CB450 - Project or not?
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  1. #1
    Senior Member FrisianWheel's Avatar
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    CB450 - Project or not?

    I'm not sure if this will become a real project in the sense that there will be an actual outcome in form of a beautiful old Honda, but after a couple of months in my garage I have to recognize that it has actually become already something like a project. I'm writing about a rather corroded and neglected '72 CB450 which I bought in November last year. Although having already a '72 450 and a 500T my finger just couldnt resist pressing the 'buy now' button on eBay after finding out this bike isn't too far away and for peanuts.
    I love my two old Hondas but since I’ve bought them just a couple of years back and never had much trouble with them, I always had this desire to learn more about the engine and all the small bits you don't tear apart just for fun. So this seemed to be the perfect deal for me.

    CB450 - Project or not?-img_6609.jpgCB450 - Project or not?-img_5757.jpgCB450 - Project or not?-img_5753.jpgCB450 - Project or not?-img_5773.jpg


    I knew what I was getting into and yes: There have been some flaws and bad surprises (and will be), but they have been well reflected in the price of 85$ only. On a normal bike the major flaws would be: no title, sitting outside for months or years without spark plugs (yes both, please see the detail picture), two broken fins on the cylinder head, a damaged crank and bearing, a cracked triple tree and some parts missing like tank, side covers etc... But nevertheless; over the months this bike managed to take control of my consciousness as well as my wallet. I never knew how much fun this is. To make it short. This is how the bike looks today. Yes, it's a K7 tank but I bought it afterwards.

    CB450 - Project or not?-img_7550.jpg

    As anyone can imagine the engine was super-seized and filthy and it took me a whole week to get the pistons out. The fiddliest part was to cut countless pieces of hardwood to put between the cylinder and upper crankcase when hammering softly. Every time I made some progress I had to cut some new pieces. I’ve read a lot about mystery oil etc., but with this kind of freeze you’ve got to apply some force (and lots of heat of course).
    Anyway, the engine is apart and I’m pretty happy with the outcome. The only downer was an outer crank bearing race with some deep rust stains and rust pits on the counterpart surface on the crank. But again my finger took control of the situation and pressed ‚buy now‘ an eBay again before I could really make up my mind. So I guess that’s solved…

    CB450 - Project or not?-img_7099.jpgCB450 - Project or not?-img_7131.jpgCB450 - Project or not?-img_7317.jpgCB450 - Project or not?-img_7251.jpg

    Some other parts like battery and tool box, pegs, chain guard etc. are already cleaned and primed and my plan for now is to prepare everything and put it in boxes. However, it doesn’t prevent me or my finger to continouusly order new bits and pieces 'cause I just can’t put unfinished subassemblies in the box. Stupid? I know, but I’m at least aware of it…

    But anyway, not really knowing the actual outcome of this 'project’ turns out to be the main question. It is certainly not a full restoration without a title. But what is it then..? Maybe a spare parts deluxe project? I will find out…
    Another important factor in my planning is that I will have to move abroad this summer. There is no question about leaving a bike behind but I don’t know if I will have a garage. Well, I have some months left to get my wife used to the idea of having a bike in the new house or apartment For now I'm planning to restore at least the engine since I've got two other bikes that could take advantage of it one faraway day. This week I will measure the cylinders and valves to see what else is required...
    danno, Brookesy and markjs like this.
    Gunnar

    1972 CB450 K5
    1975 CB500T
    1972 CB450 K5 - in progress

  2. #2
    Senior Member ancientdad's Avatar
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    Nice orange water in the top end... the price was right, despite no title, but it certainly has a long way to go. hopefully you can find a used crank somewhere. Can't blame you for taking it on, get another one on the road!
    Tom

    Ride along at the drag strip - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=20jFPazXlvU



    running points... because I'm too old for mysteries that begin with pushing

  3. #3
    Senior Member JamesPal's Avatar
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    Dang, this is a real project! I think you have the skills and experience to know what you are doing. Keep going, it is worth it.
    Jim Palmer
    '85 GL1200I (Garage Find)
    '81 GL1100 STD (Project)
    CB450 K5 Done
    https://www.hondatwins.net/forums/1-...s-cb450k5.html
    What I learned from Restoring a CB450 K5
    Watch Mike and Jim Take on Mt Erie Washington State
    "If everything seems under control you are not going fast enough" Mario Andretti...

