Author Topic: Squirley's 550 CAFE Build  (Read 95452 times)

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Offline squirley

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Squirley's 550 CAFE Build
« on: May 17, 2008, 10:37:56 PM »
Alright, I am finally sitting down and taking the time to make a project thread on my ongoing 1974 550 build.  I picked up a non running cb 550 a few months back.  It had been sitting for years, last registered in 85.  It was in rough shape, with many parts missing, but nothing that would keep it from running.  Here is how it looked when I brought it home(looks much better in the pics than it did in real life).

The build would include:

Gsxr inverted fork
19x2.5 aluminum front rim
18x3.5 aluminum rear rim
custom frame
all electronics hidden
rebuilt motor with ported head and 650 cam
custom rear sets
yoshi exhaust
a lot of one off parts

and alot of time...
« Last Edit: May 18, 2008, 12:00:36 AM by squirley »



Offline squirley

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Re: Squirley's 550 CAFE Build
« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2008, 10:55:49 PM »
I decided that I was going to do a full on rebuild from the ground up.  Sorry to all you stock honda guys out there, but I didn't want anything on the bike that would resemble a stock 550.  After bringing it home and checking it over, I replaced the oil, plugs, and began to try to start it.  After a couple carb adjustments, she fired right up, and even sat at idle.  I removed the front brake as it was locked up, and took it for a quick spin to shift through the gears.  I wanted to make sure the engine was good as I wasn't going to tear into the engine at the same time as buildking the frame, but we all know how that goes.  Once I was happy with it's running ability, I began the tear down.
The pics show the tear down to the frame, and then I had to test fit the front end.



« Last Edit: May 18, 2008, 12:01:09 AM by squirley »



Offline squirley

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Re: Squirley's 550 CAFE Build
« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2008, 10:57:49 PM »
Just doing more tear down, and mocking up things as at this time I didn't know what direction I really wanted to go with it.
Had a seat laying around that I was just using to help witht the look of things, and is not what I will be using. The blue tape was there to help me get an idea of where I wanted to cut the frame.  THe idea was to knock off the back of the frame to get rid of the large unused space where the electricals normally reside, and to help emphasize the engine as much as possible.  Also pics of detabbing the frame and cutting the rear support.
« Last Edit: May 18, 2008, 12:02:22 AM by squirley »



troppo

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Re: Squirley's 550 CAFE Build
« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2008, 11:01:24 PM »
Going to be an interesting build, i like the sound of the front end
Cheers
Troppo



Offline Koonendez

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Re: Squirley's 550 CAFE Build
« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2008, 11:01:54 PM »
what year is your 550? just started mine as well. good luck
'78 Honda CB550K



Offline squirley

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Re: Squirley's 550 CAFE Build
« Reply #5 on: May 17, 2008, 11:05:09 PM »
The bike is a 74, and the front end was a chore in itself to get a spoked rim to fit an inverted for.
« Last Edit: May 18, 2008, 12:03:23 AM by squirley »



Offline squirley

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Re: Squirley's 550 CAFE Build
« Reply #6 on: May 17, 2008, 11:08:11 PM »
I will get to the questions at the end, right now I am going to just keep posting pics up until the point that the bike is in now.  On that note...
Here I am mocking up a piece of dom, but the angle just didn't look right.
Next pic is with the tube tacked in and trying to get an idea of how to do my rear sets.



Offline squirley

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Re: Squirley's 550 CAFE Build
« Reply #7 on: May 17, 2008, 11:14:14 PM »
Looking at the frame, I realized that I was going to run a solo cafe seat, with a hump only large enough to house the battery and elcectronis.  So I removed the rear of the frame and shock mounts, and bent up some tube for the rear of the seat.  THe rear of the hump should only go  back as far as the mid of the rear tire.
I also had time to disassemble the carbs, clean them up, rebuild them and add some unifilters.




Offline squirley

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Re: Squirley's 550 CAFE Build
« Reply #8 on: May 17, 2008, 11:21:31 PM »
Here I am cuttin down the foam for the hump.  The foam was the type that you use for flower arrangements.  I epoxied several layers together and slapped them on the frame.




