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Thread: Overhaulin' on the Cheap 2 - Morti's Second CB-1

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    Should Get Out More a_morti's Avatar
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    Default Overhaulin' on the Cheap 2 - Morti's Second CB-1


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    I've hinted at this in various threads belonging to other people, I suppose I ought to pull my finger out and spill the beans in my own thread. Warning: this thread will be long, involved, and may tend towards self-indulgence!

    For my 18th birthday, I chopped in my CG125 and bought myself a CB-1. That was in December 2001. I kept the bike for about 6 years, then it was stolen/recovered, and I decided to let it go (to FreshAL of this parish) and keep the XJ600S that had replaced, as it seemed a better bike for the motorway commute I was doing at the time.

    Turned out that was the worst biking choice I've ever made, and regretted it ever since. You know that one bike you wished you'd never sold? Well that was it. And to let it go for such a miserable machine as a 600 Divvy? Jesus wept.



    In the time I had it, it got stripped for a frame-up rebuild, fitted with a CBR400 swingarm, Cagiva Mito front brakes, a custom exhaust and a host of other stuff. Suffice to say, I loved that bike.

    Since then I went on to have a 96 Fireblade and a 98 955i Daytona. Both of these bikes were awesome, and somehow both were unsatisfying. Both always so fast that a flick of the wrist sees you doing license-losing speeds with no feeling of achievement from doing so. Big numbers become just that - numbers, meaningless and pointless.

    So I decided I wanted another CB-1. Well, I never directly made a decision, per se. It sort of crept up on me. Until one day I saw what looked to be a decent -1, and went out and bought it. Because history likes patterns and a good laugh, I actually went to pick it up on my birthday this December, bought as a 27th birthday present to me.



    She came to me with about 29,xxx somethings on the clock - it had had a mph speedo converter fitted so you can only be sure it's less than 29,xxx miles and more than 29,xxx km. For that and her 21 years, she's in quite decent nick, but those are some quite big provisos!

    So, inspired largely by Druid's Overhaulin' thread in Mechanics, here goes my overhaulin' thread...

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    Default Re: Overhaulin' on the Cheap 2 - Morti's Second CB-1

    First off was to sort the bodges. There are always bodges, aren't there? We all do them, and somehow the ones we do ourselves are never half as ugly, nor half as unacceptable as the ones we find other folk have done. Here's the first:



    Where that bit of straight pipe is, there should be an S-bend with a fuel filter in it. Also the fuel pump should be sat on the bracket under it, which should be at 90 degrees to the ground. There should also be a little plastic cover which sits under the back of the tank and fill the gap around there, it'd been hacked in half to allow clearance or access to make this horrid bodge.

    I am a member on any CB-1 forums out there, including this board which is (I think) US-based but largely populated by Brits. One of the members turned up exactly the bits I needed, so I stuck him 10 and fitted them, with a new pattern inline filter, another 4 at Bike Business in Portsmouth, who incidentally also do a lot of sales on eBay and are very good.



    Anyone got a good suggestion on how/where to get fuel line bendy enough to make this S-bend? The hose is quite brittle, and I know it won't last for ever.

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    Default Re: Overhaulin' on the Cheap 2 - Morti's Second CB-1

    The next bodge I found was on the electrical side of things. These bikes suffer the well-known electrical weakness of all Hondas of the late 80s/early 90s - a weak regulator. To confirm the suspicion that that'd all gone TU in the past, the bike has a pattern regulator. It can't perform any worse than the stock item, so I will leave it there and be happy with it.

    Anyway, the bodge was on the alternator plug, which tends to melt when the regulator gets uppity.



    It looked a bit like this when I got there, but bundled in insulation tape. I knew it'd be holding sins but didn't know what. In truth the connections were OK, but it's a bloody ugly way to do things and must have been a bottleneck for resistance. So, one 3-way multi-connector of eBay later, which turned out to be compatible, and I am happy with the result:


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    Default Re: Overhaulin' on the Cheap 2 - Morti's Second CB-1

    About time you got your own thread

    Have you tried softening the hose in hot water before bending it to shape?

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    Default Re: Overhaulin' on the Cheap 2 - Morti's Second CB-1

    The next thing was to be the clutch. It juddered annoyingly at pull-away. My first idea, was that it must have a warped clutch plate. So I looked into part numbers and figured out that the clutch plates and springs from a CBR600F1 are the same parts. Since my only other idea was that one of the springs might have snapped, I bought a whole clutch assembly from eBay for @25, and an OE gasket for @9.

