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Author Topic: My First 1974 cb450: Tabasco! [SOLD! "FIGHTER" THREAD UP!]  (Read 84976 times)

Offline goodfornothing

  • Posts: 843
  • Spicey!
Hey there guys and girls!

Since this is my first post, I'll introduce myself. My name is Adam and I'm currently 19 years old. I'm a college student so hopefully I'll have time to work on this beast. I'm basically a motorcycle virgin; first motorcycle and first time doing this. I don't have my motorcycle license yet, but I plan to take the MSF course and get my license as soon as I get this bike running. I used to be into cars but it got old. I've always wanted a bike before and was planning on getting a Honda Shadow VLX, however I found this forum and gained a lot more knowledge about cafe racers. Love at first sight? Maybe.

Here's a little info about the bike: It's a 1974 Honda cb450. I found it on craigslist last week and officially bought it yesterday, February 7th, 2009. It has about 17k miles on it with a clean title, which will be under my name this Tuesday :). It was previously registered in 2000 and still has the original plate. Awesome! I got for $300 and the guy was a great seller. Very polite as well. So my buddy and I went over to Inglewood at 8:30, miraculously figured a way to load the bike onto his truck using 3 planks of wood we found in an alley and headed home. My first impression of the bike, "This thing is HUGE!" It's quite heavy as well. My friend calls it a beast lol. He's a little shorter than I am, and when he sits on it, he looks little haha. I never expected it to be that big. I'm always amused when things turn out to be different than when you expect them. Kind of like a blind date.

I took some pictures using my sidekick. Here's one of the bike loaded on the truck.


And sitting in my garage.


Here's a couple of pictures that the guy sent me.




As you can see, the tank has a lot of rust in it. The bike was in decent condition: Has the usual rust, but it's currently not running. The bike kicks all the way through, so the engine isn't seized. The guy told me that the bike has been accidentally dropped twice on it's left side, hence the dent on the tank, which his father bondo'd, bent left turn signal, and bent/loose shift lever. The battery was dead as well, so no way of checking the turn signals or headlight. Or horn. Honk honk.

Here are a few issues with the bike that I know of in its current state:
- Rust, although not much, it's still rust.
- Petcock leak
- The gearshift lever is loose and bent. It can be shifted into first, neutral, and second, but it seems like it can't go past that. I vaguely remember getting to up shift more though. Anyone know what's up or what I can do?
- Bent pieces that will most likely be replaced.

I've been greatly inspired by Beli's build. So here are my plans:
- Get the bike running first and foremost. I'll start out with rebuilding the petcock then I'll do some carb cleaning.
- Tank rust removal using electrolysis. Stripped, knee indents, bondo'd and then painted. I'll do this the same time I rebuild the petcock.
- Fabricate a seat just like Beli did.
- Clubman bars
- Chop the front fender and either chop the rear or get rid of it
- I'm not sure if I feel confident enough to strip the whole bike down and totally clean it up. I don't want to do a half-assed job either, so in the end I'll probably strip it down, clean and repaint the frame and bits and pieces. I'll need your guys' help and encouragement along the way.

Those are my plans for now. But first I have to save up and buy a battery haha. I was thinking about getting one from Walmart for $35 haha. I'm very giddy about this project. It's going to be such a great learning experience and I'll get to learn a lot about the bike before I start riding it. I'm looking forward to getting to know you guys/gals as well.

I have another embarassing/newb thing to share with you. Since the bike is friggin' heavy, my friend and I had trouble getting it on the centerstand. We had success at the 5th attempt. Is there like a certain technique to it? Or am I not eating enough spinach?

God Bless!
« Last Edit: Dec 07, 2009, 19:13:00 by goodfornothing »
TABASCO! *Sold*
1974 Honda cb450: Clicky

Fighter Project *Sold*
1989 cbr600 Hurricane:
Clicky

Offline hanly2

  • Posts: 203
Re: My First 1974 cb450: Cafe Project!
« Reply #1 on: Feb 08, 2009, 21:58:25 »
It looks like you got a great deal.  I think you will be happy with your purchase and you will learn a lot from this bike.  I like the idea of getting it running before you do anything else.  good luck.

Offline CThor

  • Posts: 379
Re: My First 1974 cb450: Cafe Project!
« Reply #2 on: Feb 08, 2009, 22:04:46 »
Welcome and good luck with your project.  I'm just getting started on a '71 CB450.  It is also my first motorcycle and project like this.  Other than a scooter I built up last summer.  A mini motorcycle I guess. ha ha.  I can tell you I also had trouble getting the thing on the center stand the first couple times.  With the seat off it makes it easier to lift up on the brace that connects the two sides of the frame together.  I'll keep an eye on your thread to see how things are going.  I need to get some pics taken tomorrow of the few things I've done to at least update my build thread.

