Brutus: The CB550F Cafe/Gravel Runner Build

Discussion in 'Some Assembly Required' started by JB2, Nov 11, 2015.

  1. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid! Supporter

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    I wish I had seen this before I cut my fender! Nice work!
    #41
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  2. JB2

    JB2 Dirt Of The Earth

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    I've had this all set up for over a week now and it's been about all I could think about. Between family obligations, work and weather it has kept this part of the build at bay. In the middle of the afternoon Saturday I set up everything up to start welding on the rear hoop.

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    First I did a single pass weld to join the inserts to the Honda frame. Next, I fitted the new rear hoop and joined it with a second pass. I then put a bridge weld over the top of the two welds. I had considered leaving the welds unfinished to match the Honda welds but, over the course of looking at other bikes and trying to blend the custom to the factory, I decided I would mold this frame. In the past I have molded numerous frames for choppers and bobbers. When it's done right it really cleans the detail of the bike up. Structurally it's not a good idea to take a lot of material off the factory welds and the best thing is to not take anything off. The only other option is molding. The bike will still look inherently factory and details like this are most always noticed after looking it over a couple of times. With that in mind and the luxury of being able to add enough material to metal-finish the welds, I chose to go that route. Here's the rear hoop with a minimal amount of finishing to the bridge weld.

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    Next is to fit the jig to the bike and attach the blind tabs for the rear fender to the jig.

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    I marked and cut the tabs and they're now ready to weld.

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    Once the tabs were welded into place I metal finished those welds and called it a night. I had intended to get shots of the welds but found out the camera does not like the cold weather especially when the battery is below 50%. I put the camera in the house on charge only running in once to grab it for these last few shots. There's plenty of welding left to do so we'll get that base covered. I called it a night around 11:00 with everything done except the rear seat/fender support. I went searching for a piece of flat stock to cut it from and found I only had 3" wide strip of 10 gauge. It was perfect for thickness but it needed ripped down to 1-3/4". The next morning I jumped out of bed and into my clothes. I set up a guide and cut the piece to width and then shaped the new support using the stock unit as a guide. After some fitting and test-fitting with the fender it was ready to weld. I'm really happy with everything so far. There won't be any problems mounting the modified stock parts to the bike with factory hardware.

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    Bhuff had mentioned he might be in for a ride on Sunday. Just as I was about to fire up the welder I heard his KLR running outside. With the many demands on our lives at the moment I was really needing a time-out to go riding. Here's where the project stopped on Sunday. Hopefully I can get back out here next weekend. There's warm weather coming and Mrs. JB2 will be out of town.

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    Right now this ride is the most important obligation on my plate.

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    Stay tuned.
    #42
  3. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid! Supporter

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    That is looking great! I love the fact that you take the time to describe and photograph what you are doing!

    Thanks!
    #43
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  4. JB2

    JB2 Dirt Of The Earth

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    Jim, Hey I've been following your build and have to say that I like your bob-job on the Yammie front fender and the screaming yellow paint! :D I know folks have tossed a lot of suggestions on the rear fender. Was that the one the came with the project? It looks like an old Super-Glide fender with the side skirts removed. Anyways, if you had a stock Yamaha rear fender it might give you the clearance you need to hang the light from the underside. I'd take a look in the scrap pile if you want to go a different way. I notice you haven't painted it yet.
    #44
  5. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid! Supporter

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    Thanks!

    Yeah, it came with the bike, and I am on a bit of a self imposed budget. If I had the stock fender I might give it a different look, but it did not come with the bike.

    Thanks,
    #45
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  6. oregonsurveyor

    oregonsurveyor Been here awhile

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    That is freekin' cool, man.
    #46
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  7. L.B.S.

    L.B.S. Long timer

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    Thread of awesomeness!

    I love your attention to detail and aesthetics, bravo mate!
    #47
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  8. JB2

    JB2 Dirt Of The Earth

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    L.B.S., I appreciate the kind words but I have to give props to all the mentors and teachers over the years. I dig your signature line. We're obviously of the same school of thought.

    Oregonsurveyor, Thanks and I keep meaning to ask... are you anywhere near Ophir? I built bodywork on a land speed bike for a friend who lives there. My uncle used to live in Grant's Pass so I have some connections to your home state... I think. I checked your profile but couldn't access it so I can only assume you do indeed live in Oregon? :D
    #48
  9. oregonsurveyor

    oregonsurveyor Been here awhile

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    I think I fixed my profile so it is view-able by inmates. Still learning this software.