    I don't have any pictures of this bit I'm afraid, as I spent most of the time with my hands covered in oil.

    I got the clutch off, and after spending bloody ages getting the old gasket off to ensure I could put it back together, and tapping out aluminium dandruff from all the threaded holes, I set to opening up the clutch. Took the springs off, then realised I'd be needing to borrow my mate's battery-powered windy gun to undo the central nut, so had to put it back together and do it again the next weekend. Anyway, it turned out the problem was a notched basket, which meant a very fun job for me sat there filing both sides of each and every finger. It's much better now but in honesty I should have probably sat longer with a smaller/finer file. That can go on the list of "one-days".

    Anyone want a decent used clutch from a CBR600F1? Turned out I couldn't swap the whole assembly over, because (logically enough) the drive gear on the back of the basket is a different size.
    Last edited by a_morti; 02-02-11 at 20:23.

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    Default Re: Overhaulin' on the Cheap 2 - Morti's Second CB-1

    And it continues...

    I had thought the headlight on this CB-1 was a bit brighter than I remembered. In fact I was really pleased with it, for what it is - a single 7" round headlight of the old type, with a patterned plastic lens.

    Then one day it just stopped working. "That's odd", I thought, in rather more colourful language as I was just setting off home when I realised, having to go through two quite heavily-policed bar streets in the dark with just the pilot lights on.

    Stripped it all apart to find that some idiot had put a 100w bulb in there for me. It couldn't have been in there long, because as eny fule kno, 100w + 80w at 12v = 15 amps. And the lighting system is run through the handlebar switch, and protected by, of course, a 10A fuse. I fitted one of those +90% Halfords xenon bulbs, I don't know if they're really worth the extortionate cost of them, but at least now I can flash my headlight without replacing the fuse each time.

    Eventually I shall rewire the lot with relays for high and low beam, as I have seen how big an improvement this can bring after having done it on my 955i. But again, this goes on a list of "one days", probably whenever I next have a real need to order anything from VehicleWiringProducts (another recommendation, btw).

    Anyone want a used 100/80 H4 bulb?
    Last edited by a_morti; 02-02-11 at 20:26.

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    Default Re: Overhaulin' on the Cheap 2 - Morti's Second CB-1

    So now I was at a point where any actual faults with the bike were resolved, and so it was time to look at modifying stuff. I like modifying stuff.

    The end which is my goal, is to fit CBR400 wheels to this bike. It was my aim on the last CB-1, and I even had a pair of wheels ready to fit, when some punk stole the bike. That time, I flogged the rear wheel, and fitted the front to my '96 CBR900 to do the fabled 17" conversion.

    In my mind, this shouldn't be too hard of a job. The CBR wheel fits into the CB-1 forks, I know this to be true. I could have got it on just by using 8mm shouldered M6 bolts to fit the CB-1 disc to the CBR wheel. But that seemed a bit of a waste of the potential to dual discs. The CB-1 comes with a single floating 2-piston caliper gripping a 310mm floating disc. It's an adequate braking arrangement, but that's all it is. Although the CB-1 was relatively light for its day, it weighs ITRO of 185kg wet so it's not a featherweight on the scale of something like an RD350, and so the brakes are correspondingly underwhelming. On the old CB-1 I fitted a Brembo conversion on a big block of alloy. It worked very well, but frankly was a bit ugly utilitarian in appearance. This time I wanted dual discs.

    Having seen Druid's thread and him using Firestorm lowers on his existing forks, I thought that would be a good way to go. I did a bit of research into this, and it turned out at least two users on the German CB-1 board had already blazed this particular path.





    The "smurf-blue" one belongs to a chap who helped me out with the Brembo adapter last time and I have helped with eBay UK a couple of times - Werner, top bloke. So this convinced me that I could do this, and not have to use the Firestorm mudguard, which I don't especially like the look of.

    I just had to get hold of a bent set of Firestorm forks (which I did for 25 posted on eBay), some new seals (17 pattern parts) and some fresh oil (11) and get it all swapped over. I also got an unmodified top yoke (10 through the CB-1 forum, thanks Drewski) to tidy the whole lot up.

