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2000 CB500 Brat Style Cafe Racer Project

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juhone
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2000 CB500 Brat Style Cafe Racer Project

Post by juhone on Wed 01 Feb 2017, 9:42 pm

Hello everybody! I just found this wonderful forum and thought to share my little build project with you.

Some background first: I'm not that experienced biker, I've had my licence just for couple of years. I currently ride Triumph 2010 Street Triple. As I live in Finland, I needed something motorcycle related stuff to do while waiting for the winter to pass. Then one day I got a brilliant idea: Why not build/modify a new bike for myself and hopefully learn along the way how they function. I have pretty much zero experience with motors, but as I have cycling background, I'm used to tinkering with things with two wheels. Mountain bike brakes and shocks seems to be fundamentally pretty similar in motorbikes, just bigger - they can't be that difficult to figure out. Or that's what I'm thinking, off course I can be totally wrong about it Smile. After doing some research, I ended up wanting to base my build on CB 500 as they are pretty cheap, parts are easy to find, reliable and basically simple and easy to fix machines (or that's what other people have said in the Internets). So about a month ago I went to a local bike dealership and got myself a 2000 CB500. Why 2000? As I'm a bit intimidated with engines, I wanted a bike with low kms and good overall condition. That way I don't have to start messing with the engine unless I at some point want to. The bike I got has around 34000km's under her belt and what I've gathered, that means it's just properly run in. Other reason to get a newer bike was that it has hydraulic brakes bot front and back. I don't have any experience with drum brakes - I'm sure they work nicely, but just to keep things simple and more effective, I wanted my bike to have both brakes hydraulic. Also I don't want to spend enormous amounts of money to the build as it's totally new ground for me and it may end up just a disaster Smile

Now that I had the bike, what to do with it? I'm not that into cafe racers, but I really dig the way brat style bikes and scramblers look, so that's the direction I wanted to take my build. I did a sketch of how the bike might look when finished, using catalogue images of stuff and just slapped them on a frame in Photoshop. Here's how it turned out:


And here's some images of the bike before the build:




I'm planning also to follow the build on my Youtube channel and here's the first part. Disclaimer: I'm terribly sorry for calling the bike ugly, but that's just my opinion and as they say, opinions are like... noses - everybody's got one. So please take the calling it ugly with a grain of salt. It's not that bad Smile


PS. Feel free to comment on anything and let me know if I'm doing something totally stupid.
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juhone
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Re: 2000 CB500 Brat Style Cafe Racer Project

Post by juhone on Wed 01 Feb 2017, 9:57 pm

Here's some photos of the disassembly process. It was pretty fun, but I hope I can remember what went where Very Happy.

Starting point.


Fairings and other crap from the back removed.


Wire harness yanked free. 


Engine removed and blocking out the seat.


Test fitting and measuring the seat.
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hh_12345
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Re: 2000 CB500 Brat Style Cafe Racer Project

Post by hh_12345 on Wed 01 Feb 2017, 10:51 pm

For some reason the cb 500 is not very susceptible to any kinds of conversions. Attempts to alter its dullness usually end in disaster.

However, I think your Photoshop sketch looks good and I'm looking forward to seeing how it will progress.

sullivj
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Re: 2000 CB500 Brat Style Cafe Racer Project

Post by sullivj on Thu 02 Feb 2017, 6:18 am

Nice write up. You've already made great progress.

Did you get the engine out alone, or with help? I know it's not that easy.

I like the seat you've got there.

Looking forward to watching the project progress.
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juhone
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Re: 2000 CB500 Brat Style Cafe Racer Project

Post by juhone on Thu 02 Feb 2017, 8:22 am

hh_12345 - Let's hope mine won't end up a disaster  Laughing
sullivj - Thanks. I got the engine out alone. I don't think it was that difficult, you just have to be careful and plan your moves beforehand. I used a car jack to help pulling the motor out of the side. Getting the engine in without scratching the paint worries me a bit more (I'm going to powdercoat the frame when it's done).
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l.t.racing
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Re: 2000 CB500 Brat Style Cafe Racer Project

Post by l.t.racing on Thu 02 Feb 2017, 9:35 am

Cb500 ugly, never been. Looking good build
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eternally_troubled
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Re: 2000 CB500 Brat Style Cafe Racer Project

Post by eternally_troubled on Thu 02 Feb 2017, 9:58 am

@juhone wrote:Thanks. I got the engine out alone. I don't think it was that difficult...

