CB500 Update

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”

  1. mick says:

    looks great andrew. came together great.

    just to ck, when you unplugged the idiot panel wires, did you have to trace the wires back or just disconnect them?

    good job

  2. Ed says:

    Yea… It looks great man. The bars look good. Are they not tilted back enough?
    Can’t beat a 4cyl Honda!

  3. Adam says:

    Solid work dude. Put those tires on already!

  4. andrew says:

    @mick – nope just pulled it and no problems

    @ed – yea, the bars sit almost flush with the triple tree on the 500 (360 is raised a bit) so I can’t rotate the bars to get any sweep back. I really feel like I’m leaning almost TOOOO far forward. Its a little painful on the wrist as well.

    @adam – working on it. Damn tire levels were missing from the shipment. Can’t put on tires without tire levels!

  5. andrew says:

    Also I still have a ton of steel wooling to do, but I’ll save that for the nice weather. Its overall pretty clean, but needs some TLC to be nice and shinny.

    Oh and I love how many people you met when riding around town. I talked to 3 random dudes today and got one “cool bike” from a chick. I think its the tank.

  6. Ed says:

    Are you still planning to sell the 360t?
    I think it’s a bad idea to sell it. Store it at your parents if u have to. You’ll 100% regret selling it, especially now that it’s dialed.
    But… gotta love the power of a 4cyl Honda!

  7. Jay says:

    Hard to believe that’s the same bike. Not to discount the amount of work you put into the small bits, but it’s amazing how some minor cosmetic changes alter the attitude of the bike. Nicely done.

  8. andrew says:

    what I found funny, is that i took a non-stock bike and am trying to turn it back into OEM…. damn you guys should see some color photos of how it originally looked. UGLY!

  9. andrew says:

    Ed – I dunno man, i dont want to sell the 360, but i also don’t find any point in storing it at my parents to only ride it only once or twice a year. Its a super fun bike to ride around nyc. In a lot of ways the 360 is more ideal for the city then the 500…. but man the power of the 4cyl hondas is awesome!

    Where I live right now I have room to store both, but I’m moving march first and i’m going to have to start parking on the sidewalk. I really can’t justify or take care of two bikes in NYC. If i had a garage I’d be keeping it, but those don’t really exist here.

    Maybe I’ll just put it on craigslist for 2gs and see if some trust fund kid goes for it. The prices people ask for bikes up here is ridiculous.

  10. Adam says:

    Ed has room in his long term storage container… i’m sure he’ll let you put it in there for the next 5 years. Right Ed?

  11. andrew says:

    and if there isn’t room, I’ll swap out the 360 for the 450.

  12. Ed says:

    I’ll be back in 2 years. Not 5.

  13. Aaron says:

    Bike looks super good Andrew. Stock 500’s are def rad looking bikes. I want those euro bars on my 350. Maybe do some on/off roading with it. Keep the 360 and put the euros on with some beefy tires thrash some grass with it. (is there grass in NYC?)

  14. andrew says:

    haha I heard you can tear throw central park on motorcycles… they are into that. But if I do that, my 360 will look just like adams!

  15. Richard says:

    Great looking bike, Andrew. Sell the shit out of that 360.

  16. chris says:

    man that thing’s come a long way…i just started cleaning out my new 550. i’ll pick ur brain here and there if its ok as i’m in over my head a bit. did you mess with the tach, speedo mount? i’m tryin to find a tighter setup without gettin minis for $100. also did you run the wires inside like mr. honda intended or what? looks great. lookin forward to seein it.

  17. andrew says:

    are you talking about the bars? Yup i ran the the wires inside. I didn’t mess with my tech/speedo mount, but i may try to lower it later. I lowered the gauges on my 360 by mounting the bracket under the triple tree, instead of on top.

    any chance you have an extra left side cover? I was out riding the other night, blow a fuse so i popped off the side cover and put in a new fuss, and must not have gotten the side cover back on (I’m going to blame the fact it was 230am and i couldn’t feel my hands). Anyway, i fucking lost the side cover on my ride home. I went out to try and find it, and low and behold I did, but it was smashed into 6 pieces. fucking sucks.

  18. Chris says:

    I’m look for a right one, but may ditch them altogether, I’ll let u know

  19. andrew says:

    so you got a left? Let me know if you want to sell it…. I’m dreaming of finding an original set to match the tank, but I’m not holding my breath on it. I’m so pissed the other one fell off… you live you learn.

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