Friday, January 31, 2014


I ordered tires... Kendra's . I wanted to get the Firestone Classics but as good looking / retro as they are, it's more than visual.  Turns out the are tube type and not a very good tire.

I'm at a bit of standstill.  Again, decisions are the hardest part for this first time builder.

Next, I think I'll remove the front tire and get the front end ready.  I've been stalling because I plan on replacing the entire front end with a more modern setup off a 600RR or 900R maybe.

Anyway, inspirational photo next huh? This guy did the brass exposed radiator. 

You didn't think I thought of that by myself did you?

And here is another down under video CX500

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Nice Brass!

The bare frame is getting some bling.

As I guessed the radiator is brass... nice.

Spent pretty much all evening stripping the paint off of it and repainting the black bits. Mocked up the radiator and the battery shelf but haven't really decided if I am going to put the battery somewhere besides the battery shelf.  I need to put the front end back on to see the riding angle and look at what to do about the seat. There may be room to put all the electrics including the battery under the seat, I hope. 



Getting ideas for a very small rear fender.. and what to do with the front end.


Friday, January 24, 2014

This frame is upside down

Not the picture, the CXFE Project bike frame.

The frame is back from the powdercoater...

they did the swingarm, centerstand, sidestand, engine hangers, shift lever and brake lever

it's upside down and I have installed the swingarm and the centerstand.



I should have painted the many little parts that will go on the frame next but I am still deciding what color... answer, lots of black. I painted the triple tree and the sidestand bolt and nut this evening. So, at a bit of a standstill waiting for the painted parts to dry.

I am maybe way to optimistic but I know many of these project bikes take a year or two to complete.

I see no reason why I won't be done before spring.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Details, Details

Less time in the garage today... The Australian Open Tennis is on... Nadal has his hands full with young Dimitrov. Moved the old Tecnic amp and speakers out to the garage.... nice!

Sourced some new fasteners to dress up the engine. Stainless for the black covers. Black caps for the aluminum parts.

Also ordered "O" rings for the cooling system pipes.  Honda had the two I really really needed.  The others I just wanted on hand just in case. Also ordered a couple of case gaskets.  Clutch cover and CDI cover. The CDI cover is the black cover lower middle black cover.



While I was in the Hardware store there was a minor explosion across the street.


Monday, January 20, 2014

Neither a painter nor an artist be I

Just a couple of runs, 

going black with some of the shiny parts that won't clean up.

I like the effect anyway

And the computer did this, I just really like the effect

The Inspiration bike of the day

Not a tremendous fan of the seat again 

but I really like the black valve covers and the black wheels

Sunday, January 19, 2014

If I could -

Fooling around on the computer... I wish I could actually draw

Football Sunday, taking a day off from the project but it's on my mind!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Not just hosing around now

Didn't accomplish a whole lot today.  Did some plumbing on the engine.  I'm going for a bit of Steampunk look. Replacing most of the rubber hoses with brass fittings and copper pipe. I found a copper furnace manifold that I am thinking of using as a simple light panel.  It has 4 outlets that could serve a mounting points for 4 led's.  The 2 turn signals, oil light, neutral and high beam light.

Also played around with the tachometer.  Earlier I had removed the face plate so that I could add a Datel Voltmeter.  This could work but I am still deciding if I'll use it.  The tach has a temperature gauge in it which is the primary reason to keep it.  A sanitary look is what I'm after. I may just run an aftermarket temp gauge only. Anyway here is a photo of the tach with the Voltmeter inside.  I had planned to put the idiot light inside for oil pressure and neutral light.  What do you think?  Comments please.

As for Speedometer, I'l just use my GPS or my Phone on a single ram ball mount.

Thursday, January 16, 2014


Inspiration Bike of the day- looks to have ST1300 tank decals... I like this color... Green and brass was my plan from the get go. I'm not thrilled with the seat



I may tackle the electric fan tomorrow. I'm wondering, do I just cut the cam off with a hacksaw really?


 Clean enough to paint now. 
And the fan will work but I will have to cut the cam off.


The skateboard platforms came today and I'll be using them a a base for the CXFE seat. The seat will be a two level thing with the Dragon leatherwork on the rear seat (not really used, it'll be just for show)


I also scored some old Japanese coins on Ebay that I'll use as brass accents under the fasteners... a little old with new... stainless and old brass.

The frame is at the paint shop for powder coating.  I cleaned up some smaller parts mostly associated with water cooling. I need to build a small paint booth for painting the small parts with a rattle cans.

Cleaned up the engine some.  Still deciding just how to go about it.  I'm going to have to paint the entire engine.  It was so cruddy it would not come clean with just vinegar.  Carb cleaner works but peels the paint a bit.  How to get all the nooks an crannys clean is the question.