    I got as far as modifying the Firestorm forks to accept my pair of CBR929 calipers (gold, with blingy teflon-coated pistons) and stripping both. This left me with two sets of forks in bits in front of me, only then did I realise that the Firestorm forks had taken such a massive hit, that it'd dented one of the sliders half way down on the outside, such that the bush caught on it in the travel path. [S]crap metal. I had to put the forks back together as they'd come apart, which was pretty disappointing. Still, new oil and seals meant they didn't weep any more (I may have been fibbing before when I said all faults were fixed) and I used the firestorm springs and fork caps to add at least adjustable preload.

    As it turned out this took me from undersprung forks with little damping which would bottom out at a sniff of front brakes, to oversprung forks with little damping which would skip across bumps - doubtless my weight of <11 stone didn't help there. But hey at least it worked, and didn't leak anymore. And this takes us to the next chapter...
    Last edited by a_morti; 08-03-11 at 12:30.

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    Default Re: Overhaulin' on the Cheap 2 - Morti's Second CB-1

    I had picked up a pair of CBR400 wheels from Geoff33 at 400greybike.com for the princely sum of 170. These were to include the front discs, and a set of Michelin Pilot Sport tyres in "useable" condition.

    When they arrived the tyres were as new, with most of the molding marks even around the middle, the rear wheel had fresh powder coating (so presumably fresh bearings too) and the discs had loads of life left. But the right had a bit of a mark in it where the wheels had been in the same box together. Never mind, just a scrape on the paint.

    So, back to the fork quandary. Stick with the naff forks I had? Find some other pair of Firestorm forks to use? Some plan 'C'? Well, the forks I had meant keeping the brakes I had, Firestorm forks turn out to be well known as naff, and plan c... Ah, plan C. I turned up a set of used CBR900RRT ('96) forks, yokes, spindle, clip-ons for 100! off Andy from Fireblade Riders whose wife had told him he had too many bits of 'bike in the garden. I already knew the wheel fits from having fit one to my own CBR900RRT, and the calipers are a known swap. He threw in a pair of wheels with yellow spokes and once-upon-a-time polished rims, which came with the worst sprocket I've ever seen. No idea what I'm going to do with them, I don't think they're worth enough to go through the stress of posting them.



    I found out the steering bearing part numbers were the same, which was a good start, but you never know if the steering stem is the same length, tapers in the same place, etc. etc... well, what do you know? The yokes fit 1:1 in the frame. Not only that, but the steering stops work absolutely perfectly too, and the steering lock nearly lined up. Jammy sod, eh!

    It turns out the CBR forks are about 35mm shorter than CB-1 forks, but CB-1 forks have about 42mm above the yoke for the clip-ons to attach to. So I decided that I didn't want clip-ons under the yoke, as this isn't meant to be a sportsbike. I picked up some pitbike risers for 10 off eBay, which turned out to be too narrow and would have obstructed the steering nut. I went to my local breakers and turned up a pre-made custom streetfighter yoke for a CBR900RRT for 35 - SCORE! So I fitted the yokes and forks. Then fitted the handlebar (s/h from local breaker at 15, unknown origin). With some custom-drilled locating holes, I could even re-use the original Honda handlebar weights, which I wouldn't have been able with Renthals or similar. I'm not really up for Raynaud's.



    The mudguard fitted the Fireblade clip once I'd drill 4 new 6mm holes in the clips. It sits a bit high, but a good part of that is due to the 120/60 front tyre. Next time I will fit a 120/70, just to close that gap up if nothing else.



    That just left mounting the headlight and clocks. I decided I don't like that type of headlight mount which straps around the fork leg. Don't ask me to justify it, I just don't like them. So I would try to find a way to fit the original headlight frame, which sits in two dimples in each of the yokes, into the new yokes. I ordered a CB400SF headlight frame as a spare to dick about with, it turned out to be a bit different to mine, which was handy as it was 5mm longer, and mine would have been 5mm too short - all I had to do was drill 2x 10mm holes in the bottom and 2x 10mm part-holes in the top yoke - SCORE!



    The clocks proved very slightly more of a headache. They are currently mounted on temporary brackets made of bent strip metal. I know how to do it, and it'll get done - eventually

    Still need to take the yoke back off and grind about 4-5mm off the mounting face for the ignition lock, with that done the steering lock will work, there will be enough space to adjust the headlight properly, and the lock will look more in place against the clocks. Soon, soon.

    Remember that scraped disc? Well, turns out the carrier was buckled, and it had about 5mm runout. Oops. Didn't figure that out til I'd got it all built up. I decided to press on anyway, fitted the calipers, NS400R front master (it's not easy finding a 5/8" master with built-in reservoir, and mirror mount but Werner knew where to get one), and some random used Triumph braided hoses, and that's where it is now...





