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A Bomber barn find

The parts came this morning, and this afternoon the old plugged up pipe came off and the replacement pieces went on. And the engine started and ran very well. All my fooling around with the engine itself wasn't justified, the problem was a simple, plugged exhaust pipe with a collapsed layer inside blocking the flow. There's no sign of it from the outside and because it's halfway around the curved section I couldn't see it from the open ends either. I was dreading the tear down of the top end with the cam chain that runs all over and would be sure to escape and fall into the crankcase.

And I'll be rid of those noisy straight pipes!
 
That collapsed pipe is not uncommon on the early GL1000 Goldwing header pipes too. It usually is easy to identify, as the pipe rattles since the inner pipe skin has separated.
I use the Eastwood ceramic interior header coating on all my exhaust systems now, especially on any newly purchased NOS exhaust systems. It helps reduce the outer pipe temps and any possibility of pipe discolouration on the system.
 
This one didn't rattle at all. And having a pipe collapse inside, with no sign of anything outside, was new to me. Live and learn is the rule in this hobby, just like everything else in my life.

Thant's an impressive collection of Hondas you've got.
 
Thank you Bob it has been a 15 year journey and I have quite a few more that I cannot post as that is the roster limit. I have some other rare models and a few more common ones. Retired now and it is a passion of mine to bring them back fully restored.
 
Thanks Tom, it isn't that important. My skills on the computer and the websites are not top notch.;)
 
Thanks Tom, it isn't that important. My skills on the computer and the websites are not top notch.;)

With the herd you have, I'd be bragging a bit too... but I've learned that if you post a thumbnail pic of your bike that is linked to the full-sized picture, it rarely gets looked at because most don't notice it's a link (and then sometimes they ask what your bike looks like...). And I suspect our older format doesn't help that situation with the ever-increasing number of mobile viewers and the narrower focus that method has
 
OK! After a lot of futzing with things to get the engine to smooth out, equal pressure from the pipes, steady idle and easy starting it finally came together today. I've put a lot of effort into getting the timing just right and now it seems like it worked. In addition I accidentally had been using a 14H carb on the left and a later body on the right, so I swapped back to a 14H on the right. Also rechecking all the connections in the electric harness that I had done to use the Sparck Moto reg/rec got things charging well. Today it started up easily and ran very well. I rode it around the neighborhood some, and now I know that it's on to new brake shoes, getting the seat hinges back in shape, getting a proper seat latch, etc. And getting the dents ironed out of the tank.

Because my house is at the top of a steep hill taking it out beyond the close neighborhood is a commitment. If it stalls somewhere I can't get it home without organizing up a truck and renting a trailer (because my kids' truck is jacked up so much it's really impossible to shove the bike up a ramp). Leaving a Bomber abandoned on the mean streets of Oakland is probably the last I'll see of it. And I really should get it plated if I want to ride it much.

It's a good day when a motorcycle that hasn't run well or at all for decades gets to cruise the streets again.
 
Today it started up easily and ran very well. I rode it around the neighborhood some, and now I know that it's on to new brake shoes, getting the seat hinges back in shape, getting a proper seat latch, etc.

Because my house is at the top of a steep hill taking it out beyond the close neighborhood is a commitment. If it stalls somewhere I can't get it home without organizing up a truck and renting a trailer (because my kids' truck is jacked up so much it's really impossible to shove the bike up a ramp). Leaving a Bomber abandoned on the mean streets of Oakland is probably the last I'll see of it. And I really should get it plated if I want to ride it much.

Sounds like fun, Bob. Glad to hear it's running well. Is the seat latch on the bomber different from those on the later 450s? I recall that it is, but I've never seen a bomber in person.

When I'm troubleshooting one of my bikes I always try to ride uphill so I have an easier time getting home. Came in handy a few times. Too bad you don't have that option, but hopefully you won't need to worry about that with this bike anymore.
 
Congratulations on getting it running well again. Had to laugh about the "Mean streets of Oakland" comment, yet its only funny until it is stolen!

Those are desirable and collectable bikes for sure. :)
 
Leaving a Bomber abandoned on the mean streets of Oakland is probably the last I'll see of it. And I really should get it plated if I want to ride it much.
Leaving anything unattended in Oakland is a bad idea, my oldest lives on MLK.
Oakland PD is probably to busy with other stuff to worry about the plates but CHP is never too busy to impound it and contrary to popular thought all roads and streets in CA are in their jurisdiction.
 
