Author Topic: CB500 Build! Get your motherf***ing Guns up! The birth of the "Red Raider"  (Read 5467 times)

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Offline jleavesl

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A few years ago, I wandered into a swapmeet to buy a carburetor for my hotrod; it was a rather rare carb (Single Barrel Carter Ball and Ball), and I was unable to find one.  However right at the entrance, there was a Honda Cb500 that kept screaming that she was my bike and that I had to take her home (I was off my meds at the time, so the veracity of the previous sentence could be called into question).  She cranked on the first kick, and I handed the guy the money and he handed me the title.  I drove home to get a buddy to help me load her into the truck and upon my return the guy who was selling it was gone.  I thought I was left with nothing but a title to a bike I didn't own, but after further investigation, we found the bike resting at the other end of the fair grounds.  This time, however, she wouldn't start.  We forced her into the truck, strapped her down, and unloaded her back at the house.  Upon getting home, we fiddled with the carbs, got it to start and rode it around the neighborhood.  It was unreliable though and more pressing issues with my plymouth relegated her to the back of the garage. 

A year or two passes and my buddy, who runs a bike shop in the UK, found himself over here for work.  He sees her sitting in the back of the garage and out come the tools, beer, and the bike.  We pour over the son of a #$%* and get her running right and I use her ugly ass as a bar cruiser/ learner bike.  I dump it a few times, get hit by a Nigerian in a Lumina once, and overall it's just a basic beater.  Then, one day, my girlfriend and I get into a huge fight and I find myself sitting in front the bike with my toolkit at my side.  Originally, I was just going to install some pod air filters on it and go to the bar. 
« Last Edit: August 14, 2011, 10:46:38 AM by jleavesl »



Offline jleavesl

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Re: Get your motherf***ing Guns up! The birth of the "Red Raider"
« Reply #1 on: May 09, 2011, 08:49:00 AM »
However, I lift the seat and realize that the frame is ugly and rusty, not structurally damaged, just bloody ugly.  So, I decide that I'm going to just pull the seat and the tank and rattle can the frame black.  The more I pull off the more pissed I get, at my girlfriend, at the damned neighbors dog who won't stop barking, and at the fact that my bike looks like a massive piece of cobbled together #$%*.  So it starts to come apart. 



















Eventually, after an afternoon of unplanned activity, the bike finds itself sitting as a bare frame. 




Offline jleavesl

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Re: Get your motherf***ing Guns up! The birth of the "Red Raider"
« Reply #2 on: May 09, 2011, 08:58:47 AM »
Normally when I start a project, I have some kind of vision in mind.  When I built my 50 Plymouth, I saw a purple body and white pinstriping (of course I also saw new floors and a Tijuana tuck and roll interior, but that will happen in due course, it's summer and thus I need my damned bike.  So, I get on craigslist, find myself a powder coat shop and drop her off to get blasted and powder coated (and have a plate welded in to rlocate the electronics.  This is the last I saw of her until Friday.



Now, I wasn't really sure what I wanted to build yet when I dropped her off.  Having gone to Texas Tech, I've always been rather partial to the good ole red and black.  This time, I'm flying by the seat of my pants.  I didn't plan to rip the bike down, but it was the right thing to do.  Lime green frame?  Purple and Black (no, that doesn't work)?  Black on Black (so dull)?  So, while looking through the powdercoaters color samples, I come across "Lollipop Red" and realize that I can't live without it.  Out comes the wallet, in goes the frame and off to the house I go.  Now, the engine is in decent enough shape, but it's ugly.  Years of gasoline dripping on it have turned the top of the crank case a nasty stale piss colored yellow.  Now I'm as big of a fan of stale piss as the next guy, but this isn't going to work for me.  So I sand it, sand blast it, wire brush it, acid etch it, hose it, and basically clean the hell out of it. 



Finally, I'm satisfied.  I get some 500 degree engine paint and prime and paint it. 







