Brutus: The CB550F Cafe/Gravel Runner Build

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

  1. JB2

    JB2 Dirt Of The Earth

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    WayLong - Looks like there's more hitch-anvils than you can shake a stick at. I like the first one real well but I think I like the one in the second picture the best. Looks like it's made to slip right into a standard receiver? I neglected to drag the big bastard out this evening opting instead to prep and prime a few body parts. I will post a couple of photos of mine this weekend. You've got an anvil for sure, a very nice one... but you don't have a hitch-anvil. Come on play along here... :lol3 I'm kind of a closet tool whore myself and since starting the Brutus project I have been overcome with tool envy cause this guy I met keeps dragging tools home that I wished I had. :D So I thought, maybe the only way to rid myself of this selfish envy would be to have you envious of my anvil. :1drink We'll see after you see the pics! :hmmmmm

    Cool tool collection BTW. I see some things that I have to put on my target list... in the meantime I actually have some Brutus pictures to upload. :thumb

    Stay tuned.
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  2. waylongway

    waylongway madmax Supporter

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    Don't worry ......!:patch If you have a tool that I don't ......:dirtdog I'm envious.......:cry :baldy:ace:becca

    AND you have way more fab skills and smarts than a Stupid hacker.....:bash.......:bow:bow:bow

    Thanks for the hunt BTW that was FUN ....!!!:jump I was late to work.....:lol3
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  3. JB2

    JB2 Dirt Of The Earth

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    On my Day Trippin' thread I've posted quite a bit of music. It figures pretty prominent in my life and the CD player in the shop is always loaded for bear. These three CD's were a gift from a brother and riding buddy, Mike Breedlove. Note that the Billy Joe Shaver is signed. He's good at getting more than just a gift and there's a story that goes with the signature but I probably won't tell it here. It's better when Mikey tells it anyway. :D Regardless this is the trio of tunes I've been listening to since Christmas. Some really greasy-good songs in the mix. :thumb

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    Okay so I've been thinking over some choices for lightning holes. There's only a few places on the bike that really merits them since I'm now adding an ADV twist to the build. The chain guard is one of them. There's some factory spot-welds that need filled but I'm gonna cut some holes in it first.

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    I wanted to use the dies to cut the hole because they're made to leave a lip on the edge of the holes plus it looks a whole lot more professional. However, two of the holes go through the factory brackets so there's no way to die cut them. In the end I opted for a graduated set of holes using a hole-saw. Playing with the options at this point...

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    ... then decided that the step-graduated series of five holes was the way to go. I center-punched and drilled the pilot holes then cut the big holes.

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    After cutting the holes I did a test-fit on the bike and chose to drill one more in the triangle window below the side cover. Also note the passenger peg bracket will coming off of this side once I have the bobbins attached to the swing arm for the stand. I'm currently using the footpeg brackets to lift the bike with an LP swing arm stand. Not much longer though.

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    I cut the sixth hole then cleaned the flash and burrs from the holes before prepping for bondo.

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    I used the seaweed wheel to first clean the factory spot-welds then ran over the fill area with 36 grit on a 3" angle grinder. It's ready for mud.

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    Apply the filler...

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    ... and sand the filler.

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    Two coats of etch primer...

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    ...followed by three coats of fill primer. It's ready for sanding and painting. One down, five to go.

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    The side covers are next. Stay tuned.
  4. JB2

    JB2 Dirt Of The Earth

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    Next on the prep agenda are the side covers. They're nice pieces that will require no bodywork however, it's always a good idea to clean plastic and gel-coated fiberglass parts before any sanding begins to remove the mold-release. Into a sink of hot soapy water they go and are scrubbed clean with a Scotch-Brite pad.

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    Then I wet-sanded the covers with 500 grit WOD paper on a soft block. Don't ya dig the tye-dye, injection pattern in the plastic? Groovy! :gerg

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    After sanding and pre-cleaning both covers I applied three coats of flexible primer. They're ready to paint except that I will drill the holes for the new "Super Sport" scripts beforehand.

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    This is the flexible primer. It is by Crest Industries. Most all of the major chemical companies supplying the bodyshop trades sells one. Of all of the brands that we have used and tried at the shop Prima-Flex is simply the best.

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    Three parts down, three to go. I should be able to get some quality time in the garage this weekend and get both fenders finished and hopefully another update Sunday evening.