Thanks for the kind words and comments. Only people who have had the experience of hauling something back to life really understand the joy.

I do have a few uphill streets near me, but they are all winding and narrow and the pavement quality is terrible. The tires on the Bomber are very good looking, but they are old, and the tubes could be even older, so riding on them is not confidence inspiring. I've been dragging my feet until I heard it run properly, but now the flood gates of spending open up.

The OPD is indeed very busy with daily murders, shootings and mayhem of every sort. CHP doesn't patrol the streets in my neighborhood, but I'm close to Berkeley and that PD would be likely to pull me over. My unregistered bike is pretty uninteresting unless you know what it is. But it will get registered soon. Right now Hagerty only insures it for comprehensive, but it won't cost much to cover it. We already had a conversation about how much it's worth.
 
Today I got in a few miles of putting around the neighborhood. I got into third gear two or three times, and I ventured down the big hill some. The houses you can see across the canyon are actually quite a bit higher than the road, about where I turned around. It ran well, stopped and started every time I wanted it to, and all in all it was a success. I found a few minor oil leak sources using the spray foot powder system, but there's still one and I think it might be from the gasket between the cylinders and the head on the left side. That's still not clear.

Bomber 3-22.jpg
 
there's still one and I think it might be from the gasket between the cylinders and the head on the left side.
Look carefully at the exhaust cam bearing gasket, as I found this one mostly leaking. If the head gasket is leaking, it will be in the middle (camchain tunnel) or the right side (oil feed to the head)., almost never on the left side. But you could be "lucky". Also check your left front fork seal, if that one is leaking, it will blow oil at speed (from the wind) into that area (don't ask how I know....).
 
I found a few minor oil leak sources using the spray foot powder system, but there's still one and I think it might be from the gasket between the cylinders and the head on the left side. That's still not clear.

Did you retorque the head at any point since putting the motor together? I would be curious about other's opinions on retorquing these 450 heads. Early in my ownership, I paid someone to do a top-end rebuild and I ended up with a burnt head gasket within a year - one of the head nuts (back left) was very loose when the leak appeared and the head gasket was burnt in that area. I replaced it and made sure to retorque the head shortly thereafter.
 
Hey Bob great to hear that it went well on the maiden voyage. Your weather looks great where you are, which is always nice. There is always shake down stuff to solve when you do a major repair or rebuild.
Great that you didn't have to do any pushing and it was all under the bikes own power. ;)

One of my first bikes was a brand new 1966 BB a few years old and still in the crate at a Honda dealership in the later 60's. So it brings back some memories.
 
Congrats on how far you have taken this project thus far. With this momentum it will be even easier to keep it moving further. It is always nice to see one of these Bombers back on the street where it belongs (y)
 
Answering 3 posts:

jensen I apologize because I didn't proof read my posting yesterday. The oil is showing up at the base of the cylinders, on the left side. It could be coming from the gasket between the cylinders and the crankcase, or from the gasket between the left side cover and the crankcase. There wasn't any obvious oil coming from the cam chain tensioner area and there wasn't any obvious oil tracking down from above over the cooling fins. The gasket between the left exhaust bearing cap (behind the points) and the head is a new replacement I installed and torqued. No obvious leak there. And the forks are filled with a fork oil that's red; the leaking oil is engine oil.

stl360+450 I did not retorque the head but I did put a socket on each bolt and pulled on the wrench to see if any were loose, and they were not. None moved at all.

flyin900 We have a lot of good weather in the SF Bay Area, too much. No significant rain at all in 2 1/2 months, in what should be the rainy season. The forecast calls for rain late today and you can almost hear the people all over wishing it would start right now. And wouldn't it be fun to find a new Bomber in its crate today?

My next journey may be to a gas station. It's about 1.5 miles away, but there's a 500 foot elevation drop, so I'm still not confident it will get there and back without help.
 
There's no mention of retorqueing anything mentioned in the various FSM's. Regardless I do retorque head bolts/nuts on every engine regardless of age of the engine or repair history. I'd say 50% of the time I find one that's off.
 