Offline goodfornothing

  • Posts: 843
  • Spicey!
Re: My First 1974 cb450: Cafe Project!
« Reply #3 on: Feb 08, 2009, 22:12:38 »
Thanks guys! I'm looking forward to working on this bike as soon as more funds come in. I'm currently trying to save right now for Valentine's Day for my gf :). I should practice getting the thing on the center stand at least.

CThor, I'm going to check out your build right now. Keep me updated!
TABASCO! *Sold*
1974 Honda cb450: Clicky

Fighter Project *Sold*
1989 cbr600 Hurricane:
Clicky

Offline saucer

  • Posts: 814
Re: My First 1974 cb450: Cafe Project!
« Reply #4 on: Feb 08, 2009, 22:42:07 »
great deal on that bike, i have a 74', and 2 71s, they keep breeding, great bikes they got quite a roar,

Offline BigBSBusa

  • Posts: 1222
Re: My First 1974 cb450: Cafe Project!
« Reply #5 on: Feb 08, 2009, 22:49:42 »
Nice!
BigBS

1974 Honda CB550
1977 Yamaha XS750 - Project Maggie Mae
1994 Kawasaki Ninja ZX11 - Project Raven
1999 Suzuki TL1000R - Project Sable

Offline goodfornothing

  • Posts: 843
  • Spicey!
Re: My First 1974 cb450: Cafe Project!
« Reply #6 on: Feb 08, 2009, 23:01:15 »
Thanks again guys!
Another thing I forgot to mention, the seat lock doesn't work. In place of it, the owner before me made a makeshift latch and hinge mechanism, it works well, but I also want to replace this. I'll be posting a lot of pictures as I work on the bike as well. Keep checking back!
TABASCO! *Sold*
1974 Honda cb450: Clicky

Fighter Project *Sold*
1989 cbr600 Hurricane:
Clicky

Offline CThor

  • Posts: 379
Re: My First 1974 cb450: Cafe Project!
« Reply #7 on: Feb 08, 2009, 23:06:27 »
My build thread only consists of a pic of it in the back of my truck. lol  Since then I've removed the tank and seat.  I just got my new seat and finished removing tabs and grinding yesterday.  While you're waiting for more funds I'm sure you could do some general clean up and rust removal fairly inexpensively.

Offline matt365

  • Posts: 273
  • The Be-hatch Lives!
Re: My First 1974 cb450: Cafe Project!
« Reply #8 on: Feb 09, 2009, 00:04:58 »

I have another embarassing/newb thing to share with you. Since the bike is friggin' heavy, my friend and I had trouble getting it on the centerstand. We had success at the 5th attempt. Is there like a certain technique to it? Or am I not eating enough spinach?

God Bless!

Push down on the center stand, and don't try and pull on the back.  Hold the grab bar at the rear to keep it steady, and force all your weight on the stand to lever it up.  Takes a bit of finesse, and practice.

How long has it been sitting?  Dump that old oil & change it.  Hopefully there isn't any old gas in the carbs, because they could be varnished up pretty bad if it's been sitting for a few years.

After electrolysis, the tank will flash rust pretty quick.  Might want to coat it with Por15 or a similar product (last thing you want is rust in the carbs.)


Offline goodfornothing

  • Posts: 843
  • Spicey!
Re: My First 1974 cb450: Cafe Project!
« Reply #9 on: Feb 09, 2009, 00:56:56 »
Push down on the center stand, and don't try and pull on the back.  Hold the grab bar at the rear to keep it steady, and force all your weight on the stand to lever it up.  Takes a bit of finesse, and practice.

How long has it been sitting?  Dump that old oil & change it.  Hopefully there isn't any old gas in the carbs, because they could be varnished up pretty bad if it's been sitting for a few years.

After electrolysis, the tank will flash rust pretty quick.  Might want to coat it with Por15 or a similar product (last thing you want is rust in the carbs.)



Thanks for the advice! When my friend and I tried putting it on the center stand, we were only pulling from the back lol.

The scary part about the bike is that it's been sitting for about 9 years. Yikes! There's still a wee little gas in the tank, which I'm sure caused the rust. I don't think the carbs are going to be any prettier either. It'll most likely need a rebuild and the fuel lines will need to be changed. I've read on Beli's build that he used Red-Kote in the tank and I was thinking of using a similar product.

I'm waiting to do everything fuel related (tank, carbs and petcock) at the same time before trying to get it started again. For now, I'm going to change the oil and clean/strip some parts.

I have a question, after doing electrolysis, where would I dump the rust tainted water?
TABASCO! *Sold*
1974 Honda cb450: Clicky

Fighter Project *Sold*
1989 cbr600 Hurricane:
Clicky