It's not that difficult in a nicely looked after bike that hasn't been out in the winter :) As you might have seen in other threads the front engine bolt can easily get stuck in the engine with corrosion and then engine removal becomes a pain!

The ease with which you got the engine out justifies by itself your decision to buy a relatively new well looked after bike for this project.
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Re: 2000 CB500 Brat Style Cafe Racer Project

Post by ratatooie on Thu 02 Feb 2017, 12:42 pm

I really like the look of the mock up you made. Have you thought about sources of parts? for the type of canister shocks you want, I can recommend TEC shocks. Relatively inexpensive and good quality. It looks like you will be removing the airbox and battery storage under the seat? I'm also going the same way with my build and making a custom battery box to hold it. I would be interested to see what you  plans are for battery location, the filters you choose for the carb intakes and what you intend to do to the carbs in terms of jetting as I think it could be useful for both of us if we compare notes.

There was a chap who I bought some things off last year on this forum - @Vwfrashttp://www.cb500club.net/u1804 ! (not sure if he is still active) who had a bike that looked similar to your mock up in that he kept the original tank and used a flat seat made from a skateboard deck (that I actually bought from him). Check my latest update post from my Unwise Journey thread to see what I mean. 

I saved a few pictures of his bike for reference, which might be of help to you:





Looking forward to following your progress!
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juhone
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Re: 2000 CB500 Brat Style Cafe Racer Project

Post by juhone on Thu 02 Feb 2017, 3:16 pm

eternally_troubled - My bolts luckily came out pretty easily. Looks like I dodged that bullet. Phew!

ratatooie - Thanks! I will definitely follow your build. I actually have already ordered rear shocks. They're the infamous RFY ebay shocks - if they'll prove to be utter crap, I'll get those TEC shocks then. In the end I ended up choosing regular shocks instead of the piggypags. Yes, I will be doing a custom battery and electronics storage under the seat. I have a pretty good plan for it, but I'll have to do a cardboard mockup to see that it'll fit properly and clears the back wheel. About the airbox. At first I thought to replace it with those trendy cones, but that'd require tinkering with the carbs and jets and that's something I don't have any clue how to do. So at the moment I've settled to go with the stock one. From what I've gathered the gains versus work amount/troubles are pretty small. Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.
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hh_12345
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Re: 2000 CB500 Brat Style Cafe Racer Project

Post by hh_12345 on Thu 02 Feb 2017, 3:41 pm

@juhone wrote:hh_12345 - Let's hope mine won't end up a disaster  Laughing



Although I consider the cb to be  a difficult bike to turn into a cafe racer/brat bike because of its tank, frame and radiator covers,  I think yours will be  far from disaster - your mockup is looking great and judjing by the other videos on your channel you're good in making things.
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Melitos
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Re: 2000 CB500 Brat Style Cafe Racer Project

Post by Melitos on Thu 02 Feb 2017, 4:19 pm

Hi,

Tervetuloa, hyvältä näyttää!


BR,
Antti
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juhone
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Re: 2000 CB500 Brat Style Cafe Racer Project

Post by juhone on Thu 02 Feb 2017, 9:29 pm

hh12345 - Thanks!

Melitos - Kiitti!

I'm currently working on the seat mounting frame. I haven't welded anything in 20 or so years, so I may ask help from a friend once I get all the parts cut and ready. I think I've also figured out a way how I can bolt the seat in it's place and still be able to get it off on the road if needed. More on that later though.

I don't have access to any fancy machine tools, so I'm going to have to get by with just everyday hand tools. The seat frame tubes were an interesting problem to solve: The seat bends up 15° at the back section, so I had to cut both the loop and pipes with 7.5° angle. The pipes were somewhat easy, but the loop was harder because I needed to determine the apex point of the circle on both sides symmetrically and then mark the cutting lines. I found a cool site where you can print out a template to help drawing the cut line (as I'm a new member, looks like I can't post external links. I'll put the link in here later). With the help of that template I managed to get pretty accurate cuts and the parts seem to fit nicely inside the seat.


