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CB200 Cafe project

Discussion in 'Modifications and Projects' started by scott.v, May 10, 2008.

  1. Hi all. I posted a picture in my intro but I thought I should start a new thread. Plus, I've got a nasty cold and I don't feel like doing any work :(

    I'm trying not to fully restore it but just tidy it up and get it roadworthy, and I'm determined not to get anything re-chromed. Work is progressing slowly so I'll post pics as I go.

    Most of these pictures are front end stuff. This is where I started. I've cleaned drum/hub and rim and Dad helped me mount a new tyre. Has anyone heard anything about the Bridgestone RS10? One of the fork tubes was really deeply pitted just above the seal area so I won a pair on Ebay for USD1.27(plus USD55 shipping!) which I rebuilt and polished up. I found some cheap clipons at a swap meet but in the wrong size so I made up a couple of split bushes to adapt them to my 31mm tubes. I've cleaned up the switch gear and gauges as well. So now all I'm waiting on is headstem bearings before I can put the front end back together. Apparently Honda changed the size in '74 and the early ones are hard to get. They're 48.5mm OD!?!?!? I think I've got a lead on some though.

    I've decided not to run with the fork gaiters so I modified a couple of the trim rings for the top of the fork leg. I'm really chuffed how they turned out, I parted the top off in the lathe and panel beated the top over a socket I held in the vise. I've included a picture of my modified ones next to an original.

    I guess that's about it for now.
    Cheers, Scott



  2. Nice start mate.Learnt to ride on a cb250 of the same vintage[along with most of my generation].
    Here's a couple of links for some ideas
    Might not have the fastest bike on the street but it just might be the coolest.
    Looking forward to progress pics.
  3. Too right; besides, better to be known as a slower rider than remembered as a fast one! (as says somebody's tag.) Great work Scott! There's nothing so fun as getting as older bike and making your own project out of it, and it sounds like you're pretty handy with things! It really broadens the whole motorcycling experience when you do this stuff yourself. Look forward to seeing the final product - love to see you on the road when it's going!

  4. Thanks guys. Yeah I'm not too worried about outright speed, this will be a commuter and something to buzz around on. I'm having fun and learning heaps just building it. Can't wait to take it for a ride though. I'm in no rush but I had an idea that if it's ready(and I'm ready!) I'll ride it to the GP in October with a couple of mates.

    Thanks for the links Glenn. I'd actually been to both of them before I got the bike but forgot about them. I'm a member on caferacer.net as well.

  5. Looks like it should be an interesting project, and always good to see an old bike saved from scrap :cool:.
    Looking forward to seeing how it all works out, already thinking about a cheap, small capacity bike for a cafe racer project myself (have the Kat for touring, need something else for cheap commuting).
  6. Nice little bike.

    I've always had a soft spot for the little (sub 200 cc) Honda twins, which have always been vastly better (or at least more honest) bikes than some of their larger offerings.

    The CB200 won't set the world on fire, but a good one should see a genuine 130 with a not too fat rider, and be robust enough to be caned for hours at a time with the throttle against the stop. keep the oil clean and don't be afraid to thrash it.

    Years ago, I regularly rode with a bloke who had the (later, softer tune and inferior quality) CD200. It was astonishing what he could keep up with. It sounded evil too as he'd ditched most of the exhaust in favour of little VW turnouts on the ends of the downpipes.

    His mate was even madder and rode the grottiest Yam YB100 I've ever seen at speeds which suggested that he'd taken a big file to the ports. Remarkably it didn't blow up much, in spite of being revved to somewhere between 10,000 and disaster during frantic overtaking manouvres :shock: .
  7. One word...SR250!

    Scott, that bike will do Phillip Island easily (well, easily might not be the best word; nobley? with grit?). I used to own an SR185 and rode that into the Yarra Ranges every weekend (I weighed about 90kg at the time). My partner then owned it and did such things as the Great Ocean Road, and it never missed a beat. These bikes can go anywhere a big bike can go, as long as comfort is not a priority. One thing I should add: they won't get you out of trouble quickly in the way a bigger bike can, so ride sensibly or you'll get squashed! Keep us updated.

  8. Yep that's certainly on the list, although also considering a 250 Bandit simply because I could use bits off what's left of my 250 Kat.
  9. I'm a little worried I'm building a torture rack but I won't really know till I'm done. Phillip Island might be done as half a dozen short legs! That is, if it's ready. I'll need some time to practise before the big trip because I'm a complete newbie rider.

    I haven't done much on the bike. The headstem bearings were a bit of a hurdle, I couldn't find any so Dad and I re-ground the original angular contact races and I bought $8 worth of loose 1/4" balls. Work is sending me to Fiji for a bit so it'll be a while before I have anything more done.

    jd, aren't bandits worth a bit of money? What about something like this for a fraction of the cost? http://cgi.ebay.com.au/HONDA-CB-250...yZ102690QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

    Cheers, Scott
  10. The SR250 is a top little bike.

    I remember riding behind a bloke on one once. He could ride pretty well, and wrung it's throttle... but it really hauled arse for it's capacity. Had little ace bars too - looked awesome.
  11. So it's been a few weeks and work is progressing slowly. I took the rear end out cleaned it all up. This is what I've done since last post:

    -Painted swingarm and centre stand,
    -Cleaned and re-greased the swingarm bushes
    -New sprocket and o-ring chain (only 50 bucks!)
    -Polished up the rear drum and rim and fitted a new tyre (Bridgestone RS10)
    -Bent up some muffler brackets and fitted mufflers

    Out of curiosity I removed the 3 screws out of the end of each muffler and the whole baffle came out in my hand, leaving an open megaphone. For track use only of course :wink:

    I'm waiting on some indicators then I can put the headlight back together and it should start to look like something again. Photo is with seat sitting in position for a mock up. I think it looks a little high but it can't go any lower. Next will be a frame for the seat and some engine stuff like replacing kick start shaft and fixing starter sprag clutch(has electric and kick-start). Looking at the photo I think the gauges are sitting up a little high so I might see about lowering them a bit.

    Cheers, Scott

  12. Keep it up Scott, love these older bikes being rescued. Should be cool all you need is some goggles and engineer boots to cap it all off! :cool:
  13. Clock height is a matter of taste. Go and have a look at a few pictures of BSA Gold Stars in Clubman trim.
  14. I quite like the position of the gauges actually!
  15. Gauges are only an unnecessary luxury ;).

  16. I know of a SPADA going cheap if you're at all interested in something that recent to work on :p

    The SR250 certainly have a style that was all there own. If money was no object i think i'd have a garage overflowing with bikes.
  17. Hmm, how cheap is cheap?

    Saw an SR250 for sale recently for only 800 bucks, but they seem to be a little bit too cruiser-like in their styling to make for an easy cafe racer conversion. Works a lot better with something like a CB200 where the seat and tank are the same height.
  18. PM for you jd.
  19. I thought that too, but MattB, who used to have a little 250 said the subframe is the same on both models, so the chopper bit, it seems, is a bit of an illusion!
  20. Hmm okay, might just be the shape of the tank creating the impression.
    Still the 250 just doesn't seem to scream "cafe racer me" like the 500 does.