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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Yep. If you're as old as I am (some of you are MUCH older - haha), then you remember CB radio, especially in the 1970's. Citizen's Band of Friends to be precise (CBF). Anyway, with all the lingo and jargon that was used up to and including the now cult movie classic "Convoy" that made it so popular, I felt the need to regress into my childhood a bit. Picked up this little CB; actually having it delivered. Not soon, couple weeks, but hey hopefully it's worth it.

'81 Honda CB750 Custom



 

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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
Thanks all! Nah, don't worry about "derailing" the thread. That's the fun in this one, hence my beginning statements! Now, the problem is I have to get the bike her in my possession in order to have any fun with it. I'm having a bit of a snag with the seller, but hopefully it will all work out. :cool:
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
And SHE'S HERE!
Little shout out to Jimmy and Debi, owners and operators of Road Runner Transport! Great people, great communication and great care. If you need shipping, contact them first - (517) 589-9126, cell (517) 607-1567, [email protected]





 

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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
dang Scott, that's a good looking bike, I'd be tempted to leave it stock.
It IS rather nice. :D The exhaust pipes are not stock though. I had no time to start her up as I had to run to work. I'll let you all know later. Yeah, I'm ADD, :mrgreen: .
 

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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
All I can say is ...


























WOW!

She fired right up on the first start this morning! What a sound! Those are aftermarket slip-ons, not the factory mufflers (which I would have preferred style-wise), but man do they give this a "sport-bike" sound. After a complete check-thru and walk-around, I took her down the block. 1/4 throttle thrust me back, reminscent of my GSX-1000. Hey, these CB900's did about 12 flat in the 1/4 mile right from the showroom floor. I'll get a video up later, but I just feel like I got a complete and utter steal (minus shipping of course). :cool: I do have to adjust the carbs ever so slightly as they were tuned for that northern cooler/thinner air.
 

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Discussion Starter · #30 · (Edited)
Not the best video (w/sound), but gives an idea to how beautiful the sound is. Going to dial in the carbs a bit since it was a northern bike. How often too do you see a 32 year old bike with the factory warning/spec stickers on the tank and rear fender? She is a sweet little rocket. :)

Linky w/sound:82 Honda CB900 - YouTube




 

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Discussion Starter · #32 ·
One thing I could not stand is the look of these two-into-one Mac pipes. Not aesthetically pleasing, and the 90deg turnouts are a bit much. And to boot, they sound just nasty (to me) ... like farting in a tin can. So I picked up a set of stockers (not easy to find, nevertheless at a decent price). But I did it. OEM on this bike just looks good. Weird that I'd say that, haha. But the sound is sweet & low; mellow but with growl. I'll get a video with sound at some point. Makes me wonder why anyone would "upgrade". Even the look of the dual twin pipes (left and right) looks killer. Mind you, the CB is just a side project while I finish up the Magna. I'm still debating what to do with it too (the CB), but I know one thing ... that seat HAS to go! It's also not stock and the passenger padding is as high as Mt. Everest. May find a stock one, or shave the foam and recover.

Before with Mac's:



After with OEM:

 

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Discussion Starter · #37 ·
So ... it's begun. I haz ideas. It will be a simple transformation (hopefully). :cool:

Do you have any understanding how much better looking this bike is without that monstrosity of an ass pad?




Done. Haha! ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #41 ·
look at the Honkin' Seat on that sucker ...lol

What, did the Chicks have Bonier butts back then, thought the "Twiggy" era had been over for awhile ... LOL
Hahaha! Well in Honda's defense, it's NOT the stock seat. It shall be slimmed quite a bit. :cool:
 

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Discussion Starter · #42 ·
Started this evening with test fitting a few goodies.

First up, swapping out grandpa's rear suspension. Too fat, too cush. Slimming her down and lower the stance a bit.

Before:


After:



Then moved on to some bars. Yeah, you can now see some of the transformation. These are Renzo dirt bike bars. I removed the center bar and flipped them.




That's it for the night. Again, this is only test fitting, but so far so good. I "may" be stealing something soon ... more on that stay tuned, haha! More deliveries are on their way!
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Discussion Starter · #44 ·
This weekend I tore down the carbs first to see what jets where in it and second to verify the rebuild that the dealer out of Michigan said they did. Well, they did and nice work as the carbs looked pretty fresh inside. Jets however were stock and those will need to be upgraded for the sake of more planned inhalation.




