Honda CB550 Cafe Racer202

I’m happy to post another cool build by a true shed builder. It’s build by Chris Brennan and based on a 1978 Honda CB550. Chris was looking at this machine for almost 25 years now, while it was rusting away in the garage. With a mechanical background, Chris figured out that this bike needed some attention. His goal was to bring this hidden gem in a restored state to get it back on the road again. On the fly he modified the bike to give it a more unique look with improved handling. It took him roughly 2 years to complete the project in his spare time. Chris: “I wanted to have a nicely restored bike that was rideable, and had a unique look to it. The bike runs and rides awesome now, I can’t wait to ride it every day after work!”

Honda CB550 Cafe Racer187 Honda CB550 Cafe Racer195

The works on this CB550:

Of course, like most projects start, the bike was completely disassembled. The Frame was modified for the desired look and was sandblasted and coated with a PPG Urethane basecoat/ clearcoat. All frame bolts were either polished up or replaced with new ones. The engine was tested on compression and he found to have around 130 psi in each cylinder and are all within 5% of each other. So internals were left alone and the case was thoroughly cleaned, blasted and ceramic coated satin black. Other engine mods:

  • The stock Phillips head engine screws were replaced with a stainless steel Allen head bolt kit.
  • All 8 valve tappet cover seals were replaced
  • New clutch housing gasket was installed
  • New points cover gasket was installed
  • New head side cover seals were installed
  • Valve clearance was checked and adjusted
  • Cam chain tension was adjusted
  • Points were cleaned and gapped
  • Engine Ignition static timing was set
  • Various covers were polished
  • New intake manifold gaskets were installed
  • New NGK D7EA Spark plugs were installed
  • 4 new engine cover seals were replaced
  • A new OEM Honda oil filter and seal was installed along with a new oil filter housing bolt.
  • A New Delkevic 4 into 1 Stainless Steel Header was installed
  • A new Radiant Cycles 2.5″ Shorty muffler was installed

Honda CB550 Cafe Racer190 Honda CB550 Cafe Racer184

Carburation:

  • Carbs were completely tore down and cleaned
  • Bowls and top covers were polished
  • Carb bodies were ceramic coated satin black
  • All new seals gaskets and prongs were installed
  • Carbs were jetted because of the pod filters and free flowing exhaust
  • They were fitted with 105 main jets and the slide needles were moved up 1 notch.
  • New carb boot clamps were installed
  • New pod filters were Installed

Honda CB550 Cafe Racer191 Honda CB550 Cafe Racer198

Wheels:

  • Wheels were were broken down and had the spokes re zinced
  • The Hubs and rims were blasted and painted with a black urethane basecoat/clearcoat
  • The wheel sets were re assembled, spoked, and trued
  • New inner rubber strips were installed on the rims
  • New inner tubes were installed in both wheels
  • New Kenda Challenger tires were installed Front 110/90/19 Rear 120/90/18

Honda CB550 Cafe Racer199 Honda CB550 Cafe Racer191

Brakes:

  • Rear brake shoes were installed with new hardware then linkages were adjusted and greased
  • Front brake caliper was completely stripped , blasted, and rebuilt. A new piston, new seal, new bleeder screw and new pads were installed. Then the bodies were Painted black and clear coated.
  • A new Braided Stainless Steel brake line kit was installed.
  • A new master Cylinder was installed along with new brake fluid.

Electrical system:

  • The wire harness was removed and all terminals were cleaned
  • A new headlight with integrated LED turn signals was installed.
  • A new 32 LED brakelight, tail light, and turn signal unit was installed on a custom fabricated bracket which mounts flush under rear seat for a clean look.
  • A new electronic LED flasher was installed
  • 2 new LED turn signal resistors were installed
  • A new horn was installed
  • A new mini speedometer was installed
  • A new KMG Battery was installed
  • Any unnecessary gauges or lights were eliminated for a clean, simple look

Honda CB550 Cafe Racer189

Suspension:

