Posts by: kyril

THE BIKINI PROJECT

THE BIKINI PROJECT

This motorcycle is the antithesis of the LOTUS C-01.  Conceptually, of course. It’s like a “skeleton watch“.  Or, if you prefer this different analogy, it’s like a tall, skinny, platinum-blond fashion model scantily clad in sky-blue bikini.  Where everything is in full view except the little that is hidden and subject to the imagination. The project…

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DUAL DISC CONVERSION PART 2: CALIPERS, BRAKE LINES & MASTER CYLINDER

DUAL DISC CONVERSION PART 2: CALIPERS, BRAKE LINES & MASTER CYLINDER

  • By
  • On 27th July 2017

This is Part 2 of the Dual Disc Conversion series and it covers calipers, brake lines and master cylinder.  Installing the second disc was covered in DUAL DISC CONVERSION PART1.  This will be, again, a no-steps-skipped, down-to-the-last-detail approach (in full appreciation that it could go a little long and be a little boring, but the idea is…

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CRANKSHAFT OIL SEALS

CRANKSHAFT OIL SEALS

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  • On 4th June 2017

Crankshaft oil seals for HONDA CB550.  OEM or aftermarket?  How do you decide?  The debate about OEM vs. aftermarket will probably never end.  And for good reasons.  While OEM parts will always work as intended, in the case of vintage motorcycles OEM parts the materials they are made from may not be as good as…

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CRANKCASE ASSEMBLY

CRANKCASE ASSEMBLY

How to rebuild the bottom end of your HONDA CB550?  How to assemble the crankcase? How to split the crankcase?  A google search turns up almost no information on how this can be done. Amazingly still, there are no videos on youtube showing the assembly of a CB550 crankcase.   And there are no detailed instructions on…

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IGNITION TIMING

IGNITION TIMING

Here is a step-by-step procedure for setting the ignition timing on your HONDA CB550.  It is the same procedure for all 4-cylinder HONDA CB’s (350, 500, 550 and 750) from the 70’s. I have provided a few explanations in layman’s terms (the only ones I understand) along the way to help understand why we do what…

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CB550 ENGINE PICTORIAL

CB550 ENGINE PICTORIAL

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  • On 15th July 2016

This whole BLACKSQUARE project started because I didn’t know what the inside of an engine looked like.  The HONDA CB550 engine did not disappoint: there was so much complexity, harmony and, in my view, beauty.  And I learned a great deal.  Here are just a few of the photos taken during the rebuild. IT ALL…

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WHY IS MY BATTERY NOT CHARGING?

WHY IS MY BATTERY NOT CHARGING?

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  • On 7th July 2016

Here is a quick guide to troubleshooting your HONDA CB550 (or CB500, CB750, etc.) electrical system and testing all of the system’s components with regard to the question “Why is my battery not charging?“.  While this guide may be of interest to all curious readers who want to find out how to test alternators, voltage regulators and…

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TAPERED STEERING BEARINGS

TAPERED STEERING BEARINGS

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  • On 6th July 2016

Replacing the original HONDA “balls-and-races” steering set-up with tapered bearings is an option many have chosen probably under the assumption that it constitutes an improvement. Whether this is the case or not is hotly debated on many forums and the jury, as they say, is still out. But what is known for certain is that…

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REAR SHOCK MOUNTS

REAR SHOCK MOUNTS

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  • On 1st February 2016

The rear shock mounts pressed into the swing arm look so much like an integral part of it that the immediate impression is that they are permanent and could not, or should not, be replaced.  This impression seems to be reinforced by the HONDA CB500 CB550 WORKSHOP REPAIR MANUAL which makes no mention of them….

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DUAL DISC CONVERSION

DUAL DISC CONVERSION

This post is intended as a nothing-goes-unexplained, no-steps-skipped approach to converting a HONDA CB550 or CB500 from a single-disc to a dual-disc front brake set-up in the hope that it would help HONDA aficionados and cafe racer enthusiasts. Much has been written about such dual-disc conversions and the available opinions range from “it’s fairly simple” to “it most definitely wasn’t” with…

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CUSTOM MOTORCYCLES WEBSITES

CUSTOM MOTORCYCLES WEBSITES

Building a custom motorcycle is easy.  Very easy.  There are two prerequisites: Imagination and Inspiration. Imagination is most productive when based on the conviction that everything is possible. The image above provides ample proof of that.  It is a photograph of a real, living caterpillar; the larva of the spicebush swallowtail butterfly.  Extraordinary, isn’t it?  Makes you wonder…

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TIRES FOR HONDA CB550 (and other vintage motorcycles)

TIRES FOR HONDA CB550 (and other vintage motorcycles)

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  • On 3rd December 2015

Finding the right tires for your vintage HONDA CB550 is easy. But like all endeavors, this one, too, requires some advance knowledge.  Simply going to websites like JP Cycles’ and searching for tires to fit your 1977 HONDA CB550K is… an exercise in futility.  Because that search will advise you that a rear tire that…

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