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Old 04-10-2013, 06:19 AM
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CB650: The Jersey Devil Project

Well, I've had the bike for little while now but haven't had too much opportunity to touch it. In fact, I just got it rolled around in the garage last week so I could get some "before" pictures. I know it might be tough to tell but there are tacky plastic skulls all over this thing in the picture not to mention the home made "custom" diamond tread side panels, the leather lever tassles, dear whistles on the front fender, dual front discs with a single front caliper, and the stuffed Taz doll zip tied to the rear.

When I showed up to look at it, it was running but has a pretty heavy clicking of valves sound. I am hoping it is just in serious need of a valve adjustment (I bought a shim set, etc. to do that job) but probably needs the cam chain adjusted too and may end up needing the top end torn down, cleaned up, new seals, valve seats fixed, etc. Not knowing is part of the fun here! Most of the body parts have been repainted with what appears to be truck bed liner so I'll have to find a way to strip that off the tank. Overall though, its pretty solid with only a bit of surface rust here and there... its just ugly.

I spent a little while this past weekend taking off a lot of the crap that the previous owner had added and pulled the battery to charge it during the week. I am hoping that I'll be able to get to it again this weekend and get it fired up. It will shift through gears but the PO said the clutch would need adjusted or replaced as it would slip when he "really openned her up."

So about the title of the thread... I bought the bike in Jersey and it had a stuffed Taz (Tazmanian Devil) doll on it, what else was I supposed to call it?
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Old 04-10-2013, 06:31 AM
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The plan: I've spent a lot of time thinking about what I want to do with this project. At first I was all gung-ho on putting on a 2000+ front end, monoshock rear, etc. but the more and more I look at it and think about it, I want a classic looking bike so I plan to stay with classic parts.

I'm going to try to get a set of forks from a CB750 or CB550 which are shorter and allow for dual front callipers. This will also pitch the front end down a bit (decreasing rake and trail). I'm going to stay with the dual shock setup in the rear but get slightly longer ones to lift the seat height and further roll the chassis forward to pull in the rake and trail as I want it to handle a little more crisp than a cruiser. I'll be doing calculations on all those dimensions to make sure I'm staying within reason even under heavy braking.

I'll be replacing the controls with more modern and clean looking ones probably mounted on clip-ons with bar end mirrors. The one modern touch I still want to do is with the electronics. I'll be putting much smaller LED turn signals and tail light on as well as a digital dash and possibly the slanted back oval headlight from a HD V-rod so the front face of the headlight will follow the slope of the forks better and set a bit lower. All of this as well as relocating the battery to keep the whole thing looking "clean" will probably lead to me having to rewire the entire bike.

The frame will get stripped down, all of the unecessary brackets and tabs will be removed, the factory seams will all be seam welded where they may have just been stitched in addition to gusset plates and some cross brace tubes being welded in to stiffen it up a bit. I'm toying with the idea of modifying the frame rails under the seat as it has a weird dip instead of a straight line.

I know this is a lot to do and I'm not in any hurry to get finished as I want it to be done correctly more than I want it to just be done. If anyone has suggestions or sees something that I'm planning to do which is just plain stupid, please let me know! I will continue to update this thread as things progress.

Thanks for reading.
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Old 04-12-2013, 06:35 AM
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Sounds cool. It might be fun to have a little bit of a bobber look.

Dale
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Old 04-17-2013, 05:50 AM
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Well, yesterday I tried to jump start it with no luck. The battery in the bike is dead, shot, kaput, crapped-out... I used the battery I'd just pulled from my Buell and some jumper cables. The engine turns over easilly but its as if its not getting spark or fuel or something. I might try pulling the filters this weekend and give it one more go with some starter fluid but I think it would be a very good idea to get some new plugs, wires, etc. as well as rebuild/clean the carbs. I'll recharge the battery I used too since it was measuring a little low on my multi-meter so perhaps it just didn't have enough oomph to get things to go correctly. I don't want to buy a new battery that will fit the bike in its current form as I've not found a sealed battery that fits it and I eventually want to be able to lay the battery on its side if I need to.

