Author Topic: '76 Honda CB550F: Suggestions for Better Battery Life?  (Read 2815 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Robbo

  • Enthusiast
  • **
  • Posts: 100
Re: '76 Honda CB550F: Suggestions for Better Battery Life?
« Reply #25 on: December 04, 2018, 12:39:35 pm »
Hoping the OP gets this all sorted and I expect he will with the support of this forum.

My only advice is related to the short commute...

“Take the long way home...take the long way home.”


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
1973 CB350 Four, 1975 CB550K

Offline magner

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 38
Re: '76 Honda CB550F: Suggestions for Better Battery Life?
« Reply #26 on: December 04, 2018, 01:40:50 pm »
giving the reason that "other people do it" sounds like the logic of a blind lemming. there are a lot of people on this forum who have a lot of knowledge of engines in general, and these old CBs in particular. i would trust them more than some random guys on the street.

I am in no way "blindly following like a lemming" by choosing to get my CB; I ride a bicycle 4 miles to and from work and decided I'd get a motorcycle that I've loved for a long time that I can learn to wrench on as a new hobby. I find it rude to assume I just saw others with this bike and copied them. I only mentioned seeing others with the same bike because it seemed like this thread was saying that CBs aren't meant for traffic, and I wanted to cite several clear examples I am aware of in which they are being used just fine in traffic.

I am not disregarding any information given to me, as I obviously know everyone here knows much more than I do, however what I can't get a sense of is the severity of what's being described. Some people are telling me to sell my bike and get a scooter, while others are politely offering ways in which I can help my situation. I understand this bike is not ideal for commuting, but I just find it hard to believe that it 'can't be done' like some are making it seem. And for the record I plan on taking it for long rides on the weekends; its not just a bike I got to ride to work everyday.

Online seanbarney41

  • not really that much younger than an
  • Really Old Timer ...
  • *******
  • Posts: 7,861
Re: '76 Honda CB550F: Suggestions for Better Battery Life?
« Reply #27 on: December 04, 2018, 03:00:09 pm »
In the stock form, a cb550 works fine in all conditions and does not need to be babied.  However, they will suffer from lack of use.

Unfortunately, we are not talking about a stock one here.  I agree with posters above that the modified charging system is not working and yeah, probably gonna need a bigger battery.
If it works good, it looks good...

Offline scottly

  • Really Old Timer ...
  • *******
  • Posts: 12,476
  • Humboldt, AZ
Re: '76 Honda CB550F: Suggestions for Better Battery Life?
« Reply #28 on: December 04, 2018, 04:38:26 pm »
I just find it hard to believe that it 'can't be done' like some are making it seem.
Yes, it can be done, and with the small battery. ;)
Don't fix it if it ain't broke!
Helmets save brains. Always wear one and ride like everyone is trying to kill you....

Offline BomberMann650

  • Holy Cow! I'm an
  • Really Old Timer ...
  • *******
  • Posts: 5,054
  • Dr. Bovinestein
Re: '76 Honda CB550F: Suggestions for Better Battery Life?
« Reply #29 on: December 04, 2018, 09:03:25 pm »
However, they will suffer from lack of use.

This applies to most, if not all motorcycles.  Especially carbureted models.  Especially in a land with corn added fuel.

Hell, been leaving my fjr out in the equipment shed.  The recent cold snap seems to have caused a slow cranking start.
Even with it's post-millenium newness, it's ready time for the 40k valve inspection and throttle body sync.  Probably wouldn't hurt to bleed the hydraulics while it's on the table.

These are standard protocols for any bike.  Moreso with a vintage, tappet valve, carbureted road sporting machine.  All the future tech in the world hasn't changed those basic needs.
可燃自転車 Kanen Jitensha Combustible Bicycle
75 CB550F codename Bloo
76/78 XS750 triple; trash can.
07 FJR1300; Horse

Offline Deltarider

  • Really Old Timer ...
  • *******
  • Posts: 5,661
  • "Tremendous progress has been made... "
Re: '76 Honda CB550F: Suggestions for Better Battery Life?
« Reply #30 on: December 05, 2018, 01:32:14 am »
Four miles is the distance most here prefer to do on bicycle. That's why our kids, instead of inactively sitting in some schoolbus, growing fat munching, are not obesed. Every year Dutch children are #1 in the ranking list of happiest children in the world. Do a search, it is true. Normally I take these ranking lists with a grain of salt, but since it's every year and Danmark usually #2, it has me led to believe that maybe this cycling (in both countries) has something to do with it. At a crucial age in your development, you are in control and can - literally - give self direction and experiment. Also we have the most beautiful women in the world, but I admit that that's subjective. There are far more bicycles in Holland than there are inhabitants and overhere you're not considered a socialist if you prefer to stay fit instead of lazy sitting in some oversized toy producing childish gurgle-gurgle sounds at traffic lights. Honda's CBs, which are known to be coldblooded, will never reach a proper working temperature in these short distances and - as Flatlander already mentioned - this may result in crud and eventually mayonaiselike engine oil. Your choice.
« Last Edit: December 05, 2018, 02:21:37 am by Deltarider »
Money is like manure. It's not worth a thing unless it's spread around.

