Yamaha FZ-09 Forum banner

Sometimes you eat the bear, sometimes the bear eats you.

  • Chester ate the bear.

    Votes: 3 100.0%
  • The bear ate Chester.

    Votes: 0 0.0%
1 - 19 of 19 Posts

·
Registered
2019 Yamaha MT 10
Joined
·
1,924 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I saw an Craigslist ad on Sunday night 6 hours after it posted for a 77 Honda CB 550F. I've been toying with the idea of building a cafe racer type motorcycle for years but the prices for vintage bikes are mostly insane. The ad had about 10 pictures posted and I knew immediately that for $300 I had to have this motorcycle. I responded by email right away and the guy answered about 4 hours later. I asked when I could see it. The bike was taken apart but looked like it was all there. I also noticed that the front chrome fender didn't have a spot of rust on it. I figured something has to be wrong with this, the price is way to cheap. You could part out most 70's Honda CBs for 1500 - 2000K easily. I finally was able to see it after 3 days so I took $300 and headed over to see it. I was fully reconciled to the fact that there was some kind of scam going on and I'd never be able to buy this for the advertised price or some other issue.

I got there and the guy had everything out in the driveway. He was 50ish and a regular Joe. I started asking questions and got better than expected answers. The bike was his cousins and he got it from him to turn it into a cafe racer type motorcycle. This is the history. 45 years old, always garage kept, almost no rust. Came off the road in excellent running condition. Compression tested at the right numbers. All the papers in order. The guy was an excellent and skilled fabricator that just didn't have time to work on it. Everything he did was meticulous and right for the bike. All of the original parts there and in great shape. Only part missing is the exhaust which he said was scratched beyond restore-able. Came with a Clymers manual. He bought a cheap auto motor stand and adapted it as a work stand for the bike motor included. All the plastic storage boxes included. A substantial amount of brand new parts, seals, gaskets. Everything about this was as good as I could hope for short of it being fully restored. 9800 original miles. Then came the moment of truth....I asked if the $300 price was the price and he said yes. I said I'll take it. We talked as we were loading on my truck and he told me that after my initial response, people were going ape-shit to get this bike. He knew he could get more and told me he figured he could part it out for a couple of grand. I agreed and apologized for taking his motorcycle away. My guess is that he didn't know that the response would be so big and that he was a stand up guy. He put the price on it and that was it. I almost wanted to give him more that he was asking.....of course I didn't.....the road to hell is paved with good intentions. So now I finally have the project motorcycle I was looking for. The icing on the cake.....my GF paid for it as a birthday present. That's my story and I'm sticking to it. CB out.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
117 Posts
Great find and nice to hear about an honorable person.

I recently bought my 2nd 98 VTR1000F with all original parts plus 2 fairings, 2 Bros low mount full exhaust, a ton of brand new in packaging parts like braided brake lines, pads, seals, gaskets, 3 sets of carbs and a lot more but the main thing is its a good runner with only 40,000 miles. My 98 has 111,000 and still runs great (knock on plastic). I know the PO and have maintained it for him. He needed cash and agreed to store it for me inside and on a Battery Tender until I recover from my last surgery (3rd in 7 months). All for only $1k!

Now I have 2 spare VTR engines, a complete frame and enough parts to build a 3rd VTR. But I'm busy getting my from new 76 RD400 converted back to street legal, and a 2000 HD XL1200S Sport restored (OE with dual plug heads, HE ignition, hotter cams and bumped compression and fully adjustable front and rear suspension). Got it for $600...
 

·
Registered
2019 Yamaha MT 10
Joined
·
1,924 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Great find and nice to hear about an honorable person.

I recently bought my 2nd 98 VTR1000F with all original parts plus 2 fairings, 2 Bros low mount full exhaust, a ton of brand new in packaging parts like braided brake lines, pads, seals, gaskets, 3 sets of carbs and a lot more but the main thing is its a good runner with only 40,000 miles. My 98 has 111,000 and still runs great (knock on plastic). I know the PO and have maintained it for him. He needed cash and agreed to store it for me inside and on a Battery Tender until I recover from my last surgery (3rd in 7 months). All for only $1k!

Now I have 2 spare VTR engines, a complete frame and enough parts to build a 3rd VTR. But I'm busy getting my from new 76 RD400 converted back to street legal, and a 2000 HD XL1200S Sport restored (OE with dual plug heads, HE ignition, hotter cams and bumped compression and fully adjustable front and rear suspension). Got it for $600...
Congratulations. I am finally fully recovered from my knee replacement and wishing you the same. For me I think this restoration is a 1 time thing. Something I've always wanted to do. Honestly, I felt like I'd never find the right bike at a price that made sense. I'm now looking at some of the prices of stuff I want to do. Not a cheap hobby.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
117 Posts
So you can ride!

Congrats to you!

I much prefer riding but as long as I can't I might as well try to be useful.

