Author Topic: CL Score: Freebie 550  (Read 722 times)

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Offline ChromeDreams

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CL Score: Freebie 550
« on: October 27, 2020, 03:46:09 pm »
I'm always making the rounds online looking at bikes, as a kid my dad bought auto/cycle traders weekly and i loved scoping those out so i think i've always loved window shopping and deal hunting. I see cool stuff locally in central texas here and there, sometimes absurdly priced and mixed in among the duds, but it's pretty rare to come across someone offering a free motorcycle, especially one that interests me enough to haul ass and pick it up, but that's what i found last week! A totally free, mostly complete 1976 CB550, with a clear title.

The guy getting rid of it rode it for a while and rolled it into his backyard where it sat until now, it was last registered in 2016. The bike appears to be all stock and unmolested although it is missing the key, headlight lens and all 4 turn signals. The motor was stuck, but i pulled the plugs and let it sit with some penetrating oil and gently applied some pressure to the kickstarter and it freed right up in about a minute. I haven't had much time to dig in, and it sits dead last on my list of projects but i'm excited to get it running. My plan is a mechanical refresh, maintaining its original condition as best i can.

loaded up

upper right exhaust looks pretty roached. green slime from carbs

after a quick hose off, no soap or scrubbing yet just removing dust


Offline Kelly E

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Re: CL Score: Freebie 550
« Reply #1 on: October 27, 2020, 04:46:53 pm »
Nice score 👍
Never Give Up - Never Surrender

The Rust Bros. Garage Collection
1974 Honda CB550 K0
1975 Honda CB400F Super Sport
1979 Honda CB750F Super Sport
1980 Suzuki GS1100E
1982 Honda CB900F Super Sport
1984 Honda VF700S Sabre
1984 Honda VF1000F Interceptor
1990 Moto Guzzi 1000 Le Mans
1994 Kawasaki Concours ZG1000A9
2005 Harley Davidson Fat Boy

Offline PeWe

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Re: CL Score: Freebie 550
« Reply #2 on: October 28, 2020, 01:06:53 am »
A std service with oil change, wash and wax will make it to a really good looking original bike!

Old tires are dangerous.
« Last Edit: October 28, 2020, 11:05:25 am by PeWe »

Offline Godffery

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Re: CL Score: Freebie 550
« Reply #3 on: October 28, 2020, 09:45:33 am »
... :o ...!

Offline Prospect

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Re: CL Score: Freebie 550
« Reply #4 on: October 28, 2020, 12:35:08 pm »
Unreal. The thinks people throw away. Old saying "one man's garbage is another man's treasure"
Current Bikes

1969 CB750  Sandcast #256
1971 CB750K1
1972 CB750K1
1975 CB400F
1975 GL1000 Goldwing
1954 Harley Davidson Panhead
1957 Harley Davidson Panhead

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Offline ChromeDreams

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Re: CL Score: Freebie 550
« Reply #5 on: October 28, 2020, 01:19:45 pm »
Unreal. The thinks people throw away. Old saying "one man's garbage is another man's treasure"

yeah pretty unreal! excited it lives with me now. Have a keyed ignition on the way and will probably pull the carbs this weekend

Offline PeWe

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Re: CL Score: Freebie 550
« Reply #6 on: October 28, 2020, 11:36:46 pm »
Restore an old bike modified in 70's- early 80's into that shape cost a lot but still not original.

Offline ChromeDreams

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Re: CL Score: Freebie 550
« Reply #7 on: November 28, 2020, 09:00:07 am »
Cold and damp in central TX so i'm taking a break from some exterior work on our house (no business up and down a ladder in this slop). Moved the Freebie into the shop to pull the carb rack and begin sorting that out, not surprised to find ethanol green sludge and corrosion inside carbs. started knocking dust and grime off the bike and pleasantly surprised at the very intact engine paint and decent chrome on wheel set.

squeezed in




under the grime





« Last Edit: November 28, 2020, 09:08:40 am by ChromeDreams »

Offline Godffery

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Re: CL Score: Freebie 550
« Reply #8 on: November 28, 2020, 10:31:55 am »
 Well Dang, Looks like that'll clean up nicely!