Offline robvangulik

  • Honda Fourever
  • Hot Shot
  • ***
  • Posts: 677
Re: '76 Honda CB550F: Suggestions for Better Battery Life?
« Reply #31 on: December 05, 2018, 01:49:03 am »
Yes, and that's why the streets around every school are blocked with cars around nine every morning!
Yes, that's sarcasm! 8)

Offline Deltarider

  • Really Old Timer ...
  • *******
  • Posts: 5,661
  • "Tremendous progress has been made... "
Re: '76 Honda CB550F: Suggestions for Better Battery Life?
« Reply #32 on: December 05, 2018, 01:54:00 am »
Yes, and that's why the streets around every school are blocked with cars around nine every morning!
Yes, that's sarcasm! 8)
Every school, Rob, every school? You are free to be sarcastic, but don't tell us lies.
« Last Edit: December 05, 2018, 02:10:58 am by Deltarider »
Money is like manure. It's not worth a thing unless it's spread around.

Offline flatlander

  • Master
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,989
Re: '76 Honda CB550F: Suggestions for Better Battery Life?
« Reply #33 on: December 05, 2018, 03:45:13 am »
I am not disregarding any information given to me, as I obviously know everyone here knows much more than I do, however what I can't get a sense of is the severity of what's being described. Some people are telling me to sell my bike and get a scooter, while others are politely offering ways in which I can help my situation. I understand this bike is not ideal for commuting, but I just find it hard to believe that it 'can't be done' like some are making it seem. And for the record I plan on taking it for long rides on the weekends; its not just a bike I got to ride to work everyday.

alright, i mean no harm to you. if i did i would not waste my time typing up messages here.
as i said, you can use your bike for commuting. if it makes sense or not is your choice. if it's good for the bike or not depends on the circumstances and from the various answers i think you will be able to make up your own mind.
nothing is black and white. and nobody tells you to get rid of the bike. it's yours, it's up to you what you do with it or how many other vehicles you use next to it. there may be better alternatives for some uses, that's all.

more interestingly, what are you going to do next? have you checked the charging system? get a different battery?

Offline calj737

  • Really Old Timer ...
  • *******
  • Posts: 19,355
  • I refuse...
Re: '76 Honda CB550F: Suggestions for Better Battery Life?
« Reply #34 on: December 05, 2018, 06:01:58 am »
Four miles is the distance most here prefer to do on bicycle. That's why our kids, instead of inactively sitting in some schoolbus, growing fat munching, are not obesed. Every year Dutch children are #1 in the ranking list of happiest children in the world. Do a search, it is true. Normally I take these ranking lists with a grain of salt, but since it's every year and Danmark usually #2, it has me led to believe that maybe this cycling (in both countries) has something to do with it. At a crucial age in your development, you are in control and can - literally - give self direction and experiment. Also we have the most beautiful women in the world, but I admit that that's subjective. There are far more bicycles in Holland than there are inhabitants and overhere you're not considered a socialist if you prefer to stay fit instead of lazy sitting in some oversized toy producing childish gurgle-gurgle sounds at traffic lights. Honda's CBs, which are known to be coldblooded, will never reach a proper working temperature in these short distances and - as Flatlander already mentioned - this may result in crud and eventually mayonaiselike engine oil. Your choice.
The Netherlands is a very easy place to ride a bike as it is essentially flat. Unlike many cities in the US, suburbs, and what not, the geography here requires bikes with more gears, far more and much more expensive bikes. And there thousands of folks who ride their bikes to work and for exercise.

