My CB550

My CB550
Here is my own personal street machine. I bought this about a month ago. Here is what it looked like when I first got it. I am currently doing some modifications. Check back, and ill keep you posted on what I have going on. I know you love the after market front faring, and the nice back rest.

my cb550
I finally had a little time to work on my CB550 this weekend. As you can see, I stripped off the front fairing, the crash bar, the back rest, the rear pegs, and other misc. parts that I deemed useless. I also added a set of clubman handle bars, and a nice H4 tri-bar headlight (see the main page for more info about these items). The clubman bars were a little bit of a struggle to make fit. I ended up having to disconnect and relocate the brake line (which entitles bleeding the brake), and also tearing apart the twist throttle so that I could relocate the cables to prevent the throttle from sticking open. To be honest, it was a real pain in the rear doing all of this relocation, but it sure looks flossy. You be the judge.
my CB550


Here you can see the deleted rear fender and light bracket. I built a little set of mounts to relocate the tail light as well as the license plate. This angle also gives you a good look at those new avon tires.

This shows the look of the bike as a whole. I also replace the fork seals and fork oil, washed and waxed the painted surfaces, polished all the aluminum and chrome, put on the new tires, and re-routed some of the wiring.

Here is another good shot of my bike form more of a front view. Finally got the signals put back on and working properly, as well as replaced the old speedo cable with a new one from motion pro.

This picture again shows how I cleaned up the tail end of my bike. I really wanted it to look clean with cafe racer styling, but at the same time preserve the stock look of the bike. If you have questions or comments send them over. For more cafe racer goods click here.

18/19/08 UPDATE

Had a little more time to work on the HONAHA cafe racer, and added a nice 4 into 1 exhaust, jetted up the carbs a size, and cleaned it more. I found the exhaust on craigslist for 20 bucks. It had a fair amount of surface rust, and a little bit of road rash. To solve these problems, and still fit it in my budget, I used some fairly abrasive metal polish on a scotch brite pad to brush off all the rust, and grime. The header looks like really nice now, like a brushed aluminum rather then chrome. I then added a 5 dollar exhaust tip from Schucks, and am running it straight. This straight pipe sounds mean, just enough for everyone to hear, but not enough to annoy innocent bystanders. Here are some new pics, I think it improved the overall look of the bike. Tell me what you think.

38 Responses to My CB550

  1. Pingback: Avon tires for CB and XS cafe racers «

    • viral says:

      Wow that boik looks mint. I would have kept the other exhaust myself, slapped a can on them. Gratz on the find

    • cameron says:

      lose the long pegged turn signals just move’em in and possibly relocate that’d be pretty awesome. workin on my 750 now.

  2. Tim Black says:

    I never dreamed putting the clubmans on would be this much of a pain. I dove in last night. I couldn’t believe all the wires. I really messed up and cut the wiring up at the controls and then pulled it through the bars. I now have to somehow connect the wires and get to all fit (with the added connections) back inside the controls. I am guessing soldering is best. I didnt realize I would have to remove the blinkers. I also think I will have to reroute the brakeline. Oh well. They sure do change the look of the bike. Any additional suggestions/tips are appreciated.


  3. Tim Black says:

    Could you share what route worked best for the throttle cables? -I have a 1975 cb550k. Should be similar, right?


  4. Pingback: My Own Honda CB cafe racer project update «

  5. shawn says:

    i really like the way you kept it stock/cafe with the end. how did you fabricate the taillight mounts? can you please explain or illustrate pictorially? bike looks good and thanks in advance for the help.


  6. Tim Black says:

    Does anyone know where I can find new 4 into 2 exhaust for my 1975 cb550?

    Thanks in advance,

  7. Pingback: Honda Goldwing GL 1000 Cafe Racer « HONAHA

  8. mulchfork says:

    I just got 1975 cb 550 four. It is mid-conversion, I have not received the bike yet but I know that i will have to put blinkers on a hard tail seat and the seat has to be mounted still. I would love to put beautiful leather on the seat too. Finally, when the previous owner re-routed the wiring he created a short somewhere which has not been solved yet. Any suggestions?