Over a span of two weeks I painted this thing and finally it was time to bring her home.  After throwing out my back, it found it's way to my kitchen table.  I didn't lift my arms for the rest of the week (that is a heavy bastard) as I felt like I'd bench pressed Rosie O'Donnell. 



« Last Edit: May 09, 2011, 10:30:21 AM by jleavesl »



Offline jleavesl

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Re: Get your motherf***ing Guns up! The birth of the "Red Raider"
« Reply #3 on: May 09, 2011, 09:11:32 AM »
Now, it sits there until last friday when I get a phone call that my frame is done.  I go down to collect it.  The frame is wrapped, but I inspect the swing arm and the center stand.  It's gorgeous.  I pick it up take it home, unwrap it and discover the plate is in the wrong place and the the races are painted over. 





Now I'm even more pissed off.  It set her on the grass outside, go to the bar, and drink/drunkenly pontificate what the best course of action is for my bike.  That night, the unholy trinity of Jack Daniels, Jim Beam, and Jose Cuervo reveal to me that I can in fact fix this.  The next day, with bloodshot eyes and shaky hands, I retrieve from the back of my garage a substance I swore to myself that I would never again touch.... Aircraft Stripper.  For those of you unfamiliar with this unholy and vile substance, this stuff is evil in a can.  It's banned in half the countries on the planet, it burns your eyes when you open it, will blister your skin if it touches it, and I've always figured that it is the same formula as the devil's love juice.  I hate it.  However, a roll of masking tape later, I settle onto the porch with a small paintbrush, a box cutter, and a case of beer to begin my work. 




Offline jleavesl

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Re: Get your motherf***ing Guns up! The birth of the "Red Raider"
« Reply #4 on: May 09, 2011, 09:18:11 AM »
After a few hours of delicate work, I'm done, the inner races are clear of paint and bumps and the bike is ready to be built. 



The first step, and the step that I worry about is getting the motor into the bike itself without chipping or damaging the paint.  Without the aid of my manual (I left my Ipad, that doubles as my manual at the office), I put the motor on her side and begin to load it in.  After realizing that the spacer I was using was forcing it in crooked, I finally remarried my motor and my frame together. 



Now, I have some work left to do.  The upper triple tree was cracked so it needs replacing, and the tank is dented (from the Nigerian's rear view mirror), but the bike is now starting to look like a bike again.  Tonight and tomorrow, I hope to begin remounting the electronics, swingarm, and old shocks (until I can get my new ones on order). 

Please note the presence of my "Death Hammer" in the bottom left hand corner of the picture.  If you can't fix something through conventional means, the Death Hammer will rectify the problem.  I'm not sure if it is some mystical property possessed by the hammer, or the fact that I'm generally a rather pissed off person (in case you hadn't noticed) and the bike, car, or small barnyard critter fears that if it doesn't cooperate I will smash the everloving #$%* out of it.  Either way, it gets some bloody results. 
« Last Edit: May 09, 2011, 10:32:25 AM by jleavesl »



Offline jneuf

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Re: Get your motherf***ing Guns up! The birth of the "Red Raider"
« Reply #5 on: May 09, 2011, 09:40:02 AM »
  The next day, with bloodshot eyes and shaky hands, I retrieve from the back of my garage a substance I swore to myself that I would never again touch.... Aircraft Stripper.  For those of you unfamiliar with this unholy and vile substance, this stuff is evil in a can.  It's banned in half the countries on the planet, it burns your eyes when you open it, will blister your skin if it touches it, and I've always figured that it is the same formula as the devil's love juice.  I hate it.

More true words have never been spoken my friend....That product is as nasty as nasty gets.

I'll be watching this one for pure entertainment value!
'75 CB400f



Offline young blood

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Re: Get your motherf***ing Guns up! The birth of the "Red Raider"
« Reply #6 on: May 09, 2011, 04:47:41 PM »
Excellent storytelling ability



Offline jleavesl

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Re: Get your motherf***ing Guns up! The birth of the "Red Raider"
« Reply #7 on: May 31, 2011, 11:06:14 AM »
So it's been awhile since I last posted.  When last we left our angry protaganist, he was in possession of a black 500cc engine and a candy red frame that he had miraculously been able to mate up while in the death throws of a hangover with the assistance of his beloved "Death Hammer".  Much has changed since this time and he... ah #$%* it, I'm too damned lazy to try and write this next batch of posts in the third person, I have #$%* to do. 