  • Front forks were disassembled, cleaned, and new fork seals and oil were installed. They were raised through the trees for a lower profile and 3/4″ pre load spacers were installed in the forks to stiffen up the front and minimize travel.
  • Rear Shocks were replaced with new Adjustable Shocks

Bodywork, control:

  • New clip ons were installed
  • New bar end left mirror was installed
  • Original clutch cable was lubricated and reinstalled then adjusted for a proper release
  • Original throttle and choke cables were cleaned, lubricated, installed and adjusted.
  • A new drive chain was installed along with new chrome chain tensioners.
  • A new curved license plate bracket was installed
  • The original seat pan was blasted, fabricated and repainted for the look of the bike and uses all the factory mounting points and the original seat lock. It was then sent to be professionally upholstered.
  • The tank was sandblasted and repainted using a urethane base coat/ clear coat system. Destroyer grey with a black side panel. The side covers were also redone with new 550Four lettering integrated in the paint scheme. The paint was then wet sanded and thoroughly polished to a show quality finish.
  • The stock rear fender was shortened, sand blasted and painted to match the tank paint scheme.
  • The front fender was shortened, sandblasted and painted Destroyer Grey to match the tank.
  • A Stock 74 Honda tank emblem set was stripped and restored , mounted on the tank.
  • The inside of the tank was de rusted and had a new tank liner installed
  • A new petcock and fuel line was installed

Honda CB550 Cafe Racer205 Honda CB550 Cafe Racer197

CB550 Movie (with sound!)

[su_youtube url=”https://youtu.be/2AaftbjJH5g” width=”740″]
By Published On: September 13, 2017Categories: Cafe Racer0 Comments on Honda CB550 Cafe Racer by Chris BrennanTags: , 5.2 min readViews: 766

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About the Author: Ron Betist

Ron Betist grew up with motorcycles with a father heading the Amsterdam motorcycle police force. He has been riding (legally) for over 40 years and motorcycles are his true passion. With a life-long career in marketing and sales he has a huge international network. He joined as a contributor at BikeBrewers in 2017 to spread his word about bikes with the rest of the world.

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Honda CB550 Cafe Racer202

I’m happy to post another cool build by a true shed builder. It’s build by Chris Brennan and based on a 1978 Honda CB550. Chris was looking at this machine for almost 25 years now, while it was rusting away in the garage. With a mechanical background, Chris figured out that this bike needed some attention. His goal was to bring this hidden gem in a restored state to get it back on the road again. On the fly he modified the bike to give it a more unique look with improved handling. It took him roughly 2 years to complete the project in his spare time. Chris: “I wanted to have a nicely restored bike that was rideable, and had a unique look to it. The bike runs and rides awesome now, I can’t wait to ride it every day after work!”

Honda CB550 Cafe Racer187 Honda CB550 Cafe Racer195

The works on this CB550:

Of course, like most projects start, the bike was completely disassembled. The Frame was modified for the desired look and was sandblasted and coated with a PPG Urethane basecoat/ clearcoat. All frame bolts were either polished up or replaced with new ones. The engine was tested on compression and he found to have around 130 psi in each cylinder and are all within 5% of each other. So internals were left alone and the case was thoroughly cleaned, blasted and ceramic coated satin black. Other engine mods:

  • The stock Phillips head engine screws were replaced with a stainless steel Allen head bolt kit.
  • All 8 valve tappet cover seals were replaced
  • New clutch housing gasket was installed
  • New points cover gasket was installed
  • New head side cover seals were installed
  • Valve clearance was checked and adjusted
  • Cam chain tension was adjusted
  • Points were cleaned and gapped
  • Engine Ignition static timing was set
  • Various covers were polished
  • New intake manifold gaskets were installed
  • New NGK D7EA Spark plugs were installed
  • 4 new engine cover seals were replaced
  • A new OEM Honda oil filter and seal was installed along with a new oil filter housing bolt.
  • A New Delkevic 4 into 1 Stainless Steel Header was installed
  • A new Radiant Cycles 2.5″ Shorty muffler was installed

Honda CB550 Cafe Racer190 Honda CB550 Cafe Racer184

Carburation:

  • Carbs were completely tore down and cleaned
  • Bowls and top covers were polished
  • Carb bodies were ceramic coated satin black
  • All new seals gaskets and prongs were installed
  • Carbs were jetted because of the pod filters and free flowing exhaust
  • They were fitted with 105 main jets and the slide needles were moved up 1 notch.
  • New carb boot clamps were installed
  • New pod filters were Installed

Honda CB550 Cafe Racer191 Honda CB550 Cafe Racer198

Wheels:

  • Wheels were were broken down and had the spokes re zinced
  • The Hubs and rims were blasted and painted with a black urethane basecoat/clearcoat
  • The wheel sets were re assembled, spoked, and trued
  • New inner rubber strips were installed on the rims
  • New inner tubes were installed in both wheels
  • New Kenda Challenger tires were installed Front 110/90/19 Rear 120/90/18

Honda CB550 Cafe Racer199 Honda CB550 Cafe Racer191

Brakes:

  • Rear brake shoes were installed with new hardware then linkages were adjusted and greased
  • Front brake caliper was completely stripped , blasted, and rebuilt. A new piston, new seal, new bleeder screw and new pads were installed. Then the bodies were Painted black and clear coated.
  • A new Braided Stainless Steel brake line kit was installed.
  • A new master Cylinder was installed along with new brake fluid.

Electrical system:

  • The wire harness was removed and all terminals were cleaned
  • A new headlight with integrated LED turn signals was installed.
  • A new 32 LED brakelight, tail light, and turn signal unit was installed on a custom fabricated bracket which mounts flush under rear seat for a clean look.
  • A new electronic LED flasher was installed
  • 2 new LED turn signal resistors were installed
  • A new horn was installed
  • A new mini speedometer was installed
  • A new KMG Battery was installed
  • Any unnecessary gauges or lights were eliminated for a clean, simple look

Honda CB550 Cafe Racer189

Suspension:

  • Front forks were disassembled, cleaned, and new fork seals and oil were installed. They were raised through the trees for a lower profile and 3/4″ pre load spacers were installed in the forks to stiffen up the front and minimize travel.
  • Rear Shocks were replaced with new Adjustable Shocks

Bodywork, control:

  • New clip ons were installed
  • New bar end left mirror was installed
  • Original clutch cable was lubricated and reinstalled then adjusted for a proper release
  • Original throttle and choke cables were cleaned, lubricated, installed and adjusted.
  • A new drive chain was installed along with new chrome chain tensioners.
  • A new curved license plate bracket was installed
  • The original seat pan was blasted, fabricated and repainted for the look of the bike and uses all the factory mounting points and the original seat lock. It was then sent to be professionally upholstered.
  • The tank was sandblasted and repainted using a urethane base coat/ clear coat system. Destroyer grey with a black side panel. The side covers were also redone with new 550Four lettering integrated in the paint scheme. The paint was then wet sanded and thoroughly polished to a show quality finish.
  • The stock rear fender was shortened, sand blasted and painted to match the tank paint scheme.
  • The front fender was shortened, sandblasted and painted Destroyer Grey to match the tank.
  • A Stock 74 Honda tank emblem set was stripped and restored , mounted on the tank.
  • The inside of the tank was de rusted and had a new tank liner installed
  • A new petcock and fuel line was installed

Honda CB550 Cafe Racer205 Honda CB550 Cafe Racer197

CB550 Movie (with sound!)

[su_youtube url=”https://youtu.be/2AaftbjJH5g” width=”740″]
By Published On: September 13, 2017Categories: Cafe Racer0 Comments on Honda CB550 Cafe Racer by Chris BrennanTags: , 5.2 min readViews: 766

Share This Story, Choose Your Platform!

About the Author: Ron Betist

Ron Betist grew up with motorcycles with a father heading the Amsterdam motorcycle police force. He has been riding (legally) for over 40 years and motorcycles are his true passion. With a life-long career in marketing and sales he has a huge international network. He joined as a contributor at BikeBrewers in 2017 to spread his word about bikes with the rest of the world.

Leave A Comment

Tags