It is also very true that the popularity of bikes is heavily due to the burdensome taxes levied on vehicles, fuel and parking for vehicles. Many Dutch can’t afford the luxury of vehicles as is commonplace here, so don’t kid yourself it’s about a healthy lifestyle. Besides, the streets are jammed full of bikes parked, rusty and rotting in the weather obstructing pedestrian travel and making many streets look like sh!te aesthetically. Pros and cons for all things.
'74 550 Build http://forums.sohc4.net/index.php?topic=126401.0
'73 500 Build http://forums.sohc4.net/index.php?topic=132935.0

*** Currently experiencing life at 60 WTFs per hour ***
I always thought getting old would take longer

Offline magner

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 38
Re: '76 Honda CB550F: Suggestions for Better Battery Life?
« Reply #35 on: December 05, 2018, 08:08:18 am »
Four miles is the distance most here prefer to do on bicycle.

I have been a cyclist for many years now, and for the last 3 years I have been commuting by bicycle in downtown Los Angeles. In that time I have been hit by several cars and assaulted by homeless people. My new commute is up in the hills, and takes me over the river on a bridge that has no sidewalk or bike lane, but is instead 40mph traffic around a blind corner. I’m not telling you this because it is in ANY way relevant to the question I asked, it is only because you seem to have deemed yourself fit to judge everyone’s lifestyles without knowing a damn thing about them. Yes I would gladly bike 4 miles in a city like yours literally designed for it where car traffic has no choice but aknowldedge the mass amount of cyclists on the road. I have 4 bicycles that I have built that I love riding, but you obviously don’t understand the risks I put up with in a city designed for the car with citizens who have ran me over from behind telling me “I just didn’t see you.”

I appreciate your advice with my CB, everything else you can keep to yourself.

Hopefully my multimeter arrives today and I can perform the checks and report back! I am planning on returning this small battery and buying one with more amps. Can anyone recommend something stronger that still isn’t as large as the stock battery? My PO hasn’t left me with much mounting options. Thanks for the help everyone.

Offline Deltarider

  • Really Old Timer ...
  • *******
  • Posts: 5,661
  • "Tremendous progress has been made... "
Re: '76 Honda CB550F: Suggestions for Better Battery Life?
« Reply #36 on: December 05, 2018, 08:29:31 am »
 It is true gasoline is much more expensive here than in the US. Every country in the world needs US dollars to be able to buy oil. There's only one country however that can print as many dollars as they like... Read Barry Eichengreen's Exorbitant Privilege, the rise and fall of the dollar and you'll understand how we in fact finance your cheap gasoline. For years and years the US manages to consume more than it produces. Ever thought of how that is possible? Let me quote US treasury secretary under Nixon, John Connally :
"The dollar happens to be our currency and your problem."
As for Holland, we're doing fine. We're at least as rich as Americans, only wealth here is distributed differently. Nobody but the police and military needs arms and we live, in Franklin Delano Roosevelt's words, free of fear. Social mobility is far higher than in the US. Read Nobel prize laureate Joseph Stiglitz (also an American) on this. So... as far as the American Dream... dream on! We're also free of the bombardment of advertisements one can not escape in the US. Last summer my hand had to reach for the dashboard every ten minutes to mute the radio and the continuous: 'have more for less' hysteria.
Our pension funds are about the biggest in the world and sit on a sum twice the GDP, a situation Americans can only dream of. Also we produce a lot. Any idea where the steel for the chassis of your pick-up trucks comes from? In spite of the tarifs, carmakers like Ford still want it, because there are no steel works in the US that can deliver the same quality. Steel works in the US are still the open furnace type. We had them too... in the Middle Ages. If you want to know more about our steel, why it is 17% lighter and yet stronger, I'll be glad to inform you.
« Last Edit: December 06, 2018, 03:58:24 am by Deltarider »
Money is like manure. It's not worth a thing unless it's spread around.

Offline BobbyR

  • Really Old Timer ...
  • *******
  • Posts: 12,339
  • Proud Owner of the Babe Thread & Dirty Old Man
Re: '76 Honda CB550F: Suggestions for Better Battery Life?
« Reply #37 on: December 05, 2018, 09:12:24 am »
It never fails. A guy asks a simple question. He receives about a page of very good advice and then the whole thing turns to #$%*. It never fails.
Dedicated to Sgt. Howard Bruckner 1950 - 1969. KIA LONG KHANH.

But we were boys, and boys will be boys, and so they will. To us, everything was dangerous, but what of that? Had we not been made to live forever?

