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Messages - Oddjob

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Misc / Open / Re: Happy 'Bitsa' Day
« on: July 20, 2019, 09:05:57 PM »
4 years already  :'( :'( Miss you Ralph, hope your reading these comments and having a good laugh.

CB500/550 / Re: 30 years of storage later
« on: July 20, 2019, 09:41:31 AM »
Bit late but I did make sure to wash my hands everytime I touched the bike. The seat has been disinfected but it will be dismantled and the foam thrown away.

CB500/550 / Re: 30 years of storage later
« on: July 18, 2019, 10:09:58 PM »
I was thinking, how much have you paid the council in rent to store that bike over that many years ? That bike must owe you a fortune  :o

Ahh but it was also used as a storage unit, however the main purpose was to store the bike, TBH the cost was irrelevant, I love that bike, if it had cost me twice as much it would still have been worth it. Getting it out into the sunlight at long last was quite emotional, shame the foul smell coming off it put me off  :)  Got the seat apart already, the base has been plastic coated (remember that process? ) and it is superb condition, only problem is a stripped thread where the seat hinge plate bolts, I'd lifted the foam and put a nut under there, wondered why I couldn't get the damn thing to undo. I'd weld a new nut on this time, replace the foam and have a proper real leather cover made to the same pattern as the chocolate block effect I so love.

As for the bike, i felt the airbox to carb rubbers and they are still flexible, maybe rat piss is a rubber preservative, never going to catch on if it is.

Desperately Seeking!! / CB550F grab rail
« on: July 17, 2019, 04:27:14 PM »
Anyone got one, I rather stupidly sold mine a few years ago and have just decided to restore the bike so I'll need one. Still got all the indicator bits luckily so just the rail. NOS would be great, so if you see one advertised let me know please.

There was a firm in Italy making repros out of stainless I think but can't find the website now  :(

CB500/550 / Re: 30 years of storage later
« on: July 17, 2019, 04:18:56 PM »
I won't be turning the engine over at all, I intend to remove the plugs and drop some diesel down there and let them soak for a few weeks. The rings were brand new around 1500 miles ago, in fact everything on that engine is brand new, bores are still standard as is the clutch and gearbox, pistons etc but every bearing was replaced. How they have survived will be interesting, that's the engine that's done 163,000 miles BTW.

The wiring harness has survived really well, no real signs of corrosion, I may throw a battery on it and see how much of the electrics still work. Headlight is a Cibie Z beam and still looks fine. Clock faces look ok but the tacho needs work as it has a big ding in the front which stops the needle going over 6000 IIRC. I'm not sure how the bars have lasted, they looked awful but so did the headlight rim and a quick scrape of that and it came up ok so hopefully that stuff on the top of the bars is years of dust on top of the preservative I put on. The back brake still worked but the front was binding like hell so I didn't chance pulling that or it may not have come off again.

I'll drop the engine out of it shortly and start to pull it apart, frame needs powder coating again, rat piss isn't good for paintwork.

Oh and that drum of oil is also 30 years old, the handle rusted and came off when we tried to move it so I'll sieve it through some of the wife tights and transfer it into a plastic drum. The pic of the garage BTW contains 2 rats which were hiding. they came out as I was there and started to run around, they ended up climbing up one of the council blokes until he knocked it off and killed it with a shovel.

I may call it Roland when it's done  ::) ::) ::)

CB500/550 / 30 years of storage later
« on: July 17, 2019, 12:07:56 PM »
A few weeks ago I got a letter from the council regarding a garage I have rented for around 35 years now. The garage is a couple of streets away and I only use it as a storage locker really as everytime I went to put a car in it the access was always blocked, didn't matter how much I complained to the council I could never get a car in there, so in 1989 I stored my fully restored CB500Four in there, it had just gone through a bad winter and the road salt had eaten away all my chromework I'd just had done, TBH I was mad at it for letting me down and rotting, yeah don't make sense that does it but I was so annoyed I just covered it in a preservative and threw it in there. Over the years it gradually got buried under stuff, to disguise the fact it was in there in case anyone broke in I dumped 5 rolls of loft insulation around it so it couldn't be seen. A few years after that the council decided to change the doors on the garages from wood to metal, trouble was like all council jobs they did a piss poor job and there were gaps under the door on mine which let rats in. I didn't know about the rats until a few years ago when I went to get something out of the garage, the smell hit me straight away, it reeked of rat piss. Whilst I was putting stuff in my car I spotted a large rat going into my garage through the open door. I took my 2 cats round to sort the little buggers out but even though they were good ratters they ran off rather than go in the garage. And so this is how it was left for years.