  9. steve says:

    Very nice! are you gonna fit some rearset footpegs?

  10. Pingback: HONAHA CB550 Project Update Here « HONAHA

  11. Zach Kowalik says:

    Hey would you be willing to sell your 4 into 2 exhaust system? name your price. my number is 515-460-3594. Thanks, Zach

  12. Jon says:

    Hey! I’m really interested as to where you got those 4 into 1’s from. I’ve been looking for the style that swoops to the right of the oil filter for what seems like forever! Looks great by the way. Please let me know if you could. Thanks


  13. Jon says:

    I just read that you got them off of craigslist. FOR $20!??! Well I’ll keep looking. Do you know what brand they are or what they are called specifically? Thanks

  14. Jon says:

    hey. Did you have any problems putting that 4 into 1 on? i got a hold of one and it seems that the brake pedal is in the way. did you have to modify anything?


  15. Hal Miller says:

    The bike looks great. I bought a 74 cb550 in July and maybe will actually be riding soon after tackling a charging system problem and having to have the rotors drilled because of a horrible brake squeal. I wanted to as k you if you know of any aftermarket perforated rotors that might fit my bike? I’m pretty sure the drilling will take care of most of it, but am paranoid. By the way i like the rear end of the bike, I’m going to go with a similar look, but will probably do away with the original brake lights and flashers completely to opt out for smaller ones. Thanks for your time, I’m looking forward to more pics.
    -Hal NYC

  16. Max says:

    I have read your website and I ound that you wanted to put the CB75021
    Honda CB 750 1969-77 Cafe seat on your cb 550 k. How did that work out or didn#t it thanks for your reply.

    greatings from germany

  17. Represto says:

    I put a MAC 4-into-1 on my 78 CB550k. I’m not sure of the price, but they’re common. I paid about $300 brand new for the complete exhaust system. No mod require and it doesn’t interfere with my stock pedals.

    Can you show more pics of the bracket you made for the taillight?

  18. rj says:

    Is it me or is one of your tires installed rotating in the wrong direction? Love the bike, in the process of getting a ’74 550 back on the road and had planned on putting some of the same Avons on. How do you like them so far?


  19. Mark says:

    Way back i had a friend G.Hicks motorcycle mechanic at a honda dealership circa 1979-80.
    Got a cb 550 on trade tore it down to make a cafe racer. Went into the engine and put cb750 pistons in it. That little beast would scare you
    had to be careful with it.

  20. Stephen says:

    I’m feelin ya on those handlebars. I picked up some drag bars on the ebays for like eighteen bucks or something. I planned on running the bar-end blinkers, BMW-style, with the internal wires, so I took it to a machine shop to drill a 3/8 in. hole (sorry, an 11MM hole) to accomodate said wires. This cost a favor-type obligatory five bucks. Evidently, I had overlooked the obvious fact that the accessory wiring was also internal. Back to the shop, and being a financial sob story, I convinced them to replicate the three oval holes in the original handlebars, And I think the job was pretty reasonable for twenty bucks. My forty-three dollar handlebars were nothing in relation to the time spent getting the SOB on…of course, this entire project has been an exercise in frustration. I’m not kidding, man…it has been absolutely BREAKING MY BALLS!!! Sorry, I gotta vent. Seriously, it would take an entire blog to capture the unfathomable “can’t get there from here” little sniveling BS problems I have overcome. This project (’76 CB550) has a theme: one step forward, two steps back.
    I bought this bike as an abandoned project (my buddy’s ratchets only work one way!), and it has been a challenge…anywho, I went to take the headlite out, and it came off in my hand. Not attached to nothin’. A closer look revealed a horrifying rat’s nest of boogered hack-job wiring…awesome! In the words of Hans Moleman, “another setback!”
    Apparently, this thing had a fairing and who knows what else installed. I finally got it somewhere close to stock, but I’m not out of the woods yet.
    Incidentally, I noticed that your bike originally had has the same aftermarket pipes as mine. Im not sure what these are, but they sure look cool.