    I am really chuffed with the ride - it's wonderful to have some forks with decent damping under me again. I am also pleased with the look, despite the one-side-only rim strip which has to go. For some reason I decided I wasn't going to fit USD forks, and it's not just due to cost. I have seen a few CB-1's done with USD's, and I just am not quite convinced. The "fake USD" forks with the straight-edge fork seal bulge, and the fact they are 45mm instead of 41mm, looks really good to me. I would have liked to use clip-ons above the yoke, but am quite content with the mandlebar look and feel.

    The brakes will be fine once I get the second disc, the seller has offered to send me one as a replacement which I thought was very kind. They will be even better once I get round to ordering some race lines off HEL. Got to motorcycle brake lines hel brake hoses motorcylce parts helperformance and quote promo code "forum" before 1st April and you'll get a set of 3 for 58+post.
    Last edited by a_morti; 03-02-11 at 09:36.

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    Default Re: Overhaulin' on the Cheap 2 - Morti's Second CB-1

    Next step is to swap out the rear end. That's not that easy as you could have hoped, but not as hard as you could've feared. The chap who sold me the wheels also sold me a freshly powder coated nc29 arm with hugger, chain guard and new bearings for 50 - SCORE! And I'm swapping a spare 14mm front master with another chap for the rear caliper carrier. Was going to stick to the CB-1 disc which is a bit bigger, but I don't much like the look of the pattern cut into it, and would have had to get the CB-1 carrier drilled out from 17>20mm. So instead, I will change it for the smaller CBR disc and premade carrier - I can use the disc on my spare CBR900 wheel for this.

    Happily, the donor bike uses the same engine, so the arm does fit in between the frame rails, and the sprocket will line up. That's where the similarities end though. Donor bike uses a 20mm spindle, CB-1 uses a 15mm spindle, so I will need some new spacers turned up. Donor bike uses a linkage suspension system, CB-1 has a directly-attached shock. Happily though, this swap has been done before and there are instructions on how to do it online.

    The spacers will be turned up by a local engineering shop, same place I went to years ago for the first lot. The adapter block is a bit more tricky, if I can source a bit of block then my dad can likely do the work in the machine shop at his job (the dockyard). Ends up looking a bit like this:





    It's more brutal than pretty, but it worked last time and will do again. The only annoying part is it leaves me/the bike carrying around quite a large amount of unnecessary bracketry. If I could reliably weld a new top mount for the shock to the frame, it could cut about 1.5kg off the weight of the whole assembly, but it would end up with the shock mount hanging out in the middle of nowhere, on quite a long mounting bracket, which seems daft.

    Just got to find the time to take a few last measurements, get the spacers ordered, and source a bit of alloy block. I need a bit approx 60x37x125mm - what are the odds anyone on here has such a thing going spare?

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    Default Re: Overhaulin' on the Cheap 2 - Morti's Second CB-1

    Over 100 views, and only one person has posted a comment. Is this not interesting enough?

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    Default Re: Overhaulin' on the Cheap 2 - Morti's Second CB-1

    Sorry, I'm lovin' it and you are duly repped.

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    Default Re: Overhaulin' on the Cheap 2 - Morti's Second CB-1

    Quote Originally Posted by a_morti View Post
    Over 100 views, and only one person has posted a comment. Is this not interesting enough?
    I think people might not wanted to have messed the thread up...

    Excellent work mate

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    Default Re: Overhaulin' on the Cheap 2 - Morti's Second CB-1

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr OCD View Post
    I think people might not wanted to have messed the thread up...

    Excellent work mate
    Fair enough, in that case this thread can just bob up and down as I make more progress. Cheers

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    Default Re: Overhaulin' on the Cheap 2 - Morti's Second CB-1

    Quote Originally Posted by a_morti View Post
    Over 100 views, and only one person has posted a comment. Is this not interesting enough?
    It's actually an exceptionally interesting thread, although as you can imagine not my kind of bike... but to get more posts you need more stupid questions

    We can only view if you're not asking our advice on anything

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    Default Re: Overhaulin' on the Cheap 2 - Morti's Second CB-1

    Quote Originally Posted by a_morti View Post
    Over 100 views, and only one person has posted a comment. Is this not interesting enough?
    A lot more interesting that reading Icarus's current fantasy motorcycle masturbation.

    Have a blob.

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