Just so we are on the same page on this, when you say retorque the head are you loosening the head bolts and then retightening them, always paying attention to the proper sequence and steps, of course? My concern with that is that I would risk introducing a series of stresses on the old head gasket which could create a leak where none existed before. Is that a real issue, or am I over thinking it?
 
Just so we are on the same page on this, when you say retorque the head are you loosening the head bolts and then retightening them, always paying attention to the proper sequence and steps, of course? My concern with that is that I would risk introducing a series of stresses on the old head gasket which could create a leak where none existed before. Is that a real issue, or am I over thinking it?

Yes, loosen one nut/bolt and retorque following the sequence in the FSM. When I say I find loose ones that means it didn't take as much effort to loosen, how much loose I've never bothered checking. This won't bother the head gasket at all since it's one area that looses tension for a moment.
 
If you re-torque the head, don't loosening the nuts, you will break the seal. After a few heat cycles, toque it as mentioned in the FSM. If one is loose, you will find it. Personally, I calculate the required stretch in the bolt and turn the nut a certain angle further, mostly 10 to 30 degrees.
 
The oil leaks are under control. My recurring problem with the right side not running well has made me unhappy, and about 6 months ago I decided tp push the Bomber into a safe corner and find a project I knew I could start and finish. Just because I wanted to do something and have it work out well. Most of my wrenching has been on scooters and I feel better about them. At just about the same time, early December, my 90 Honda Elite 250 was stolen while parked near the gym I use. That was a piss-off, but gave me room in the garage to adopt some lost soul, and shortly after a Piaggio BV250 showed up on CL. I bought it, rode it home, and spent a few months messing with it to get it in shape. About a month ago I declared the job done, put it on CL, and nothing happened. 3 nibbles but nobody came to look. Anyway, I dusted off the Bomber and after some preliminary inspection I tried it and it started and ran. Poorly. I suspect the advancer is not working properly and needs new springs, which seem to be made from unobtainium. Someone her found Yamaha springs that worked and I can't find the reference.

So now I have one too many scooters and a poor running engine.
 
And your comment about the weather is interesting. While the rest of the country is baking under a heat wave, we have had The Year Without a Spring (or Summer). All but 3 of the days in June have been below average, most days have been really cloudy or just gray all day, and it's just not pleasant outside. Temperatures have been in the 50's or maybe low 60's, gusty winds and humid. We didn't turn off the heat until the middle of the month, and every morning I really want to turn it on again.
 
The oil leaks are under control. My recurring problem with the right side not running well has made me unhappy, and about 6 months ago I decided tp push the Bomber into a safe corner and find a project I knew I could start and finish. Just because I wanted to do something and have it work out well. Most of my wrenching has been on scooters and I feel better about them. At just about the same time, early December, my 90 Honda Elite 250 was stolen while parked near the gym I use. That was a piss-off, but gave me room in the garage to adopt some lost soul, and shortly after a Piaggio BV250 showed up on CL. I bought it, rode it home, and spent a few months messing with it to get it in shape. About a month ago I declared the job done, put it on CL, and nothing happened. 3 nibbles but nobody came to look. Anyway, I dusted off the Bomber and after some preliminary inspection I tried it and it started and ran. Poorly. I suspect the advancer is not working properly and needs new springs, which seem to be made from unobtainium. Someone her found Yamaha springs that worked and I can't find the reference.

I believe Jays100 was the first person I saw mention that XS650 advance springs could be used on the 450. Here is a link to the springs and clips at Mike's XS, which I bookmarked after learning about it from Jay.

I'm sorry to hear that your Honda Elite was stolen. Do you think it was the kind of thing where someone just put it in a pickup and drove off or that the thief managed to start it? I'll never understand why people do things like this.

Have you heard of the website Moped Army? There may be a group of enthusiasts in your area and the Piaggio could be of interest to one of them. I fear that electric scooters and e-bikes may have already reduced interest in scooters that rely on internal combustion. I have one moped (Puch Maxi) that I got really cheap as a fun and low pressure 2-stroke project. Not sure what I'll do with it.

And your comment about the weather is interesting. While the rest of the country is baking under a heat wave, we have had The Year Without a Spring (or Summer). All but 3 of the days in June have been below average, most days have been really cloudy or just gray all day, and it's just not pleasant outside. Temperatures have been in the 50's or maybe low 60's, gusty winds and humid. We didn't turn off the heat until the middle of the month, and every morning I really want to turn it on again.

