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CB450 Black Bomber - Am I becoming a hoarder?

Troy

Veteran Member
Joined
Feb 6, 2021
Total Posts
478
Total likes
67
Location
Canmore, Alberta, Canada
It ain't hoarding if your stuff is cool!!!

Yesterday I was sitting at the kitchen table of a family member with a long history of antiques and buying and selling treasures that he finds in his travels. I casually mentioned that if he ever comes across any cool old bikes to let me know. "As a matter of fact" he says "I found something the other day. An old Honda Black 'something or other.' It's sitting in the garage if you want to have a look."

30 minutes / $200 (Canadian dollars, so practically free) later and it's in the back of my truck ready for the drive from BC back to Alberta. Never leave home without a set of tie-down straps! Trouble is that I have 3 partially finished project bikes sitting in the garage already. My partner has been largely supportive thus far but on the phone I could detect that I may have discovered where the line was and I was dangerously close to crossing it.

This is certainly a serious project but it seems achievable.
-Motor has been pulled and is free (so I was told and I have no reason not to believe) When I laid the motor on it's side for a few second oil appeared on the ground so it's not dry.
-Haven't had a look at the serial number plate yet so not sure of the year. Will investigate when I'm home.
-No seat or side covers, haven't noticed anything else missing yet.
-Tank and fenders in rough shape.
-Brakes seized.
-Exhaust has been destroyed but I have a set of old Triumph mufflers if anybody needs them!

I think I will have to stash this one somewhere in the back yard or under the deck (This is where I feel like I may have a hoarding problem!) for a while and get busy wrapping up at least one or two of the current projects and find new homes for them to make some room.

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Totally awesome, congrats!
Since when has adding a new member to the family been considered hoarding?
 
Yes, killer find, especially for the price. I can never find deals like that (well, except for the garage Harley but I didn't want to keep it)
 
The rubber pads that fit on the chrome panels on the tank are missing, but it's mostly there. The air filters are usually crap at this point. You've got a good project bike so wrap it up well to keep it dry.
 
Sometimes the deals find you. In a back corner of my mind where the dreams live I always thought a find like this would be amazing. When I asked the question of my family member I really expected that one day he might find some random uninteresting motorcycle and I would politely pass but you never know. In this case when he said "Black something or other" I nearly jumped out of my seat. If, God forbid, you ever watch Rust Valley Restorers or Backroad Truckers on History Channel or Netflix this bike and another were sitting in the yard of Big Donny at Barriere Towing in the BC interior! My aunt's new husband is an acquaintance of his and a picker who's always got his eyes open and grabbed the 2 bikes.

Birdland, I know you either were, or still are in Calgary and have a similar bike so along the way I may reach out for some local suggestions if that's ok?

wentwest, it looks like you're working on a similar project so when I get going I'll definitely go over your posts a little closer and I know the community here has my back so I'm grateful for that.

Todays goal is to get it off the truck which is a bit of a chore with seized brakes but fortunately the motor is out at this point so that will make it easier. I'll get the serial number and try to figure out the specific year and sub-model. Then I'll fetch a manual and wiring diagram from this forum and plot a course forward and start sourcing parts. I have a CD175 that I need to wrap up and get off the work stand first and a CB400 that I've lost interest in but have too much money tied up in to just walk away from. Once I've cleared some space in the garage then I'll get to work on the Bomber.

One curiosity is the chrome fenders and headlight bucket which seem inconsistent with all of the photos I've seen of these bikes. Does anybody have any thoughts?
 
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What a find, congratulations! It is not considered hoarding when a Bomber is involved (trust me I know). Sometimes you just have to seize opportunity when it presents itself and you did what any of us sane vintage Honda enthusiasts would do. The biggest problem you have at this point is keeping it dry and rodent free until you can get it safely into your shop. Since the motor is already out perhaps at least that can go into the shop now for safe keeping.
Checking the serial numbers is always fun. It is hard to pin down the year on Bombers but my experience says that normally the frame number runs approximately 1800 digits ahead of the motor number for an original frame/motor combination. That number could be smaller on an earlier bike but I can tell yours isn’t one of the earliest versions based on the reinforcements of the rear passenger peg loops.
I had noticed the chrome fenders and front end and wondered about those myself. To my knowledge, Honda did not produce the K0 450 with those so my guess is all that chrome work was done after purchase by a previous owner to customize it. If the chrome is still decent I would try to go with what you have and not worry so much about original. In the past I have seen some chrome side covers on EBay and such. If you got lucky and found a set of those it would make the bike in my opinion.
Do us all a favor, before you get it all wrapped up and protected for storage shoot some better detailed pics of the bike to add to this thread. We always need pics to salivate over! (y)
 
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Birdland, I know you either were, or still are in Calgary and have a similar bike so along the way I may reach out for some local suggestions if that's ok?

