Thursday, September 26, 2013

Cafe Project

I always complained about how shitty I thought clubman bars looked until maybe a few weeks ago. I'm not sure what changed but it had a lot to do with the fact that the drag bars that I was running would not allow the master cylinder and brake lever to rotate any more than they were. It wasn't terribly uncomfortable but I just didn't like it. So in looking for a solution, I had the options of doing risers with the drag bars, switching to a slightly higher rise bar, doing clip ons, or clubmans. This is what I kept coming back to. So I ordered a set from Carpy over at and they got here today. This was the perfect time to make the swap because last week the front brakes locked up on me. The CB550 only has one caliper up front and so I went back and forth on this decision too (bout like normal) and finally came to the decision that with only 1 front caliper, everything in the system should be totally gone through for safety's sake. So a master cylinder rebuild kit and a caliper rebuild kit is on the way from the folks at Dime City Cycles. I was hoping to get this stuff rebuilt this weekend but that probably won't happen now because the brake lines I wanted (custom sized) are not in stock right now and I'd rather not bleed the brake twice. The stock lines look like absolute shite with these bars. Instead of a banjo bolt at the master cylinder end, I will use a connector that threads straight in to make the new line tuck in more cleanly behind the light and down to the brake switch that is mounted to the lower triple tree. 

The clubman install was easy peasy. Get rid of everything and then bolt the bars on and try to figure out the position as they can be rotated quite a bit. 

Now after having them on and taking the bike for a quick ride around the block, I can tell right away that I will need to relocate the ignition and starter switch just to clean things up. This means I will have to find a welder. Since I no longer work at the previous school, I don't have access to such a kick ass metal shop. That's ok though...I'd rather buy a welder and do it in my garage or just get in touch with a few buddies who have their own. The more I get into this bike, the more I consider just stripping it down so I can get rid of all extraneous tabs off the frame, relocate the stuff up front, repaint it, etc. but I'm just not sure I want to dive that far in yet. I think there's a load of noobs that get a bike and do that and don't get to know the bike. I can also already tell that the gauges will be getting rebuilt with new faces this winter. I see black faces with white letters and red backlighting.  

I love this shot. It really made the bike look more aggressive. I wasn't sure I'd like this look but I'm in love and ready to get the project rolling.

Another shot from the side. I don't know if you can see in this picture but I've marked up the tank a bit. I really like the stock tank for some reason but even with the drag bars it wasn't all that comfortable. It's a bit worse now. So I'll be trying my hand at body work this winter and putting some knee dents in it.

This is also a cool shot. By spring the bike will get new tires and probably a new exhaust as well. I don't wanna be obnoxious but I really dig Carpy's 500/550 4 into 1 exhaust in black. It sounds mean.

I also need to set the valves and then I will need to remove the carbs and rebuild them. This is something that I'm not looking forward to at all. I've never done any carb work but I really think the idle issues and the stumbling are because they are in need of some TLC and then I'll have to synch all four of them as I do not think all 4 cylinders are on the same page.

I included this picture because it's in my spank bank. Pretty sure this is a seat and tank combo from Benjies. That's a lot of coin sitting there but the knee dents and lower bars are what I've been looking at more and more lately. That front rotor aint shabby either. Or the paint. Thanks for checking in and stay tuned for more updates. This will be a fun project.

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