The makings for a good trade rely on two people having something the other values more than they do. Overcast 50s to 60s with some humidity sounds good to me right now (although not ideal). Can I interest you in 95-100 without a cloud to hide under? Weather apps need to start including a real time camera feed - I saw your temps and thought it sounded pretty good.
 
Bob, it sucks someone stole your Elite, especially while you were at the gym where I'd imagine there was a fair amount of foot traffic. Hard to believe how ballsy people are now.

The makings for a good trade rely on two people having something the other values more than they do. Overcast 50s to 60s with some humidity sounds good to me right now (although not ideal). Can I interest you in 95-100 without a cloud to hide under? Weather apps need to start including a real time camera feed - I saw your temps and thought it sounded pretty good.

I'd take our "spring" weather here again in a heartbeat, morning 50s would be great and I'd be happy with it nearly all year 'round. We do have some clouds to help here now and then but they typically bring rain followed by more sun and sauna-time. :rolleyes:
 
One thing leads to another and here it is 8 months later. The scooter project I started after my 90 Elite was stolen is finished and ready for a new owner, and the other day I wheeled out the Bomber and decided the time had come to try taking a ride further than just in my very close neighborhood. I live in the hills of Oakland, CA and the streets leading to my house are very steep uphill, so any engine issues will leave me stranded and the bike will be out, alone in the anarchy that is the Oakland area. It started easily so I notified my neighbor that I was going out so I could call him for help if it couldn't get me home. Armed with tools, a lithium battery jumper and a stout cable lock to at least lock it to a phone pole, and down the hill I went. It's about a 600 foot drop in 2200 feet of street. Anyway, down was fine of course. I made a Uturn there and came back up. The bike ran steady and didn't fail, but I could feel an occasional miss, enough to make the trip nerve wracking. So I ordered new coils from 4into1. The plugs are new, non-resistor; the points are new Honda, the spark advancer is pretty good after new springs and a full clean and lube but the coils, while they measure 5 Ohms resistance, are old. Since 4into1 is in Hayward, about 20 miles away, I decided to go pick up the coils, and today I did that. It's just a bland warehouse space in an industrial area near the San Mateo bridge so it was a ride down I-880, one of America's nightmare 4 to 6 lane interstates. I took my Piaggio BV250 scooter.

Here's the bike in front of 4into1. Not much to see there.

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And their sign. Pretty snazzy, huh?

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Tomorrow the new coils, cables and caps go on and I'll clean up all the connections, too.
 
Glad to hear you're back at the Bomber. I hope the new coils will eliminate the ignition misses and lead to greater confidence in the bike and its ability to perform the hill climb.

Looks like you used the Chrome extension for Google Photos BBcode? I saw the links in the notification email, but they're not showing up on my mobile browser and when I tried to follow the links from the email it appears to be blocked. This was happening to me shortly after I tried using that extension, although the pictures always showed up initially as I'm sure they did here. I was just too late to see them.
 
One thing leads to another and here it is 8 months later. The scooter project I started after my 90 Elite was stolen is finished and ready for a new owner, and the other day I wheeled out the Bomber and decided the time had come to try taking a ride further than just in my very close neighborhood. I live in the hills of Oakland, CA and the streets leading to my house are very steep uphill, so any engine issues will leave me stranded and the bike will be out, alone in the anarchy that is the Oakland area. It started easily so I notified my neighbor that I was going out so I could call him for help if it couldn't get me home. Armed with tools, a lithium battery jumper and a stout cable lock to at least lock it to a phone pole, and down the hill I went. It's about a 600 foot drop in 2200 feet of street. Anyway, down was fine of course. I made a Uturn there and came back up. The bike ran steady and didn't fail, but I could feel an occasional miss, enough to make the trip nerve wracking. So I ordered new coils from 4into1. The plugs are new, non-resistor; the points are new Honda, the spark advancer is pretty good after new springs and a full clean and lube but the coils, while they measure 5 Ohms resistance, are old. Since 4into1 is in Hayward, about 20 miles away, I decided to go pick up the coils, and today I did that. It's just a bland warehouse space in an industrial area near the San Mateo bridge so it was a ride down I-880, one of America's nightmare 4 to 6 lane interstates. I took my Piaggio BV250 scooter.