Here I'm planning out the "riser" for the seat frame that I'm going to attach behind the tank to get the seat angle more flat. I guess I could've done the drawing in computer, but good old pen&paper just felt the right way to do it. I have weird fondness towards metallic rulers  Very Happy
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juhone
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Re: 2000 CB500 Brat Style Cafe Racer Project

Post by juhone on Sun 05 Feb 2017, 9:34 pm

Small update. I now have everything measured and cut for the new seat mount. Everything should be ready for some MIG welding. One of the parts is a plate that goes under the seat to protect it from the junk flying from the rear wheel. I made it from 1.2mm sheet metal using a jigsaw and a metal file. With good saw blade the jigsaw ate the metal real nice and the curve was easy to cut. I made a DIY bending setup with wood blocks and clamps to get the 15° bend on the backside. I forgot to take picture of it, sorry.

sullivj
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Re: 2000 CB500 Brat Style Cafe Racer Project

Post by sullivj on Mon 06 Feb 2017, 6:29 am

You've done well to keep a decent line with the jigsaw. I hate mine - it wanders all over the place.
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juhone
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Re: 2000 CB500 Brat Style Cafe Racer Project

Post by juhone on Sun 12 Feb 2017, 9:23 pm

Here are couple more pics of the seat mount I'm working on. These are all pre-welding photos.

Seat frame tubes with cross supports and bottom plate. I'll attach the seat with wingnuts, so that I'll have access to the batterybox without any tools.


Behind the tank, I made a support to raise the seat more level.


Here's that same support without the seat. Once it's welded in place, I think it'll easily be solid enough to support my fat arse.


I also managed to strip the frame pretty much fully. Except the triple clamp. I didn't have a 30mm socket, so I'll have to grab one from local hardware store to get it off. Now I should have everything ready for welding. I'll have to see if I can get a friend to help me or throw in some big moneyz to get some pros to do it.
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hh_12345
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Re: 2000 CB500 Brat Style Cafe Racer Project

Post by hh_12345 on Mon 13 Feb 2017, 7:23 am

The steering bearings are really hard to change on the cb 500 and having the bike stripped might be a good time to inspect and replace them if needed. study
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juhone
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Re: 2000 CB500 Brat Style Cafe Racer Project

Post by juhone on Tue 14 Feb 2017, 8:15 am

Hey guys. I just finished uploading the second part of my build series.







@hh_12345 wrote:The steering bearings are really hard to change on the cb 500 and having the bike stripped might be a good time to inspect and replace them if needed. study



- Thanks for the info. I'll check them out.
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eternally_troubled
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Re: 2000 CB500 Brat Style Cafe Racer Project

Post by eternally_troubled on Tue 14 Feb 2017, 8:34 am

Looking good. That 30mm socket is essential - most socket sets don't have one so almost everyone has to go and buy one!

If the bike hasn't done too many miles then you won't need to change the head bearings, in fact, given how much of a pain it is, I wouldn't bother until you can feel them going 'notchy' - it is quite obvious.
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juhone
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Re: 2000 CB500 Brat Style Cafe Racer Project

Post by juhone on Tue 14 Feb 2017, 9:14 am

@eternally_troubled wrote:If the bike hasn't done too many miles then you won't need to change the head bearings, in fact, given how much of a pain it is, I wouldn't bother until you can feel them going 'notchy' - it is quite obvious.



The bike has about 34k km (21k miles) done. The steering head feels quite solid, there's no slack. But one thing that left me wondering, is that there seems to be a some sort of "lock" in the exact center of the movement range. The steering gently "snaps" in the middle position. As I don't have that much experience on motorcycles, I'm not sure if that's a feature or a flaw. I didn't notice it while test riding or moving the bike round. Just after there's no weight on the clamps I noticed it. To me that kind of behavior sounds awfully much like "Indexed Steering"/"Brinelling". So do you guys think I'm destined into the dreaded head bearing change?


