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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've always loved CB's, but, being a rather large hombre, I wondered about the likelihood of a CB350 being able to carry me. As a novice rider, I have to admit being a little intimidated after sitting on a '79 CB750 Supersport.

Enter the rather homely 1976 CB500T I've just purchased. It's a runner, but it's definitely not a looker.



Serious problems I'll need to deal with before riding:

1. No title. Where does one find the VIN number on a bike? I found one long number stamped into the left side of the tube on the front of the frame, but it doesn't look like a VIN to me.
2. Front brake doesn't work. At all.
3. Needs at least a new front tire. If possible, I intend to do the rear tire at the same time.
4. Chain tension needs to be adjusted.
5. Oil needs to be changed.

Less serious problems to deal with soon:

1. No ignition switch. Previous owner simply wired an on/off switch to it. (Anyone have an ignition switch for this bike that they'd be willing to part with?) It fires up the first time, every time. Mechanically strong bike.
2. Light surface rust and some pitting on the chrome. I think some polish and paint are in order.
3. Some dents in the tank. Need to have them filled.
4. No upholstery left on the seat, just dried out foam. Needs to be re-foamed and reupholstered.

Ultimate goals with the bike:

1. Repaint and build a bike that is ultimately cafe racer influenced, though not a straight cafe racer. I can't imagine clubman bars being comfortable.
2. New paint job, probably done by me, with rattle cans, in my garage. Though I do have a compressor and a paint gun... never used 'em though.
3. New custom exhaust.
4. Become a proficient rider and make this bike a means to learn and practice new skills that will allow me to ride something like that CB750 Supersport without being intimidated.

I'm also after all sorts of parts for this bike, including an ignition switch and a seat lock, but I can't seem to find them reasonably priced anywhere. I just contacted a place in KS about those two pieces and they wanted $190 for them. That seems exorbitant, especially considering I don't really need the ignition switch since the bike starts right up when it's kicked.

Anyway, looking forward to rebuilding this bike, chatting with some of you, and learning a whole lot about restoring and modifying along the way.
 

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Welcome, good luck with the title, I wouldn't put too much into it until you that straight, they can be very difficult to obtain. Obviously I like 500T's and with some work, they can turn out very nice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Brown Bomber said:
Welcome, good luck with the title, I wouldn't put too much into it until you that straight, they can be very difficult to obtain. Obviously I like 500T's and with some work, they can turn out very nice.
Thanks for the well wishes.

As for the title - you're right. I'm not going to spend a lot of time or money until I get that straightened out. Here in CO, it's a matter of getting the local PD to look it over, make sure it isn't stolen, write up a document clearing it, then take that to the DMV. If all goes according to plan, I get the title the same day I have the police look it over.

The question, of course, is how often things actually go according to plan. :lol:

EDIT: Just got off the phone with a very helpful lady at the DMV who is going to be mailing me a packet of information on how to register this bike. We'll see what that turns up. It sounds like it's a little more difficult than I initially thought, but not impossible.
 

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I am also a 500t owner and really like the bike. Dont spend a dime on yours though until you get the title taken care of like was suggested. Sounds like your DMV is at least acting encouraging. Good luck with that. I have both a CB450 and the CB500T and can say that they are really different bikes surprisingly. Enjoy it, there will be quite a few people that are still reading vintage cycle magazines and spouting the negative remarks about these bikes. Truth is, in there day they were pretty upstaged by the other products on the market at the time and most people didnt think it was a better bike than the 450 that it replaced but once you get to ride it I think you will enjoy it quite a bit.
Let me know if I can help in any way.
Best thing about the bike is that it is a HONDA TWIN !!!!! :)
Don
 

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The VIN plate should be on the right side of the steering neck. If it's gone then your bike was stolen at one time I'd say.. Especially considering that the ignition was removed, etc..


GB :mrgreen:
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Bird76Mojo said:
The VIN plate should be on the right side of the steering neck. If it's gone then your bike was stolen at one time I'd say.. Especially considering that the ignition was removed, etc..


GB :mrgreen:
Thanks for that info. I thought that there should be something other than the stamped numbers on the left side of the frame, but I can't see that there was ever anything else there.
 

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If the VIN plate was removed from the neck then there should be two small holes from where the rivets held it on. Your only hope if it's gone is to get another titled frame from Ebay or Craigslist if it's gone..

Shown here. Click on the picture to blow it up to a larger size.
[attachment=0:3kn9v28s]01667b38.jpg[/attachment:3kn9v28s]


Now BOW to my MS-Paint skills!! :lol:


GB :mrgreen:
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
No rivet holes there, nor any indication that there was ever a plate there. There is no discoloration to indicate that anything was ever there, so if that plate was on the bike, it was there a long, long time ago, then someone filled in the holes.