Here's the bike in front of 4into1. Not much to see there.


And their sign. Pretty snazzy, huh?

Tomorrow the new coils, cables and caps go on and I'll clean up all the connections, too.

Quite a drop in about a half mile Bob, 600 feet is significant.

I'm thinking you'll need to make the pictures shared, nothing shows in the post and when I go to 'Edit' I see the address but Google asks me to log in to see it. And I know me logging into my account won't show your pics, LOL
 
After all the parts I’ve bought ant 4into1 over the years it’s fun to see the place. Thanks for posting the pics.
It’s also good to hear you’re back into the Bomber project. Now that the posting of pics is solved are we going to get an updated photo of the Bomber?
 
After all the parts I’ve bought ant 4into1 over the years it’s fun to see the place. Thanks for posting the pics.
It’s also good to hear you’re back into the Bomber project. Now that the posting of pics is solved are we going to get an updated photo of the Bomber?

+1 on pics of the Bomber.
 
OK, Ok. Sasquatch was out getting a beer, but the bike was here, so here's a bunch of history.

September 2020

IMG_20201001_110509094.jpg

Some of the stuff that came with it:

IMG_20201004_200605128.jpg

IMG_20201004_200628588_BURST000_COVER_TOP.jpg

IMG_20201004_200738204.jpg

20230811_154431[1].jpg

20230811_154629[1].jpg

Enough?
 
There is quite a bit of work to turn that bike around like you did, it looks really nice! (y)
I had forgotten you went with the 5 speed motor. Did you keep the original 4 speed to possibly rebuild later?
 
I do have the 4-speed crankcase, pretty complete with oversize pistons and the bored out cylinders, but no cam chain, no head at all. Never opened it up to see what's inside. It could be filled with spaghetti sauce for all I know. It's in a dry, safe spot. I suspect some day I might decide to put it on the bench and open it up. If I do that, and someone kicks me in the butt, I'll post photos.
 
I do have the 4-speed crankcase, pretty complete with oversize pistons and the bored out cylinders, but no cam chain, no head at all. Never opened it up to see what's inside. It could be filled with spaghetti sauce for all I know. It's in a dry, safe spot. I suspect some day I might decide to put it on the bench and open it up. If I do that, and someone kicks me in the butt, I'll post photos.

Just know that the 5 speed head will work on it, granted you'll have 8mm exhaust studs but otherwise mechanically the same aside from small cosmetic differences.

And don't worry, I'll be happy to kick you in the butt if it means we'll squeeze some pictures out of you. :lol:
 
Got it. I felt guilty that I never tried to crack open the engine I still have, so I hauled it out and unscrewed all the way around the right sidecover. And wacked on it with a rubber mallet to break it loose, no luck. Someone seems to have stuck it on with black silicon paste. I was able to shave some off and heated it up with my trusty heat gun, and it did soften up and even bubbled a bit, but there's no way I can heat the entire cover at the same time with a heat gun. Is there a miracle substance that will penetrate that stuff?
 
The cover also has 2 dowel pins, one on each side, and they can get a little corroded and stick in the aluminum so that will add to it. Now that the tension is off the cover by removing the screws, let it sit and periodically heat it and hit it with the rubber hammer. Here are the dowel locations

#15 in the front

honda-cb450k1-usa-e-11-upper-crankcase_big3IMG01175114_4776.jpg

and #12 in the rear

honda-cb450k1-usa-e-12-under-crankcase_big3IMG01175115_359e.jpg

I would say they're on the longest 2 screws, but the 4 speed also has that really long screw in the top of the right cover behind where the dipstick is. 4 speed bottom end fiches did not show the dowels, nor did the cover fiche
 
I'm working on the clutch side, and I'm not surprised that there are those dowel pins. In the past I've had pretty good luck banging away with the rubber mallet, but this time it's been just unmoved. I squirted some decent penetrating oil along the seam so I'll let that be for a day. The PO work on this bike has been good so far, but this engine is the one he had overbored, and I don't know why he stopped here. Could have dropped the chain the the crankcase? Who knows. He's no longer among the living, so there's no one to ask.
 
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