Last edited by juhone on Fri 17 Feb 2017, 9:08 pm; edited 1 time in total
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eternally_troubled
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Re: 2000 CB500 Brat Style Cafe Racer Project

Post by eternally_troubled on Tue 14 Feb 2017, 10:33 am

@juhone wrote:
The bike has about 34k km (21k miles) done. The steering head feels quite solid, there's no slack. But one thing that left me wondering, is that there seems to be a some sort of "lock" in the exact canter of the movement range. The steering gently "snaps" in the middle position. As I don't have that much experience on motorcycles, I'm not sure if that's a feature or a flaw. I didn't notice it while test riding or moving the bike round. Just after there's no weight on the clamps I noticed it. To me that kind of behavior sounds awfully much like "Indexed Steering"/"Brinelling". So do you guys think I'm destined into the dreaded head bearing change?

That 'lock' you are talking about is the beginning-of-the-end for your head bearings (it's where the bearing races are worn in the 'centre/straight on' position), however, do not despair! It is worth taking the steering head apart and cleaning/greasing well and once you have got everything back together, jack up the bike so the front wheel is off the floor and then move the handle bars from side to side - if the 'lock' or 'notch' is still there once everything is put back together then you will need to replace them soon, if it is not there you will be ok for a while (but will need to do it eventually). It isn't really possible to judge how worn they are until everything is back together.

If I don't ever want to take the bike apart again then you should replace them now while you can - it might not be easy but you will have the take the whole front end (headlight, clocks, wheel, forks, brake and steering head) apart to do it later, so it might be better to do it now while you have all those things off the bike.

Something like this might help (you may be able to get a better/different one). If you know someone with a welder then it is also possible to weld extra metal onto the inside of the bearing race, which means you can knock it out from above. The heat from the welding can also help to free things up.

Essentially it is up to you...
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juhone
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Re: 2000 CB500 Brat Style Cafe Racer Project

Post by juhone on Fri 17 Feb 2017, 9:05 pm

eternally_troubled - Thanks for the info. I really appreciate the help.

So I decided to take a look at the bearings, because the symptoms were there and while the frame is stripped, I thought now was the time to do it if ever. I was a bit disheartened to start after reading what kind of troubles people here were having when replacing the bearings. I pulled everything apart and after removing the bearings, I took a look at those dreaded races. After wiping the grease away, I could easily spot dents/dips in the races. The bad thing was, there wasn't any gap between the race and frame and I couldn't figure out any way to get them of. After reading some of the posts in this forum, I decided to invoke some violence. I took out the trusty cheap-o dremel clone and started gringind. It took almost two ours in the end to get those bastards out! Once I got the races almot cut in half, I jammed a prying iron in the slot and hammered the living poop out of it. Luckily the races gave up at some point and I got them out with not that much damage caused the frame.




Now that I'm at it, do you guys think I should replace all the bearings now? I guess that'd be both wheels and the swingarm.
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juhone
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Re: 2000 CB500 Brat Style Cafe Racer Project

Post by juhone on Sun 19 Feb 2017, 5:32 pm

Today I got some nice progress with the bike. I had a mate helping me with the welding as he has an access to really good mig welder.

I started by removing all the extra extrusions, that won't be needed anymore. For example things like the support for seat locking mechanism.


Here's the mount welded in place. I just need to go through the seams with an angle grinder to make them look pretty. I also tested welding some parts in and it was really fun. I haven't touched a welding machine in over 15 years.


Top view of the mount.


Seat test fitted. Sits super solidly. I'm really pleased how it turned out. Do note that the angle here isn't the final as the front will lift up quite a bit as the front wheel is installed.


I also started prepping the tank by removing fairing mounting points from the sides.


On other news, I just got my Fuel exhaust. I went with black F1R Road Exhaust. It looks super sharp and I can't wait to see it on the bike.

PS. Anybody know any good place to buy footrests? I'd like to go with something else than the OEM ones. Anything black would be good.  Smile
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Re: 2000 CB500 Brat Style Cafe Racer Project

Post by Beresford on Sun 19 Feb 2017, 9:18 pm

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juhone
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Re: 2000 CB500 Brat Style Cafe Racer Project

Post by juhone on Sun 19 Feb 2017, 9:29 pm

Ooh! They look fancy. Thanks!



I made a quick video update of the welding part. Check it out:
 
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hh_12345
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Re: 2000 CB500 Brat Style Cafe Racer Project

Post by hh_12345 on Mon 20 Feb 2017, 7:42 pm

Juhone, how do you plan to fill the gap between seat and frame?

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