Project Café: 1973 Honda CB500, Part 4

Part 4 of the Classics rebuild


The hubs before polishing.

Landon Hall

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Our Project Café CB500 is finally coming together! We’ve been prepping the engine for new piston rings, and we plan to get the engine back together and into the frame in time for the next issue. Truth be told, we hoped to have that done in time for this issue, but we’ve been too busy putting together the magazine to find much time to put together the bike. Instead, we decided to pick a couple of simpler projects we could walk readers through. This month, we chose two “How-To” projects: upgrading to tapered steering head bearings and installing our fancy new rear swingarm bushings. You can follow both projects, step-by-step, in our image gallery.

We’re having our wheels rebuilt by Buchanan Spoke & Rim Inc. in Azusa, Calif. Our hubs left for California a few days ago, but a little polishing did such magic that we had to share our before and after pictures with you. The first photo shows the rear hub, front hub and the brake shoe lid (left to right) as they came off the bike. Many 1970s Hondas came with their polished parts covered in a layer of clear coat, but over time this clear turns yellow. We used carburetor cleaner and a variety of brass and stiff nylon brushes to get all the grime off each piece. More carb cleaner, more brushing and lots of elbow grease helped us pull the majority of the yellowed clear coat off, which we followed with a buffing wheel and some polishing compound. The brake shoe lid showed the best results, but we were quite surprised with how well the hubs turned out, too. Next issue we hope to share what they look like with new rims and spokes wrapped around them. Stay tuned!

Continue on to Part 5 of the Project Café: 1973 Honda CB500 rebuild.

Go back to read Part 1, Part 2 or Part 3.