Honda cafe racer CB550 update

HCR cb550

This is an overdue Honda CB550 project update. So last time I updated you guys I started tearing into the motor. Well that’s all done now and it turns out that not only was the crank shaft bent but there was a small piece chipped out of the block. I did not want to take any risks with having it leek or any other issues that it could bring so I ordered a new lower end from EBay.   Unfortunately when the guy shipped the lower end he kept the head studs in the block. And of course the shipping company had to flip the motor over and drop it. Long story short I get home and get excited to see the lower end at my house. Before opening the box I notice that the box is in rough condition.

hcr CB550 side

So opening the box I was ready for some bad news. When I opened the box the oil pan was looking right at me. At this point I did not have a good feeling about things. I carefully flip the motor over and I see that out of the 12 head studs 5 of them are bent badly. To add to that, many of the oil filter fins where broken off. Seeing that was truly disappointing.  I contacted the guy and we opened a claim and I got my money back for shipping. Since frat shipping was like 100$ it was enough for me to use that money to buy new APR head studs. Now when I was removing the old head studs I used a troche and hated them up at the base so that it would be easier to unscrew them. Since 5 of them where already bent I just used the leverage from the bent studs to whack them out. Well this process worked great for all 11 of the studs. On the last one, the stud snapped. Leaving me with about a quarter inch sticking out.

HCR cb550 side

There was no way that I could grab that with pliers or any other tool at my house. I thought about drilling it out but I would not be able to drill straight down. So I took the block down to the machine shop and left it there over night. The specialist told me there was no guaranty that he would get it out since it is an aluminum bock and he also did not want to drill in it. But I came back the next day and he pulled it out. I wanted to ask him how he did it but he would not tell me. He said he has a few tricks. At that point I did not really care how he got it out. I was just happy he got the thing out. While all of this was going on my new gaskets and seals came in. So now I now had all the parts to reassemble the motor. As the motor only had 5,000 original miles most of the parts already looked new. So I put together the whole motor.

HCR cb550F and Vlads Cb350T

With that finished I quickly connected the wiring and try to start the bike. Only to find out my battery is completely dead and would not hold a charge. So I took it down to my local battery shop and picked up a new once. After installing that one my bike would crank over but I would not get spark. I started to worry maybe I have done something wrong. So I started looking around. I made sure that I connected all the wires right when I checked my points. I noticed that I had forgotten to replace that damaged condensers. I quickly took them of from my first motor and installed them. And bam that was the first time that I heard this motor fire up. That was such an exciting moment. I have been anticipating that moment for a few months.

Vlads CB350T

With the motor running I was even more motivated to finish my bike faster. At this point my buddy was already done with his café racer and was riding it. He picked up a Honda CB350T earlier in the summer. The bike was a runner, but was an unfinished project. He picked it up and was able to get it on the road in less than a month. Now knowing that the hardest part is behind me I was able to start ordering cosmetic parts and putting my bike back together.

(part list on bottom)

You might be wondering why I bought a cycle speedometer. Well I am running just the tachometer in the center but I would also like to know how fast I’m going. Instead of wiring up another huge gage I decided I will be installing the smaller electronic speedometer inside the Tachometer. I saw a guy do it on SOHC 4 forums and I thought it was a great idea.

CB550 tach

So yesterday my buddy came down with his CB350t and brought his dermal tool. So we spent 6 hours yesterday removing surface rust from chrome and other places it does not belong. That is when these pictures were taken.

Vlad CB350t

In the upcoming future I need to figure out why my lights are not turning on. I also what to get Velocity stacks or at least individual filters. And finally I want to make a custom seat out of wood. I have worked with wood before and my buddy still has all of his tools. So it will be a fun project to be able to build a seat with him.

Here are the parts that I bought

35mm 7/8 clip-ons
35mm headlight mounting brackets
Round led taillight
3” 7/8 handle bar end mirrors
WPS 530X100 Standard chain.
Wireless Cycle Speedometer

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