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Honda GB400 '85 clean up - newb style

Discussion in 'Modifications and Projects' started by slygrog, Mar 31, 2013.

  1. Hey guys,

    So I saw a GB going cheap on eBay at 3AM and I bought it, no inspection, aware it was sort of bollocks, and not particularly bothered by any of it. I know.

    I rode said GB home this afternoon and have never had so much fun on a bike. This thing is meant for mischief!

    Anyway, it's running, but the lady who had it before me sort of just left it outside near the sea. There's surface rust, I think it's been a long time since it was ridden regularly (she hadn't turned it on for like 3 months) and while it rides like a dream there is something going on because it is dripping oil now that I've parked it at home.

    I'm gonna see if I can sort it out and get it back to some level of former glory, because honestly, this little thing had some character!

    Here are some photos (these are from the ad, will get better ones when I get a second).



  2. #2 slygrog, Mar 31, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 31, 2013
    Some of you would know by now that I am totally retardo when it comes to basic mechanical sensibilities, but it doesn't get much simpler than a classic thumper, right?

    Eventually I will take it to a mechanic, but I want to try it all out myself first. Trust me, this is a hilarious idea - I haven't even figured out where the dipstick is yet.

    So. Anyway. I've gotta figure out what is causing it to piss oil. While I track down a manual, anyone know what's in this vicinity and makes oil drip on the ground (purple circle is where the oil seems to originate, arrow is where it seems to gather on the bike)?


  3. so i wanted to test the vinegar rust removal method and i used the mirrors. it lifted the rust right off! then it was just a matter of rubbing them with a little autosol and they're back to being shiny.

    headlight next!
  4. Awesome project. I love those little things, they seems like a great little weekend cruiser or a commuter.

    Totally unfamiliar with that engine, but could that leak be coming from the kick starter seal?
  5. I think that is precisely what it's gonna be. Definitely not a road-scorcher but for what I use my bike for, it's perfect. And just so goddam fun!

    The oil leak came from a LOOSE WASHER. Also, there was a rattling noise which I was scared was something serious, but it was a vibrating component outside the engine, so nothing catastrophic. Looks like the engine is beautifullllllllllllll and everything is gonna be fine.

    Found someone to upholster the seat for $160. Mechanic (servicing being done by Riders Highway - very awesome, check them out) is gonna talk to his seat guy to see what his price is.

    A few things for me to do once it's back: get the rust off the triple tree/spokes/exhaust/headlight and get some quotes for the sandblast/powder coating.

    I'll let you know how it goes when I get it back from the shop. Awesome.
  6. Naww it's got a kick start ! cute lil thing...i love early 90's/80's bikes....glad to see your bringing this ol' thing back to life (y)
  7. i hate cafe racers normally but damn these things look nice tarted up
    some light reading from a site i found looking for the manual (Hey ! when your bored...your bored.)
  8. Quick one!

    Got the bike back, cannot explain just how awesome it is to fang around on.

    So, after my de-rusting test run with vinegar on the (shitty, soon-to-be-replaced) rear view mirrors, I popped some more bits off and de-rusted them last night/today with a vinegar soak. Hopefully there are no unexpected, knock-on effects.

    (IE I had the bolts at the top of the forks off, for example, and I don't know if that messes things up. Whatever, I'll figure it out soon.)

    Success! Check the photo. I don't know if you could see how rusty these things were before, but it was sorta gross.

    The white paste is a bicarb/vinegar paste, something new I'm trying for rust removal. Test batch is on the headlight and some other stuff, will see how effective it is. It'd be great not to have to remove everything I wanna clean up. :D

    Attached Files:

  9. i saw that bike when i obsessively read the internet about the gb. soooo pretty.
  10. OH came across my first rusty screw yesterday. clever me thought, "better not strip it out" and then stripped it out. genius.
  11. A soft, but strong tap on the back of the screw driver before trying to turn the screw can help, as well as pushing into the screw while turning. If you want to spend money on stuck screws and bolts, spray everything with wd40 or another penetrating oil a few days before you touch them.

    As well, there's freeze sprays that can shrink a bolt and make it easy to remove. Removed a snapped engine stud with a pair of pliers after using that stuff.

    Looks like you picked up a very nice deal, even with the rust.
  12. LOL. so its you thats been sneaking into my garage and messing up all my screws??
  13. Anyone got sandblast/powdercoat recommendations for Sydney area?
  14. /anyone used Mr Kleen in Padstow?
  15. #15 Kernel, Apr 29, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2013
    Not really sure about your last two questions, but here's a suggestion:
    For cleaning the plastics, use Gumption. You can get it from Woolworths or online: http://www2.woolworthsonline.com.au/Shop/ProductDetails?Stockcode=31783
    Apply it using a grout or tile cleaning brush that you can get from the cleaning section in Bunnings. The scrubbing action along with the Gumption will really get the ingrained dirt out of the plastics.
    Clean the gumption off, allow it to try. You'll probably get a lot of white spots after the first drying, keep wiping the white spots off. Your plastics will come up fantastic.

    Edit: I take back what I said about the Gumption online... they want $13 for delivery, lol. But yeah, Woolworths.
  16. Awesome, will try it. I've just been using the Mother(s?) black stuff.

    Also got my seat re-upholstered and it looks awesome. Photos gotta come soon. Rode the GB into work for the first time today, what a sweet little thing!
  17. Which service provider did you use for the seat upholstery?
  18. Nice, that could be my bike's dad...
  19. @Kernel pretty sure it was vcm cycle seats. i contacted those guys directly but then the awesome dudes at riders highway (my mechanics) in tempe organised it for me.

    @Mcsenna yeah, pretty similar. great taste, obviously. :D
  20. Did you try the gumption on those plastics? I trust they came up a treat?