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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
When I was 19, I built a CL450K5 into a modified class drag bike.

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Ever since letting it go back then, I've wanted to do it again - but this time, street legal for the fun of still being able to surprise a few people with it. A few months ago, I found this bike in nearby Lakeland FL for $1900. I took it home in a truck (despite it being a runner) and proceeded to tear it down. Glad I did, after discovering that the PO had left the fuel on all the time and the carbs had weeped into the bottom end. So it begins...

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the outer engine covers had been off for the usual clutch and starter clutch repairs over the years, but it looks like the top end had never been apart. Rust rings in the cylinders from sitting and some cam chain wear on the cylinder block from lack of maintenance, but other than that, so far all seems decent.

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Of course, you (somewhat) set a budget for the stuff you need/want to do to it, and then start buying things... and before you know it, the budget is blown up. Once you do some stuff, you need to do other stuff to make most of it look as good as the stuff you're replacing. This was a small first order of the little stuff that adds up

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Then you find cool stuff like this that you know will add to the overall picture when it's done

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I want it to be different while still keeping some vintage Honda aspects - the period-correct gray cables, grips, gauges - but a departure in some ways of my own thinking. I ran across this at a Japanese website called Web!ke

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and then the engine parts to replicate what I had the first time around - 497cc pistons, 36mm Mikunis, and after the first of the year, MegaCycle cams

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After some frame mods with the help of an old friend with a MIG welder, some mocking up (with lots more to do) before getting the frame powder coated

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Obviously, lots more to do...
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Admittedly - I went big back then and it worked really well despite the cams being pretty flat under 5500 rpm. I rode it gently around my Dad's old neighborhood in the evenings (drag pipes and all, it was rural) for a month to break it in, and then did high speed jetting runs and dialed it in. Truly never rode it on the street in the usual circumstances back then, but my plan to ride the bike now is with the boys out where I am in a rural area anyway. Not going to be riding it to work, for sure.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Awesome engine...looks much lighter than stock too ;)
And the tank is beautiful. Is it Chrome or Alloy?
Thanks, Zeek - it's chrome. It's the standard tank size and shape for the Ape 100 (and it was only $95 US), had to re-work the mounts to fit it. I'm going with chrome fenders, so I wanted it to match (and it saves me doing any bodywork, a talent that was not passed on to me from my Dad). I hung the head from the frame to help with wiring and coil location mockup - kinda wish the engine was that small! :D
 

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Nice bike you're buiding the there,
never seen one with the head etc in the frame, but no bottom end and barrels (looks kinda surreal)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Nice bike you're buiding the there,
never seen one with the head etc in the frame, but no bottom end and barrels (looks kinda surreal)
Thanks, Deep Waters. Well, I'm not as young as I used to be, so I'm trying to work smarter. I hung the head by the top motor mount to mock up the carbs/air filters, wiring harness, coils location, tank clearance, etc. before doing the powdercoating and trying to fit a completed engine. Since I can't find drag pipes for the 450 anymore, I bought a set of mandrel bends and my old friend with the MIG welder is going to help me build a set - so the motor-less head will help for that too. Does look weird though, doesn't it...
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Since my old friend with the MIG welder lives 70 miles from me and can only visit every 3rd weekend due to his work schedule, I get as much done as possible on other stuff in between. Since I'm going with a smaller lithium ion battery and no electric start, I chose to go with an LED type of headlight for a little lower draw (and to be different). I found a 36 watt combo spot/flood off-road 6.5" light with bolt holes for end mount from a Chinese supplier through Amazon and ordered it.... in mid-November. Still haven't seen it. Got a refund and re-ordered the same model from Amazon's Warehouse Deals, open box. Got it in a week or so, opened the box to find it was spot only (not the combo beam I ordered) and had only bottom mounts, no end bolt holes... and then they were out of the one I wanted and actually ordered. Grrr... so, I set out to make lemonade. Disassembled the light, removed the end caps and found some carriage bolts with stainless acorn nuts to use from the inside of the caps. Had to trim the bolt heads, dremel the end caps inner cavity to allow clearance and drill the end caps. It's amazing how many hours you can put into an idea that seemed a lot simpler on the surface, but when you set out to use an idea and something comes up along the way, the stubborn in me comes out. Didn't turn out too bad after all, and I'm not going to be doing a lot of night riding with this bike anyway - it's primarily for the legal requirements. (thanks to NNZ for the nice deal on the refurbed gauges - I can tell people the bike was originally from Canada :D )

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Discussion Starter #9
Lots of cleanup to do on the motor - outside and inside after 43 years of buildup.

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I fashioned a battery box from some thin flat steel and added ears for an OEM rubber strap. Hanging it from the plates added to the frame for the new seat to sit on, using 2 rubber grommets and bolts from the original tail light bracket.