    Ophir is on the the southern Oregon coast, not too far from Grants Pass. I can't imagine anyone would be setting any land speed records there. They must have to travel to participate in that sport.

    I have lived 25 of the last 27 years in or within an hour of the Portland metro area. Originally from South Texas and I still go there from time to time for fishing and white wing dove hunting. There is nothing else in Texas worth the trip. That's why I live in Oregon!
    #49
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  10. JB2

    JB2 Dirt Of The Earth

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    My friend got hooked up with a group of guys we knew mutually who were racing at Bonneville. I was part of that team and that's where I met him. He joined us there one year and caught "salt fever". He goes by the nickname Snail. He's late 60's and captains a king crab boat in the winter and logs in the summer. He's quite the character. My uncle now lives in Damascus, OR. He's also a dedicated rider. Cool.
    #50
  11. JB2

    JB2 Dirt Of The Earth

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    So the weather was lousy this weekend. Plenty warm enough to work in the shop but never dry enough to hit the road for a ride. It was greasy and drizzly so I got past the first stage of the project; getting the rear hoop finished and painted. I started out by tack welding the rear brace with the jig in place...

    [​IMG]

    ...then removed it to test fit the parts. The shot below is the test fit of the fender and seat. The seat pad sets right on the platform created by the fender brace like it should. The bolts holding the two rear fender halves together go through the brace. The factory brace has a pair of tubes welded to the bottom side for spacers. I'll add spacers when it goes together the next time.

    [​IMG]

    I wanted a single pass, continuous weld. The little SP130 I'm using is too cold on "B" and a might too hot on "C" for the thin tubing of the hoop. I didn't want to overlap the heat-affected area of the fender tabs so I pulled the weld away from the tab location. I went just slow enough to leave enough material for metal finishing. I added a couple of spot welds to the armpit of the intersection to round it out and give it that organic look when finished.

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    I had other important things to tend to when the Granddaughters showed up with our daughter. I had won a set of remote control candles in a gag-gift exchange at work. I knew that our granddaughter Kinley would love them. She did. Grandpa scores! :lol3 There was that and then I had to finish stringing up the outdoor lights. Santa is coming ya know. :D

    Anyways, over the period of the afternoon I managed to get the welds finished and drilled the holes for the fender. After that I finished the hoop out with 150 grit an pre-cleaned it before going to bed. I jumped out of bed Sunday morning with bedhead and wrinkled clothes and went straight to work. I first bagged the bike and shot a coat of etch primer on the completed hoop. Note the tan tape along the edge of the blue tape...

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    ... there's a reason for that. Tip of the day: Double taped paint edges. I taped the edge of the weld furthest from the painted area first then I taped the edge closest to the painted area for priming second. After priming I remove the tan tape to expose the weld. If a person was working with a frame that already had a good paint job they could get by this way and only 1 in a hundred people would ever know. It saves you having a primer edge along the edge of your fresh paint.

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    And here it is with the first coat of paint. I ended up with about four coats, the last two going on wet-on-wet to get a nice flow and gloss.

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    Not bad for rattle-can products, eh? The Dupli-Color even has a motorcycle on it. :thumb

    [​IMG]

    And here it is untaped. As soon as I can I'll be putting parts on. I won't be able to hang the fender until tomorrow so the paint can fully dry but there's a lot that can go back together. The bike will come apart next winter for a complete frame paint with Imron Polyurethane when the engine is being rebuilt. No powder-coating or billet on my bikes! I am, if anything at all... old school.

    [​IMG]

    This is as far as I could get Sunday evening. At least it is a roller again. The whole idea is to complete all the work on the separate components of the bike while keeping it running and ridden. I don't lack much at this point to take it for a spin.

    [​IMG]

    And tonight when I got home from work I added the fender and tail lamp. I have some fab work left on the seat pan before it can be can sandblasted and painted. There's a whole slew of other parts to be prepped so this is as about as built up as it will get for a few weeks considering the holidays and the budget.

    [​IMG]

    Here's close-up of the tail section. Everything is going back together with stock hardware. The fender bolts at the rear will be replaced with 10mm stem-mounted turn lamps. Since I'm losing some visible area with the smaller tail lamp I want to run dual-filiment turn lamps. An 8mm "hole-though-stud" didn't provide enough room for two wires but a 10mm will.

    [​IMG]

    It's hard to walk away from the project for a few weeks but I will manage to get a few hours here and there to move the sheet metal projects along.

    Stay tuned.





