Project Café: 1973 Honda CB500, Part 1
BikeBandit.com and Motorcycle Classics team up to build a café racer for the street
Win our 1973 CB500 Four! Here it is in all its faded glory, but it's quickly turning into a different machine. As our series of articles describe, we're deep into our rebuild, turning this old dog into a café racer for the street. Look for the link to our sweepstakes – you might take our Honda home once we've put it back on the road!
With help from Bikebandit.com, Motorcycle Classics took a tired old 1973 Honda CB500 Four and turned it into a café racer for the street. Our first report appears below, and you can follow the build by clicking on the links below.
Project Café - Part 2
Project Café - Part 3
Project Café - Part 4
Project Café - Part 5Project Café - Master cylinder rebuild
I can’t count how many times editor Backus and I have told friends that if you’re going to restore a bike, especially something common, take your time and find a decent example. Don’t buy the cheapest one you can find, because the $400 you might save in purchase price will be spent later in parts, time and headaches. Of course, we never listen to our own advice.
The problem is, we’re impatient. Heck, sometimes we’re just downright lazy. Because it wasn’t long after we decided that our next bike should be a Seventies Honda of some sort that one of Backus’ buddies e-mailed him a photo of his latest barn find, a 1973 Honda CB500 Four, which sounded like the perfect project bike to us. The CB in question was complete (even if the front brake caliper was in a bag), but it didn’t run. It was for sale, and, importantly, the price was right. It was obvious this bike had led a hard life and frankly, the closer we looked, the rougher it was. And while that didn’t scare us, in hindsight, it probably should have.
So of course we bought it.
But we’re also optimists. We didn’t see a nasty, worn-out pile of junk before us. We saw a smooth, sleek café racer, complete with a nice 4-into-1 pipe, low bars, a custom seat and/or tail fairing, maybe a different tank, new paint, new tires, custom wheels and more. And with BikeBandit.com sponsoring our project, we knew we had a great source for information and parts. Bring it on, we said.
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