Any time man. PM me here or text my cell if there's anything I can help with.

403 554-5800
 
You and me both, no deals like that are ever found near me.


It was nothing more than astoundingly good luck! The comments from everyone make me appreciate what it is that I stumbled across. My partner seems to think it looks like something that belongs on a scrap metal heap and I guess if one didn't know better...

Bike is off the truck and I'll post some photos later today or tomorrow with a full run down. Just taking stock of what's what right now.

Don't worry, the motor is safely stashed in the garage.

Cheers
 
We're looking forward to the pictures, we like them of any bike but especially the rarer ones in our category
 
As it will be a little while before I can get deep into this project I'm just taking stock of things right now and trying to come up with a plan. As always feedback from those with experience is welcomed. FSM & Parts Manuals already downloaded and being printed and bound at the office supply store.

1) Serial numbers are Frame CB450 - 1016537, Engine CB450E - 1014348. If anybody knows of a way to determine model year with that information it is much appreciated.

2) Motor is out and the frame is in need of love. I'm sure if I look around the forum I will find lots of paint vs powdercoat conversations but please feel free to weigh in...that's a new one for me.

3) What to do with the motor? I have no idea the history of the bike or the motor, how long it's been sitting idle, etc, etc. I'm considering dropping the motor off at a shop in the city an hour away and letting them give it a complete assessment and rebuild as needed. I have basic tools and enjoy much of the research and learning and work involved in playing with the bikes but I must admit I lack any real experience in this particular area. My only other option is to fumble through it with the help and encouragement of the people here on the forum but I'm not convinced of that approach. Maybe I'm unnecessarily nervous. Thoughts please.

4) Electrical I'm pretty comfortable with. I have the tools, supplies and a little bit of experience rewiring 3 other bikes so that should be ok.

5) Need a seat, side covers, air boxes and filters, handlebars, mufflers, chain and certainly much more as well.

6) Shockingly the inside of the tank is pristine!!! The outside of the tank is a mess. Off to the body shop for repairs and paint. Same with the fenders.

Cheers

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View attachment 10405
 
As it will be a little while before I can get deep into this project I'm just taking stock of things right now and trying to come up with a plan. As always feedback from those with experience is welcomed. FSM & Parts Manuals already downloaded and being printed and bound at the office supply store.

...great place to start.

I have some of the same feelings when I go to organize a project. You have an advantage in that there is no time limit here. You don't need to be on the highway in April. It looks like your planning methodology is working and you're mapping out some starting points. Excellent.

I'm with you on the engine work. It's intimidating. If I had all the tools, the garage space and the time, I would have no issue, but the temptation is to drop an engine somewhere reliable and spend that extra cash to have it done right. No worries in the future about the integrity. I do have a recommendation for work, but as always it's expensive. I've also been warned away from some of the locals, which is unfortunate, but not unexpected.

PM me if you'd like some contact info.

Still - so envious of your find. What a gift.
 
Most of the things you need are the things everyone needs. The OEM supply is very, very small, but you can look at www.cmsnl.com and also davidsilverspares.com. The bars you can replace with bars that are similar, cheap enough. I bought these: https://4into1.com/chrome-superbike-handlebars-7-8/ and they will do fine. Same with the chain. There are repro air filters and some soft parts that are helpful, and some other folks including me have some extra bits and pieces, but mufflers and seats are unlikely. Side covers are also rare but keep scanning Ebay.

It took me a while to figure out where to start, and I finally decided to see if the engine would run. It sort of did so I took it from the frame and then really took the frame apart and tried to clean and figure out the condition of everything. And then I ground the frame back to steel and primed and painted it and put things back together bit by bit. You need to make lists of what you need and try to order it all at once from someplace like David Silver or 4 into 1 or some of the soft part repro folks like Niche on Ebay, so you don't keep paying for shipping little orders. It's a slow process.

There's plenty of info on VHT, and always ask before you dive into something that you really don't fully understand because there's lots of help here. We want your bike to run again.
 