The letter from the council asked me and all the other garage owners to attend this morning at 10am to open up their garages so they could sort the rat problem out. So off I trotted this morning to see what they would do. I opened my garage up and everyone there just drew back, the smell was unreal, the council lads then asked if I wanted to dump anything from the garage and I decided to virtually dump everything as the rats had been at most of it anyway. At the back of the garage was my 500 four, I dreaded seeing it as I thought it would be chewed to bits but it wasn't too bad TBH, the council fella picked up one of the bags of loft insulation to dump and 5 rats ran out of it, they'd been using them as a nest and in total we counted 17 rats, some small (2 of which we hit with a shovel and killed) and some pretty large. We emptied the garage and wheeled my bike out into the sunshine for the first time since 1989, it was covered in bits of loft insulation where the rats had been gnawing into to make the nest. There was quite a bit of rust and corrosion but all in all it's lasted reasonably well. It was stored minus rear mudguard, exhausts, seat, tank and panels but the rest was still there. It's going to need a lot of TLC but at least I can work on it in the garage now. They've put poison bait down inside the garage which we'll monitor.

Took some pics, whilst I was cleaning the bike I spotted 2 more small rats (which we killed) in the insulation lying on the floor, I took a pic of them trying to climb the walls but it's a little blurry.

I've cleaned up some of the bike now, the toolkit bag had just rotted away with the rat piss, this also rotted the metal gauze over the air filter on the tooltray, some of the tools are rusty but some are fine, threw the battery as it was junk, Lester wheels have paint flaking off them but still turn freely, braided lines are ok except for the front banjos going into the calipers, these are probably going to need replacing. Some of the chrome looks really bad, headlight rim looked gone but I just touched it with a screwdriver and it came away leaving bright chrome underneath, a lot of the apparent corrosion is the preservative. Area around the clutch casing had a lot of alloy corrosion, I think the rats had been using it as a toilet and it's left it really furry as a result but it's still solid, going to need to dismantle the engine and have the cases etc powder coated again. Swinging arm which I'd had chromed looks pretty bad, we'll see how that comes out later. My Pirelli Phantoms still had air in them and looked ok TBH but I'll need new tyres.

One good bit of news, found a good seat in there, rats hadn't touched it so that can be reused. Anyone know of where to source some new gauze for the air filter cover?

And this is the mess the rats made.

Out & About / Re: OUT AND ABOUT 2019
« on: July 11, 2019, 02:41:21 PM »
On the coast road north of Aberystwyth.  I enjoyed the holiday but I wish they rode faster.   I kept blasting ahead and waiting.
Head for Machynlleth. Then Dolgethleu. Excuse the spelling. And to Bala then Porthmadog
Lovely roads

Sent from my SM-A750FN using Tapatalk

and the road off the A494 coming out of bala, goes past capel celyn and ends up in ffestinog. Simply stunning....but dont tell anyone about it !  ;)

That's the B4391 and it's a really nice road on a bike, there's a small road, the B4407 which comes off that and then splits into the B4406 which is also good but really narrow, not good for cars.

Member 4 Sales / Re: CBX550FII
« on: July 08, 2019, 03:47:28 PM »
That's a shame, one of my favourite bikes of all time, I PDI'd and road tested the very first one in the North West and fell in love with it. I'd have certainly bought it if I hadn't already been beaten to it, I broke a complete brand new bike out of the crate because there were no parts available at the time for them, all the parts were used as warranty replacements but my toolbox still has loads of the bolts and small brackets even to this day. I did prefer the naked version to the faired one but it's also in my favourite colour as well so I'm sad I've missed it.

