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63 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hey Folks,

TL;DR: Pics at the end.

I've never owned a bike. I've never ridden. After I asked about purchasing the bike about a year ago, my friend decided a couple of weeks ago that it was time to part ways with his old, 29k miles, Honda that had been collecting dust (and grime) in the family farmhouse. He signed it over to me and I've been working on since.

Chiefly, I've always wanted a bike, specifically an older one I could work on. I used to work on cars in high school and my degree is in mechanical engineering, so it's a love of mine. I live in the city, so I don't need it for transportation but it's hella handy when I can use it. Lately, my job has been taking me all around town for meetings that would be wonderful to have something to hop on and off easily, and not worry about parking.

I've always been a huge fan of cafe racers since I was 11, so I'm nudging the bike in that direction. I want to work on it, but not looking to completely rebuild/etc. So I'm owning the "worn" look.

When I got it:
  • Nothing was running
  • Carbs needed to be rebuilt (the fuel side was just caked in all sorts of nasty)
  • Electrics/wiring needed some cleaning up
  • Dirty af

What I've done:
  • Gone through most of the checklist on the new-to-me thread
  • Replaced the battery
  • Cleaned the wiring/rewired some areas
  • Stripped the bike of fenders, heat shields, reflectors
  • Rebuilt the carbs, about 4 times
  • Replaced the handlebars with zero drag ones
  • Moved the lighting around to some temp positions until I save up and buy the ones I want
  • Wrapped the pipes
  • Oil change
  • Replace air filter

What I need to do:
  • Get the M license (my course and tests are next week)
  • Get the damn carb to stop leaking (I replaced the floats, cleaned it out, etc. It didn't leak... and then somehow the bike ended up on its side once and it leaks again. Also, it seems that the vacuum piston sticks despite all efforts minus silicone wax to get it to not)
  • Carb synch
  • Compression tests (it seems fine, just want to know)
  • Adjust the throttle
  • Find the source of a voltage leak (Pretty sure it's a bad ground - I'm hoping it's not the alternator, I've tested resistance and it's all within scope)
  • Find a space for the taillight and license plate (the stock ones are just so big...)
  • Bleed and refill the brakes
  • New rear shocks
  • Buy/install new controls (the stock are just worn down)

What I want to do:
  • Reshape the seat
  • Rewire all the wiring under the seat
  • Install pods (I know. I've read the threads.)
  • Install anti-grav battery
  • Paint the tank matte black
  • New exhaust tips
  • Ride

I wanted to say just a general "Thank you" to having this forum, which has helped me so much throughout this process. The bike's not in perfect shape, but my buddy, who rebuilt an old Kawasaki, took it out last night and said it's riding great minus the issues I knew about.

It's been a blast and I can't wait to keep working at it.

Here's where it started:
Land vehicle Motorcycle Vehicle Motor vehicle Automotive lighting
Land vehicle Vehicle Motorcycle Motor vehicle Automotive lighting

Here's where it's at:
Land vehicle Vehicle Motorcycle Motor vehicle Car
Land vehicle Motorcycle Vehicle Motor vehicle Automotive lighting

Land vehicle Vehicle Motorcycle Motor vehicle Car
Land vehicle Motorcycle Vehicle Motor vehicle Car

Motor vehicle Vehicle Motorcycle Mode of transport Transport
Land vehicle Vehicle Motorcycle Automotive tire Tire

1,695 Posts
Wow Nebula that's a great looking bike. Like the tank color and the shorty bars. You might want to reconsider the front fender as it gives rigidity with the front end. Others have cut the fender down a bit to make it less pronounced.

Premium Member
23,895 Posts
Welcome aboard. Nice clean up and changes. As Curtis mentioned you want either a fork brace or the front fender to stabilize the fork sliders. They will move independently under heavy loading conditions like pot holes and cause the front end to wobble. A front fender becomes really nice in wet riding conditions.
For tracking down the battery draw simply disconnect the negative battery cable and put one probe from your VOM to the cable end and the other to the battery. Set on volts and start unplugging one item at a time. When the voltage reading goes away you found the source.

9,706 Posts
Welcome to the forum. Great to see another 400 series here.

63 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks so much! And great tip on the fender, I may try and cut it down, paint, and reinstall.

I've also got most of the wiring free as I'm moving it so I'll check piece by piece and go over with that voltage drop test.

I'll keep posting photographs and updates. Maybe one day I'll be able to help someone out myself?

Cheers again - this been an awesome experience.
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