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  5. #4
    Senior Member FrisianWheel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ancientdad View Post
    Nice orange water in the top end... the price was right, despite no title, but it certainly has a long way to go. hopefully you can find a used crank somewhere. Can't blame you for taking it on, get another one on the road!
    I'm waiting already for a used crank I found on eBay. Hope it's ok and works out well... No doubt, this thing has a long way to go. First of all: the work itself; and secondly a move to the Azerbaijan this year. But I'm confident; I've got a patient nature...
    I've read your thread half way but will definitely read all soon. Man, that is such an inspiring project and great bike!
    Gunnar

    1972 CB450 K5
    1975 CB500T
    1972 CB450 K5 - in progress

  6. #5
    Senior Member FrisianWheel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JamesPal View Post
    Dang, this is a real project! I think you have the skills and experience to know what you are doing. Keep going, it is worth it.
    Thanks Jim! You know what it takes. I'll see how far I will or can go with this but I've got a bad feeling for my wallet.
    Gunnar

    1972 CB450 K5
    1975 CB500T
    1972 CB450 K5 - in progress

  7. #6
    Senior Member ancientdad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FrisianWheel View Post
    ...a move to the Azerbaijan this year
    Wow - that's quite a scenery change... have anything to do with the fact that you're currently in DC?

    Quote Originally Posted by FrisianWheel View Post
    Man, that is such an inspiring project and great bike!
    Thanks very much. It was, and still is, a lot of work but I'm happy with how it turned out and it's (hopefully) on its way to being better after the recent re-build (oh wait, maybe you hadn't gotten that far in the thread yet... ) and to reference your reply to Jim - my wallet already feels bad!
    Tom

    Ride along at the drag strip - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=20jFPazXlvU



    running points... because I'm too old for mysteries that begin with pushing

  8. #7
    Senior Member FrisianWheel's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=ancientdad;916178]Wow - that's quite a scenery change... have anything to do with the fact that you're currently in DC?

    It has! My wife will be re-posted to Baku cause she‘s a diplomat; but we‘re both German.
    My bikes are probably not the perfect choice for that region but real love (in this case to two-wheelers) leads to irrational decisions. Haha..
    Gunnar

    1972 CB450 K5
    1975 CB500T
    1972 CB450 K5 - in progress

  9. #8
    Senior Member BrianHull's Avatar
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    That's ****ed up

  10. #9
    Senior Member FrisianWheel's Avatar
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    As I said already: I knew what I got and I was prepared. Seized engine - ok... damaged crank - no problem... but WTF made this happen...? Someone must have hated this bike a lot... There's a hint for those of you who can't recognize the pictured part
    Ok, there was a quite an amount of debris in the engine and a small metal piece in the case but this really makes me wonder. Especially since the cam chain didn't look too bad. Has anyone seen anything similar?

    CB450 - Project or not?-img_7748.jpgCB450 - Project or not?-img_7749.jpgCB450 - Project or not?-img_7751-kopie.jpgCB450 - Project or not?-bildschirmfoto-2018-03-28-um-21.43.17-kopie.jpg

    More and more often I'm having this Kennedy moonlanding quote in mind and think to myself: "I'm not re-building this motorcycle because it it easy; I'm doing it because it is hard." Haha..
    Gunnar

    1972 CB450 K5
    1975 CB500T
    1972 CB450 K5 - in progress

  11. #10
    Senior Member FrisianWheel's Avatar
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    Also working on sanding the tank down which is a shame 'cause I kinda like the old patina, but has to be done. You also see the full glory of the fantastic original metal flake colour under running water what makes it even harder to remove it...

    CB450 - Project or not?-img_7714.jpgCB450 - Project or not?-img_7726.jpg
    Gunnar

    1972 CB450 K5
    1975 CB500T
    1972 CB450 K5 - in progress

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