above the fairing and will be painted black on the backside......for that black out look. Saddle bags need to be moved forward on the bike a bit.....dont like how the sit out past the rear tire. The rear will be lowered using 11 1/4" shocks, then using a rear shocks lowering kit from JCWhitney.com to lower it 2 1/2" more.....for a grand total of 3 1/2" lower in the rear from stock. Ohhh....and the beautiful seat.....as described by one of our visitors "..butt ugly"....Gerald I agree totally!!! Already, the seat has been stripped of the cover and foam. Plan is to use the seat foam and cut it down to make a seat that follows the contour of the seat pan. Thickness should only being around 2-3 inchs. No clue on color or paint. I will strip the bike down to the frame and repaint it black.........but no idea on body part colors.
For the most part....i'm firing from the hip on this one, not really sure what tomorrows ideas will bring. Keep posted on this one.........I will add pics and info as much as I can. As always email us with your ideas on where to take this one and lets see some pics of those hot rod honda cruisers.
This beautiful 1972 Honda CB500 Four came to us recently and we have no clue what to do with it. One option is to transform her into a bobbed cruiser, with a nice fairing on the front with a chopped windscreen and lowered in the rear. I guess we are breaking from our norm with the Cafe Racers, but a little change would be good to keep the design juices flowing. Although a Cafe Racer is still not out of the question, since there are a few nice 500 Cafe's around. We would love to hear your suggestions on how we should transform this bike......send us an email.....maybe even a pic of a nice CB500 or CB550 transformed. Keep posted!!!