1971 Honda CB500 K0 Restoration Begins

Discussion in 'Old's Cool' started by Skowinski, Aug 30, 2011.

  1. Skowinski

    Skowinski Eukaryote

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    Just brought this 40 year old machine home yesterday. :freaky

    This was the first year for these bikes, following the release of the groundbreaking 750 Four.

    Stole this from a post in a thread where I was asking about opinions on the bike.

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    I've been poking around for some time now looking for an early 70's Honda, in decent shape, at a good price (meaning less than $1000) to pick up and work on. This one showed up, and I picked it up for $700, with some new parts uninstalled. Going to start by stripping it to the frame, bead blasting, repainting, and start reassembly from there. Mrs. Skowinski, who started on the motorbike bug just a few years ago (and now owns 4 of the damn things :huh) is going to help, so this is a "family" project. It's kinda funny, I think she is as excited as I am about it. :lol3 Maybe she will chime in on this as we go along.

    The plan is to get as close to this as possible in the end, which will probably be next Spring.

    [​IMG]

    Here is what I brought home, in the truck, before unloading. Also 3 boxes of parts, carburetor syncronization guages, and a new front rim with rotor.

    [​IMG]
    #1
  2. Skowinski

    Skowinski Eukaryote

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    And in the garage.

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    #2
  3. wmax351

    wmax351 Been here awhile

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    Looks nice. Enjoy the project and the ride.
    #3
  4. Skowinski

    Skowinski Eukaryote

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    Thanks wmax351, the fun has already begun! :nod

    The chrome is in excellent shape for a bike of this age. Original fenders, no dents. Although, there are some rusty bolts here and there, as you can see in the pics of the engine above.

    Edit: I haven't touched it yet, this is at it came home with me.

    [​IMG]

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    #4
  5. Cogswell

    Cogswell Spudly Adventurer

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    Very nice bike to start with. :deal
    It should lessen your work load tremendously. Take lots of pictures so we can follow along.

    :freaky


    Mike
    #5
  6. anonny

    anonny What could go wrong?

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    Looks like a nice one to start with, good chrome is a blessing. :D

    Will it turn over?
    #6
  7. Skowinski

    Skowinski Eukaryote

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    I think overall it's a "diamond in the rough".

    Yes, it is a runner. Fires on all 4 cylinders, clutch and gearbox seem good, engine has no bad noises and no smoke from the exhaust, that I can see anyway.

    My plan is to go completely through the engine, but not open it up. Rebuild the carburetors (new gasket / o-ring kit came with it), check points (new points/condenser plate came with it), timing, valve clearance, new spark plugs, oil and filter change, etc, and then run it and see how it goes. I'll set the jetting up to the new exhaust system (getting a NOS Honda system) and the airbox (missing airbox now, have one ordered) when I get those installed. It does have some miles, but I think it's ok.

    [​IMG]
    #7
  8. squish

    squish Out of the office.

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    Overall that looks like a really nice base.

    Good luck on the project
    #8
  9. Radam

    Radam Been here awhile

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    Looks like a great bike to start with. Do the 3000 mile tune up in the service manual and it should be good to go for a long time.
    #9
  10. Skowinski

    Skowinski Eukaryote

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    Thanks guys, this is one of those bikes where you go to look at it, and leave thinking "this looks pretty good". Then you decide to bring it home, and in the garage you look more closely and think "this is better than I thought". That is a good start, I've had the opposite happen before.

    The big things it needs (that I have to buy):
    1) OEM Exhaust ($$ouch!)
    2) Airbox and filter (found and on the way here, complete with tool kit :D)
    3) Tires
    4) Seat cover
    5) Repainting (have a really good shop locally that is fairly inexpensive too)

    Of course, all bearings, wheel, steering head, swing arm will be replaced, and any bolts that are rusty. I'm sure I'll find plenty of little things along the way. :lol3

    It did come with some new, uninstalled goodies:

    Tank and side cover badges, chain and sprockets, left side engine cover, left side switch assembly.

    [​IMG]

    Points/condenser plate and carburetor rebuild kit.