After this weekend, whether it fires or not, I'm going to start taking the bike apart. Perhaps I'll eventually put the engine on some sort of cradle with a remote fuel tank and all the other ancilliary items it would need so I can tinker on it with easier access. Since a big part of doing this is to learn I might end taking the engine apart no matter what to replace all the seals, clean the internals, get the valves replaced, etc. I have noticed one or two oil leaks and they will have to be dealt with.
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Old 04-18-2013, 11:21 AM
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After a bit of research into components, etc. I think I've once again changed my mind on some of the direction I want to take on this project. I am leaning towards replaceing the entire front end with one from a CBR600RR, replacing the wheels with wire spoke rims, dual discs up front and single disc rear instead of the current single disc front and drum rear. I may replace the fuel tank with one from a CB750 as its a bit more "shapely" than the cruiser style one I current have, but I'm not set either way on that yet.

Anyone feel like talking me out of this? You've got plenty of time
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Old 04-18-2013, 12:08 PM
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Originally Posted by walnut View Post
After a bit of research into components, etc. I think I've once again changed my mind on some of the direction I want to take on this project. I am leaning towards replaceing the entire front end with one from a CBR600RR, replacing the wheels with wire spoke rims, dual discs up front and single disc rear instead of the current single disc front and drum rear. I may replace the fuel tank with one from a CB750 as its a bit more "shapely" than the cruiser style one I current have, but I'm not set either way on that yet.

Anyone feel like talking me out of this? You've got plenty of time
Sounds great to me. Dale
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Old 04-21-2013, 06:43 PM
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It's been difficult to get much time to work on this lately between work, house projects, and (most importantly) spending time with my son when I am home but today my in-laws were over so while they were playing with him I snuck out to the garage after doing a bit more work around the yard.

I started taking more stuff off of the bike which I know I'm not going to use. Today the rear fender, sissy bar, tail light and rear turn signals all came off. I also removed the crappy EMGO pod filters from the carbs. These things were rusted, boots were ripped, and dry rot had set in. After taking them off I realized that the carbs were wide open even though the throttle was not cranked so it areas that at least one of the throttle cables is shot. Also, the carbs are filthy.

Instead of spending more time trying to the bike to start with very questionable components in place, I'm going to pull the carb assembly and completely clean/rebuild the assembly and probably move on and do the same to the engine. I'll get it all cleaned, new seals, gaskets, etc. and worry about getting it running later. I know the engine turns over and I've heard it run so I'm not too worried at this point. If this creates more work in the long run, so be it, it's more chance to learn.

Are looking at the frame though I am fairly certain there will be some modifications done in the future to get the shape I want for the final "product". As for the front end, I think I'll go with a mid '90s to mid '2000s Honda setup without inverted forks to maintain the look of a classic bike but provide better brakes and suspension. I'm not sure about the back end yet though. A mono shock conversion and single rear disc would look so clean but it would require a lot more work...
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Old 04-21-2013, 07:58 PM
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I'd go full-on cafe racer with it - love the idea of the CBR600 forks on it.

Why not a custom tank?
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Old 04-21-2013, 09:40 PM
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BTW, I think you have hit a real sweet spot in motorcycle projects. Bikes from the 80s are dirt cheap. Those from the 60s and 70s not so much.

Dale
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Old 04-21-2013, 10:26 PM
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I've been following this from the get-go. It's more than OK to follow cues from examples others have come up with to make ne that combines elements that tick your boxes to make it a special standout.


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Old 04-22-2013, 06:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rdefabri View Post
I'd go full-on cafe racer with it - love the idea of the CBR600 forks on it.

Why not a custom tank?
I'm not sure what you mean by "full-on cafe racer", could you ellaborate? Also, I actually like the shape of the stock tank but to be honest, I haven't looked into getting a custom one made. I'm attempting to keep the costs to a reasonable level with this project as it is the first time I've done this and I know that every step along the way is going to be more $$$ than I expect. I'm finding that out with the wheels! Each one is going to cost more than I paid for the bike after accounting for bearings, spacers, hubs, rims, tires, etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas Forever View Post
BTW, I think you have hit a real sweet spot in motorcycle projects. Bikes from the 80s are dirt cheap. Those from the 60s and 70s not so much.