So not as much progress has been made since my last post as I'd have liked.  Apparently, work, girlfriend, family, other projects and the goddamned dog seem dead set and determined to tear me away from my bloody motorcycle.  I don't like that this has occured, but progress has been made and thus we should celebrate it (I've contemplated rounding up all the children in my neighborhood and forcing them to compose a song comemorating my progress so future generations will know of my exploits). 

« Last Edit: May 31, 2011, 03:25:08 PM by jleavesl »



Offline jleavesl

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Re: Get your motherf***ing Guns up! The birth of the "Red Raider"
« Reply #8 on: May 31, 2011, 11:23:37 AM »
I decided that the next task to overcome was to reattach the rear swing arm.  Of course this required two people to do (as I'm rather concerned about chipping the paint).  This requires getting my girlfriend to come over and hold it (and she absolutely refuses to get greasy... even though I'd been watching her one eyed kitten who's nightly raids on my feet have me convinced that it heralds from the very depths of hell). 



It had been declawed, neutered, and had the missing eye sewn shut (which makes it look far less gross than it used to... there's nothing quite like waking up to a gaping eye socket staring you in the face first thing in the morning).  For about a week, my progress was stalled due to the absence of parts.  In an effort to remain at least partially on task, I mounted the seat and the turn signals. 



I had originally intended to keep the stock tank and just repaint it.  However, upon mounting it, I concluded that it was unfortunately too damned awful to look at.  This could be a function of the baby #$%* brown paint (I'm sure the honda afficianados here know it's actual name, but for the purposes of this conversation it will be referred to as baby #$%* brown).  So I went online and found a gentleman named spikeybike who was selling off a tank and triple trees.  Normally, I'd stay silent, but this guy did some amazing work and if he ever advertises another tank or triple trees and it fit my project, I'd buy from him in a heartbeat.  He put up with my annoying questions and constant harassment like a pro.  Cheers mate.. well done. 




Offline jleavesl

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Re: Get your motherf***ing Guns up! The birth of the "Red Raider"
« Reply #9 on: May 31, 2011, 11:29:07 AM »
The tank is a pretty close fit, though the seat bunches up right around the rear end, so I'll probably have to make some slight modifications to it at some point.  I mounted the electronics and battery box and I finally convinced my gf to give me a hand mounting the swing arm while I sent the tank, side covers, and headlight bucket out for paint. 



She's very pretty and I love her dearly, but she has a deathly aversion to all things greasy.  With the aid of the death hammer, I managed to mount the swing arm first upside down and then back on correctly. 

It's still rocking the original shocks, though they will be exchanged for some black progressive shocks when budgetary conditions allow. 



Offline jleavesl

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Re: Get your motherf***ing Guns up! The birth of the "Red Raider"
« Reply #10 on: May 31, 2011, 11:39:09 AM »
Finally, my guy at Maaco (who actually does a decent job... he did my hotrod as well):


called me telling me that my parts were done.  A few minutes later, I remounted them and I stared at it for awhile. 


Shortly after this accomplishment, the alternator on my Plymouth blew (leaving me without a running toy) and I procured a 2002 Honda Rebel Basket case that I am attempting to get back up so my GF can learn on it (and I can cruise it to the bar during the absence of the Raider from the public roads).  Of course, it seems to have a blown clutch so it may go on the backburner as I slap this #$%* back together. 

This week wasn't without progress though.  I ordered a new lower steering stem race from Bikebandit (and only had to mortgage my left testicle to pay for it...  my left one is significantly smaller than my right, so it barely has the $26 required in equity). 