    [​IMG]
    #10
  11. Radam

    Radam Been here awhile

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    This forum is just for sohc4 Honda bikes and it can help you with anything you need to do. http://forums.sohc4.net/ Use the search function and you won't even have to ask questions. Some of the old timers on there get sick of answering the same stuff over and over. Good luck with your resto!
    #11
  12. Sam Simons

    Sam Simons Been here awhile

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    You'll enjoy the CB500, a very capable,under-appreciated model with a great looking engine(versus the 750 'lump' design). The little 500/550 mill is capable of some impressive performance,too. As much as 81 RWHP when using this-

    Attached Files:

    #12
  13. wmax351

    wmax351 Been here awhile

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    NOS Honda exhaust might be nice, but you may want to look into a good quality, aftermarket one, possibly in Stainless Steel. Would be worthwhile if you plan to keep it a long time.
    #13
  14. Skowinski

    Skowinski Eukaryote

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    Thanks for the ideas and comments guys (think I'll pass on the turbo though :lol3).

    Looks like someone decided a black hub and spokes was a good idea.

    [​IMG]

    Good thing the bike came with this, I guess the PO was getting ready to fix that problem.

    [​IMG]
    #14
  15. Redryder2

    Redryder2 Unbalanced & Unstable

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    #15
  16. wmax351

    wmax351 Been here awhile

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    You may be able to take the disc off of the old wheel, and put them both on, along with a new caliper, and you will have much improved dual disks. I was working on that on my 550. For what ever reason, most of the 500-550's had the other fork leg drilled for the caliper, and bolts on the hub.
    #16
  17. CoyoteCowboy

    CoyoteCowboy Easily Distracted

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    Dual discs are kind of a toss up on these bikes. On one hand, it increases your braking power. But on the other hand, the factory discs were extremely heavy and even drilled and thinned they still weigh a ton. Caveat emptor and shit.:1drink

    Before you even screw with putting the new points plate on, get in touch with Hondaman at the SOHC forums. He builds a very good solid-state ignition system for these bikes that utilizes the factory points as ground breakers and you can still leave the condensors on. If the unit ever does act up (though they have a pretty good track record for reliability) you can unhook the Hondaman ignition and simply reattach the wires to the condensors and ride away.

    The same gentelman also installs bronze bushings in your swingarm and align-bores them. Use conical bearings in the steering neck. Download the factory manual here>> http://www.honda4fun.com/man_officina/man_officina.html

    Get to know the guys at the SOHC forums. Great site, great people and one helluva resource for your CB!
    #17
  18. bmwhacker

    bmwhacker Still on 3 wheels

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    1971 500-4.....My first road bike in 1974.
    I loved it and rode it up until 1983....I took my wife on our honeymoon on this bike in 1981.

    [​IMG]
    #18
  19. LoCoMatt

    LoCoMatt Busy

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    I loooove the internet!

    Getting ready to start a similar project. Good luck on this one!
    #19
  20. JBMorse

    JBMorse Been here awhile

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    I wouldn't bother with dual discs honestly. I don't think the 500 is fast enough to require them! A great upgrade, though, is stainless brake lines. Lots of us on the SOHC forums have used this guy:
    http://slingshot-cycles.com/
    Buy them through the forums and I think you get a little discount.
    He does a nice job and is very reasonably priced on his brake lines.
    There are a couple of builders who sell 4-4 stainless pipes for these bikes. They cost around the same as an NOS set from Honda but they are sure pretty. Do some searching on SOHC4.net and you'll find examples. My 500 has the mac 4-2 setup which isn't great but I don't mind it and I like the way it sounds. My next 500 may get either a used 550f system or a Motad system. Not sure yet.
    If you're doing swingarm bushings, contact the aforementioned "hondaman" on the SOHC4 forums. He makes great replacement bushings suited to your bike. I haven't bought them yet but will. Tapered steering bearings are a great upgrade too and make a big difference. I don't know how original you're keeping your bike, but the rear shocks are junk and even a mediocre replacement like Progressive is a good idea. There's also Hagon.
    I upgraded my coils to Dyna 5ohm coils but that wasn't really necessary. I just wanted some new stuff before my long trip last year. I kept the points ignition but there are a couple of solid state ignitions on the market (pamco and Dyna S). Hondaman's system keeps the points ignition but his unit does the heavy lifting, leaving points to do the switching only. This elongates the life of the points by a lot.
    Looks like you're having fun with your bike! Keep it up.
    #20