  21. John says:

    Bought a ’75 CB550F eight years ago for $300.00. It had less than 1000 miles and had set up in a garage for 10 years. I’m not a mechanic but was able to get it cleaned up and it dtarted on third kick! Spent $600.00 and got carbs rebuilt, tires, chain and a little r&r. Rode it over 3000 miles from Houston TX to Aspen, Co., Moab, Ut. Then to Grand Canyon and back home. Ran like a champ! Now I’ve let it sit too long and have to do it all again. Can’t wait to get it back on the road! Love your page!

  22. Patrick says:

    i would love to see exactly how you mounted the brake light/ license plate. also what size are the avon tires you have on? were they hard to get on?

    • rschilperoort says:

      i built a small bracket out of some flat bar that fit the tail light, drilled holes and mounted it to the bolts on the rear outer part of the seat.

    • rschilperoort says:

      avon tires are easy to get – tires unlimited, there is a link on the side of the blog home page.

  23. Rick says:

    I own a 1979 CB550 K3 in beautiful condition except the front brake sticks so I took off the calipers to try to ease the piston but now I’m showing my lack of mechanical know-how ‘cos I don’t know what I’m looking at!!
    Should I bleed the brakes to access the piston?
    Should I just give it all a clean and put it back together? Or should I just take it to the garage and not try to take on a job I’m such an ignoramus to manage?? lol
    Some help would be useful if possible.

    • rschilperoort says:

      i recommend disconnecting your caliper, draining all the old fluid, removing the piston (sometimes the only way to do this is to use some compressed air to blast out the piston, BE CAREFUL to shoot the piston into a pile of towels or something, they come out fast) and finally replace the piston seal, refill with new fluid, bleed, and reassemble.

  24. Rick says:

    I did exactly that now all is fine.
    Coooooooooool!!! Back on the road again for a season of classic blattio!! Wooooohoooo!!

  25. Blair says:

    4 into two:
    I’ve crossed over beneath the motor, so each 2-into-1 collector/muffler gets even pulses. Really like the way it runs now! Sorry no camera, but you guys might want to try this.

  26. TedH says:

    Lucky find on the OEM CB550F header for $20 on Craigslist. MAC headers are routed under the bike and can make use of the center stand OR an ATV jack difficult. I have a ’78 CB550K with the MAC header and muffler. PO had set it up as a cafe racer but had limited his mods to the seat/tank/side covers and the MAC exhaust. He kept the OEM seat/tank/covers to switch back (lucky for me). Picked mine up in August 2010. Lots of fun. This is my 2nd CB550; first was a ’76 CB550F (all original with blue metallic paint). Wish I still had it.

  27. Tonup says:

    Very nice, clean bike. Maybe it’s time to give it the full Cafe Racer treatment?

  28. pconnor says:

    i see you have avon road riders im looking into getting tires and am leaning toward the roadriders what sizes are the tires just wondering

  29. Brett says:

    Can you let me know if you still have the 4-into-2 exhaust? I will buy it off you!


  30. Dave Pardoe says:

    Yep, I replaced my bars with the exact style clubman bars as well, what a pain in the ass.
    I would recommend to everyone to go on ebay or some bike junk yard and by an the original handlebar set up and yank out the wires from it. I left all the wires out of the bars and that made it easier. I eventually switched back because with daily riding those bars are not that comfortable. Luckily I had my old set and switching was a breeze.
    Nice bike, I bought my ’75 cb 550 super sport for 300 bucks with 5000 miles on it. This bike in particular has a perfect fit, not huge like the 750 and not smallish feeling like the smaller cb’s. I have been riding it for some 12 years now and has only given me minor trouble.
    Happy riding.

  31. bobbylast says:

    do you have the crash bar? i have the exact same bike but no crash bar or fairing….really would like to kick out the feet on the highway and cruise.

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