I carefully set about figuring out how to mount it.  I left the stem in the deep freeze overnight and the next day I heated the race in my oven to 525 degrees in hopes that it would just slide on.  Having found no such luck, I went to home depot, found a 5' length of threaded pipe that fit around the race, pulled out my death hammer, gave it three mighty wacks and the race found itself seated home.  I installed the roller balls and mounted the triple tree.  All that remains is putting the wheels back on, rewiring it, and then going to the bar. 



Offline Toxic

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Re: Get your motherf***ing Guns up! The birth of the "Red Raider"
« Reply #11 on: May 31, 2011, 12:18:13 PM »
Damn that's entertaining.
Keep it coming



Offline 82cb650nighthawk

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Re: Get your motherf***ing Guns up! The birth of the "Red Raider"
« Reply #12 on: May 31, 2011, 09:48:31 PM »
man i like red and black. your project is look really good looking forward to seein more progress
bryan



Offline Free Booter

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Re: Get your motherf***ing Guns up! The birth of the "Red Raider"
« Reply #13 on: May 31, 2011, 10:37:52 PM »
really love that little seat you got on it...looks good w/ the dent job on the tank.



Offline brandEn

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Re: Get your motherf***ing Guns up! The birth of the "Red Raider"
« Reply #14 on: June 01, 2011, 10:32:03 AM »
Thread of the year? Great build, great reading!



Offline jleavesl

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Re: Get your motherf***ing Guns up! The birth of the "Red Raider"
« Reply #15 on: August 12, 2011, 05:39:53 PM »
I know you've been waiting with baited breathe to hear further tell of the exploits of the great and mighty raider.  I've been busy righting wrongs and spreading my seed.  Thus, I've been unable to return to you until now. 

So here I am, sitting in my office waiting quietly until I get to go home and ride my bike.  I, unlike so many others, have stared into the abyss that is a stripped motorcycle and I have come out the other side.  Some would say I'm heroic, veritable mechanical god amongst men, an inspiration to the masses, the last great hope for humanity, but that would be an understatement.  When we left, the bike was sitting on a jack and missing both wheels.  The motor had yet to be fired and all in all I had a very pretty (downright sexy) centerpiece for my living room. 

The first order of business, as I saw it, was to get a goddamned wheel on the thing.  After all, without wheels, a bike is like a trip to a strip club... it may look pretty, but you sure as hell aren't going to be riding it anytime soon.  This meant a trip to the dealership to get new tires.  Let's just say I spent too much goddamned money on this.  A little bit of grease, a couple cases of beer, and the little tiny balls (unlike my massive ones) were in place and the front wheel was on. 

Then came the problem of the ages, the clutch.  You see, the clutch rod had snapped.  The previous owner, whomever he may be, should burn in hell of what he did to this bike.  So off came the clutch cover and in went the new clutch rod.  Problem solved you would think?  Nope but there is more to this story later.   



The next step was the rear wheel.  A new chain and new tire came in and were mounted along with my fancy dancy new license plate holder.



New Exhaust went on as well. 



Then, I completed the wiring, replaced the battery, and lit her up in my living room. 



I didn't see my cat for like two weeks after that, but who really gives a crap.  It's a cat. 

The problem is, no matter what I did, I could not get the damn bike to clutch.  It would run all damn day, but I just couldn't get it to clutch.  It seems as though the forces of evil were lining up against me (though I didn't see any Aggie fans).  For weeks I #$%*ed with it.  I followed the damn guide to no avail.  I rebuilt 2, count them 2, clutch adjusters (one was off of ebay).  For a time I considered cutting this bike into small pieces, placing them in a pile in my backyard, and urinating on them every morning in an effort to show future projects what happens when they misbehave. 