Offline squirley

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Re: Squirley's 550 CAFE Build
« Reply #9 on: May 17, 2008, 11:31:58 PM »
Ufortunatley,there is a little time frame that I can't find pics to.  However, it just entailed tearing it down to the frame, and taking the frame itself down to bare metal. Since I removed a large portion of the rear frame, along with the upper shock mounts, I needed to decide on how I was going to mount the rear shocks.  There was a large struggle with myself as to how I wanted to do the rear suspension.  THe initial plan of this build was to make a vintage style cafe racer.  But then I went overboard on the front suspension and was tempted to do something more exciting to the rear. 
These next few pics are of a time that I did not know what direction I was going to go, I believe the pics explain themselves.  The idea was to run two shocks at this angle.  I don't have pics of the dual shock setup, as it was a matter of 30 minutes after I tacked up the other side that I found that the rear suspesion was way too soft and allowed too much travel.  I am sure it was nothing a modern shock wouldn't help, but I decided that it was too futuristic.



« Last Edit: May 18, 2008, 12:04:54 AM by squirley »



Offline rachet

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Re: Squirley's 550 CAFE Build
« Reply #10 on: May 17, 2008, 11:37:28 PM »
I'm going to dog ear this one.  Can't wait to see it come together.

Rachet~
But I need Tacos!  I need them or I will explode!



Offline squirley

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Re: Squirley's 550 CAFE Build
« Reply #11 on: May 17, 2008, 11:49:36 PM »
These next few pics are after changing the suspesion back to verticle position.  Other details are that I welded in the upper shock mounts, completely welded up all the seams that I had previously just tacked together.  Changed the location of the shock on the lower mount to give the suspension a more slanted stance, and began to bend up a custom swingarm. 
These pics show the engine back in the frame so I could hook up the rear sets, test fit the exhaust and make sure the chain had clearances on the swingarm.  On a side note, these pictures show the bike fully resting on it's front and rear suspension.  This was the first time that the front end was properly secured with the correct bearings in the head.  In truth, I was building a bike around a front end.  Before I had the 550, I got a gsxr front end and began milling a hub to accept spoke rims and gsxr rotors.  In all honesty it was a time consuming process, but I am happy with it thus far.
These are the last semi-current pics that I have. 

« Last Edit: May 18, 2008, 12:10:29 PM by squirley »



Offline squirley

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Re: Squirley's 550 CAFE Build
« Reply #12 on: May 17, 2008, 11:56:59 PM »
Since these last pics, I have redone the rear set brackets, milled up some rear sets, hooked up the linkages, and rebuilt the engine with a ported head and 650 cam.
Today was the first time in a great while that I was able to work on the bike.  I have been fishing up my rockcrawler jeep to be put up for sale and have had limited time.  I did find time to lace up my newly black powder coated wheels with stainless spokes and they should look very nice once on the bike. I will have pics as soon as I can
Right now, the bike is torn down once again, and I have spent a considerable amount of time on the rear of the frame welding in brackets for the battery and electronic components.  The hump may not look small, but it took some time to get all the electrical to fit. 
On a side note, anyone looking to buy a nice rockcrawler???

« Last Edit: May 18, 2008, 12:07:15 AM by squirley »



Offline Joel

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Re: Squirley's 550 CAFE Build
« Reply #13 on: May 18, 2008, 12:17:57 AM »
Is the wheelbase stretched or does it just look longer without the tires mounted?



Offline squirley

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Re: Squirley's 550 CAFE Build
« Reply #14 on: May 18, 2008, 12:41:41 AM »
I take it you are talking about the bike.  If so, the wheelbase is not stretched, in order to get it to look like it was, I removed a considerable abount of frame from the back end.



Offline .RJ

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Re: Squirley's 550 CAFE Build
« Reply #15 on: May 19, 2008, 08:02:25 AM »
Very nice - what work was done to fit the 550 front wheel in the GSXR forks?