I made a rather simple electronics tray that will hide and relocate all the mess from behind the side covers to under the new tail seat cover. This also minimizes considerably the amount of any wire splicing and lengthening (thought there will be some). I chose to have it bolted on using the existing frame brackets from old battery/electronics cradle. The itsy-bitsy Ballistic battery I got will go just behind the electronics tray and sit nicely under the rear fender after I fab up a box for it.

From:


To:




I'm planning on moving the tail seat back a few inches for aesthetic reasons (I like it better). It was designed for the CB750 which is a tad bit shorter due to the CB900C's stretch for the gear casing. So I'll have to fab up a short extension in front. The seat material will hide all that. I'm in the process of making templates for brackets and an under-skeleton to bolt the tail seat to the frame. I've gone through several ideas and didn't like any of them.




Ground off the center stand. It was rubbing on the tire from raising the bike slightly and it also will look way too ugly with it's foot lever sticking out with no planned exhaust on the left side of the scoot. That thing is also mega-heavy, so weight savings +1.


Mocking up some other things on the front end and will also drop it about an inch up there.


Other than that, I'm exchanging the rear shocks for a bit shorter (14.5" to 13.2") and returning the first set of handlebars because they didn't look good and they were double wall thickness which doesn't mesh with my plans on bar-end mirrors. And of course, waiting on more parts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #46 ·
Yeah those carbs do look very clean, that dealer told the truth....

What are you going to do for a kickstand?
The side stand is still there. I only eliminated the center stand. :cool:
 

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Discussion Starter · #48 ·
Told ya there was a cafe' buried in that bike.
Bah crap. Well, now I have to change my plans. Can't always have Vito be right ya know! :wink:

This evening I started fabbing the under seat bracket and support structure. The brackets will get drilled and two nuts will be welded to the underside of each. I'll then weld the brackets to the frame. The flat support will be epoxied to the bottom of the tail seat itself. I'll drill holes through the tail seat for mounting to the brackets using low profile Allen button heads which will get hidden under any seat foam/fabric concoction I come up with. You can see the battery box template that's still a work in progress here too. Ran out of time tonight.





 

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Discussion Starter · #50 ·
USPS gave delivery notification that some parts were delivered yesterday, left by the front door. So I get home and nothing's there. Sometimes it's left with my neighbor so I checked with him and nothing. I check with the other neighbor ... nope. Ok, well there's another house on the opposing street with the same house number as mine and the postman sometimes confuses our mail. So I check there, again nada. Grr. Okay, so I email the seller asking them to verify the ship-to address. Then I email the post office regarding the delivery. Oh well.

So this morning, I go into my step-daughter's room and there are two packages; one addressed to her and you guessed it, the other me. Bah, I should have checked with her, but then she should have checked the labels and told me about it. As a note, she stays at her boyfriend's house most nights because they both work late at the same restaurant. She brought in the packages in the afternoon when she stopped home and left again. Haha - minor, I know.

Anyhoo ........ I mocked up the headlight bracket briefly this morning which will lower the bucket about 4 inches. $10 plus shipping on Ebay. Cool.




I also got around to welding on the seat brackets last night. Baby steps, but I'll get there.


 

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Discussion Starter · #51 · (Edited)
This weekend consisted of getting the ride-height correct, finalizing the tail-seat mounting, cutting out all the unneeded tabs and brackets from where the original electronics were (including the side cover attachment points), and nearing completion of a battery box.

I've ordered and tried 3 sets of shocks for this project. The first ones were way to low; my fault because I changed the direction I was headed, so I returned those. The second ones I felt were too tall. The third ones felt right while sitting on the bike, but the clearance for the rear fender and tire was critically tight. So I put the second choice back on, lowered the front about an inch and a quarter and the stance is near perfect. I may go a bit lower in front; we'll see. The first pic shows 13.2" eye-to-eye shocks. Second are the 14.5" eye-to-eye shocks and my choice. The jack is there only to barely hold her up so I could get a true feel for stance. I should have put it under on the first pic to get her off the kick-stand because the lean added a bit of height to the front. Oh well.






For the tail-seat I ended up using only the front under-seat bracket for the front attachment points. For the rear, I used the threaded nut in the frame where the original fender support and passenger seat mount was. Simply drilled a hole into the tail-seat and used a couple spacers that I cut on an angle (one outside, and one inside the fender portion). The spacers being cut on an angle account for the fender's curvature. Pay no attention to the threaded rods left and right in the pic as those are the upper shock mounts (shocks weren't on in this pic). The rear seat bracket I welded on is used as additional support for both the seat and the battery box (next paragraph).






