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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all. I've been riding for 7 years. Started later in life. I have a 2011 Cleveland Cyclewerks Heist 250 and a 2007 Honda VTX 1300.

I'm looking for my first project bike. I'm very mechanically inclined I think and want to build a cafe bike out of a 1970's CB. I'm looking over CL and found someone selling two 450's, a 1969 & 70. They are both "taken apart". For those who have rebuilt or built bikes, should this deter me in anyway? I'm just concerned that not having the experience of taking the bike apart I will be at a huge disadvantage when trying to put it back together. Will books be enough to get me through a rebuild?

Thoughts please.

Thanks
 

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^^^definitely that on both counts, but the first question I would have is the condition of them in general? If they're seemingly in decent condition cosmetically (tank and sidecovers paint) and the frames are still original and not hacked up by the PO, then you doing the hacking (nothing intended there, but it's how it's viewed when a vintage bike gets heavily modified) would permanently eliminate another classic vintage bike from original condition... just a thought. Also, if you have limited experience riding (7 years vs 30 to 50 like many members here) are you sure you'd actually enjoy riding a café styled bike? Have you experienced the feel of something that drastically different than a cruiser? Many people like the idea but then realize, once they ride that style, that it's not for them. Either way, you'll get plenty of help for the mechanical needs to get it back together - lots of experience on DOHC 450s around here
 

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I'd argue for getting something much closer to roadworthy (and hopefully as ancient says) and cosmetically lacking. the road to cafe racers from basket cases is paved with good intentions and littered with unfinished projects. It'll be cheaper, easier, less frustrating and much more manageable to start with something together (and running, or close to it).
 

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Welcome.
I've always had trouble seeing what's not in the box and I'm no expert, if it's in parts it's parts to me. Go to a honda parts site and add up what the wear parts, bearings, bushings, chains, sprockets, shoes, tires, tubes etc. are going to cost, either bike will need them. Make note of obsolete parts, major systems components, body and bright work, so you have a "what's in the box" check list. The wear parts pricing and the checklist can be used as general guidelines to any basket of project twins. Find out what you can buy a good runner for, head over to the sellers with to little cash and beat him down until you could profit from rebuilding it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you all. This really reaffirms my thoughts that I should get something already together. With so many things to consider I somehow forgot "are all the parts there?"

I know many more experienced riders see these old bikes as something that should be cherished as is and I respect that. However, like myself, sometimes being over 40 years old you make some changes to keep things exciting and alive and new. So that's why I want to chop it up some, slim it down and make it something I've envisioned in my head for awhile now.

As for cafe riding, yes. I have ridden that style and while my knees cant take it for long periods I actually love it. My daughter has a Cleveland Misfit Gen2 250. Close to cafe and fun to bop around on. I did some riding in California on a Triumph Bonnie 900. Whipping around the mountains south of Anaheim was a great time. Wouldn't have enjoyed it as much on my VTX.
 

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Thank you all. This really reaffirms my thoughts that I should get something already together. With so many things to consider I somehow forgot "are all the parts there?"

I know many more experienced riders see these old bikes as something that should be cherished as is and I respect that. However, like myself, sometimes being over 40 years old you make some changes to keep things exciting and alive and new. So that's why I want to chop it up some, slim it down and make it something I've envisioned in my head for awhile now.

As for cafe riding, yes. I have ridden that style and while my knees cant take it for long periods I actually love it. My daughter has a Cleveland Misfit Gen2 250. Close to cafe and fun to bop around on. I did some riding in California on a Triumph Bonnie 900. Whipping around the mountains south of Anaheim was a great time. Wouldn't have enjoyed it as much on my VTX.
Fair enough - I like to see those who know what they are planning to do and have some knowledge and experience with it, as opposed to those who see or hear about an idea and suddenly think it's the thing to do to be trendy. Certainly not trying to tell you how to conduct your riding future, just thought you might not understand what you were about to get into... love the fact that your daughter rides as well, very cool. Wish mine did. Anyway however your plan goes and whether or not you work up something with this pair of 450s, if you do end up with a vintage Honda twin, this is the place to get the info you need.
 
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