I'm just getting to the point where I think I can push a bike off the center stand but I'm not sure if I can move it around yet lol

Probably won't so it's sad though the RD is light

Contrary to the hog

Problem is shop space is now real tight and I need to move around my FJ and my original VTR and I can't!

I started out with basket cases for side money and to feed my habit and averaged up to 5 Brit bikes at a time in my Victorian era double coach "garage" back in San Diego in the mid seventies. The multi unit Victorian originally had gas lighting and was converted to electric. beautiful building, still is there

But there was no power down in the garage. I wrangled a cheap generator and got by with that for 3 years. At night I couldn't run it of course so at least the long Sunny days with the bypass doors open we're comfortable most times until there was a Santa Ana for a week.

Didn't have a car but 2 sidehacks to do laundry shopping and dates with. Those were the days in the mountains northeast of me. They didn't care if you had headlights until dusk. But on my fav Matchle didn't have generator. So I put a 6v battery in the Cafe Racer tail for the brake light.

So for 50 years I've been working on bikes airplanes ultra lights and such and for pilots in San Diego (an old aircraft manufacturing town) who didn't t have mula, you could still fly low on your motorbike

Nowadays people can't deal with the constant maintenance of a Brit bike

That's why your CB550 should be b***

I finally went Japanese in 1980, though I raced Yamaha Td's In the early seventies. Just didn't ride them Until I gave up my English iron habit

If you ever need any advice you know how to get ahold of me
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
4,530 Posts
Best wishes for a successful cafe-build. It's something to do on those long, cold Massachusett's winter nights and you will be stylin'.

I just last year gave away a 1976 SOHC CB550K with updated suspension, powdercoated 4 into 1 exhaust, pod filters, jetted carbs, perfect paint, badges, side covers, seat, chrome and it was a runner. I had a couple of hundred hours in that project and enjoyed many days running around Suches, Georgia. All it needed was a battery and tires when he picked it up.

For a cafe bike-build all it needed was set of flat bars, new rims/spokes and a fancy cafe tank/seat and Bob's your uncle. Now I'm trying to get him to take the FZ09 off my hands.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
117 Posts
Best wishes for a successful cafe-build. It's something to do on those long, cold Massachusett's winter nights and you will be stylin'.

I just last year gave away a 1976 SOHC CB550K with updated suspension, powdercoated 4 into 1 exhaust, pod filters, jetted carbs, perfect paint, badges, side covers, seat, chrome and it was a runner. I had a couple of hundred hours in that project and enjoyed many days running around Suches, Georgia. All it needed was a battery and tires when he picked it up.

For a cafe bike-build all it needed was set of flat bars, new rims/spokes and a fancy cafe tank/seat and Bob's your uncle. Now I'm trying to get him to take the FZ09 off my hands.
Holy s--t! Gave away? Who too?

BTW, could never get pods to work right on 550 fours, I built some custom airboxes that honked though!


You need somebody to take your 9? I'll trailer to GA
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
2,881 Posts
Best wishes for a successful cafe-build. It's something to do on those long, cold Massachusett's winter nights and you will be stylin'.

I just last year gave away a 1976 SOHC CB550K with updated suspension, powdercoated 4 into 1 exhaust, pod filters, jetted carbs, perfect paint, badges, side covers, seat, chrome and it was a runner. I had a couple of hundred hours in that project and enjoyed many days running around Suches, Georgia. All it needed was a battery and tires when he picked it up.

For a cafe bike-build all it needed was set of flat bars, new rims/spokes and a fancy cafe tank/seat and Bob's your uncle. Now I'm trying to get him to take the FZ09 off my hands.
I’m contemplating a track only FZ… might have to get in line if he doesn’t take yours. :)
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
2,881 Posts
Holy s--t! Gave away? Who too?

BTW, could never get pods to work right on 550 fours, I built some custom airboxes that honked though!


You need somebody to take your 9? I'll trailer to GA
Pods and carbs are a tuning nightmare on a lot of setups. I actually put a wideband O2 on my GS to get it right. It was important to get a pod that didn’t block any of the circuits. Also tuning the outside cylinders to be a tad richer due to the air flow making them leaner.

she was snappy though.
Suzuki GS750E
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,184 Posts
I bought a new, orange, 1976 CB550F for $1550 at the time. One thing that brought immediate dividends was flipping the forks over so the caliper was behind the front forks, not in front of them. It noticeably lessened steering effort but the speedo ran backwards, so off it went. It looked way better with just the tack centered over the triple. Kerker 4<1 was the hot ticket with Mulholand shocks.
 
  • Like
Reactions: ridetofish

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,550 Posts
My buddy has this SX650 that he bought in boxes for a Cafe project. Went through all of the mechanicals, engine was great, forks didn't leak, brakes freshened up, new tires, fabbed up a seat, cut the fenders. All appeared to be great. Then he put the wiring into it and tried to start it. It started and ran well but kept blowing headlight fuses. After that, the taillight quit. He's been chasing electrical gremlins for almost 3 years now. Two days ago he texted me that he's decided to donate the bike to one of the local schools for a learning project.