Offline Gurp

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Re: CL Score: Freebie 550
« Reply #9 on: November 29, 2020, 03:08:45 pm »
WHAT A SCOREEEE!!

Love that tank.
Mankinds Greatest enemy has and always be itself.


slow Progress 74 cb550.

Poor boy chop 73 CB500 chop

Offline Stev-o

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Re: CL Score: Freebie 550
« Reply #10 on: November 29, 2020, 04:04:34 pm »
Unbelievable!!! How'd I miss that, I look at Craigs almost daily!!  Congrats
'74 "Big Bang" Honda 750K [836].....'71 Honda 750K project.....'76 Honda 550F.....K3 Park Racer.....K5 Fiddy Dolla Special!......and a Bomber!............plus plus plus.........

Offline ChromeDreams

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Re: CL Score: Freebie 550
« Reply #11 on: December 03, 2020, 01:32:57 pm »
Waiting on a couple bits before i button the carbs back up


so far the biggest problem area is the upper right muffler, in addition to the chrome having acid damage it's roached just passed the header/muffler joint. I've seen a few pipes sell on eBay so far but i'm hesitant to pull the trigger on anything until it's running. The other 3 pipes look solid.


Tank is pretty clean inside aside from a little rust scale, no liner which is nice. It has dents on both sides from the forks going full-stop and crimping them in, and another golf ball sized dent behind the left side badge
« Last Edit: December 03, 2020, 01:34:58 pm by ChromeDreams »

Offline Gurp

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Re: CL Score: Freebie 550
« Reply #12 on: December 03, 2020, 07:45:43 pm »
coming along greattt
Mankinds Greatest enemy has and always be itself.


slow Progress 74 cb550.

Poor boy chop 73 CB500 chop

Offline wolf550

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Re: CL Score: Freebie 550
« Reply #13 on: December 03, 2020, 08:10:43 pm »
that upper right pipe is the exact one I am working on myself!
I have two of those:
one that was rusted through and working on making an aluminum casting to put back on the pipe
and the other that I tried to put on today to see how the 4 into 4 pipes would look on my 550 but the exhaust pipe is bent!

I am hoping this casting comes out (fingers crossed)

and your bike is what my bike wants to look like in the future.
74' CB550
71' CB500/550

Offline river

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Re: CL Score: Freebie 550
« Reply #14 on: December 03, 2020, 09:29:58 pm »
Incredible find. Looks familiar.
Squirrel 1.0 http://forums.sohc4.net/index.php/topic,127186.2050.
ml

Squirrel 2.0
http://forums.sohc4.net/index.php/topic,176846.msg2055831.html#msg2055831


"You wouldn't think that out here...a man could simply run clear...out of country but oh my...oh my...nothing but the light." -Ben Nichols

Offline ChromeDreams

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Re: CL Score: Freebie 550
« Reply #15 on: December 13, 2020, 05:03:31 pm »
Had some time today to get back to the bike. I had the carbs bench synced and on the bike last week, but had a good fuel leak from the overflow on at least 2 carbs. After pulling em off and taking a closer look, I could see the original float valves were pretty pitted and i couldn't revive any more spring tension. Swapped in a new set today and got the rack back on the bike,. Then, gently filed the ignition point contacts and put in a fresh set of plugs and got it to turn over and fire up with very little effort. Now that it's a runner I'll go through the tune-up before moving on to brakes and drive train. I'm burning some PTO before the holidays and will probably be getting after it

quick start vid, fires right up.
« Last Edit: December 13, 2020, 05:06:30 pm by ChromeDreams »

Offline ChromeDreams

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Re: CL Score: Freebie 550
« Reply #16 on: December 13, 2020, 05:05:59 pm »
that upper right pipe is the exact one I am working on myself!
I have two of those:
one that was rusted through and working on making an aluminum casting to put back on the pipe
and the other that I tried to put on today to see how the 4 into 4 pipes would look on my 550 but the exhaust pipe is bent!