Dale
I totally agree with you, Dale. That's why I kept my search concentrated on '80s Japanese bikes. I'd love to have picked up an early '70s Triumph but I knew it would have been too expensive in the long run for the budget I've given myself.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wax View Post
I've been following this from the get-go. It's more than OK to follow cues from examples others have come up with to make ne that combines elements that tick your boxes to make it a special standout.
I appreciate you interest I've got tons of "inspirational" pictures that I've downloaded from the net and I have tracking ideas that I see and like and trying to find a way to incorporate them into my own overall design. At this point, I feel no shame in "borrowing" other peoples' ideas so long as I don't end up making a duplicate of someone else's bike.



More thoughts on design... The 4-1 exhaust has to go! I'm going to find a stock set of 4-2 headers and get a pair of short silencers to attach. I'd like to have them not go further back than the foot controls and will keep them tucked up against the frame as best I can. It appears that the black paint on the engine is actually in pretty good shape, just needs a thorough washing up. After that I'll take a Dremmel sanding wheel or hand sand the edges of the cooling fins to expose the base metal. All of the exposed metal covers are going to get removed, cleaned up and hand polished (no chrome) with the inset design features like the HONDA lettering filled with a high temp black paint.

Wheels... What do you guys think of this idea? As I've said before, I really want to go with wire spoke wheels and modern sport bike tires. I've been thinking that getting the hubs and spokes powder coated or painted black then having the out rims done up in white would give it a little bit of a bobber-ish white-wall look but with twist. For reference, I plan on painting the tank red, having a black leather/vinyl diamond stiched seat with an attached white leather/vinyl rear cowling made up and that will be most of the color to the bike.

Last edited by walnut; 04-22-2013 at 06:10 AM.
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Old 04-22-2013, 09:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by walnut View Post
I'm not sure what you mean by "full-on cafe racer", could you ellaborate? Also, I actually like the shape of the stock tank but to be honest, I haven't looked into getting a custom one made. I'm attempting to keep the costs to a reasonable level with this project as it is the first time I've done this and I know that every step along the way is going to be more $$$ than I expect. I'm finding that out with the wheels! Each one is going to cost more than I paid for the bike after accounting for bearings, spacers, hubs, rims, tires, etc.
Something like this:

Cafe Racer Special: Honda CB750 Cafe Racer # 8
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Old 04-22-2013, 04:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by walnut View Post
I appreciate you interest I've got tons of "inspirational" pictures that I've downloaded from the net and I have tracking ideas that I see and like and trying to find a way to incorporate them into my own overall design. At this point, I feel no shame in "borrowing" other peoples' ideas so long as I don't end up making a duplicate of someone else's bike.
Eggzackly. Something old, new, borrowed, blue.
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Old 04-26-2013, 06:20 AM
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Well, in my search for inspiration I stumbled across this picture on another forum. Its a CB650, similar to mine that has that pesky frame dip under the seat. Someone has gone photoshopped a solo seat on it though without modifying the frame and quite frankly, I think it looks pretty good. What do you guys think? It would be a lot easier than me having to chop the rear of the frame off and rebuild it. My bike will not have the side panels so the "triangle" will be completely empty.

My other option is it get new frame tubes made up (I found a few companyies that will make custom CNC bent tubing) and weld it up to eliminate the dip. I would still probably go with that style of seat either way.

I'm hoping to get some more time this weekend to get the tank off and drained so I can start working on getting it repaired.
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Old 04-27-2013, 06:01 PM
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Spare Parts Bonanza

Today I was able to find a bit of time to inventory what all was in the box of spare parts that I got with the bike. I was pleasantly surprised with a few of the items. Among others I found everlasting ignition coils, a clutch basket, economy front brake caliper which would allow me to use the extra fork set and the wheel currently on the bike to get it running with dual front brakes instead of having to plunk down on a CBR front end right away. Also found a complete set of carbs!