Thanks wentwest. I've been down this road before so what you are describing is exactly what I came into this expecting. I'm just finishing up a 1967 CD175 and parts for that are probably even more difficult to find. That particular bike was never sold in the US so the there seem to be even fewer parts bikes floating around and many people have never heard of the model. Fortunately that bike was stored in a garage it's whole life and was in better condition to start with. (although it's 6 volt and that's a whole different can of worms)

I'm going to finish disassembly and will be taking the frame and miscellaneous bits and pieces to be powder coated and I've made arrangements for the engine to be cleaned and assessed by a mechanic I trust. In the meantime I'll try to get the 175 wrapped up.

Has anybody ever purchased from The Seat Factory?? They offer this which is the route I think I will likely take https://bikeseatfactory.com/Honda-cb450-black-bomber-complete-motorcycle-seat-unit/

I do know "a guy" in the city with a huge private collection of NOS parts for all things Honda going back to the early 60's so I know he'll be able to help with lots of little odds and ends but I haven't given him my wish list yet.

Shipping stuff to Canada is even worse than what you describe because even the American parts suppliers don't offer free shipping to us so whenever I order from 4into1 I tend to throw all kinds of stuff into my cart that I think "I might need later" just in case.

I'm looking forward to adventure...I know it won't happen quickly.
 
1) Serial numbers are Frame CB450 - 1016537, Engine CB450E - 1014348. If anybody knows of a way to determine model year with that information it is much appreciated.
View attachment 10405

I do not think Honda has ever given any production numbers per year for any of these K0 450’s. That is further complicated by the fact that some bikes were only assigned a year once they were sold and first titled so that could cause discrepancies in comparison to other bikes. Some people have suggested to look for a white label on the wire harness running along the frame backbone to find a year but I do not find that to be a very reliable method personally. With all that said, I have a Bomber with a frame number 1011xxx and engine number 1009xxx and that bike had a registration from 1978 showing it as a 1966 model. I know the frame serial numbers for K0’s run at least as high as 1024xxx maybe even to 1026xxx. My guess is yours is a mid to late ‘66 model or possibly an early ‘67. Perhaps some others have a serial number with known year to compare?
Thanks for including the photos of your find! The bike has great potential and you certainly are at an advantage given the small price you paid to acquire the bike. You will need that advantage to find all the bits and bobs necessary to make it whole again and stay at a sane investment level. Beyond the obvious big items missing, the little ones really add up. You mentioned a replacement seat in another thread that looks like a promising option. Keep in mind to go with that seat you will need the set of hinges and the lockdown knob with its bracket. Those items alone will cost more than that replacement seat itself. This is not to discourage you, just to point out there are many small parts to source. Keep at it, make lists of what is needed.
One small necessary item I might be able to help you with is an original Honda key for the ignition if you do not already have one. Let me know if you need one or need help figuring out which key will fit.
 
Thanks wentwest. I've been down this road before so what you are describing is exactly what I came into this expecting. I'm just fin
Has anybody ever purchased from The Seat Factory?? They offer this which is the route I think I will likely take https://bikeseatfactory.com/Honda-cb450-black-bomber-complete-motorcycle-seat-unit/

I have very mixed feelings about the bike seat factory. I ordered a seat from them and it came in good tine and was over the top excellent. Based on that experience I recommended them to a friend who ordered a seat. He has been waiting for over three months and has heard nothing from them. This in spite of repeated E-mails and phone calls. They have a toll free US number.

So as I say mixed feelings someone asked this same question yesterday and got a recommendation for a US supplier HERE
 
I have very mixed feelings about the bike seat factory. I ordered a seat from them and it came in good tine and was over the top excellent. Based on that experience I recommended them to a friend who ordered a seat. He has been waiting for over three months and has heard nothing from them. This in spite of repeated E-mails and phone calls. They have a toll free US number.

So as I say mixed feelings someone asked this same question yesterday and got a recommendation for a US supplier HERE


Thanks...that was me...
As it was a specific question related to suppliers I threw it out there in a separate post! Appreciate the feedback.
Cheers
 
Keep at it, make lists of what is needed.
One small necessary item I might be able to help you with is an original Honda key for the ignition if you do not already have one. Let me know if you need one or need help figuring out which key will fit.


A key is on the list! I will send you a PM and if you are able to help that would be amazing.
 
The short answer is yes I do have a key that will work for you. I will explain all the details via PM.
 