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Best laid plans... I wanted to minimize the visual of the small lithium ion battery (and show off the "test" button on the top as well), so I designed the battery box to have it sitting on its side, with the top of the battery facing the right side of the bike. Well... the large bell of the Mikunis and the subsequently large K&N filter bell that fits them became a problem. Under the frame below the original seat area was not wide enough to accommodate the battery on its side and still have the filters fit. In the midst of it all, I discovered something that I'd never noticed about the 450 before (and wasn't an issue with my drag bike due to different battery location and total loss ignition) - the top end of the engine is slightly offset to the left side of the bike. I noticed it while viewing the head hanging from the frame and checked the cylinder studs against the front motor mount to confirm it. Sure enough, that's why the left carb and filter fit next to the battery the way I originally designed it... so, back to the drawing board (and sheet metal, and tin snips, and vise, and drift punch, and hammer, and anvil...) :D
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Second round of work to the frame. Got most everything done that needed the MIG welder, then finished the rear fender mounts and taillight arrangement in the last few days. Pipes are mocked up, just have to get the seams welded and get a pair of 1 foot straight sections bent 22 degrees for a slight turnout at the ends, then get them welded to the ends of what's already put together. Added little touches to the frame like transplanting the brake pedal stop, rear brake light switch bracket and a wiring clip from the original rear fender to the frame for the rear switch wires, along with lugs for the new coil mount location behind the engine (won't fit under the smaller tank) taken from the original horn bracket spacers. Nestled the ignition switch in the now-open area above the original location because of the shorter tank just to be different. Bought a NOS CL100 brake rod ($5) and bent it up for the rear brake, cut to length and drilled the end for a washer/cotter pin arrangement. Re-worked the original brake pedal return spring and drilled a hole in the rear footpeg area of the frame for it to lock into. I'll post a picture of the pedal arrangement after I re-assemble it for one last mockup.

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Discussion Starter #12
And... guess what finally arrived from China after 2 months? The original combo spot/flood LED light I ordered (after getting a full refund). I like it better and I'm going to find some collars for the smaller allen bolts it came with (with end mounts, after I spent hours disassembling and modifying the bottom-mount light I got after the first one ordered didn't arrive). It is a little larger and has a bit nicer shape. I'll post pics of it after I get that worked out (though I guess it wasn't all that popular, no one commented on my previous pics)
 

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Pipes are lookin good! I'm looking forward to the brake arrangement pics. I'm not sure about the headlight I guess I'll have to wait to see more:) I'm sure it will be bitchin!
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Thanks, Lefty. Here are a few pics of the brake pedal and rod arrangement. I've since cleaned up the welds a little more on the shortened pedal and re-painted it (while keeping the top of the pedal area original chrome). Somehow, my brand-new NOS spring for the brake rod has disappeared in my garage... then again, I have a couple of Carolina Wrens flying into it while I'm in the house eating lunch, probably thinking they're going to build a nest in there somewhere (happened to my Dad once, he found a nest on a little-used shelf in the back of his), so maybe one of them absconded with my shiny new spring... :D

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Also, I meant to mention that the pivot shaft for the brake pedal is a piece of the original brake pedal/centerstand shaft, with a larger bolt through the enlarged peg bracket hole. Makes for a pretty stout setup, and I shortened the lever for the rod pull from the experience last time around of not having the leverage to properly apply the brakes with the shortened pedal.
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
So, here's the original LED light I ordered for the build. I like the slightly larger size because it fits the polished brackets I bought from 4into1.com better, and the corners are more of a rounded square which has a better look. Here they are side by side, the original spot/flood combo I ordered last November on the left.

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I modified the first one to use larger bolts in the end caps because it had a bottom mount (which is another reason why I wanted the combo to begin with) and the combo light has smaller allen bolts on the ends, but it still worked out fine.

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I know a lot of people here like the more traditional or conventional look, but I've always liked to do one or two things somewhat different to my bikes over the years to set them apart from standard. It's like being left-handed (which I am)... you get used to being different, and eventually you embrace it. :D
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
Final mockup of the seat, rear fender and taillight.

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Now picture the frame, swingarm and lower fork legs powder-coated red, chrome fenders and tank, silver ceramic coat on the pipes, satin black crown, steering stem, motor mount plates and chain guard and some polished engine pieces as well as silver. That's the picture I've had in my mind for the last few months... and it should come together in the next couple. Camshafts are now at MegaCycle, pistons already in hand, bottom end apart for cleaning up and new clutch, soon time to do the engine.
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
Both Mikunis on the head with the revised battery box hung in between to be sure of the clearance - just fits now that the battery is standing up and not on its side. Had my buddy weld a bolt to the front of the frame tube behind the cylinder head for a bracket to give the heavy combination of the carbs and air filters some support so it all doesn't fall on the intake stubs and clamps.

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Discussion Starter #19
Thanks, Lefty - it's the replica CR450 stickers I got from 4into1.com. The previous K&Ns I had long ago were oval in the filter area, but I couldn't find them this time or my tight clearance wouldn't have been an issue as they were narrower. I cleaned up the welds on the shortened brake pedal and repainted it. Here's the finished piece, top of the pedal area still original chrome.

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