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New to the forums (originally posted this in the wrong section). My son and I just picked up a 1966 CB450 outside of Buffalo, NY. Got if from the 2nd owner who had it sitting in a barn since '79. He purchased it from the first owner in '69 who bought it new. According to the 2nd owner, he never painted it and it was red when he bought it. Paint looks to be originally red and cannot find any signs of black. Is it a Red Dragon? Who knows. But we are 5 minutes from Canada where it seems these might have came from.

Here are some pictures. Front fork covers have been cut. Front fender is wrong. We are planning on cleaning it up, getting it running and then decide if we want to do a full restoration. Trying to keep it as original as possible in the meantime.

In the barn
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After starting to clean it up. Soda blasted the engine.
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Some close ups
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Certainly looks to be legit. Engine looks to have been completely apart, or at least all the screws have been changed to allens. Looks like the cam chain tensioner rod is sticking out of the back of the housing (unless it's an illusion) and if so, the chain has to be seriously loose at this point. Be cautious on the first start-up, I'd go over the cam chain adjustment, valves and timing and of course, an oil change before first start attempt. something else to know if you're new to DOHC 450s... it takes at least 1 to 2 full minutes to get oil to the cam bearings, cams and followers in this engine so keep the revs as low as possible for at least that long to avoid excess wear on the cam lobes and followers. The exhaust followers are more susceptible to wear due to the heat of the exhaust cam and the marginal lube as stock, and be sure to run a good oil for older engines (I add some zinc additive to the Brad Penn oil I run in mine)
 

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Cool pictures of a great find! Given your location you may very well have the real deal. The paint under the tank and inside the headlamp shell may also provide clues as to the paint’s originality.
All good advice from Ancientdad, he really knows his 450s. I would add that an easy modification to help the oil system is to fit a later 450 oil pump in place of the original. The piston size of the pump is larger on the later models so it simply pushes more oil through the system. It’s a direct bolt in, you just have to source a good used pump.
 

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In the UK these actually didn't sell very well. Probably too expensive for a 'little' 500? Anyhooo. Honda, in their wisdom, withdrew all the unsold stock, repainted them red and stuck clip-ons on the forks. Even so, they didn't set the market on fire! I bought mine in 1970, been sat on a revolving plinth for a good few years. Wondered why the dealer snatched my hand off, and my lovely CB250 too. Lets just say (sorry all you proud 450 owners) time had not doe it any favours. It came with the, by now, five year old Bridgestone tyres, oh, and the inevitable carb diaphram splittages. Handled like a drunken pig, vibrated, then dropped a valve (!!). Left it in a mates garage and walked away before it chucked me down the road, yet again!
 

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If the paintwork on your 450 is original then you do have an original Red Dragon.
Red was a colour option but very few were produced. Some red parts could be found in the parts manual.

I think yours is an early one as it is in a 1965 frame. Can you post the engine and frame numbers. I think it's unlikely but very early bombers had a 360 degree engine. Engine number will tell.

Unsold 1966 red bombers were sold out of Canada. Different frame. A really good picture of one is shown on an LP record cover with Maynard Ferguson sitting on one holding a trombone. This picture shows how the bike should look.

Google Honda cb450 Red Dragon for lots of information.

Until you have researched this keep everything original. Maybe only a handful of genuine original reds have been found. Very rare.
 

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LP title is "Riding High".
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Red Dragon: The bike is all red in the headlight shell, underside of the tank and no sign of a repaint. Serial number 1002207. That said it is a 1965-66 Honda 450 and I will need help. Questions: What is a good match for the side covers-the silver? Does anyone know the match for the red paint?
 

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Nice bike great find!
 

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...... oh, and the inevitable carb diaphram splittages. .....

??? - on a 450??
yeah, I wondered about that too... maybe he just assumes the 450 carbs are just like the 350. handles like a drunken pig...? vibrates? last time I checked, Brit bikes thrashed as much as any Japanese machine (well, except Norton after they went isolastic). He should tell us how he really feels :lol:
 

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yeah, I wondered about that too... maybe he just assumes the 450 carbs are just like the 350. handles like a drunken pig...? vibrates? last time I checked, Brit bikes thrashed as much as any Japanese machine (well, except Norton after they went isolastic). He should tell us how he really feels :lol:
Another expert who's never even seen a 450 carb........I think I might ask someone else to work on my 450.
 

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a christmas mircale! holy heck. nice. Twins gurus weigh in. this is in fact, a legit Red dragon? How many world wide exist? Someone reach out to rayfromtheuk
I recall he had insight on these. Bill lane; school us some more. :)

I withdraw my silly request for pics. good on you! enjoy. better hang on to it....
 

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a christmas mircale! holy heck. nice. Twins gurus weigh in. this is in fact, a legit Red dragon? How many world wide exist? Someone reach out to rayfromtheuk
I recall he had insight on these. Bill lane; school us some more. :)

I withdraw my silly request for pics. good on you! enjoy. better hang on to it....
I've never actually seen a Red Dragon, only heard about them, so I'm the wrong guy to ask.
I think they're very uncommon in the US, maybe more common as Euro/Export/Domestic.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Red Dragon: My son and I are in the process of cleaning it up and we had to decide what approach to take. We are going to get it running-may have to get new coils and condenser and make it all functional. Not a full restoration. The wiring has been repaired and all the lights and horn work. No turn signals. The request for the paint color for the red and the silver was to do touch-ups. The intent is to preserve it as found with a few corrections for some "chopping" in the 70's. We have all the correct tin-fenders, side covers and front fork covers, the bolts-screws were replaced with stainless in the 70's so we are looking for Honda type fasteners. thanks for the help-Jim
 

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Hi all. Just checked in to the forum, Christmas gets in the way of everything.
Anyway. Yes the 450 came with, probably, the first diaphram carbs on a production bike. Never saw anything like it until the CB250/350's came out. These early ones were notorious for splitting the diaphram, mine lasted a few thousand miles and took the dealer over a month to get replacements.
I do think that the example I bought was a Friday afternoon build, or that the dealers mechanics had no real idea how to set it up in the first place. But, vibes aside, it did handle badly, maybe the weight, certainly the tyres, although I did change them after my first trip down the road on my backside. I had come from a Ducati Mach1 and then my CB250 (The best, most reliable motorcycle I have ever owned), so maybe not a fair comparison.
Just my 2 pennorth (or cents if you prefer). It was no faster than the CB250 in any real meaning, far more complex, (expensive), not my favourite Honda by a long shot.
 
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