    #51
  12. nuggets

    nuggets It's all my fault...

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    I like the double tape tip. Could come in handy. :thumb
    #52
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  13. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid! Supporter

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    That is looking absolutely awesome! :thumb I wish I had 1/4 the welding skills you have!
    #53
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  14. JB2

    JB2 Dirt Of The Earth

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    Nuggets, thanks. I don't know if I can offer much here but if I see something no one else has mentioned then I'll throw it out. I have learned so much from all the build threads here. There's all skill levels and so many different approaches that my build is going better than planned due to the luxury of being able to look at others' work.

    Jim, thanks. Not sure yours isn't better than you think. Prep work... test welding, fitting and getting everything clean is the best insurance especially when you're dealing with a finicky welder like my Lincoln. I wished I had my old Solar 175 back with a better range of heat settings. I thought my welds looked like crap. :D
    #54
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  15. radianrider

    radianrider Adventurer wanna'be

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    Not sure why my notification of a new post in this thread failed, but I was beginning to think you were slacking. Turns out ADV let me down.

    Good progress on the bike! Going to be a fantastic bike when you get it wrapped up.

    I've been tearing into the planning for my garage upgrades so I can get a project bike in. I'm actually throwing things away that I kept "because they might come in handy someday." Trust me--huge step for a hoarder. :rofl

    Still, this thread has me itching to get the prep work on the workspace done.
    #55
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  16. JB2

    JB2 Dirt Of The Earth

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    Radian, Thanks and I wished I had my workspace done. With winter kicking us in the shins I'm glad I made the decision to work on the project bike instead of the shop. I spent Sunday afternoon sandblasting parts at Kip's place and last night painting things like the battery box, air cleaner cover and other brackets and braces. I also got the front and rear fenders blasted and it sounds like we have another warm weekend coming so I'll hopefully be in the shop welding those up soon.

    Shop rule #1; You'll never "need" something saved until you throw it away. :D
    #56
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  17. DiggerD

    DiggerD DougFir from SuperDuke Days

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    Another Oregon viewer here. Really like your work. Top notch. Looks like you have gained great skills.
    I learned a few things this am viewing this post start to this point . One of the best I have seen on ADV.
    Never working my self as a paid body man, what I learned this am was the use of relief holes at the start of a bend.
    I have bent sheet metal as you did on the seat pan, but never used the relief holes. Great tip.
    "I was happy to see the area where I would have to reshape was in the flat portion of the seat pan. Here it is marked for cutting and relief holes,..."
    Great use of a jig to align existing hole placements......all good stuff.....like it all...only dis-like...steel handle bars with the cross bar instead of aluminum...but I can live with that....:D:D:D
    #57
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  18. JB2

    JB2 Dirt Of The Earth

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    DiggerD, Hey thanks for following along and your observations. Placing relief holes at the quick of each relief cut allows you to pick the contour and where the metal will shrink. I'll be welding a skirt onto the pan to fit the contour of the new rear hoop. Those relief holes will become holes for plug welds to the new skirt from the underside when the reshaping is done. I hadn't considered aluminum bars but like the idea. There again, I am still learning and learning a whole lot more by doing the build in real time here on ADV. The ideas and problem solving techniques of some of the other builders here are priceless. :thumb
    #58
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  19. JagLite

    JagLite Long timer Supporter

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    Excellent detail write-up and pictures! :thumb
    It is so neat that we can learn from each other and share what we are doing. :beer
    How did we live without the net?
    Oh, yes, I remember, we each did the best we could. :baldy

    The dark ages..... :vardy

    Now we have a virtual village of mentors. :wave

    The problem I have is that I get caught up reading build threads and learning new things when I should be in the shop working on my projects. :ear

    Like today, I woke up at 4:30 as usual with the dogs telling me it was time to get up even though I get today and tomorrow off work...
    OK, get up, feed the canine crew and get out to the shop for a good looooooong day of fun.
    But first I will just check my favorite threads while the coffee is brewing....

    What? it is 6:40 already????? :dirtdog

    I'm lovin' your sleeper build :raabia
    #59
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  20. JB2

    JB2 Dirt Of The Earth

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    JagLite, Thanks. I've learned a lot doing this build in real time here on ADV. I learned almost everything I do looking over Dad's and other's shoulders. They say the best way to get better is to hang out with people who are better. I'm getting plenty of that here. :D

    The weather looks outstanding for more garage time this weekend and hopefully some more installments on this thread. Now, if I only had some Tiny Techs to help me along... :thumb
    #60
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