1980 CB400T Hawk, Advice needed for ADV build

Discussion in 'Some Assembly Required' started by Azazel, May 25, 2013.

  1. Azazel

    Azazel Adventurer

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    Hey all!

    I've been lurking for a bit, but now I need to solicit some advice. I have a 1980 Cb400T Hawk that I am in the process of "Cleaning up" so that it is a more functional ride. Ideally, I would like to make it into a capable adventure bike. Screw the Cafe, I want fun in the wilderness.

    I know that this is hardly a KLR, but the bike is rock solid ('82 CM450 Engine) and I think with a tire swap and some other minor changes it could be pretty good on the logging roads based on how it handles. I wanted a scrambler exhaust but sadly it seems I'd have to custom fabricate that which is out of my budget.

    What I mostly want to know is if anyone has experience fitting sidecans or a rear rack to this thing, because the square pre-sport tail doesn't seem very conducive to doing so?

    Many thanks!
    #1
  2. dakman74

    dakman74 moto-butcher expert

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    Post a picture so I can be sure, but I had a 78 400T and it had a factory rear rack with a backrest that was removable. I'm pretty sure it had the same design as your bike if what you mean is it's not the sportier 80 400T. The 80-81 400T came in two flavors (sporty, and standard) If I remember correctly the rear rack mounted in such a manner that you could potentially add side "cans" also.

    Even if it's the sport model, they had racks available:

    http://www.totalmotorcycle.com/81CB400T.htm

    This is one like I had on my standard:

    http://item.mobileweb.ebay.com/viewitem?itemId=130913974395&index=1&nav=SEARCH&nid=14667271790

    I'm also thinking with the CM450 motor you might get an exhaust from a CL450 to fit, with a little work. Nice thigh-burning pipes!
    #2
  3. Azazel

    Azazel Adventurer

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    #3
  4. sailah

    sailah Lampin' it

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    [​IMG]
    #4
  5. dakman74

    dakman74 moto-butcher expert

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    OK so the sport model. The trick is to find a factory rack like the first one I listed. Otherwise, it's fab one or have someone fab one.
    #5
  6. Azazel

    Azazel Adventurer

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    Sweet, the seat was really throwing me off with the way it swoops up there. Should it be fairly easy to mount side containers as well? Army surplus has some ammo on for $15/each and I'm thinking they'd be pretty handy.
    #6
  7. dakman74

    dakman74 moto-butcher expert

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    Depending on how big, the ammo cans should be pretty easy to mount on a factory rack. Smaller ones you could use a few u-bolts to secure the cans to the sides of the rack. For bigger ones, I would probably fab up more support. Good luck!
    #7
  8. 4play

    4play Next?

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    Not being a KLR is not neccessariy a bad thing. My 650 twin project came out at about the same weight with more power & very smooth. there is no reason you can't make a very capable gravel runner out of the Honda. Good luck
    #8
  9. Pezz_gs

    Pezz_gs Cant ride for crap

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    In Aus the CB400T was the rounder shape. The one pictured above by Saliah was called the CB400N here.

    CB400T image

    [​IMG]
    #9
  10. cody-james

    cody-james Adventurer

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    I'm going to have to watch this thread, I'm trying to do something similar with a 78 cb400. So far I've installed Renthal bars and a larger more aggressive rear tire, and just ordered a 3.50x19 Shinko 244 for the front. I'm planing on removing the stock fender and trying to fit a klr or similar one. I don't expect it to be like my klr but hopefully it will be capable of tackling dirt roads and commuting.
    #10
  11. Azazel

    Azazel Adventurer

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    What rear did you go with? I'm having trouble finding dual-sport tires for 100 90-18 rims that aren't stupidly aggressive tread to the point of being offroad only.
    #11
  12. 4play

    4play Next?

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    Mefo Explorer would be a good choice, you may want to consider a MT43 Pirelli trials tire.
    #12
  13. lord_oblivion

    lord_oblivion Been here awhile

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    Here in Europe, this is CB400N :

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Tyres on this mine are Conti Escape 4.6-18 TT rear (mounted without inner tyre, like TL) and 100/90-19 TL front. Rear tears down in 17-20.000km, front ok.
    Very well on gravel and fire roads but not for mud and send :

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Added these instead of dust seals, fits from MZ 251 :

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Added wider handlebars and crossbar (jet to be painted) :

    [​IMG]

    Mine is 27HP one and with standard sprockets 16/36 and w10 grade oil in front shocks (a bit softy) she is decent adv ride. Problem is pretty stif rear suspension or to be honest, my weight of only 70 kilos :lol3

    I have front pegs from XT600 going next and small ammo cans like these :

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I'm planning a bit wider front rollbar and some on the rear because too often end up overside. And biger foot on sidestand too :D
    #13
  14. lord_oblivion

    lord_oblivion Been here awhile

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    Ah yes, subscribed :deal
    #14
  15. Azazel

    Azazel Adventurer

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    Hot Damn, Lord_Oblivion, that's basically the inspiration for where I want to take this thing! Glad I'm not the only one who saw the potential for offroad fun times with this hardware.

    Here's the bike with the paint finished:
    [​IMG]

    Currently in the shop having the left valve cover bolt drilled out of the block after I over-torqued it, and then snapped an easy-out off inside the bolt trying to remove it. There goes my budget for a scrambler exhaust. :doh
    #15
  16. lord_oblivion

    lord_oblivion Been here awhile

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    #16
  17. Azazel

    Azazel Adventurer

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    Love the color on that, very nice!

    So a leaking valve cover on Friday turned into a sheared valve cover bolt, which turned into a broken bolt extractor IN the bolt, which turned into having it towed to the shop, which turned into a cracked Cam Holder on Tuesday.

    Now I'm trying to find a wrecker which has one in Canada and will overnight ship it, because the fastest I can get one from Japan is 3 weeks and it'll cost me nearly $200. Half the price of the damn engine.

    :cry

    EDIT: Went and bought a damn engine. It only has 20k km on it compared to the nearly 60 on my current engine, so I'll do a full rebuild of it over the winter and swap them in the springtime. Still, $400, damn.
    #17
  18. Azazel

    Azazel Adventurer

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    Everything was going great and then my friend dropped the bike and snapped off the shifter knob. Had to ride it home for an hour shifting using just the lever arm, in Vancouver. Terrifying.

    Since everywhere is closed for the long weekend, it was time to do metalwork:
    http://imgur.com/a/Loq19
    #18
  19. yokesman

    yokesman Been here awhile

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    those ammo cans can be lightened by removing the extra -not needed reinforcements and handles. they seem sturdy enough that no frame would be required but just weld doublers at the support arm locations and to save some additional weight cut out sections to replace them with aluminum,the top being first.
    #19
  20. Azazel

    Azazel Adventurer

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    [​IMG]

    Well, it was a fantastic summer. Had some great trips (Hurley FSR & Bridge River to Lilloett in BC, if you ever get the chance to ride this in August: DO IT), but now the time has come to take what I've learned and tear the bike down completely this winter and drop the "new" 20,000km crankcase into the frame to replace the current 60,000km one which is burning oil and shifts super loose. Getting H&R'd while parked, and flipped over in the process, was the finishing blow for the current build.

    Something which is bothering me is that after a day of riding offroad, my chain is so loose that it's rubbing directly on my swingarm. Understandably, this freaks me out. Is there anything I can do short of stopping and pulling the rear wheel back every few hours?
    #20