Thursday, December 20, 2007


Has it really been that long since I posted on here?

I guess time has a way of slipping away...

Regardless, I've managed to make a little progress on the old bike. And more importantly I've discovered options to take care of all kinds of found problems, new and old.

The tail end of the bike is all but complete. New holes drilled, new signals mounted. All that's left is to solder the wires together (I've learned that twisting wires, or even electrical tape can lead to problems down the road - literally).

The front end of the bike is going through a revamp. New turn signals up there to match the rear, new custom-built handlebar configuration (as soon as I can find someone with a welding torch and more skill than me), new gauges, etc. It should take on a new look that will flow a little better with the philosophy of the rest of the bike.

But it looks like the coming weekend is going to be me diving into the guts of the bike: pulling out whatever I can to get at the engine. And according to some random internets article I found (which I conveniently cannot find anymore!), I should be able to pull the head and replace the leaky gasket without pulling the whole motor.

Some more pictures to follow.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Phase 2

The tarp has come off. The wrenches are waiting. It's time to get this thing on the road.

Still, plenty of work needs to be done.

(For one thing, taking care of the dust)

So far it's starting to take shape at least physically. It appears that the electronics are the first things that need to be done. Since the back end has been stripped, all lighting removed and only the taillight replaced, it's probably a good place to start.

Some new turn signals are needed, and I'm pricing out various options. The headlight bucket is still in-between stages, and houses a lot of wiring, so that will be tended to as well. Otherwise other than the electric start, this is probably the most simple wiring system I've dealt with. And yes I'm including the old '77 KZ400 (oh the electrical problems with that thing...

Mechanically, the throttle cable is sticking, the exhaust setup is untested, the engine has not been touched (ala the old "it ran when it was parked"), and the forks are in need of attention. And the last big things cosmetically are the handlebars, which are at a terrible height/angle (but are a unique 2-piece thing bolted through the triples, which I won't go into yet), and the seat which still sits up high but is no longer complimented by the tail plastics.

Yet, I'm still hopeful that this thing will see the light of day and the back roads of So. Wisconsin, at least by October of this year.

So it's back to the internets for me, in search of some working turn signals...

Friday, June 1, 2007

Under the Tarp

In the back of my garage, under the tarp, still sits a slightly modified 1982 Honda CB650SC Nighthawk. It sits, not running, waiting...

The story actually began several years ago when my brother moved from one apartment to another. This new apartment had no room for him to park his old Nighthawk, which wasn't running anyway. He probably couldn't have sold it that quickly so "you have a garage, do you want it?" - and of course I answered "yes."

The '82 Nighthawk is a bizarre animal. The engine is a left-over, the old single overhead cam CB650 from the late 70's. The frame is mostly a CB650 (they had the "standard" CB650 as well as the "custom" CB650C) of the same year, but the forks, handlebars, triples, and much of the bodywork are very different. And naturally with such a bizarre bike, they completely redesigned it for it's second year. So parts are rare at best.

And this thing needed some work.

The front brakes (2 disc even!) were frozen. The exhaust had a bizarre rattle (and counted for nearly half of the bike's weight). The engine leaked oil like one of Yosemite Sam's oil drillin' holes. Not to mention it hadn't run in at least a year. The paint was in bad shape, the gas tank was in terrible condition, and the thing had it's share of road rash.

Starting a few years ago, I slowly began the process. I applied Kreeme tank liner to the tank. I dismantled, unstuck, bled, and rebuilt the brakes. With plenty of searching, I found a NOS 4-into-1 complete exhaust for $150, and I (hopefully correctly) mounted it on. I applied paint, I tore apart and rebuilt the entire rear end, pulled out the carbs for rebuild, tore off the gauges, cleaned and polished various bits, changed the plugs and various other mod's and tinkerings.

But there's still a way to go. The throttle seems to be sticking now. The forks now leak oil. The seat needs a rebuild. And the engine hasn't been touched.

And it still sits under the tarp, in the back of my garage.

(just for reference, this was stock:)