Then, one night, in a drunken stupor, it came to me.  I had broken the clutch lever ages ago when I was hit by Nigeria's finest driver.  That had to be it.  So, off to the junkyard I went; with my girlfriend kicking and screaming in tow.   In the very bottom of a very dusty bin I found another clutch lever from a bike who'd passed through there and met a different fate.  Sitting in the back, I found a suitable clutch cable of a different make.  I laid the parts out the desk, and laughing maniacally, I worked the lever a few hundred times to make certain that it threw the adjust far enough.  The replacement handle was pulling the the clutch cable too high when at rest (it was off of a cb550) and thus I was getting an inadequate throw.  Now, at long last, I was cooking with gas.  So, with the sound of "Are we done here, I don't ever want to come back to this #$%*ing #$%*hole" and "You're a goddamn jackass, pay attention to me instead of that #$%*ing bike" in the background I was off to finish my bike.  Home I went, and on the clutch adjuster did go and it clutched.  That pull of the clutch was the second most pleasurable thing I've ever done with that hand (I'm ambidextrous at times). 

So, worried that the bike might be off a bit and launch, I did the only thing one could do... I put my girlfriend on it. 

<iframe width="560" height="349" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/070n5of34TQ" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Then, after I concluded that the bike wasn't going to kill me, I got on it.  Now, some explanation is probably due here.  I'm lazy and it's like 153 degrees in Houston right now, so I'm not going to go run with my dog, even though she seems to love it.  However, I will let her chase me on the bike.  If I crank the bike up while I'm working on it, she gets crazy excited and absolutely loves the thing. 

<iframe width="560" height="349" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/dpqwfsmyCJc" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

<iframe width="425" height="349" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/Y7Z5la9wsQs" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

So you may commence to bowing before me and my greatness.  That will be all. 

John




Offline CBGhia

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Re: Get your motherf***ing Guns up! The birth of the "Red Raider"
« Reply #16 on: August 12, 2011, 06:46:58 PM »
Fantastic, sir!  So what part of Texas are you in?  I assume Texas because you are a Red Raider, but you could have left the land of Buddy Holly behind. 
CB550 Cafe, GL1000
if you dont trial spin the camshaft in the head and cover you are a novice,with no natural mechanical appitude,destined for destruction.
"The cleaner the dipstick, the closer to God." -Rev. Horton Heat



Offline jleavesl

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Re: Get your motherf***ing Guns up! The birth of the "Red Raider"
« Reply #17 on: August 12, 2011, 07:52:57 PM »
I'm currently in Houston.  HAven't been to Lubbock in 5 or 6 years.  May make the trek back this year though.



Offline mrbreeze

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Re: Get your motherf***ing Guns up! The birth of the "Red Raider"
« Reply #18 on: August 12, 2011, 08:23:25 PM »
Good read dude! I like to go through the build threads and the travel logs. I always find them to be good reading. I was wondering why you didn't put All Balls bearings in there but mebbe you aren't aware of them. They are tapered instead of stock balls. Doesn't really matter as long as it works I guess.Cool video too!!! I like the middle one where you ride off around the corner with the dog following. Then in the last one...........you're coming back but...........................wheres the dog? Then finally ....here he comes!!! 8) 8)
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Offline Dyrden

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Re: Get your motherf***ing Guns up! The birth of the "Red Raider"
« Reply #19 on: August 12, 2011, 09:03:16 PM »
Good read.  You have a way with words that nearly rivals my way with wrenches.



Offline jleavesl

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Good read dude! I like to go through the build threads and the travel logs. I always find them to be good reading. I was wondering why you didn't put All Balls bearings in there but mebbe you aren't aware of them. They are tapered instead of stock balls. Doesn't really matter as long as it works I guess.Cool video too!!! I like the middle one where you ride off around the corner with the dog following. Then in the last one...........you're coming back but...........................wheres the dog? Then finally ....here he comes!!! 8) 8)

I was halfass planning on doing a swap on the front end, but thought of it too late after the frame was at the powdercoaters.  The only way I could figure to get the races out afterwards was to hit the downtube with a torch, which seemed like it would be detrimental to the asstons of cash I shelled out for the frame.  In the end, I'm glad I didn't, as the powdercoater would have coated the bearing surface and then I'd have had an even bigger headache. 

 

Honda