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maschinenbau SuperDork
6/16/19 2:40 p.m.

Stampie flipped a 79 CB650 to me. Thanks for a good deal and helping me make awesome mistakes. It needs some work but that's good because I don't have gear, license, or skills yet. But I can sure build.

stuart in mn
stuart in mn MegaDork
6/16/19 3:00 p.m.

A green paint job to match the El Camino may be in order.  Along with replacement of that plank disguised as a seat.  wink

Stampie PowerDork
6/16/19 3:50 p.m.

Was nice to see you again. You're one of the few to see the compound. Just remember the stuff behind the fence is secret still. 

Not sure if I should make this public knowledge but if you show up with a bottle of whiskey you always get a deal. 

maschinenbau SuperDork
6/16/19 5:10 p.m.

700 miles round trip, 90+ degrees, a 40 year old bike in a 47 year old truck, with no overdrive and no lockup converter. For the curious, I'm averaging 15.7 mpg running mid-60s with the AC blasting. It's fun to put miles on this rig.

maschinenbau SuperDork
6/16/19 8:46 p.m.

Made it home safely! Immediately took it for a few laps around the neighborhood. This is my first time really riding a motorcycle. I've been taught before on friends'dirt bikes, but not like this. I cannot express with words what that feeling was like. But there's work to do:

  • Front brake just doesn't work. Suspect lack of fluid.
  • Clutch is stiff and short, but works great.
  • Throttle is REALLY stiff, like can barely spin it at all, and made worse by the slipping grip.
  • Everything looks like it was simply spray painted black. It's not a bad look, but I think paint got into places it shouldn't have.
  • Starts right up like a champ. 
  • Mystery clothespin on the choke. Didn't really need choke to start.
  • All lights and signals work. Front has been converted to LED and rear brake/signal is a single low profile strip LED. I'd like to be more visible but works for now. 
  • Something leaked while unloading it but just that once, probably from the angle.
  • Audible leaks around the carb to plenum boots. Probably others.
  • I've made a huge awesome mistake and don't regret a thing.
  • Signing up for MSF course ASAP and going to buy gear.

maschinenbau SuperDork
6/16/19 9:16 p.m.

Another note: I now own 5 carburetors and this is my first Honda product.

AngryCorvair MegaDork
6/16/19 10:35 p.m.

El Camino = just enough truck for a lot of things.  Congrats on a weekend well spent.

ae86andkp61 Dork
6/17/19 12:37 a.m.

Awesome! Nothing in the world compares to the feeling of that first ride! Good call on the MSF and the gear. Keep your eyes peeled out on the road. Have fun tinkering with it and update the thread so we can follow along. laugh

barefootskater Dork
6/17/19 12:50 a.m.
maschinenbau said:

Another note: I now own 5 carburetors and this is my first Honda product.

Quoted because carbs and Honda, pretty much my favorite things right now. Bike looks sweet. Can’t wait to see what you do with it. 

Tralfaz Reader
6/17/19 8:48 a.m.

Looks like you got a good start on a clean/ cafe look. Though I'd go for some minimal front fender so as not to get a full bath when hitting a puddle.


My 650 is still in boxes....


Have fun!

maschinenbau SuperDork
6/17/19 10:36 a.m.

In reply to AngryCorvair :

It really is just enough truck for most things. I love it. According to the 1972 GM marketing department, I should be able to handle two motorcycles and look awesome doing it.

Image result for el camino motorcycles

Dusterbd13-michael MegaDork
6/17/19 10:48 a.m.

I have long said that an El Camino will do 99% of truck stuff that the average American needs a truck to do. The bike looks good and so does the El Camino

maschinenbau SuperDork
6/17/19 7:35 p.m.

I've wanted to do this for a long time. At least 8 years in fact. I've come dangerously close a few times but could never follow through. Not the right bike, not the right deal, not the right seller, etc etc. My wife (and most in my family) have certainly been pretty uncomfortable with the idea but I've always been so distracted with crazy car builds that the "itch" was affecting me less and less. But it's always been there.