I welded an angle bracket to the rear of the frame I cut off. This adds additional rigidity, closes the tubing so moisture doesn't find it's home in there, and also acts as part of my battery box mount. I fabricated the battery box to be a bolt-on style for ease of removal if needed since it's pretty much custom designed around this little Ballistic battery. If I or another owner choose a different battery and the size is different, another box or brackets can be made easily. The front of the box is attached to the rear seat bracket and the rear is bolted to the angle bracket welded at the frame. I also drilled new holes into the seat base tray so that the tray can be removed independently from the front of the battery box, and visa-versa. You'll notice too there's a little spacer in the box to prevent the battery from moving forward. I still have to drill holes for the positive & negative wires, install a strap (battery tie-down) and make a lid. But not too shabby for this weekend. ****, my time is about 90% thought and 10% do, haha!











 

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Discussion Starter · #53 ·
Anyone but you I'd probably curse you out for chopping up that beautiful classic Honda, but I am sure the end result will be wildly fantastic knowing your skills. Nice job so far!
Thanks Harry. I thought about restoring but it hit me that there aren't too many CB900"C" cafes out there, "C" being shaft-drive. It's a great platform powerwise! The longer frame adds to a stretched look too. The fact that this is a low mileage bike that was in great shape kinda suited the bill for me too. I've been battling lots of little things along the way, but I'm confident it'll turn out sweet. :cool:
 

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Discussion Starter · #55 · (Edited)
Actually a productive weekend. :D

Got these little bad boys from England ... tank knee grips. Believe me, there are hundreds to find all over eBay and custom sights, but getting the shape just right where I needed them was the trick.



I'd been thinking of two things in particular to finalize the rear set-up. One was which one of two ideas to fab up for preventing road debris/water from getting into the battery compartment. The first of those was a simple blocking plate that would be welded to the back that took the shape of the inner fender. But the more I thought about it the more I wanted to block off the whole inside of the fender. So I took on the second part of the first idea and combined it with my second idea (Following me?) to create a rear support AND block plate for the rear fender.

You've no doubt seen a lot of "hoops" for the tracker and cafe bikes that come in kits or are fab'd up to get a flat seat on. Originally I was not going to do a full hoop because I wanted to keep the structural integrity of the stock frame where the rear shocks mount up. So I broke out the Harbor Freight tubing bender (that my neighbor gave to me a while back) and actually put it to use. My first attempt was terrible. It was late and not only did I measure incorrectly, but I cut it too short and had to weld on a couple 2" extensions AND wound up crimping the center of the U-bend by a few too many compressions on the bender. Ugh, you'll see that ugly 5h1t on the left in the pics below. Went to bed and today I mocked up another one, this time paying attention, haha!

The secrets to good a good 90deg bend in 1" tubing is to first fill the tube with something like play sand, compacting it in really good and taping off the ends. Then, incremental bends from side-to-side to gradually create the radius. And finally shaping the bend back in the center. It's an art, and my second attempt proved successful! After lots of eye-balling, mocking placement, and double checking fitment I angle cut the ends and notched them to fit up snug to the rear shock towers. Proceeded with welding the rear hoop on and all is good in the world now, haha! I did not make it around to getting the cover done for the battery box, but that will be the goal this week. Almost forgot, the second part of that first idea (don't worry, I'm lost now too) is to shape a flat metal sheet across the top of the hoop thus closing off the rear fender and providing support as well.

Here's all the pics:









 

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Discussion Starter · #58 ·
So I did a little fab work this evening. Little did I realize the Argon for my welder was ZERO, haha! Got about 1/4 into the weld before I realized it, so thus, the crappy weld that I'll redo hopefully tomorrow night (please, please don't look at the weld ... turn and walk away ... don't look, you'll turn to a pillar of salt!). I just wanted it on there to test the rigidity and see the outcome. Works superbly.




 

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Discussion Starter · #60 ·
Got the welding redid and ground for a smooth surface. I know it's not seen on the bike but myself and the next owner I'm sure will appreciate it. Yeah, I'm kinda OCD like this, haha!




Also, went to the paint store ... coming soon ... but not too soon. ;)



Been a slow moving process due to other life's events right now.
 
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