I am hoping this casting comes out (fingers crossed)

and your bike is what my bike wants to look like in the future.

wow cool, any luck with the casting? Does the upper right have a tendency to rust out on these and 500s?

Offline wolf550

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Re: CL Score: Freebie 550
« Reply #17 on: December 14, 2020, 06:10:24 pm »
from what I have read about these original pipes is (after 50 years rust is bound to happen)
there is a little progress with the muffler build but still in the 1st stages of getting the mold made.
that should be the easy part.
the hard part will be seeing if I can find some body that can tig/ mig/ braze whatever you call it together on the pipe
and without it costing more than a replacement would cost.
74' CB550
71' CB500/550

Offline ChromeDreams

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Re: CL Score: Freebie 550
« Reply #18 on: December 18, 2020, 07:31:41 am »
Now that the bike is a confirmed runner I'm moving from front to back cleaning and freshening up parts. Got the bike strung up in my shop and started in on the front end, pretty gross as you can see but everything came apart without much fuss.

After topping off the reservoir this toasted puck pumped out with some lever action


caliper contents included this loogie, wow. Caliper has been cleaned and reconditioned with new seal and a new puck ready to drop in when the brake pads arrive


more grime


I debated leaving the forks lowers alone, just getting them cleaned up and ready for service but the factory clear was pock marked enough that i decided to give them a quick polish.
Before


Here's the after, along with fresh fork seals and boots. Rolled it out to see in the daylight with tank and seat tossed on top for a quick look. I haven't decided on tires yet, any thoughts on what would be a nice stock-ish look?


Offline Shtonecb500

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Re: CL Score: Freebie 550
« Reply #19 on: December 18, 2020, 03:31:44 pm »
good job making this a nice runner again. dunlop 404s are good, shinkos are nice and cheap.
73/74'' CB500/550 resto-mod
74' CB550 FOUR/Boss Maroon on back burner
78' CB750 - Restomod -sold
750 cafe barn yard rat rod
74' 750 chopper hardtail
74' CB750 - Blacked out tourer

Offline Stev-o

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Re: CL Score: Freebie 550
« Reply #20 on: December 18, 2020, 04:13:19 pm »
Nice job on the lowers!  Exhaust looks good too...
'74 "Big Bang" Honda 750K [836].....'71 Honda 750K project.....'76 Honda 550F.....K3 Park Racer.....K5 Fiddy Dolla Special!......and a Bomber!............plus plus plus.........

Offline Godffery

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Re: CL Score: Freebie 550
« Reply #21 on: December 18, 2020, 05:26:34 pm »
 Looks like you could use a Light weight, rust proof, Phenolic Caliper Piston!  ;)
 https://godfferysgarage.com/product/optional-rotor-centers-painted/

Offline river

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Re: CL Score: Freebie 550
« Reply #22 on: December 19, 2020, 04:44:13 pm »
Nice work on cleaning it up! The exhaust looks great.
Squirrel 1.0 http://forums.sohc4.net/index.php/topic,127186.2050.
ml

Squirrel 2.0
http://forums.sohc4.net/index.php/topic,176846.msg2055831.html#msg2055831


"You wouldn't think that out here...a man could simply run clear...out of country but oh my...oh my...nothing but the light." -Ben Nichols

Offline BenelliSEI

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Re: CL Score: Freebie 550
« Reply #23 on: December 19, 2020, 05:26:48 pm »
I put a pair of Shinkos on cb750F I sold and I must say, great price and performed well the few times I rode it. Great value if you want to stick to a budget.....

Offline ChromeDreams

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Re: CL Score: Freebie 550
« Reply #24 on: December 20, 2020, 07:25:17 am »
Think i might try those shinkos out on this one. Exhaust is nice except for the huge hole in the upper right pipe, but i'm on the lookout for a nice spare to replace it with. While waiting for some parts yesterday i started cleaning up the stator cover and left case cover. Tons of mud, some insulation for a mouse house and 2 live roaches were in the muck, vile. The bike looks to have been dropped at very low speed, the Honda logo on the stator cover is a little mangled, but i managed to get some enamel down and sand the high points back and it looks pretty good now.

here's before

and after