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1981 CM400E
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
so a few years back i purchased a 1981 Cm400e as my first bike, i spent alot of time slowly rebuilding it and getting it road ready. As i was about to go get my license Covid hit, and the bike went into storage. Covid finally burned out so i got my license a few weeks ago. and i pulled the bike out of storage.

took it to my mechanic (old guy who has been in business for years) and he said it's going to be $300 in parts and $600 in labor,
even with a tender on it, the battery went dead (12a-a)
the front brake completely leaked out (needs to be replaced)
the rear tire lost air
sometime over storage the fuel shutoff was hit and opened 1/2 way so the carb flooded
plugs fouled up (to be replaced)

but the problem is the carb kit is unavailable and needs to be replaced. none of his vendors have it or are able to get the parts he needs.


so now i'm torn between spending another $1000 to get my bike back up to running sometime within the next year, or putting that $1000 towards the purchase of a newer honda and selling my 81

suggestions? thoughts? comments?

located in delaware if someone is seriously interested in buying the bike whole, don't have the time for a part-out
 

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Out of curiosity I searched Craigslist and Facebook in the greater Houston area for street legal bikes with asking price of $3000 or less. Very disappointing results. It goes without saying that you need some idea of what your next bike would be and the investment needed to buy it and get it in safe/good shape.
Good luck with whatever you decide.
 

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so a few years back i purchased a 1981 Cm400e as my first bike, i spent alot of time slowly rebuilding it and getting it road ready. As i was about to go get my license Covid hit, and the bike went into storage. Covid finally burned out so i got my license a few weeks ago. and i pulled the bike out of storage.

took it to my mechanic (old guy who has been in business for years) and he said it's going to be $300 in parts and $600 in labor,
even with a tender on it, the battery went dead (12a-a)
the front brake completely leaked out (needs to be replaced)
the rear tire lost air
sometime over storage the fuel shutoff was hit and opened 1/2 way so the carb flooded
plugs fouled up (to be replaced)

but the problem is the carb kit is unavailable and needs to be replaced. none of his vendors have it or are able to get the parts he needs.


so now i'm torn between spending another $1000 to get my bike back up to running sometime within the next year, or putting that $1000 towards the purchase of a newer honda and selling my 81

suggestions? thoughts? comments?

located in delaware if someone is seriously interested in buying the bike whole, don't have the time for a part-out
You don't necessarily need a carb kit, that's just something mechanics mandate as a failsafe so that they have to go back in on their dime to correct something, kind of like insisting that you need an overhaul when you bring the bike in for a tune up; they want to cover their bases the first time your bike is in. Further, a dealer near me doesn't want to repair anything old by telling customers that parts are unavailable, "...but, by the way, we have some new bikes over here..."

If you don't do your own work, so be it, but the last person I would buy a new motorcycle from is the guy who doesn't want to work on yours.
 

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Firstly I'm not in your position, but I just paid to have the carbs rebuilt for my 79 CB400T, and it cost me $283 + shipping. The reason I had my carbs rebuilt by a shop, was simply they weren't complete they were in a box of parts I got with my motorcycle. I didn't know exactly what I was missing so I contacted a shop that specializes in vintage Japanese bikes. I shipped what I had in a flat rate box, and they are shipping them back to me as we speak. So I was in a different situation had they been complete I would have given them a go.

I agree, that you may not need your carbs rebuilt. I'd take the bowls off, see how bad they're gummed up, and clean them up best I could without taking the carbs off the bike, put fresh gas in the tank and spark plugs and see if the bike will run.

If I were you I'd plan on having to replace your battery every couple of years anyway. The old style lead acid batteries never lasted very long in our ATV or Motorcycles much past two years anyway. Even on a batery maintainer.

Clean up your brake fluid off your bike. Figure out where the leak is at, caliper, line, or master cylinder. Once you figure the leak out, watch some YT videos on how to repair it. If you're not worried about keeping the bike all original the aftermarket parts are pretty affordable to replace everything to your front wheel.

Anyway the moral is with some eBay, Amazon, basic tools, YT, some cussing, and a weekend you can save a lot of the labor costs. Also shop around and get some other quotes. There are young guys with knowledge as well, they often grew up with the old guys.
 

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1981 CM400E
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
So my job situation has recently changed, going to keep the bike and fix it. Already got the new battery on the charger, flusshed and cleaned the front brake system, working on the carbs. Is there a good repair manual the anyobe recommends for these older bikes?
 
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