Hope yours goes smoother.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Maybe you should use this thread and start a built log..... the first pic would be the pile of parts :D. I found something similar while searching Craiglist, it was a Honda CBX for $2K including the trailer that it was on because it wasn't running. I think the guy upped the price from the huge amount of responses he got.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
4,530 Posts
Holy s--t! Gave away? Who too?
You need somebody to take your 9? I'll trailer to GA
After I posted that I realized how douchey that sounded. Honestly I'm at the point where I'm trying to do for those that have done for me in times past. To grab the FZ all you'll need is your trailer and $6500. Seriously, the CB needed very little to take it up a notch. And I do miss it. The intake honk with the pod filters was intoxicating. Chester
is going to be well rewarded with his finished product.
 

·
Registered
2019 Yamaha MT 10
Joined
·
1,924 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
After I posted that I realized how douchey that sounded. Honestly I'm at the point where I'm trying to do for those that have done for me in times past. To grab the FZ all you'll need is your trailer and $6500. Seriously, the CB needed very little to take it up a notch. And I do miss it. The intake honk with the pod filters was intoxicating. Chester
is going to be well rewarded with his finished product.
I'm going to have to ban you for 5 days. Sorry.
 

·
Registered
2019 Yamaha MT 10
Joined
·
1,924 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Maybe you should use this thread and start a built log..... the first pic would be the pile of parts :D. I found something similar while searching Craiglist, it was a Honda CBX for $2K including the trailer that it was on because it wasn't running. I think the guy upped the price from the huge amount of responses he got.
I might take your advice and do that. It would also allow me to take advantage of all of the great experience of people on this forum. I've found some many great answers, solutions and kept from doing stupid stuff here.
 

·
Registered
2019 Yamaha MT 10
Joined
·
1,924 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Pods and carbs are a tuning nightmare on a lot of setups. I actually put a wideband O2 on my GS to get it right. It was important to get a pod that didn’t block any of the circuits. Also tuning the outside cylinders to be a tad richer due to the air flow making them leaner.
I figured the same thing so I found a solution. Murray's Carbs in NC. I just ordered this Mikuni set that he speciallizes and builds specifically for a CB550 (and many others). $700 shipped and is a plug and play set. They're beautiful to look at ( assuming others like me find such things beautiful). My sister just bought them for me as a birthday present.

The icing on the cake......I have a the original set of Keihans that came off the bike running, 4 rebuild kits and polished float bowls that came with the bikes which I'm going to throw on Ebay. I sold another one of my used helmets.....more $ to buy shinny new parts.

Font Machine Automotive design Auto part Automotive lighting
 

·
Registered
2019 Yamaha MT 10
Joined
·
1,924 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I spent about 6 hours studying the electrical system on this bike last night. I came across a couple of YouTube videos showing a complete re-wire job using a product called an M-Unit. Having modern motorcycles, I haven't had to delve into electrical other than installing a Safer Turn Module, heated grips, integrated tail light, led turn signals and a few relays etc. I started looking at the shop manual and the wiring harnesses and came to the conclusion that these things are disgusting.

It's a new world out there. This M-Unit does everything. Completely converts a 45 year old motorcycle to cutting edge modern electronics.....and way easier. 2 days ago, if someone recommended doing a complete re-wire from scratch I would have told them to F*ck off. After watching and re-watching installation videos, reading all of the documentation I could find, writing up a list and a plan, it's impossible to not go for it. This part of the project went from dread to excitement about a cool new challenge. I'll change out the points to a CDI unit, Anti Gravity battery, M-Unit, modern rectifier, all LED signals and tail light which become programmable. It all fits into the amount of space that seems like it would be impossibly small. Best part is it turns the entire electrical system stone cold reliable. I do not want a motorcycle that can't make it home. Worst part....it's pricey. Apparently they are also using these on dedicated track bikes although I haven't looked at that application.

Motorcycle technology is moving so fast. We're already taking it for granted that we just pop out our ECU and send it to a guy (now) across the country and get it back in a few days and our bikes are transformed. As far as motorcycles, it's a way cool time to be doing this. I lived through the old school stuff and there was so much to love but the new stuff has even more to love. It almost sucks to buy a new motorcycle because you know that they're adding amazing technology to them so fast now that you'll be lusting after something new a year or 2 later. When you think about an MT 09, it would annihilate almost anything on the road 20 years ago. A 69 Honda CB750 had 67 hp and all of the reviews said, this bike is way too powerful for the average rider. There are scooters that are getting more than that.

Check this out.


Motor vehicle Bicycles--Equipment and supplies Bicycle tire Bicycle frame Bicycle handlebar
 
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
Top