Hi All,

It's been an awful long time since I've posted here about this bike. I've spent the past 11 months sourcing parts and trying to clear a few other things off of my plate. I think I'll get active again with this thread because summer is wrapping up and I'm almost ready to get going on this project. For now here's a few very brief progress updates. I'll go into detail later as questions emerge

-Engine was seized and has now been cleaned and rebuilt from top to bottom. Pics of the engine on the way home.
IMG_1327.jpg IMG_1326.jpg
-Found lots of little odds and ends on Ebay and with help from a few forum members. Of course as the bike is torn apart there are sure to be lots of things that I don't even realize I'm missing yet. Found decent wheels, side covers, air cleaners, air cleaner covers, etc.
-Have found some guys nearby who love vintage Hondas and are doing lots of vapor blasting for me for very affordable rates so everything is getting thoroughly cleaned before assembly begins.
-Dropped off frame for powder coating yesterday.

Anyhow, very brief for now...I'll be sure to keep updates and questions coming over the winter.
 
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I wondered what happened, glad you came back to let us know how things are going. I'm a little disappointed we didn't get to see the engine work, but good to know it all went well and you're getting some good help with all the cleanup details. When you get a chance, pictures please!
 
Life happened! Summers are busy at the best of times but this one was unique (at least I hope so). Both my mother and her brother passed away within weeks of one another and we had shops to clean out, widows to move, things to settle down. Pretty taxing times and I just put everything else on hold and took a little time to myself.

Anyhow...a real quick rundown on the engine. For some reason I'm having a hard time uploaded photos this morning so I'll try again later. As I wasn't there doing the work I'll try to recap as best I remember it.

-One stuck piston freed.
-New standard size pistons and sleeves.
-Upgraded Oil pump. I think it's from a K1 but don't remember. Larger bore should move more oil. (Not Jay's, that will have to wait)
-Rebuilt crank with new connecting rods
-Looks like a chain was probably thrown at some point. Clutch actuator damaged and a hairline crack in the casing above the sprocket. New actuator and casing nicely welded.
-Everything well cleaned and reassembled.

The guys that I found to do the work are a couple of retired mechanic / engineer / machinist brothers who restore old bike, mostly Hondas out of their small shop. They do it to because the like it. I found them to be beyond meticulous. Nothing happens in a hurry in a their shop but they are fun to hang out with, do great work and their rates were very reasonable. I was lucky to find them. Added bonus is that they will clean anything I bring them and also do powdercoating.
 
Sorry to hear of the family losses. Life does happen and those moments are among the most difficult to have to deal with.

It's lucky and fortunate finding those brothers who competently work on vintage Hondas, a rarity in these times and a big advantage for you. But we still need pictures, LOL
 
Yes I am lucky to have found these guys. I was introduced to them by another local treasure. An older gentleman who was a Honda parts manager decades ago. He has continued to collect, buy and sell parts (his son says "hoard") It's seldom that I need something that Jim doesn't have tucked away on a shelf somewhere like a collection of oil pumps or new sleeves for my seized engine. He has his own personal warehouse full of parts both new and used.

Cracked casing
IMG_1358.JPG IMG_1357.JPG
Busted Clutch actuator
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Fresh shiny rods, a rare sight. Everything looks great. I'd be curious to see their welding repair on the crankcase.
 
The past couple of weeks all of my parts have started coming home from cleaning and powder coating. I've spent the better part of the last year gathering parts, and planning to rebuild this bike! Now the fun begins and I plan to post regularly with photos as I progress.

Here is the frame with the swing arm attached with the most Canadian of solutions while I wait for my new shocks...extra points for creative use of a hockey stick?
68755625686__3A33CF69-4229-4DDF-BF56-E59EF06CAB78.jpg

Now on to the triple tree and the first minor trouble. I purchase the Rising Sun steering bearings from 4into1. Assuming that I have the parts arranged correctly in this photo, there isn't enough thread at the top for the nut to engage. I think this is arranged correctly but feedback would be welcomed please? (I realize the top bearing is oriented the wrong way in this photo)
IMG_1403.jpg

The one thought I had is that the shop that did the powder coating may have added powder where there need not be any and removing it might make a bit of a difference. Thoughts? (I'd rather not start complaining about the powder coaters and would like to start on a solution)

IMG_1405.jpg IMG_1404.jpg

Cheers
 
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Looks to me that the ball bearing cups are still in the head stock of the frame. Don't those come out when installing a roller kit?

Score! on the Hockey stick. :)
 
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The hockey stick use is a cool idea, but I have to agree that at least the upper bearing race is still in the frame contributing to the problem for the fitment of the tapered bearings and races.
 
