Tutorials

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

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

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  • 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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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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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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FRONT FORKS DISASSEMBLY (A few helpful hints)

FRONT FORKS DISASSEMBLY (A few helpful hints)

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  • On 19th August 2015

Things don’t always go according to plan, do they?  And when they don’t, frustration is the most common and inevitable outcome.  The seemingly simpler the task and the more we fail in performing it the greater the resulting frustration.  Like trying to unscrew a screw that just won’t budge.  It can lead to rage. There is…

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HOW TO DRILL OUT STAKES

HOW TO DRILL OUT STAKES

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  • On 15th August 2015

DON’T FORGET TO DRILL OUT THE STAKES when replacing the bearings in your wheels’ hubs. Because if you did, you would 1) have a captivating story to tell and 2) you would end up with an unusable hub that you would spend some time convincing yourself is perfectly safe to use when, in fact, it isn’t.  There…

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THERE’S A FLY IN MY … TACHOMETER

THERE’S A FLY IN MY … TACHOMETER

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  • On 18th July 2015

As you may have read already, the minimalist approach was the main principle followed when building BLACKSQUARE and consequently the bike has no instruments such as speedometer or tachometer, signal lights, warning lights, etc.  However, when the original 1977 HONDA CB550, which later became BLACKSQUARE, came to the workshop back in 2012, I noticed that there was a dead…

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