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Discussion Starter #1
Picked up for $1800 -knew it needed some engine work and my mechanic wants to go ahead and do the top end (showing light white smoke, fouling plugs).

So my question is how should I partition my budget, his labor will be between $750-$1000.

It’s also going to need tires, brakes, fork service/bearings various other items to be safe, modern and road worthy.

I don’t plan on ever selling it -but- I also don’t want to lose my shirt, restored examples I’ve seen top out @$4k.

I’m an aspiring wrencher and not of much use - so I have to use a mechanic, he was a certified Honda tech and knows these bikes well. I trust him completely to deliver a great bike.

Would love to see it on the road and it’s far from a basket case - so what would you do?

Thx!
 

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IMO if you are unwilling to learn to work on your own bike then you should be aware that owning a vintage bike will get expensive, very expensive.
Personally, if I were you I would do the work myself. This forum is here for help if you need it.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Affording the restoration and upkeep on a vintage bike isn’t a problem, my line of work requires extensive travel and weekends so I don’t have time to tinker beyond basic maintenance.

Opening up an engine isn't in the cards for the foreseeable future.
 

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If you aren't doing your own work then I can see spending 3K easily on it what with the labour and part cost.

You can keep cost down by doing many of the forementioned maintenance (forks, brakes, bearings are all easy and doable items)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I’d love to- it’s just a question of time vs. money, right now I have more money then free time.

$3k sounds doable - thx for the insight!
 

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Don't forget to take lots of pictures along the way. Oh and welcome to the forum :)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
will do! I manage my builders website and social media, I’ll be sure to keep everyone up to date here and on bentonracing.com
 

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Nice bike.

I'm not being a smart *rse - but if you have limited knowledge and have to depend on your mechanic for diagnostics, then you'll pretty much have to follow his lead rather than look here for advice on spend priorities. Fwiw having been through the mill with a 'rolling restoration' on a 450 that originally cost me c. 2000 dollars, I'd say I've spent upwards of 3500 all told just to get it mechanically sound, doing all of the work myself - and that's without worrying about paint or cosmetics. I'd say you'll have no bother breaking through the 4k ceiling - but hey, if it's going to be a keeper, who cares. just enjoy the ride :)
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I hear ya- he and I do a barter for my services, so it won’t all be out of pocket.

It’s in solid shape, only 10k miles- just needs top end work, a service across the board, clean up and fresh rubber.

The only thing that sucks is a broken exhaust tip on those Scrambler pipes - can’t find them anywhere...
 

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White smoke sounds like a head gasket, something you can change yourself. I find working on something mechanical helps clear my mind of the days BS. A FSM, this forum and a basic tool set and there is not much you won't be able to do.
 

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I hear ya- he and I do a barter for my services, so it won’t all be out of pocket.

It’s in solid shape, only 10k miles- just needs top end work, a service across the board, clean up and fresh rubber.

The only thing that sucks is a broken exhaust tip on those Scrambler pipes - can’t find them anywhere...
I hear you on the pipes. Been looking for a decent set for over a year. Personally I'd vote for the restore. It looks like everything is there and complete. In original condition these bikes will only rise in value.
 

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Is your mechanic familiar with these bikes? Any work done to the valve system can open a can of worms and get $ quick. Sometimes a careful anayasis of the condition of parts and options can yield a acceptable course of action(not perfect but not completely reworked) for little monetary outlay.
 

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I have a set of 450 scrambler mufflers that I may or may not use in my CL450 build. They're a bit dirty but seem solid. No holes and not rusted through at least.
 

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Welcome to the forum. White smoke doesn't make sense on an air cooled motorcycle engine. Usually heavy white smoke is from an failed head gasket on a water cooled engine. I would not believe you need a top end overhaul based on that as the diagnosis. Black smoke is a rich running engine and blue smoke is burnt oil. Have you done the normal tune up, valve adjustment and oil change? Get out there and ride. It is possible a 10,000 mile engine needs a top end, most likely there are a lot of miles left in it. This is what it takes to pull the top end on a CB450K5:

 
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