BTW, whoever does buy it, if you haven't got the technique for getting the inboard disc setup back into the front forks you'll be scratching the gunmetal finish on them to bits, all the ones our PDI fella built were marked to hell as it's very hard to get them to fit. Not sure if I can do the technique now but I do remember most of it even nearly 40 years later.

CB500/550 / Re: Inner Tubes
« on: July 06, 2019, 02:50:20 PM »
Don't understand that Matthew, if they missed the rim tape then you must have had a spoked wheel? if that's true they'd have had to use a tube in a tubeless tyre as they'd be no seal to prevent air lose from the spoke nipples, a rim tape wouldn't stop that it's there to prevent the tube being punctured by the nipples.  The fact they used a tubeless tyre might mean it was the only type available these days in that tyre size. No excuse for a main dealer though to omit the rim tape, they should have known better.

An alloy wheel like a Lester etc wouldn't need a rim tape and you could use a tubeless tyre without a tube as the rim of the wheel is designed to mate with the tyres side wall.

Looks like it is a CB550F1 as it has the fork bellows fitted.

If that's the way you like it then leave it alone, you may end up refining it a little more to suit your riding style or you may find it just as you like them.

How many spares came with it?

CB500/550 / Re: Fixing 500 side cover badges
« on: July 03, 2019, 06:16:09 PM »
I did a post on this subject a few months ago, the badges always breaking at the bottom of the U in four, it's the weakest part. My idea was to have some sheet metal pressed in the exact shape as the badge but a few mm smaller, attach the badge to the metal backing (which would have holes were the mounting pegs go through) and mount the badge to the panel. The metal should stop the badge breaking again as it would require the metal distorting before the badge breaks.

It's finding someone who can press them out in quantities that's the problem, if we could have say 50 pressed out from one sheet of metal, that's 25 owners who'd need to buy a pair to make it worthwhile.

Announcements / 25th Anniversary
« on: July 02, 2019, 12:20:35 PM »
I was wearing my SOHC T shirt I bought some years ago from the site yesterday and it suddenly dawned on me that it was marked 1994-2014 20th Anniversary, that was 5 years ago so my maths  ;D ;D ;D tell me that we are now in the 25th year of the SOHC site opening. I can't have been the first to have spotted that but no one seems to have mentioned it.

CB350/400 / Re: Original CB400/4 parts availability
« on: July 01, 2019, 10:21:52 PM »
I'd agree with that Ash. I've been buying and storing parts for the 500K for years now, a lot I sold a few years ago when my missus was sick and I needed to take time off work to care for her. I still pick up rare parts even now when I see them, I've probably got the biggest collection of black crank shells in the world, they are almost unobtainable now except in singles which of course are no good unless you can find another single at some time, I've sourced them from the USA, Australia, Sweden, Denmark and Germany to name a few. Some I paid top dollar for and some were bargains, when the price goes up I'll probably sell them on as they are a sort of pension fund buy. If you look at the price of crank shells now they are steadily increasing as the stock levels drop, it's supply and demand. Same applies to the 400 parts, people are spotting a NOS part on E-Bay or the web and storing them away for a rainy day or as an investment.

CB500/550 / Re: CB 550 Engine Vapour blasted
« on: June 30, 2019, 11:07:13 AM »
Yeah you could be right there Julie, the ones I saw were in the 70s and 80s and of course the engines were much newer back then so less corrosion would have been evident, remember doing my own engine off the 1973 bike and it was silky smooth after bead blasting.

CB500/550 / Re: CB 550 Engine Vapour blasted
« on: June 29, 2019, 10:44:30 PM »
Damn your casings are rough cast, not seen one as bad as that for ages. Crankshaft markings look weird as well, they are usually clearly stamped and in a straight line.

Real bad bend in the bottom fin on the head Bill, somebody levering really hard to get the head off?

What now, painting or powder coating?

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