    Stay tuned.
  5. waylongway

    waylongway madmax Supporter

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    I made one in HS for my SR 500 out of 1/4" Aluminium ......Yours looks almost identical......Nice...!!!:super
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  6. JB2

    JB2 Dirt Of The Earth

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    WayLong, Cool! The tool-envy has achieved the proper balance. The build-karma is all good. :thumb

    >>> AND you have way more fab skills and smarts than a Stupid hacker.....:bash.......:bow:bow:bow
    Dude, I only wear a size nine boot and I'm pretty sure, from what I've seen, you're leaving bigger tracks than me. Thanks anyway! :beer
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  7. oregonsurveyor

    oregonsurveyor Been here awhile

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    I love the looks of the lightening holes. Hmmm.
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  8. JB2

    JB2 Dirt Of The Earth

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    Oregon, I had planned to add lightning holes to several of the parts but when the build morphed slightly to the ADV side it left me with fewer options. Namely I'd wanted to drill the rear brake cover but when you add mud to the mix it isn't sounding like a good idea. I was also going to drill the front rotor but Carpy's sells one ready to bolt on. In the end the chain guard and the front rotor might be the only pieces to get the treatment. I agree though, I really like the look when it's tastefully applied and not overdone.
  9. Pally McGee

    Pally McGee Mellowed with Age

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    Subscribed! What a great thread, JB. You've got some skills, man. I got a shed full of '70s Jap twins to restore, and this thread is the inspiration I need to get off my ass and do it!
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  10. DiggerD

    DiggerD DougFir from SuperDuke Days

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    Watchin' this build is starting to make me feel better about myself.

    I thought I had a problem when I took the kick stand off my Black Bird XX, took a file and a grinder to it to make it nice and smooth before painting it.

    Ditto to my KTM 950 ADV's kick stand.

    Thanks..:lol3:lol3:lol3
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  11. JB2

    JB2 Dirt Of The Earth

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    Pally McGee - Hey, glad I could be service even in it's smallest form. 70's Asian bikes are still bringing good money. Start one and if you don't like the way it's going then you can sell it off to fund another project. That shed is fill of money and FUN in the bank! Ain't much else more satisfying than working with your hands. :beer

    DiggerD - Yeah, I got a problem with wanting everything to be as perfect as it can be. You beat me to the kickstand but I ain't far behind. :lol3 I'm going to dress and finish-out the kickstand, kickstarter, brake pedal, brake arm and shifter then send them off for nickle-plating. There is something therapeutic about taking a piece of cast metal with textured surfaces/mold seams still intact and finishing all the surfaces until it looks fluid and organic. It's details like that most folks don't notice until they've looked at a bike several times or are well versed in what a factory piece should look like.

    It sure has been a lot of fun and I'm just getting started. :thumb
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  12. waylongway

    waylongway madmax Supporter

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    There is something therapeutic about taking a piece of cast metal with textured surfaces/mold seams still intact and finishing all the surfaces until it looks fluid and organic. It's details like that most folks don't notice until they've looked at a bike several times or are well versed in what a factory piece should look like.


    We call that knee bender stuff JB2........:bow

    You know you got something when people start getting down on their knees ,scratching there heads and saying WTF...?

    :lol3...........:webers
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  13. JB2

    JB2 Dirt Of The Earth

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    So on Saturday night Mrs. JB2 had planned on a little culture so I didn't get much shop time until today. Actually Mark and Meg had invited us a month or so ago to join them at the Embassy Theatre in Ft. Wayne, Indiana to watch the Ft. Wayne Philharmonic with special guest Jake Shimabukuro. Meg sings in their choir and we have been to several of their shows recently. This particular event was the orchestra only so we got to double-date with our friends. Quick backstory, we met them at a Malcolm Holcombe concert a few years ago and immediately hit it off. Mrs. JB2 plays flute in the Mississinewa Valley Band, Meg is a beautiful singer and Mark plays a variety of stringed instruments. We have had the music thing going since we met so how does JB2 figure in you might ask? I think I'm the biggest music fan ever and the other tie that binds is that Mark is the original owner of the 1971 BSA Thunderbolt Scrambler undergoing a restoration in my shop. There's always got to be music and there's always got to be a motorcycle. Plenty good foundation for any lasting friendship in my book. :thumb

    I didn't know quite what to expect of our evening. I have two simple rules for the kind of music I love; "Does it tell a story?" and "Can it be played on a porch?" Simple rules for a simple guy like me but then you throw in orchestral music with no human voice and no words and... I'm just not an instrumental guy. But I'm changing or getting softer with age. I never thought a ukulele player would blow me away but I'm still wowed today by the performance I shared with friends last night. Good stuff. I guess an old dog can learn a new trick or two. Thanks Mark and Meg for the wonderful evening.