Colorado also has a provision that if a vehicle is 25 years old or older, they can give out state-issued VIN's. However, the vehicle must be considered "homemade, reconstructed, rebuilt/street rod, kit," or "VIN altered." Colorado form DR 2704 explains it all. I'm counting on an inspection to get me through that hurdle.

Here's hoping it works... :roll:

I have to admit that, had I known about the VIN issue, I probably wouldn't have purchased this bike.
 

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Look on the left side of the neck/head stock, mine has the VIN number stamped there also. No plate on the left, just stamped right on the neck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Brown Bomber said:
Look on the left side of the neck/head stock, mine has the VIN number stamped there also. No plate on the left, just stamped right on the neck.
Mine definitely has a number stamped on the left side of the neck. Not seventeen digits though, as I have heard VIN's usually are. Is it possible that because of the age of the bike, the VIN number was smaller? (14 or 15 digits, I believe...) Not as many vehicles produced, so no need for really lengthy numbers?

EDIT: you're giving me hope here. I really want to believe that if I take this to the local constabulary, they'll see that number and realize that - while it is strange that there is no VIN placard and the ignition is FUBAR'ed - anyone who was really trying to get away with something would surely have removed something that must be either a VIN or a serial number, especially when it's in such an obvious, accessible place.
 

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I just checked, the number is the same on both the plate on the right, and the stamping on the left :)
I checked my '72 CB750K2, and the numbers match on the tube, and the plate as well.

The set of numbers on the left side of the neck should be good.

There are extra numbers on the engine case, but that has to do with engine type, and engine types are sometimes changed mid production, so should not be a consideration with a title. The DMV should only be concerned with the number on the neck, since they don't title engines.

Good luck
 

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Also, I have a '79 BMW R100RT with the vin # stamped on the neck, never had a plate, and a '70 Bultaco, same way. Just show em the numbers on the neck, don't even mention the plate, and if they say anything, just tell em some of these old bikes are like that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Feeling way, way better now. Especially since a fuel line broke while I was idling it in the garage tonight. When I turned it off, it dumped about a quart of fuel all over my garage floor.

The more I look at this thing, the more I realize needs to be done. At first, I thought that I'd just give it a once-over on a Saturday afternoon, then be riding it on Sunday morning. Now, I realize I'll be giving it a once-over all summer long, then maybe riding it to school in August.

Luckily, since I'm a teacher, I can take a whole summer to do things like this. Unluckily, since I'm a teacher and a parent of two, I have a whole lot more time than money. :lol: In fact, I think this may become a frame-off tear down. I'd hate to mess with the engine because it sounds like it's in great shape, but the rest of the bike needs to be taken apart, cleaned, repainted, and reassembled.

Brown Bomber said:
Also, I have a '79 BMW R100RT with the vin # stamped on the neck, never had a plate, and a '70 Bultaco, same way. Just show em the numbers on the neck, don't even mention the plate, and if they say anything, just tell em some of these old bikes are like that.
How many digits are those numbers? Seventeen? Fewer? More? Sorry to be a pest, but I'm still a little worried about this.
 

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It should say CB500T- and seven digits.........
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
66Sprint said:
It should say CB500T- and seven digits.........
It actually says "CB500x-xxxxxxx"

I think I'm in the ballpark. Thanks guys. Had a few anxious hours there, but I feel better now. The next step is to get a hitch mounted carrier for my SUV so that I can drive this thing to the local PD to get an inspection.
 

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The ONLY original possibilities for the first "x" following CB500 are T (on the frame), or E (on the engine)... IF you think it's a "1" it's actually probably a "T"... anything else is suspect on a US model...(It could be a general export, Euro, or domestic (Japanese) version.....Sharing that first digit won't compromise the security of the bike, and now, we older Honda mechanics are curious.....Many here have shown pix of their entire serials..... Steve
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
66Sprint said:
The ONLY original possibilities for the first "x" following CB500 are T (on the frame), or E (on the engine)... IF you think it's a "1" it's actually probably a "T"... anything else is suspect on a US model...(It could be a general export, Euro, or domestic (Japanese) version.....Sharing that first digit won't compromise the security of the bike, and now, we older Honda mechanics are curious.....Many here have shown pix of their entire serials..... Steve

Since it's a twin, it probably is a "T" following the "CB500" bit on the frame. I'd take pics, but I'm getting ready to head for Mt. Rushmore and surrounding points tomorrow. Packing, cleaning, etc., are all on the agenda for the evening.
 
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