Things are progressing quickly with the 750 build. After a bit of cleaning, we got the motor into the frame. We're not particularly strong people so we flipped the motor onto its side(I knew the moving pallet would come in handy) and lowered the frame onto the motor. Once it was bolted into the frame, the entire assembly was easier to lift up.
I picked up a rear wheel for a 2002 GSXR-600 for $40 from a salvage company in Hampton, NJ. I went out on a Friday night to meet the guy and pick up the wheel in person. He accidentally gave me the wrong address (142 instead of 172). It was pitch black outside and the address took me to a very dark church parking lot. Yes, it was mad creepy and felt like the beginning to a very bad horror movie. The thought did cross my mind that the guy may have lured me out there to kill/rob me. Thankfully, he realized he gave me the wrong address.
I received a very nice blue wheel with a dent in it from a pothole. I'm not worried about the dent because I just needed the hub design so I can have a custom laced hub machined. I didn't realize he was including the tire, sprocket assembly, spacers, and brake rotor. Those were the last pieces I can cross off my list for the rear of the bike.
I mocked up the rear swingarm and wheel assembly to make sure it will sit centered in the frame and the front and rear sprockets will line up without hitting the frame. Once everything looked ok, I sent the rear wheel out to be reverse engineered. Hopefully it only takes a few weeks to complete. Until then, I will continue mocking up ideas and finish painting/rebuilding the carburetors.
Plans for Mk1 was always a mix of old and new. I wanted the old school frame and simple kickstart/air-cooled engine combined with modern electronics, suspension, and brakes. In other words, I wanted a bike with an attitude from the past in a package that will brake and handle without killing me.
On the way to my parent's house in PA for Thanskgiving, I stopped to meet a guy who runs a motorcycle salvage yard. I picked up a cheap set of front forks, triple tree, and brakes from a 2006 Yamaha R1 and a boxed aluminum swingarm from a 2002 Suzuki GSXR-600. I did some measuring and knew some custom fabrication would be needed but I should be able to handle it. More on this later. For now, the bike will be a mix of Honda, Suzuki, and Yamaha. I may need to find some Kawasaki parts that would work to complete the incorporation of major Japanese motorcycle brands.
On another note, I purchased a used 1974 SOHC engine from Ohio which arrived on December 3rd! No starter, or side covers were included but I will be running kickstart only and can salvage the side covers from the trashed engine. This one was definitely cleaner and I confirmed good compression from 3 of the cylinders. #2 was a little low but I think the valves are pretty dirty and may have been hindering compression. I'll know more once I get some oil in it.
Day 2 of the build and I ran into my first major hurdle. I had inventoried the parts bins and separate the usable parts. There were a lot of unrecognizable and rusted out parts. Rust was expected on parts and fittings from 1974. However, I also found a significant quantity of sand in some of the bags.
To continue my investigation of the source of sand, I began to tear down the engine. As soon as I had the valve cover off, my suspicions were confirmed. Hurricane Sandy. Remember, I purchased this pile of bike on the south shore of Long Island. As I pulled the cylinder head off, sand and water began to pour out. Cylinder 1 was packed with sand and the pistons were seized. I removed the side covers and oil pump cover, releasing even more water and sand. Its no wonder the engine was suspiciously heavy when we picked it up. I may be able to salvage the lower cases, transmission, and crank for a later engine build but the rest is toast!
Luckily I found a used motor with good compression in Ohio...
After modding my Cobra, Ninja 650r and Ducati 1098, I decided it was time to do a complete build. I've always wanted a 4 cylinder bike and build/own a cafe racer, so why not start now.
On November 21st, I picked up a 1974 Honda CB750k from a bike builder in Massapequa, NY for $250. Why so cheap? Well, it didn't resemble a bike at all. The bike was a bare frame, 2 crates of parts, a front wheel, rack of carbs, and a very heavy motor sitting on the ground. Even without all the extras and motor in unknown condition, $250 for a clean titled frame is a pretty good deal. It is officially the oldest thing I've ever bought.
The seller was a great guy with a big personality and way too many stories to tell. After BSing for a bit, Allan and Andres helped me load everything into the back of Andres' SUV. We had a quick celebratory lunch in Freeport before heading back to NJ in excitement.
Andres acquired a fiberboard pallet from a friend to ship a Ducati 998 motor he sold. We decided to test its strength with the CB750 motor. As we unloaded the motor, the pallet snapped in half. The motor somehow ended up on the moving dolly we prepped, Andres was screaming from a squashed finger and I somehow got knocked flat on my back. We're not the most graceful people. =D
We moved the pile of bike into the garage and began to dream of the possibilities. It's going to be a fun winter. =)