Thanks, that makes so much sense and it obviously demonstrates my inexperience in this regard. I suppose when I dismantled everything about 10 months ago I overlooked the removal of the bearing races. Now that it's been mistakenly powder coated it looks like its all one piece. Flipped the frame over and I'm guessing this race needs to be removed too?

IMG_1407.jpg

For a minute let's forget that the upper one has been well sealed in the powder coating process and discuss removal of the races...is it safe to assume that they can be driven out from the opposite side?
 
Yes drive out with piece of pipe. I would score around with a razor blade so the nice powder coating doesn't peel or tear and a little penetrating oil like WD40 and a bit sprayed down from the other side too, to get under it, in case it's rusted in.
 
More reading why I choose to do so can be found here: upgrading (the handling) and refurbishment of a CB450 K0

The thread is about upgrading the handling of a CB450 K0 (mine) in all detail, unfortunately the forum went bad and I'm in the process to deleting all information on that thread. If you're quick you can still read it. Deleting (copying) all information is a time consuming job.
 
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Maybe some clarification on deleting information before I'm beaten to death. I spent a lot of time to write something down, therefore it's an investment with information, information that attract readers, readers that log in and see all the adds. Adds that make someone very, very rich. The information on a forum is given free of charge, so I expect that the forum won't make money, other then to cover the expenses for software, a server, cloud and other costs.

Jensen, please drag your feet for a day or two. I bet there's something good in there I'll enjoy.

There is so much information written by me on that other forum in at least two very detailed threads, that I wonder if I will ever come to it.

And now back to the hoarder...

In short, if you go with two tapered bearings, the distance between the front fork T-piece and upper clamp will be too large, and since the front fork cover that holds the headlight is placed inbetween rubbers, you will change the construction. Ballbearian is right, the lower bearing will handle all the forces, therefore, the tapered bearing is the perfect tool for that job. The top bearing is only there for guidance and pre-load, and both can be achieved with this set-up.
 
Old races came out with no trouble. I won't get around to installing the new stuff for a while.

-Jensen, while I won't argue with your point about top and bottom I will need to work with the parts that I have readily available and so unless there is a problem with changing both top and bottom to the new tapered bearings then that will be my approach for the time being.

-There are a number of washers included with the kit which I believe are to act as spacers if need be. Any advice on this?

-Does anybody have photos of a properly installed and functioning steering damper assembly they could post please? I'm a pretty visual guy and I'm not quite getting how this all goes together and functions. I suspect if I saw a couple of photos the light bulb would go on for me. It's also possible that I have some incorrect parts and that is leading to my confusion.

Thanks everyone for the help.
 
The spacer washers are to obtain the same installed height of the tapered bearings as the stock ball set up.
Assemble the ball set up and lay on a flat surface, set the tapered assembly next to it and see where you're at. add the closest washer to get close to the same height, +/-1mm is preferred.
GEDC2531.jpg GEDC2530.jpg
 
Hi LDR,

I don't know what bearings Troy has, but mine where definitely not fitting in a normal way. Same with the CB400f, fitted tppered bearing top and bottom, but had just 2 mm thread left. So I ditched the top bearing and replaced that for the standard bearing. I still lost 1 mm thread, but that's ok.
 
More reading why I choose to do so can be found here: upgrading (the handling) and refurbishment of a CB450 K0

The thread is about upgrading the handling of a CB450 K0 (mine) in all detail, unfortunately the forum went bad and I'm in the process to deleting all information on that thread. If you're quick you can still read it. Deleting (copying) all information is a time consuming job.

Thanks, Jensen for the link - it was a good read. I think your strategy of rollers only on the bottom is the best of all worlds. Maintaining minimal changes to fork ear fitment dimensions is very desirable for a good look.

Unless the lower stack is really trashed, I'll probably never swap to a roller set up because I can rotate the pressed in races 180 degrees to extend the service of those parts and I have mucho experience in adjusting preload on headsets (bicycle lingo) and loose ball OEM set ups have served well on these old bikes for many years - if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

Maybe, I'm just more immune to "sexy" upgrades due to the retrogrouch in me.

I did read the fork spring stuff too. That was great.
 
There is another reason, I don't know if I mentioned that in the thread, but a tapered roller bearing set will steer heavier then the original ball bearing set's.
 
...a tapered roller bearing set will steer heavier then the original ball bearing set's.

While that may be true in some cases, I have not felt any difference in my 450. And with roller bearings, I know it will never developed "notchy" steering from flat spots on the balls or races like so many of my previous bikes did decades ago.
 
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