Offline squirley

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Re: Squirley's 550 CAFE Build
« Reply #16 on: May 19, 2008, 09:51:19 AM »
Alright, here is the story on the front end.
The wheel is from a harley (19x2.5").   I started machining a hub, similar to the way funjimmy did, but to work with larger guage spokes and a harley rim.  When I bought a mockup steel rim to test fit everything, it happened to come with a hub.  A harley uses 1" bearings in the front, while the gsxr axle is 25mm.  However stock bearings for both bikes have the same O.D.  so I pressed in some gsxr sealed bearings and bolted it up. 
In order to get the gsxr discs to work, I just put them on the mill and redrilled a 5 lug pattern to fit the harley pattern.  Once bolted up, the width of the hub is almost perfect (it may need some smally .005" spacers to make sure the discs don't rub).
« Last Edit: August 04, 2008, 04:31:27 PM by squirley »



kevio

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Re: Squirley's 550 CAFE Build
« Reply #17 on: May 19, 2008, 10:30:30 AM »
Did the GSXR front end bolt onto the 550 neck or did it require any mods?  I'd love to replace the whole front end and rear and go with mags.



Offline acaruth

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Re: Squirley's 550 CAFE Build
« Reply #18 on: May 19, 2008, 11:07:01 AM »
Suirley, nice build. Keep us posted on the progress. I for one can't wait to see the final product. Quick question though, where did you source the 18x3.5 rim?



Offline squirley

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Re: Squirley's 550 CAFE Build
« Reply #19 on: May 19, 2008, 01:49:28 PM »
kevio: The front end of the gsxr uses a 30mm Outside diameter steering tube for both lower and upper bearings.  This means that the lower is the same as a stock 550, so a standard roller bearing for a honda will work.  The stock honda upper bearing has a smaller inside diameter, and an unusual outside diameter.   For the upper bearing, I found one that had a 30mm inside diameter to match the gsxr steering tube, and had the closest outside diameter to a stock 550 without being too large.  The closest bearing I could find was roughly .5mm smaller in O.D. than a stock 550 and I believe was a replacement roller bearing for a yamaha.  I just used a .5mm shim to make the upper bearing a press fit.  Best of all, I didn't have to change the steering tube length.  It should be an easy swap to do if you wanted to just run some stock gsxr wheels.


acaruth: I found the rim on ebay after many weeks of searching under aluminum whee, allow wheel, etc.  Finally found one, for cheap too. 



Offline squirley

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Re: Squirley's 550 CAFE Build
« Reply #20 on: May 20, 2008, 09:40:56 PM »
Here are some more pics of what has been done. 
The first is some quick pics of the brackets to hold the electronics, try and ignore the flash rust.
One of the engine before being assembled.
And lasty the wheels.  The front went together very nicely, the rear however does not want to lace correctly.  I initially began lacing it like any other wheel, inner spokes first in opposited directions.  When I began to lace the outside spokes, one side went on nicely, but the other wasn't evey close to fitting.  I despoked it and tried another spoke pattern.  Does anyone see anything wrong with the way that I spoked them now, both inner spokes going the same direction, crossed by the outer spokes?


« Last Edit: May 20, 2008, 09:55:01 PM by squirley »



Offline squirley

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Re: Squirley's 550 CAFE Build
« Reply #21 on: May 20, 2008, 09:42:19 PM »
One more of the wheels and the new rear set brackets




Offline Joel

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Re: Squirley's 550 CAFE Build
« Reply #22 on: May 20, 2008, 10:39:50 PM »
Any tips on finding the right size rims?  Are the rim sizes stamped on my rims or can I look up the stock rim sizes somewhere online?  I've got what I think is a stock size front 18" rim on mine, but the rear of by 400F has been changed to a wider 16".



Offline squirley

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Re: Squirley's 550 CAFE Build
« Reply #23 on: May 21, 2008, 10:06:59 AM »
Most rims are stamped with what size they are, however I know that some aren't like Akront rims are sometimes stampless.
For finding the right size rim, that really depends on what you are looking for.  It does take some time to find a reasonably wide rear, 40 hole rim as compared to the more common 36 hole (in my experience)
I hope this helps, maybe I don't really understand what you are asking from me.



Offline Joel

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Re: Squirley's 550 CAFE Build
« Reply #24 on: May 21, 2008, 11:00:21 AM »
I found some good info on the Buchanan site.  I was mainly looking for a cross-reference between the WM sizes given in another thread and the physical measurement.   :)