74 CL450 Resurrection
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  1. #1
    Senior Member 74shovel's Avatar
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    74 CL450 Resurrection

    I made a deal on a 1974 CL450 today and will be picking it up tomorrow afternoon. Itís titled, 99.9% complete (including original key) and has less than 900 miles on the odometer for $200. Itís far from perfect though. It was last licensed in 1981 and has been sitting uncovered outdoors ever since the original owner ďbroke a sparkplugĒ while working on it. The engine is seized but the transmission works. The front brake cable appears to be frozen (the plastic jackets on the other cables are rotted away). The seat cover is shot, but I might be able to salvage the foam. The upper muffler heat shield is missing. The tank and side cover paint is horribly faded, but donít show any obvious rust or dents, and the headlight bucket has a couple good cracks in it.

    The owners story is the bike belonged to her father who never used it much. As I mentioned before, he was working on it when he broke a spark plug, then never bothered to fix it. At some point the bike was moved outdoors and left uncovered until recently. It looks like someone stuffed a stick with green electrical tape wrapped around it into the right side sparkplug hole to keep the elements out of the cylinder. Since itís seized I donít think it did much good. Iíll know more when I get it home and can give it a more complete going over.

    I picked up a can of PB Blaster on my way home and started bidding on a Clymer manual on e-bay. As long as the engine is not completely ruined, I plan to get it running, clean it up, repaint the tank and side covers and use it to explore the back county roads here in Washington. This is not my first bike project, but it is the first time Iíve taken a chance on one that was seized. This past summer I sold my wifeís í92 Virago and my í78 Shovelhead Harley to pay off bills and have been without a bike ever since. I had planned to use part of the proceeds from the sale of my Harley to buy a KLR, but those plans dissolved when I was laid off two-weeks later. The CL450 should keep me out of trouble for the winter and with any luck I should be back on two wheels in the spring.

    Iíll do my best to post a couple photos when I get it home tomorrow.
    "It's called a kick start. It's how real men start their motorcycles."

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  3. #3
    Supporting Member fxray's Avatar
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    Re: 74 CL450 Resurrection

    Welcome, 74shovel. There are a lot of knowledgeable 450 people on here. I like your username -- sort of a crossover from the old shovel to the old 450. I've also got a 450, but it is a 1970 K3. It's waiting in line right now while I work on another brand. I'll be interested in following your project as you go along.
    It's hard to have too many motorcycles, but easy to have too many batteries and tires.

    1971 CL350K3 Alternate daily rider
    1964 Triumph TR6/R Alternate daily rider
    1974 BMW R90/6 Alternate daily rider
    1992 HD FXRS Alternate daily rider
    1975 Yamaha RD250 Next project
    1970 CB450K3 Project waiting in line

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  5. #4
    Senior Member 74shovel's Avatar
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    Re: 74 CL450 Resurrection

    I managed to get the poor old girl home this evening. It's hard unloading a motorcycle with no brakes by yourself! As much as I would like to I haven't taken a wrench to her yet, I had a few other responsibilities to deal with this evening. I took a few shots of bike, which I will try to post, and looked it over a little better. I discovered a couple more pieces missing, but nothing major (the ignition switch, front heat shield, and left passenger peg). There is a very minor dent on the right side of the tank (you can't even see it in the photos) but a little filler will take care of that when it's repainted.

    fxray, my user name is actually an odd coincidence. The 74 actually refers to the cubic inches of my former Shovelhead. I'm going to miss that bike, but it just wasn't what I wanted in a motorcycle anymore.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 74 CL450 Resurrection-before-1.jpg 74 CL450 Resurrection-before-engine.jpg 74 CL450 Resurrection-plug-hole-1.jpg 74 CL450 Resurrection-guages.jpg
    "It's called a kick start. It's how real men start their motorcycles."

  6. #5
    Senior Member JamesPal's Avatar
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    Re: 74 CL450 Resurrection

    '74Shovel, welcome to the site. There are a lot of 450 heads here. You will get all the help you need. I'm in Washington. I have a CB450K5 with a stuck K7 engine. It is inline after my '81 GL is done. Keep us posted.
    Jim Palmer
    '85 GL1200I (Garage Find)
    '81 GL1100 STD (Project)
    CB450 K5 Done
    http://www.hondatwins.net/forums/1-p...s-cb450k5.html
    "If everything seems under control you are not going fast enough" Mario Andretti...

  7. #6
    Supporting Member otr002's Avatar
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    Re: 74 CL450 Resurrection

    Just a note on the passenger peg, the CL left peg is unique to the CL's, as the mounting bracket is longer to move he peg out to clear the exhaust. The CB one will fit, but your passenger won't enjoy the ride as much

    Oh...and welcome to the fold, from downunder
    Rod from OZ

    If you can't fix it with a hammer, it's an electrical problem!!
    CB450 K2 (general export)
    CB450 K2 Cafe (finished)
    CB450 K2 Cafe (being built)
    CL450 K2
    CL450 K3
    Honda CBR1000F
    Yamaha XJ650
    Yamaha MX80
    Yamaha TRX850
    XT600

  8. #7
    Senior Member 74shovel's Avatar
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    Re: 74 CL450 Resurrection

    otr002 thanks for letting me know about the peg. It's a low priority item right now, but there's nothing worse than discovering the part you spent a week bidding on on e-bay and another week for shipping isn't what you thought it was.

    Does anyone know if new tank decals are available for this bike? If not I'll have to find someone who can replicate it with paint.
    "It's called a kick start. It's how real men start their motorcycles."

  9. #8
    Supporting Member otr002's Avatar
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    Re: 74 CL450 Resurrection

    Quote Originally Posted by 74shovel
    otr002 thanks for letting me know about the peg. It's a low priority item right now, but there's nothing worse than discovering the part you spent a week bidding on on e-bay and another week for shipping isn't what you thought it was.

    Does anyone know if new tank decals are available for this bike? If not I'll have to find someone who can replicate it with paint.
    They were originally painted on so any "decals" will be copied from a tank and may differ slightly. I am a sucker for well applied painted stripes etc and usually find that the cost is similar if you are getting some to do the repainting for you.

    Have fun
    Rod from OZ

    If you can't fix it with a hammer, it's an electrical problem!!
    CB450 K2 (general export)
    CB450 K2 Cafe (finished)
    CB450 K2 Cafe (being built)
    CL450 K2
    CL450 K3
    Honda CBR1000F
    Yamaha XJ650
    Yamaha MX80
    Yamaha TRX850
    XT600

  10. #9
    Senior Member 74shovel's Avatar
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    Re: 74 CL450 Resurrection

    I finally got a little free time and decided to find out what was under the wad of junk stuffed in the left spark plug hole. Well the story I was told is true, the previous owner had indeed broken a spark plug off in the head. Somehow they managed to snap the spark plug off at the threads, flush with the hole. I've never seen anything like that before. I can't imagine the torque that must have been applied to break a plug like that, and why the threads in the head didn't strip out first is beyond me.

    Finally, I have no idea why the previous owner didn't go get a set of screw/bolt extractors for $10 and remove the remains of the spark plug so it could be replaced. There's a perfect hole right down the middle where the insulator used to go. Tap in the extractor, remove broken plug, install new plug, go for a ride. It's just sad.

    I sprayed some PB Blaster on it and covered the hole with a shop rag for the night. I'll see if I can remove it in the morning.

    I also noticed the upper muffler is rusted out just past the mounting flange and will need to be replaced.
    "It's called a kick start. It's how real men start their motorcycles."

  11. #10

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