How would you restore this '85 CB700?

Discussion in 'Old's Cool' started by polar8, Apr 25, 2011.

  1. polar8

    polar8 Adventurer

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    Got this bike on Craigslist and after a carb cleaning she was running great. I have some free time this summer and I'd really like to make it look nice again. It's rough, but everything is in good shape (owner just put a new seat on it) and there are only a few things to replace.

    If this was your bike, what would you do to it? I was thinking of blacking out the engine completely, and repainting the tank in the original red/black color scheme. Then adding straight bars and a round headlight up front, as the stock gauges and headlamp are really beat up.

    Thanks for the advice!

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    #1
  2. wmax351

    wmax351 Been here awhile

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    Just Ride it for now. Its the summer after all. Put some bags on it and take a trip.

    In the winter, I like your idea. Clean it up a bit, make the tank look nice, black out the engine. While doing that, do an inspection on the engine to make sure everything is in good order. Might as well, since you will have the engine out. Bead blast, sand, fill, and paint the scuffed up engine covers.

    Maybe pick up a cluster and light from an old CB750. They look pretty good. Upgrade to an H4 light. Check the electrical system, they can be a weak spot on old Japanese bikes (or any old bike for that matter)
    #2
  3. lrutt

    lrutt SILENCE.....i kill you

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    I wouldn't restore it. Just make it reliable and turn it into a mad max rat bike. It's halfway there.
    #3
  4. south

    south Been here awhile

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    Well, first off, if it was me, I wouldn't do anything with it for awhile 'cause it'd be at the back of the project line, but my plan would go like this:

    First, source replacements for the missing bodywork--side covers, tail, headlight nacelle (perhaps not OEM, maybe graft something else that looks good), etc.--from ebay, local junkyard, wherever. Paint it to suit your fancy.

    Next, speaking of paint: less is more--no paint for the engine, etc. Painting aluminum, especially oxidized aluminum, ain't what I'd call a "long-term" solution. Rather, take advantage of the fact that big chunks of the bike are aluminum; I'd strip, sand, and polish every (aluminum) bit of the thing I could. Not only will it look great, but it's cheap, requires no special skill (just some time and effort), and it's low-maintenance from there on out--just a quick freshen-up wipe with some metal polish now and again will have the stuff right back to full bright. Do the valve cover, the engine side-covers (clutch and gen), fork lowers, rear brake drum/drive hub, brake and clutch MCs, perhaps the front calipers, etc. Ideally, I'd pull the engine and media--i.e., "sand"--blast it. If you have access to compressed air, hobby media/sand blasters sufficient to do the job can be purchased for well under $100, and they can be very handy things to have--just be sure to seal up the motor real good before blasting.

    Along with all that, give it a good cleaning/detailing, replace the 25yo front brake lines with some braided stainless lines (new fluid is a given) and mount up some decent (new) tires.

    Of course, if it was me, ultimately, most of all, I'd want to restore the missing 50ccs. :wink:
    #4
  5. Houseoffubar

    Houseoffubar fine beer sampler

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    First thing....valve adjustment










    :wink:
    #5
  6. Purcell69

    Purcell69 Mors ex Tenebris

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    No need with the CB700, aka Nighthawk S, all hydraulic. :clap

    Restored to original, the bike is worth a lot more. Clean examples, even with high miles bring $3000+. The model was only offered for three years, 1984-1986.

    -Joe
    #6
  7. polar8

    polar8 Adventurer

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    I don't have any blasting equipment, so I'd probably have the blasting done by a local shop. I take it using aircraft stripper on the engine fins isn't as easy as with flat surfaces, but is it possible to do it that way?
    #7
  8. Houseoffubar

    Houseoffubar fine beer sampler

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    Sorry, just trying to be funny!
    #8
  9. Uncle Ernie

    Uncle Ernie Long timer

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    The only problem I can see is getting hold of the proper body work.
    Don't hate me, but as much as I like those bikes in stock condition, a really nice paint job and switchng to a round HL kind of appeals to me-
    #9
  10. bk brkr baker

    bk brkr baker Long timer

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    Fab your own sidecovers from leagaly harvested free-range road signs.
    No paint unless it's matt black. Round headlight will be O.K. , go for one of the 9' jobbies from a GS Suzuki or early 80's Yamaha.
    Build a luggage rack to cover the space behind the seat. Preferably with a hidden stash box.
    #10
  11. squish

    squish Out of the office.

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    Unlike lots of folks I don't hold these bikes in very high regard
    Heavy, slow, shaft drive, wonky handling, and styling that's not quite sportbike UJM and not quite UJC

    Personally I'd get some side covers and tail cowl for it.
    Source up a round headlight, ditch the monster instrument panel

    Slap a decent rattle can paint job and ride the snot out of it.

    Years a ago I bought one from the son of some bigwig at Honda R&D

    Low miles great shape, and I was very happy to have sold that bike.
    #11
  12. Steve G.

    Steve G. Long timer

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    Do not turn this bike into a money pit! It will never be worth much, even if you do a concours restoration. Get it running, and treat it like a car, just run it.

    Steve
    #12
  13. vernon dent

    vernon dent Been here awhile

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    agreed. i see nice original, low mileage examples locally advertised for under $2k.
    #13
  14. bones_708

    bones_708 Been here awhile

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    I can't think of why anyone would unless it had some special meaning. I would get it running and maybe do little things to fix it up. When you pull a tank and side covers paint is cheap enough, but to do a full resto? I don't see it
    #14
  15. Kurt V

    Kurt V Been here awhile

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    I'd worry about the mechanics before the cosmetics. First off change that brake fluid. Looks brown in the reservoir.
    #15
  16. sigpe57

    sigpe57 Been here awhile

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    What are the special points between the CB700 than rest of the CBs? My mechanic toll me Honda CB700SC Nighthawk S, made between '84-'86 are the best Honda ever made.
    #16
  17. Bigger Al

    Bigger Al Still a stupid tire guy

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    Hydraulic valve lifters are a bonus, as is shaft drive. They're plenty powerful enough to do most anything you'd want, and comfortable to boot. If you want a bike to ride without worrying too terribly much about wrenching, then a clean example of the Nighthawk S is a good place to start.
    #17
  18. McJamie

    McJamie STROMINATOR

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    I had one. If the stock exhaust is still in good shape, it's probably worth a little time and effort. I have seen a couple kind of "cafe'd"(sorry, I realy hate that term, but don't know what else to use.). Single round headlight, clubman bars, half decent paint, good tires( not cheap-ass, pieces of pooh that tend to end up on alot of bikes these days). Maybe some new shocks, braided lines, and ride the nuts off it.
    They run VERY smooth, and if set up properly, not a bad bike for long distance. But make sure the carbs are squeeky clean and properly sync'd. Check for cracks on the intake boots too.
    #18
  19. Carter Pewterschmidt

    Carter Pewterschmidt Long timer

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    If you build it right you'll end up putting more money into that then if you were to buy a nice clean example of one. But if you don't have anything going on all winter it will give you something to do.
    #19
  20. anonny

    anonny What could go wrong?

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    Although that's true....... sometimes a guy just wants to do it himself and let the chips fall where they may.
    #20