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  #1  
Old 11th February 2017
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Default Shed Find - 82 Honda - "Muse"

Hi all,
Brad suggested I should start a thread for my latest addition.




She's a Honda CBX550f; 1982 model. As I understand it, these were never released in the USA. Indeed we only saw them for two years here in Australia too. I'd never even heard of one till this opportunity came up.

I call her a "Shed Find" as she was sitting in a friend's shed for the past couple of decades, though he was kind enough to clear off the cobwebs and freshen her up before I ever saw her. He always thought he'd have time to restore it when he retired; unfortunately, once he retired the money didn't stretch. So she's now come home with me to see if I can find some time to get her roadworthy.
She does run, though somewhat rough, so will need some TLC as well as hardware as the tyres are perished, no chain or battery either and there's more bog than metal holding the exhaust headers together.

I've decided to call her "Muse". That may change as my thoughts develop on what to do with her once I get her running and roadworthy, but for the moment she is my muse.

Some info on this model:
  • Capacity: 572cc / 35cu-in
  • Engine: 4 cylinder, DOHC, 4 valves per cylinder, Air-cooled
  • Induction: 4 x 30mm Keihin carby (nice simple carby to learn on )
  • Transmission: 6 speed with final chain drive
  • Suspension: Air-assisted telescopic forks and a Pro-link Air-assisted monoshock on the rear.
  • Brakes: Front has dual Steampunk designed inboard brakes 230mm discs with 2 piston calipers. Rear has a single inboard steampunk design.
  • Fuel Capacity: 17l / 4.4gal
  • Dry Weight: 184kg / 400lbs
  • Wheels: 18" aluminium

Steampunk brakes



She makes me truly appreciate the simplicity of the Sporty motor.


I have the shop manuals and have started with some simple stuff like draining oil and cleaning the tank. I've ordered the missing hardware, so new tyres, chain and battery are ready to go on. But then Nyx came home and I got distracted.

As she sits today:
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Nyx: 08 XLN~ 90" Dyno Results; 90" of Street-based FUN coming downunder; My six year refresh adventure
TBob: 2017 Triumph Bobber; Making a Decision on a New Bike
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Old 11th February 2017
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These were only round the UK for a couple of years also. If pushed hard the enclosed brakes overheated & there were cam chain problems. Honda quietly dropped it. the Yamaha LC 350 & Kawasaki GPZ 550 were the hot Jap middleweight bikes to have in 1982 in the UK & outsold the Honda hugely. Long time since I saw a CBX 550 it'll be a crowd puller at shows & bike meets as there can't be many left now
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Old 11th February 2017
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glamazon View Post
These were only round the UK for a couple of years also. If pushed hard the enclosed brakes overheated & there were cam chain problems. Honda quietly dropped it. the Yamaha LC 350 & Kawasaki GPZ 550 were the hot Jap middleweight bikes to have in 1982 in the UK & outsold the Honda hugely. Long time since I saw a CBX 550 it'll be a crowd puller at shows & bike meets as there can't be many left now
Yes, the Kwaka 550 was more successful here too. I have read about the issues with the brakes and the timing chain tensioner problems. The brakes will be tackled very soon as I'll have them apart to get the tyres changed out. The timing chain is more concerning. The bike has nearly 90,000kms on it; it was a daily commuter in its early life.

My goal is to try to get her roadworthy and running somewhat reliably without too much investment (I've set myself a limit), then ride her till I get to know whether she's a keeper. If so, I'll then make decisions about how much rebuilding on the engine as well as the cosmetics and whether I go towards restoring or whether I change the look. The forks and brakes will influence that too; if I can't get them working effectively enough I'll change out the front end completely and go more cafe style perhaps. But there's a lot of "if-thens" before I get to that point or start making plans. I may not get "past go" yet.

Thanks for chiming in
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Old 11th February 2017
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From a purely styling point this was one of my favorite bikes. I wish you weren't two continents away or I would take it off your hands. I have seen one here in Canada but not sure if it was a native or an import. I will be watching this thread. Good luck.
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Old 11th February 2017
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Looks fun. Yeah funky calipers.

Enjoy.
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Old 11th February 2017
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Good side project Trace
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Old 11th February 2017
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I always have to mentally grab myself by the collar and just say no. I tell you. It is freaking hard to do.

A Suzuki GS550 for 250 bucks is calling my name on craiglist.
But I just cannot listen.

When you get ready to paint your barn find. I find in these desert 115F+ heated summers with dust and gravel and rattlesnakes. That acrylic urethane paint and clear coat and urethane primer as a base, is pretty durable and does not fade in the brutal sun so fast.

Maybe one of the professional painters on this forum may give some better pointers later on.
Me? I am a self taught amateur in life.
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Old 11th February 2017
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Trace, those brakes look a lot like the ones Drusse used on one of his Swedish Ironhead builds. Really digging it. Why is your shop so clean? Looks unnatural. LOL
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Old 12th February 2017
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flame__ View Post
Trace, those brakes look a lot like the ones Drusse used on one of his Swedish Ironhead builds. Really digging it. Why is your shop so clean? Looks unnatural. LOL


Hi Fred, Yes these are the inboard discs that Drusse laced up into his spoked rim.Indeed the forks look to be the cbx forks. His Ironhead was the first I'd seen with them in a laced rim, but then a local builder here in Queensland put them on a Honda CB400, though I think he used Ducati forks.




I do LOVE them laced up. But I need to get the bike running first before I let sexy ideas take up residence in my imagination

As for the tidy workshop... it is unnatural and also an edited optical illusion. The 360 view is somewhat more cluttered. That's my tidy corner. And I'd just put all my tools away that were spread all over the lift. What you don't see in the pic is my clothesline intrudes above it. The smudge in the top of that photo at the mirror was where I quickly used snapseed to remove a bra hanging from the line that was intruding into the photo And poor Nyx lives partially under the clothesline in amongst the drying clothes. So the pictorial "reality" is much kinder than my lived reality.
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Old 12th February 2017
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XL Ed View Post
From a purely styling point this was one of my favorite bikes. I wish you weren't two continents away or I would take it off your hands. I have seen one here in Canada but not sure if it was a native or an import. I will be watching this thread. Good luck.
Now see Ed, you are the kind of person who should really have this bike I'm torn because every time I look at her I think about how she could look "better" (or at least different). I preferred 70s styling. But when I sit on her, everything fits me perfectly. Without actually riding down the road, it feels to be a very comfy riding position, which allows me to think that I could maybe appreciate a restoration too. Especially as they seem to be a bit of a rarity. I guess I'll just wait and see where the Gods of bike rebuilds take me

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bone View Post
Looks fun. Yeah funky calipers.
Enjoy.
Thanks Kev, I hope to.

Quote:
Originally Posted by big andy View Post
Good side project Trace
Thanks Andy, I have some spare weekends now I don't compete in dog agility and I'm finding I have more and more energy each week since coming off the Keytruda, so between Nyx and Muse, it should bring me some joy and keep me out of mischief. And hopefully I'll be able to keep at least one of them running at any given time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rokytnji View Post
I always have to mentally grab myself by the collar and just say no. I tell you. It is freaking hard to do.
Yep. I hear ya. 'Tis the reason I keep toiling away at my job... so I can feed my insanities. Well, that, and afford my insurances
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