Offline flatlander

  • Master
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,989
Re: '76 Honda CB550F: Suggestions for Better Battery Life?
« Reply #38 on: December 05, 2018, 09:46:10 am »
Hopefully my multimeter arrives today and I can perform the checks and report back! I am planning on returning this small battery and buying one with more amps. Can anyone recommend something stronger that still isn’t as large as the stock battery? My PO hasn’t left me with much mounting options. Thanks for the help everyone.

lithium ion (ballistic, antigravity and other brands) or lithium iron (shorai). you can check on their websites what capacity and size options they have, to find something suitable.

lithium ion has stricter requirements for charging voltage than the original lead/acid or an AGM battery. you would need to get a solid state regulator/rectifier that works for it. i think rick's makes one if i remember right?

Offline BomberMann650

  • Holy Cow! I'm an
  • Really Old Timer ...
  • *******
  • Posts: 5,054
  • Dr. Bovinestein
Re: '76 Honda CB550F: Suggestions for Better Battery Life?
« Reply #39 on: December 05, 2018, 11:50:35 am »
Now that we know Magner is a seasoned bicyclist - bet they'll do just fine as a motorcycle commuter. 

The instinct to distrust cagers is already there!

可燃自転車 Kanen Jitensha Combustible Bicycle
75 CB550F codename Bloo
76/78 XS750 triple; trash can.
07 FJR1300; Horse

Offline magner

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 38
Re: '76 Honda CB550F: Suggestions for Better Battery Life?
« Reply #40 on: December 05, 2018, 12:34:35 pm »
Now that we know Magner is a seasoned bicyclist - bet they'll do just fine as a motorcycle commuter. 

The instinct to distrust cagers is already there!

Yeah for the last few years I commuted through downtown Los Angeles on a brakeless track bike (sure its dumb I know), but without brakes you learn to predict and imagine every possible traffic scenario in order to dodge it instead of braking. Of the very few accidents I’ve had, it was either someone pulling out in front of me, or hitting me from behind (nothing I could’ve done). So I’m hoping most of this translates to motorcycling in helping me be super defensive! Either way it’s eroded my trust of cars..

Offline Stev-o

  • Ain't no
  • Really Old Timer ...
  • *******
  • Posts: 28,799
  • Central Texas
Re: '76 Honda CB550F: Suggestions for Better Battery Life?
« Reply #41 on: December 05, 2018, 03:14:36 pm »
It never fails. A guy asks a simple question...

Thought Sweden had the World's most beautiful women?!!



'74 "Big Bang" Honda 750K [836].....'71 Honda 750K project.....'76 Honda 550F.....K3 Park Racer.....K5 Fiddy Dolla Special!......CB500 Fiddy Dolla Special too!!............plus plus plus.........

Offline scottly

  • Really Old Timer ...
  • *******
  • Posts: 12,476
  • Humboldt, AZ
Re: '76 Honda CB550F: Suggestions for Better Battery Life?
« Reply #42 on: December 05, 2018, 06:55:03 pm »
The bike is fairly stripped down due to some cafe mods the PO did (no turn signals, just Headlight and Brakelight), and it has a smaller battery installed in order to be hidden from sight
It would help if we knew more about the PO's mods. Please post some pics. Is the wiring harness based off the stock harness, or something wired up from scratch?
Yes, there are smaller batteries with a greater capacity, but lets not get into that now. Your 4-AH battery is big enough, at least for kick-start only applications. ;)
Don't fix it if it ain't broke!
Helmets save brains. Always wear one and ride like everyone is trying to kill you....

Offline magner

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 38
Re: '76 Honda CB550F: Suggestions for Better Battery Life?
« Reply #43 on: December 05, 2018, 11:02:55 pm »
Totally forgot to share pics; apologies! I really like the bike for the most part as is. I hate the muffler, and want to put something more classic on. I know the pods are troublesome but I really dig them personally; the PO rejetted for them at I believe 102 or so. I know the wiring harness is custom but I don’t know enough yet to give any more info! That’s all I’m aware of so far.

Offline BomberMann650

  • Holy Cow! I'm an
  • Really Old Timer ...
  • *******
  • Posts: 5,054
  • Dr. Bovinestein
Re: '76 Honda CB550F: Suggestions for Better Battery Life?
« Reply #44 on: December 06, 2018, 12:50:22 am »
Huh, i run 105 mains with the stock airbox. 
You're gonna wanna get intimate with this bike and start taking notes.