Well things have changed recently. Project Datsaniti is winding down. I quit my job and moved back home. And it's not becoming any less of a secret, so might as well own it and start facing reality - my wife moved out last week and we're getting divorced. It's been a long time coming but it's still really hard to deal with. It's amicable, we're young, and kid-free, so it could be much worse. I've spent far too long trying to make someone else happy who I'll never make happy, and lost track of what's important to myself. I gave up a really promising career and move us back home in a naive effort to stop the inevitable. I'm not saying I now know what's important to me, but I do remember that itch I keep getting every year. While the timing is no coincidence, it is rather convenient that a nearby forum member and professional-grade enabler happened to be dumping the exact type of bike I've been lusting after for years. I'm not saying a motorcycle is going to make me or anyone else happy, but perhaps it can be the vehicle I take through this part of the journey that is life.

Or I'll fix it and flip it for even more to some hipster here in downtown Atlanta. 

With that out of the way, picture time. Full disclosure: do not let anything you see here compromise your opinion of dealing with Stampie. He literally just bought it, got the title, and flipped it to me. We both knew roughly the same amount about this bike, which was not a whole lot. But it's a cafe/brat CB that runs and drives and is not stolen, so I needed to have it. 

Brakes - one side good. 

One side not so good. No brake fluid. I think some tweaker got ahold of this bike and just started spraypainting instead of fixing the brake.

Spray paint everywhere. This reservoir is supposed to be that off-white plastic color. Instead it's empty.

With the grip slid off (which it does on its own) you can see the hammered throttle tube. New one on the way already, along with new grips to match the seat.

The throttle feels awful. Sometimes it won't rev past idle. Maybe these cables have something to do with it.

On the other end...what's this? 

The push cable was completely off its pulley, and actually causing the throttle to hang up. Skettttchhhhy. Did I really drive this last night?

The clutch isn't so bad, but this header burn certainly isn't helping

Oil's a bit low. Didn't register on the stick. 

Might be stock exhaust, but just part of it. 

Fork lock doesn't engage, but the key works. I might also just be doing it wrong.

Not terrible for $1,100. It does start right up, run, and drive. The stuff it needs isn't expensive. Just cables, brake fluid, and a brain.

BirgerBuilder Reader
6/17/19 8:19 p.m.

Having done some wrenching on the CB650, I'd say to replace that melted clutch cable, it will keep getting worse. 

I think you have to fiddle with the handlebars to get the fork lock to work, while turning the key all the way to the left. 

Clothes pin is there because the choke return springs are too stiff and it will close itself before it's warm. 

Also, if yours starts right up without it, I'd say it's in good shape, (or the carbs are) Mine always took a ton of choke to get going. Mine will hopefully be fixed after the latest rebuild. 

Good luck! They are fun little bikes that love to rev!

maschinenbau SuperDork
6/17/19 9:18 p.m.

Thanks for the tips. I think someone rebuilt the carbs right before the next person spray painted everything. The same person did not do both. 

Got to the bottom of the throttle problem. The throttle tube pulls on one of these two cables, depending which way you're twisting it. The pull cable was fine, which pulls open the throttle. The push cable was out of it's groove and locked up, causing bind. But on the handlebar side, the push cable was moving freely...with nothing moving on the carb side. 

The cable was broken in the middle from rust, with one side rusted stuck and the other side free. I will go ahead and order all new cables.

Robbie UltimaDork
6/17/19 9:39 p.m.

Damn dude. Sorry to hear that. Also very happy about your new beginning. You deserve it. I'll buy you a beer in Gainesville.

Edit, I also remember my first bike powered by not my own legs. 1974 (or something) Yamaha xs500. It was brown, and awesome. Somewhat of a rare bird apparently, but it was sweet. Had I known then what I know now, it might have actually run right, too. The first night I got it running I took it for a run around the block. I'd never done a motorcycle before, and on my first night I did a wheelie! Apparently that's what happens when you let the clutch out a bit too fast and the bike jumps forward, and then you pull back on both bars to pull yourself forward on the seat, but pulling on the bars pulls in the clutch and adds throttle, which makes the bike slow down while the engine screams, which scares you, so you dump the clutch.