Tomorrow the plan is to continue pulling off parts that I won't be using in an effort to get it closer to a stripped down frame.
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Old 04-27-2013, 10:27 PM
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Originally Posted by walnut View Post
Well, in my search for inspiration I stumbled across this picture on another forum. Its a CB650, similar to mine that has that pesky frame dip under the seat. Someone has gone photoshopped a solo seat on it though without modifying the frame and quite frankly, I think it looks pretty good. What do you guys think? It would be a lot easier than me having to chop the rear of the frame off and rebuild it. My bike will not have the side panels so the "triangle" will be completely empty.
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Old 04-29-2013, 06:12 AM
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Thanks for the input, Wax.




I was able to get a little more time on the bike last night. Pulled out the battery bracket, chain guard, front fender, headlight bucket, and got the fuel tank off (and mostly drained). While taking the headlight off I realized that even if I hadn't planned on doing it, the bike needs to be rewired. There were so many wire splices, electrical tape, non-grounded grounds, and disconnected wire ends in there it would have taken forever to figure it out.

Made a few more interesting discoveries though...
1) I will not be able to put longer rear shocks on as I had hoped or the chain may rub on the swingarm pivot constantly.

2) The side stand mount tab has been lopped off and will have to be replaced while I'm doing other work on the frame.

3) Neither of the foot peg sets are in a comfortable location to use on the final product. The fronts are too far forward if the handle bars are dropped down with clip-ons, clubman bars, or even a set of drag/superbike bars. Looks like I'll get to attach some rear-sets to custom brackets after all!

4) The crash bars are bolted to the frame with the same hardware that acts as the engine mounts so I won't be taking them off until the engine is ready to come out.

Fortunately, I've not found anything I don't feel like I'll be able to overcome in the long run. I think I might have a little bit of time to myself tonight so I'm going to finish going through the parts box.
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Old 05-02-2013, 08:39 AM
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Minor Update

I took the spare set of valve covers from my box of junk, ahem, I mean spares and bead blasted them to see how well the corrosion would clean up. The look brand spanking new so now it looks like I'll have two sets to mess around with to come up with a color scheme when I get that far.

In the box I also found the side stand and the mount bracket which had been removed. The bracket looks completely useable still, just needs to be welded back on but the stand is shot so I bought a replacement on eBay.

While I was shopping for that side stand I decided to pick up a stock mono-shock from a Yamaha Virago XV920 and will be looking into modifying the swingarm on my CB to mimic the one on the Virago and utilize the monshock. This will mean more work but also a potentially more stand swingarm (no twisting forces during articulation anymore) and the monoshock is adjustable with what I belive is a progressive rate spring (if its not, I know where I can get one). It will also mean that I have more freedom to modify the seat section of the frame since I will no longer be tied into the stock rear shock mount points. We'll see where this takes me.

I also purchased a motorcycle jack/lift with a set of ratchet straps so this weekend, I hope to get the bike secured to the lift and the rear swing arm off to "de-tab" and bead blast.
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Old 05-13-2013, 07:21 AM
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So much work, so little time...

As you can probably guess by the lack of any updates, I've had no time to do anything on this project lately. Being Spring (finally), we've been working around the yard a lot trying to get all of the flower beds and the veggie garden ready plus its hard to come home after work and go to the garage when I haven't seen my son all day!

The only thing that's been accomplished lately is the purchase of a motorcycle jack/lift.

I am hoping to finally get the tank stripped, the dent pulled out, the hole welded shut, and a good coat of primer on it by the end of this weekend. Also, the garage needs to be organized so I have space to work and my wife has room to park.
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Old 05-28-2013, 11:10 AM
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I FINALLY got the tank stripped this past weekend and there are more dents than I originally thought. Most of them aren't too bad but the area where the badges had been is probably not going to be able to be "popped" back out and will require some body filler. I'll get the rivet drilled out and off to my buddy for welding ASAP then try to get some primer on the tank to protect it as well as putting a little gas back in it to slosh around and prevent rusting on the inside while it is being worked on.

Next major step is getting the front and rear suspension off of the bike. I've decided to leave the engine/carbs for last.

Can anyone recomend a good place to get some cust, two color vinyl graphics made?
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