Sunday, February 26, 2017

Honda CB500F Rebuild Part 3 - Changing Styles

The bike went through a few style revisions during its first year. After the initial rebuild, it sported a bobbed front fender, but was otherwise stock.

However, during my first NYS inspection, this fender was declared unsafe. Its next revision included a full fender, three headlights, and a handmade fender plate.

The extra headlights were quickly removed when I discovered that the charging circuit could handle the extra amperage. Then, in 2009, a pickup truck pulled in front of me, wrecking the fender, forks, and headlight.

 I rebuilt her the following winter, but did not replace the fender plate.

After this, the bike soldiered on for 4 more years, as the engine developed numerous unsettling rattles and knocks, and began to burn concerning quantities of oil. Finally, during a tune up in preparation for a ride to the 2013 Thanksgiving Parade, the cam chain tensioner adjuster broke. It was able to grind, scrape, and knock to Manhattan and back, but it was clear that the original motor was completely spent. I drained the fluids and placed the bike into storage, while figuring out the next step.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Honda CB500F Rebuild Part 2 - High School Tinkering

When I started rebuilding this bike (the first time!), I was heavily influenced by the Custom Bike craze on Discovery Channel. I watched American Chopper and Biker Build-off constantly, so I knew that the bike had to be customized.

Years under a ripped tarp had taken their toll, and the paint was pretty much shot. I disassembled the bike and stripped it to the bare metal, then I repainted it red with metallic blue flames. My brother created the flames by hand, drawing their shape with thin tape and masking it off for the high-end rattle can job.