    Today I had planned to make up for lost time in the shop and Mark had also mentioned coming down to further his project along. The foundation piece for his project is the frame and it basically just needs stripped, sandblasted, primed and painted. Since it's one of the last generation "oil-in-frame" units it was greasy from the neck to the rear axle. Mark spent a lot of time de-greasing the Beezer while I worked away on the rear fender for Brutus.

    Fellow inmates meet Mark. He's an architect, musician, Scrambler rider and friend. He lurks on this thread but not sure if he'll post. That's okay though. I used to lurk here all the time.

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    So after we got him set up for degreasing I went to work on the rear fender. The first step was to lightly glide a 36 grit disc over the surface to make a nice profile for the bondo to stick to.

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    Next came a coat of filler. With all the contours I thought it would take a couple of coats to get it right cause this first one looks like crap... but there's plenty of material to work with. :jack

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    I ran 36 grit on the block to rough shape and clean the skim(shine) off the filler. Damn, I might get this done in one coat. No way, but I did. Better go buy a friggin' lottery ticket, eh? :D

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    I followed with 80 grit and finished with 150 grit then applied two coats of etch primer. I had just purchased more etch primer and went with the gray since Mark's frame will be gray when painted. It's nice to have the same color of primer underneath any topcoat you paint on a frame. I will add three coats of fill-prime but not until after the front fender and tank are ready, then I'll fill-prime all three pieces. As you can see the humidity is screwing with the etch today. I was mid-fifties all day with high humidity but since I'm just applying the etch primer it's of no concern.

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    So you know what comes next. I've got four pieces nearly ready to paint. Time to mock up the bike again, right? Just to see if it's still matching the mind's eye. Here's the left side with finished parts installed.

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    And the right side from a little further back.

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    Four pieces down, two to go until the major body panels meet their new paint job. Can't wait.

    Stay tuned!
  14. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid! Supporter

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    That is going to look cool with some aggressive tires on it! :thumb
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  15. Powderfinger

    Powderfinger Been here awhile

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    I drilled the rotor on my 750, it was pretty easy. I looked around online and found a pattern I liked, then sized it to print out the same size as my rotor. I think it did have to fit on two pieces of paper but not a big deal just make the lines touch and tape them together. Tape the template to the rotor and start center punching, then drill away. With all the other stuff you are doing drilling your rotor wont challenge you. Carpy's rotor looks good but that's a set of tires.
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  16. JB2

    JB2 Dirt Of The Earth

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    Jim - Thanks! I think the Scout 60 tires will do a good job of adding that aggressive look.

    Powderfinger - When the project first started I had planned on drilling the stock rotor. In the process of the build though I have given serious consideration into upgrading the front brake while keeping it stock in appearance. My choices are pretty narrow; better quality pads, braided lines and a floating rotor. When I researched the options I found the Pro-Lite unit through Carpy's. It is a little salty but I think the added performance will be worth it, especially considering I'm still running the shoe and drum set-up on the rear. I'll be counting on the front brake for most of the stopping.
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  17. Powderfinger

    Powderfinger Been here awhile

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    Okay, yeah the front brake is pretty primitive and can use any help available. Mine is all redone with a rebuilt mc and caliper, new pads and brake lines but I just went with the rubber lines. The back drum is pretty strong though. I got to put it to the test last summer when some woman decided at the last second to make a left turn right in front of me. I got on both brakes, locked up the rear and used a lot of body English to just clear her quarter panel.
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  18. JB2

    JB2 Dirt Of The Earth

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    Oh, Powderfinger. Have you not learned anything from Harley riders? You're supposed to use just the rear brake ONLY! :fpalm

    :jack

    Actually you're right on the rear brake. It's plenty enough for a bike that size. I normally only use the rear brake in an "oh shit" situation or trail braking for navigating corners. I've had a ton of Hondas and the only place where the rear brake fails is in the wet when they can get pretty soft.

    On the front brake I had a comparison with braided lines on the KLR. I upgraded to Galfer brake pads and braided lines shortly after I bought the bike new. It was like getting new brakes, again. I never dreamed you'd lose that much stopping force in a rubber line but you do. Both the caliper and M/C need rebuilt on the Honda so hopefully the combination of new parts and reman hydraulics will provide all I need.
  19. Powderfinger

    Powderfinger Been here awhile

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    Nice, I may look into a set.
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  20. radianrider

    radianrider Adventurer wanna'be

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    Jake Shimabukuro is pretty amazing. Bet that was good concert.

    Bike is looking great. Like the new direction--in light of your love a good dual sport ride. :)
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