Don't even stress about the pipe.  There are tons of really nice options for that.  Alas, pipes don't charge batteries!
可燃自転車 Kanen Jitensha Combustible Bicycle
75 CB550F codename Bloo
76/78 XS750 triple; trash can.
07 FJR1300; Horse

Offline Deltarider

  • Really Old Timer ...
  • *******
  • Posts: 5,661
  • "Tremendous progress has been made... "
Re: '76 Honda CB550F: Suggestions for Better Battery Life?
« Reply #45 on: December 06, 2018, 01:21:48 am »
Nice looking bike, Magner. I happen to love those 'flatface' headlights. My CB500K2 (ED) came with it. You may need some sort of a frontfender or brace however, to stiffen up things in the front a bit (not trying to be obscene here :))). Yes, you can do with a small battery. I once rode without and made it home. Where you live, it's probably law to have the headlight on at all times. A solution that may suit you, is here: let me first find it, ah, here it is: http://forums.sohc4.net/index.php/topic,174212.msg2028439.html#msg2028439 Would be perfect if your headlamp is equipped with the small pilot lamp we have here in Europe. Then, waiting in neutral at a traffic light you would at least have light, be it modest and as soon as you engage a gear you'll have back the whatever you have. Anyway, that's what I'd do. Such a relay is a small investment.
« Last Edit: December 06, 2018, 01:34:34 am by Deltarider »
Money is like manure. It's not worth a thing unless it's spread around.

Offline BobbyR

  • Really Old Timer ...
  • *******
  • Posts: 12,339
  • Proud Owner of the Babe Thread & Dirty Old Man
Re: '76 Honda CB550F: Suggestions for Better Battery Life?
« Reply #46 on: December 06, 2018, 09:03:35 am »
Pretty nice looking bike. As mentioned you may want to add some sort of fender to keep you clean since the wheel does pick up crap and will throw it up. The fenders are also a fork brace which helps handling. If a fender is not part of you vision, you can do a search here and some guys have bought or fabbed up braces.

Since you are kick starting you don't need much battery, but you cannot bump start these with no battery as you may know. I carry a Wee Go jump starter in my cars and I ride with one. I have jump started a lot of cars and bikes with it.

I see what you mean about the exhaust, I think it looks pieced together which may have been the intent. Something smoother may look better.

Pods are a hot topic, but if you do a search you can find people who have successfully dialed them in and explained how they did it. You may have to wade through the debates, but, their experience can move you along faster. I have stock everything on my 78K and I am jetted at 120 to get rid of a dead spot in the the torque curve, I have no real carbon buildup on the plugs. Good luck with you project and ride safe.
Dedicated to Sgt. Howard Bruckner 1950 - 1969. KIA LONG KHANH.

But we were boys, and boys will be boys, and so they will. To us, everything was dangerous, but what of that? Had we not been made to live forever?

Offline BomberMann650

  • Holy Cow! I'm an
  • Really Old Timer ...
  • *******
  • Posts: 5,054
  • Dr. Bovinestein
Re: '76 Honda CB550F: Suggestions for Better Battery Life?
« Reply #47 on: December 06, 2018, 12:41:36 pm »
Damn Bobby, now you make me wonder if I'm underfueled with 105's!
可燃自転車 Kanen Jitensha Combustible Bicycle
75 CB550F codename Bloo
76/78 XS750 triple; trash can.
07 FJR1300; Horse

Offline BobbyR

  • Really Old Timer ...
  • *******
  • Posts: 12,339
  • Proud Owner of the Babe Thread & Dirty Old Man
Re: '76 Honda CB550F: Suggestions for Better Battery Life?
« Reply #48 on: December 06, 2018, 05:17:43 pm »
Damn Bobby, now you make me wonder if I'm underfueled with 105's!
I had the head off recently and no real carbon. I have no vacuum leaks, it just runs better. It is said Honda began under jetting for the EPA.
 
Dedicated to Sgt. Howard Bruckner 1950 - 1969. KIA LONG KHANH.

But we were boys, and boys will be boys, and so they will. To us, everything was dangerous, but what of that? Had we not been made to live forever?

Offline calj737

  • Really Old Timer ...
  • *******
  • Posts: 19,355
  • I refuse...
Re: '76 Honda CB550F: Suggestions for Better Battery Life?
« Reply #49 on: December 06, 2018, 05:23:43 pm »
Damn Bobby, now you make me wonder if I'm underfueled with 105's!
I had the head off recently and no real carbon. I have no vacuum leaks, it just runs better. It is said Honda began under jetting for the EPA.
Yours is a 750, right, Bobby? The OPs bike is a 550. Stock is 98-100 for the 550F I believe.
'74 550 Build http://forums.sohc4.net/index.php?topic=126401.0
'73 500 Build http://forums.sohc4.net/index.php?topic=132935.0

*** Currently experiencing life at 60 WTFs per hour ***
I always thought getting old would take longer

 

;
Honda