CB500T Front Forks & Drum Brake Conversion
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Thread: CB500T Front Forks & Drum Brake Conversion

  1. #1
    Senior Member KnucleBusting360's Avatar
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    CB500T Front Forks & Drum Brake Conversion

    Hello All,

    I recently picked up a '75 CB500T and am rebuilding it ... as part of the build "vision", I would like to convert the front brake to a drum from the existing disc (I know, I know, that's crazy, why would anyone do that ... I just like the look of the drum brake front end better than the disc ... purely aesthetic) ... anyway, I have been researching my options and want to bounce this off the collective group ...

    I think that I should be able to take a front end from a '72 or '73 CB450 (or possibly a CB360 /350 of the same vintage) as I believe they all use a 15mm front axle. What I am not sure of though, is what happens to the fork lowers? My current lowers are set up for a disc brake assembly ... I assume that I would also need the lowers or full front fork assembly from the donor bike in order to have the right mounts for the drum brake mechanism ... is this the case? Also, please excuse me if I haven't described this clearly enough ...

    As always, I appreciate your help ... Thanks Bill

    CB500T Front Forks & Drum Brake Conversion-cb350-front-end.jpg

  2. #2
    Sensei 66Sprint's Avatar
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    Nope, it is WAY easier than that...... Simply bolt in the later CL 450 drum wheel (The 500 t forks are the same width as the later CL 450's, so the spacers/drum speedo drive even fit) and the torque stay strap goes from the 8 mm bolt hole on the 500T slider (which used to hold the caliper pivot pin) to the 8 mm bolt hole on the drum's brakeplate...... Done deal.......
    This of course gives you a 19" front wheel.... You CAN use the early CB 450 wheel, but will have to add a spacer (washer) to both sides..... Same with the MUCH smaller diameter 350/360 drum wheel......
    Last edited by 66Sprint; 04-09-2019 at 04:31 PM.
    "I have a mind like a steel trap.....Old and rusty, of antiquated design, and hard to get stuff back out of...."
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  3. #3
    Senior Member KnucleBusting360's Avatar
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    Hey Steve ... nice to hear from you again! ... I sent you a PM a few weeks ago ... you helped me out a LOT on a CB360 build I did a few years ago ... glad to see you're still out here! Thanks for the info, I appreciate it! ... Bill (from Chicago)

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    Senior Member 76TWIN's Avatar
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    Why would you want to convert a disc to a drum brake anyway? That's going backwards performance wise.
    '76 CB500T Frankenbike
    '73 CL450 (basket case for now)


    Carpe narem.

  6. #5
    Senior Member ancientdad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 76TWIN View Post
    Why would you want to convert a disc to a drum brake anyway? That's going backwards performance wise.
    I know you saw the picture in his first post... along with "purely aesthetic". Hey, I have a drum front brake and it stops pretty damn good - but I'm not riding in traffic every day either
    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

  7. #6
    Sensei 66Sprint's Avatar
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    JMHO, but a properly set-up, large diameter, DLS drum brake works about as well and often better than the early Honda single piston/stainless disc set-ups......
    I also prefer the "feel" of a drum to a disc as well as the retro aesthetics.......
    83XLX likes this.
    "I have a mind like a steel trap.....Old and rusty, of antiquated design, and hard to get stuff back out of...."
    Contact info: E-mail; [email protected] Phone; 540-525-5199

  8. #7
    Senior Member KnucleBusting360's Avatar
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    This is a "kick around the neighborhood bike" ... not planning on riding it anywhere that I would need disc stopping power ... I don't disagree on the performance comment ... just a personal preference ... also, if anyone is sitting on an old drum brake for a front wheel, ping me and I'll pay you for it! ... Thanks Bill

  9. #8
    Senior Member KnucleBusting360's Avatar
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    Hey all ... quick update, I just picked up a front wheel from a '72 (?) CL350 with a drum brake ... I believe the axle is 15mm ... got it for $50, hoping i can use this ... Bill
    CB500T Front Forks & Drum Brake Conversion-cl360-scrambler-front-wheel.jpg
    CB500T Front Forks & Drum Brake Conversion-cl360-scrambler-front-wheel-2.jpg

  10. #9
    Sensei 66Sprint's Avatar
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    It can be fitted, but it WILL have less stopping power than the 450 sized drum......It's a 19", so it won't overtly effect rake or trail.....
    "I have a mind like a steel trap.....Old and rusty, of antiquated design, and hard to get stuff back out of...."
    Contact info: E-mail; [email protected] Phone; 540-525-5199

  11. #10
    Senior Member KnucleBusting360's Avatar
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    Thanks Steve!

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