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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi fellas!

It's been a while since I posted here, and a longer time still since I purchased my K1 CB450 "Christine," lately rechristened Clarabelle, from her owner in York PA. In the meantime I had mechanics up there fix her up, incorporating lots of modern goodies--rear shocks, PAMCO ignition, and such. I finally took delivery of her about a month ago, and we have been getting acquainted since then.

The first thing I discovered, apart from the fact that a CB450 really does weigh a lot more than a modern 250cc bike of the sort that the MSF keeps on hand, is that riding your own precious and very old motorcycle is a lot harder than riding an anonymous loner. Why, you might just scratch it! So, it isn't as easy as it should be to take curves and such even as fast as in class, at least not a first. In short, yours truly found himself riding like his little peppy '69 super sport bike as if it were a '69 Rambler American driven by someone's grandma.

So much for the bad news. The good news is that I'm getting better; the other day I rode for about 25 miles, all by myself, and even dared to take her over 65mph for a nice stretch, without unwanted consequences. This coming Saturday I'm teaming up with the owner of an early CB750 for a more ambitious ride. So, be patient with me: I will get good at this yet.

And how is Clarabelle doing? When I first rode her, it was clear that the front brake needed more attention than it got in York. She was also afflicted by the dreaded 3000-rpm hanging idle so notorious among her kind, for which there are, by last count, 138 possible causes. A few days in my local shop took care of both problems, thanks to a mechanic who was thoroughly familiar with the breed and its various idiosyncrasies, and who was equally well-acquainted with Mr. Pamco. (The hanging idle in my case was due to an improperly timed cylinder.)

And now, to borrow a line from one of our fellow forum members, "she really runs." My friend, a Triumph enthusiast, dared to admit that he was quite impressed by how much pull there was to her meager 450ccs, which I reckon very high praise indeed considering the source. And she certainly feels energetic enough to me--so much so that I have yet to take her within an inch of the red (now faded to buff) portion of her tach. In short, there's a good deal of power to spare in her so far as her old man is concerned. Perhaps I will just have to let her go on a fling now and then until I myself become man enough!

Apart from that she runs like a top, the only remaining issues being a very slight oil leak from her stator cover (to be addressed, if the advice I get here is right, by means of the judicious application of the right sort of gunk to her gasket, especially where the stator wires pop through), and a neutral light that's grounding out (a NOS switch--purchased for under $5!--is already on its way in case that's what it takes). No biggies: I was prepared for worse.

I still plan some further upgrades, including those brass swing-arm bushings (mine don't appear to be badly worn yet), and a halogen headlight. For the last, I found a complete OEM model, presumably off a CB350--bucket and ring and all--for just $55, so that I won't have to worry about modifying mounts etc.; and yes, I will make sure to install a 35w bulb so as not to ask too much from the charging system, even allowing for a new Regulator/Rectifier.

You see: I'm a newbie and a slow one, but give me credit for doing my hondatwins homework;)


finished2.jpg
 

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Beautiful bike. Sounds like you've got a fun summer ahead of you!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks HondaPete and Ronnie. Ronnie, of course I'm sure you are right about the handling of the old Hondas. I hope I will never be so unwise as to test its limits! Still I will put those special bushings in one day for the sake of having it be as good as it can be. I already upgraded the rear shocks with the modern TEC lookalikes that I may actually have learned about from one of your posts, and which I was quick to grab on eBay. I love it when something is pretty darn nice and inexpensive to boot!
 
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