Yeah, how I didn't fall I'll never know.

grover HalfDork
6/17/19 9:45 p.m.

Suggest meeting my buddy Jared who own Brother Moto in the ATL. Seems to be some good folks there with good knowledge. 

jfryjfry Dork
6/18/19 2:21 a.m.

Check our motorcyclegear.com for good prices on stuff.     Not a canoe I promise.   I bought a new joe rocket helmet for $275 and it came with a $250 gift certificate to the site.  

Also bought a $500 leather jacket for $99. And another for basically the same to replace the first one after 12 years.  


Im dismayed at the inabilities of the spray painter.  They just blasted everything!

maschinenbau SuperDork
6/18/19 7:32 a.m.

Thanks everyone.

I forgot to mention I also got the front brake working. The reservoir was full of rusty water. I haven't driven it again yet, but the brake handle now has good pressure and stops the bike from rolling. The spray painted rotor surface tells me the front brake has been inop for a while...I might want to check the rear shoes.

sleepyhead the buffalo
sleepyhead the buffalo Mod Squad
6/18/19 8:15 a.m.

Is it just me, or are those front wheel “spokes”/wheelcenters cracked?

Good luck with the other thing too.  Sounds like you’re on the right path... keep walking it a while.

captainawesome Reader
6/18/19 8:55 a.m.

Personally I would get a new master cylinder, brake line, pads, and clean out the caliper. Standard EBC are decent and relatively cheap. You don't want the front brake not working properly, period. Most of the stuff on these bikes are stone simple compared to the stuff you've done, so I'm certain you'll get it sorted properly.

Also, get some decent tires, but not based upon looks, and make sure they are PROPERLY sized for the rim width. Even the nice ones are pretty inexpensive and simple to change in your garage with a 5 gallon empty bucket, windex, and a couple tire levers. Avon Roadriders are my go to, but there are others out there. I've watched a lot of guys build bikes that work worse than stock just for looks, hope that's not a direction you are headed as they often sell them since they just don't really function like a bike should.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ UberDork
6/18/19 9:00 a.m.
sleepyhead the buffalo said:

Is it just me, or are those front wheel “spokes”/wheelcenters cracked?

They're actually multi piece Comstar wheels which are pretty cool if you ask me.  Should look good if you sand the black paint off of all the high spots and rivet heads... which you should totally do while you have them off to swap on some new tires and replace that brake rotor.  Hopefully parts for that bike are pretty cheap.

If the carbs don't need work you're extremely lucky- I actually made a "no bikes with 4 carbs" rule for myself a while ago, although I currently own bikes with 1, 2, and 3 carbs respectively so I'm not sure I've improved my situation.

maschinenbau SuperDork
6/18/19 9:24 a.m.

I'll check the size and age, but the tires appear to be pretty fresh Bridgestone Spitfire S11. No idea if that's good or not, but research is telling me they aren't terrible.

I agree with the wheel treatment. And parts seem extremely cheap for this bike or I'm just used to car part prices.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ UberDork
6/18/19 9:32 a.m.

In reply to maschinenbau :

If the tires are hard or cracking I'd still swap them out for fresh ones- the bike looks like it lived outside for a while so I'd assume they're suspect.  But if they're still nice and sticky and structurally sound go for it!

Bike parts are pretty cheap unless you're working on something super weird.  They're also cheap to insure, easy to store, easy to work on, fuel efficient, and fast.  Actually, other than the "falls over by itself" thing and the "no protection whatsoever" thing motorcycles are better than cars in most ways.

Stampie PowerDork
6/18/19 9:47 a.m.

Well that’s worse than I expected but seems like you’ve got a quick handle on things. You are right about the plus side of motorcycles but remember what I told you about other drivers. 

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