So I’ve been working away on my cb500. I got it back in November and at that point it had been sitting for 22 years. After a bunch of work I got it running, what a great feeling to fire up a bike after it hasn’t seen action for that long! Here is everything I have done to it so far:
- I stripped off the sissy bar, crash bar, fog lights, and chain guard.
- I flushed the fluids and replaced the battery with a new Gel battery.
- I rebuilt the carbs with carb kits. I also had the tip of a jet broken off in the body of the carb. I had to drill / pick it out carefully.
- The tank that came with the bike was completely rusted out. In order to get off the petcock, I had to drill out the bolts holding it on. Needless to say i trashed that tank (to bad, I loved!!!!! the paint job… just kidding!)
- I found a great OEM orange tank off Ebay for $85 including shipping. Its not mint, but pretty awesome. I’m calling my bike The General Lee from now on.
- I rebuilt the petcock with a rebuild kit, also put on new gas lines.
- As you can see from the one photo, all the brake fluid dried up so I had to do a MC rebuilt (once again using a rebuilt kit). I also added a stainless steal front line, man the front brake feels amazing now!
- I decided to try something different on Adam’s suggestion and went for flipped upside down euro bars. Unfortunately I can’t really get them to rotate into the position I want to due to clearance on the triple tree. I’m rocking them for right now, but have a set of clubmans waiting to go on.
- I got a set of cb360 handlebar mounts and used them to replace the “idiot” panel. It really cleans up the front end (thanks to mick for this idea)
- I used some extra mounts Adam had to mount the front turn signals straight to the headlight bracket.
- I also got a $30 seat cover off Ebay and redid the seat. The cover was surprisingly awesome for 30 bucks. I used sand paper to smooth out the foam. Putting on a seat cover seems like it should be a piece of cake, but it takes time. I learned this on my cb360 seat.
- I repainted the side panels, which was a bitch because I had to sand out the stupid pattern that was on there.
So after all of that the bike is looking good and running pretty awesome. The only issue I’m having is a slight amount of smoke out of the #1 pipe. I think it is either a carb sync issue, or the fact that the small drain hold on the pipe seems to be clogged, so maybe its just water vapor burning off. Test riding the bike in really cold weather doesn’t help isolate the smoke. I haven’t done a compression test yet, but I’m pretty positive that’s not the issue.
Things I still have left to do:
- A full tune up
- I got a set of Avon tires that I just need to find time to put on
- My clutch push rod is broken, which is making the clutch feel like shit. Cb500 clutch rods are super hard to find, but from everything I have read, it seems its the same as the cb450 so I gotta pick up one of those on Ebay. I also have to replace the clutch adjust (pictured) as it also cracked.
All in all I’m pretty stoked, the project is coming along and I think I should have everything finished in time for the nice weather. I love the look of the 500/550 stock, so as of right now I don’t plan on doing much to the bike as I already think its rad as shit.
The clutch adjuster that needs to be replaced. I had to tap this out, because it was stuck in the clutch cover.
…and incase you forgot what it looked like when I got it, here is a “before” photo. The black and white doesn’t show off the red and sparkle silver color scheme to well. If you say you like this look better I’ll punch you in the face.
19 responses to “CB500 Update”
Published - Sep 29, 2020
A couple vids I had laying around from the SW Montana offroad week. Man, that was a ton of fun.