More cleaning.  The frame will not be back until end of next week.


Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Getting blasted tomorrow

The frame went to be  powder coated today. I conned the guy into doing a few smaller pieces too.

So frame, (3)engine hangers, center stand, side stand, shift arm, rear brake lever, and I'll take the valve covers by tomorrow.



 Some masking for the media blast

 Starting the engine cleanup.  Nothing cut the discoloration short of carb cleaner and it takes the paint off a bit.  Wondering what kind of paint to use for the engine color

 I am hoping to use Will England's ST1100 electric fan. I'll need to cut the end of the camshaft off to do that conversion.  That scares me a bit.

 This is the old engine driven fan.  They are famous for cracking (this one is in good shape) It also robs horsepower and cost fuel mileage. Of course, my bigger carbs will add horsepower and rob mileage.

 Before the cleanup began


 Valve covers will go to be powder coated tomorrow too.

 Picture of the plumbing

 I removed the little rear cover and wire brushed it.  It'll be painted gloss black like the frame and other pieces too.


Inspiration photo of the day. I wonder what kind of engine paint this guy used. Looks like he put in some major time on the rag wheel polishing. If mine ends up looking this good I'll be thrilled.


Monday, January 13, 2014

Headed in the other direction

I'd say I've turned a corner and am headed in the right direction with the build.

I have started cleanup in preparation for paint.  Wire brush and rag wheel on the grinder....

The frame, swing arm, centerstand and side stand may actually make it to the powder coat soon.
They will media blast those, so I'll just wire brush 'em and mask a bit over the swing arm pivots.

I was told the pictures are hard to see with the garage clutter in the background. So I hung a backdrop.  Better?


I didn't worry about it during the disassembly but the object of this blog is so folks over at the CX500 forum can follow along the construct.

I'll take the frame, swingarm, centerstand and sidestand to the powder coater tomorrow... we will chat.

In the meantime... the inspirational photo of the day... whose is this?

Friday, January 10, 2014

Looking at her rear end

Good progress today.  The frame is nearly ready to go to the powder coater.

I am missing the big Allen wrench I need to remove the swingarm.
What size is it?  Anyone?  Anyone?

I put the front end back on in preparation for pulling the rear end.

I talked to the Powder coater.  
He says don't clean up the frame or swing arm.. he will sandblast everything anyway.  
Saves me a lot of work.

Mostly worked on the fuel tank... hours and hours to clean it up.  I'm sore.
I have cleaned, strained and now have 3 CLEAN gallons of Vinegar and 5 dirty gallons
Ready for go round #3

 What an eyesore the butt ugly seat is
 Mock up the tailights... bracket need bending.. at some point I need to shorten the tail end.

  I started tearing down the rear end... What size is the Allen on the swing arm... I don't have one that size I don't think

 Pretty good pile of parts... most of this will not go back on... 
some guys reduce the weight by 130 pounds

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Wow, Whew and it itches


the tank is looking pretty good... I would have never dreamed this thing could be salvaged... and look at all the rust that came out of it... this is just the first go around

And after the second tank of Vinegar... I used Apple Cider Vinegar instead of White Vinegar... seems to have a bit more kick... my hands itch a bit from the acid.


It's a lot of work shaking a 40 pound tank.  The nuts and bolt idea didn't work very well and it took forever to get them out of the tank.  Not possible to shake 'em all out... fished around with a magnet forever. And inside the tank after draining and scrubbing with a roto rooter brush.  I didn't last too long out there.  Tired and sore. Maybe I'll hit it again after supper.

I can see better in the garage... new shop lights... Thanks Billy

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Drain the Vinegar

Placemarker for tonights post... I had a heck of a time logging on

more to follow

The fuel tank is full of Apple Cider Vinegar

I'm cleaning the tank

Friday, January 3, 2014

Hose around

A stumbling block.... how to pull the forks out with this hose in the way and how does the hose come off?  The manual says pull the forks out... makes no mention of the air hose.

I guess I'll pull the engine first and post to the CX500 forum on how to remove the hose

Tremendous progress... this was a fun day.  I found the addenum to the 81 Deluxe... it says pull the hose... took a bit of figuring but it's an "O" ring thing.  It still has air pressure in the forks so that's a good sign.


Going to pull the engine next.

(below)  Left upper Engine hanger bolts bolts

 and the right side nuts

right rear
also remove the driveshaft pin under that rubber boot

Engine is out

Turn signal Wiring 

Just a shot to remember the wiring loom goes through here

Cafe style handlebar mockup

Tonight or tomorrow I'll remove the rear swing arm 
and start cleaning for paint prep.