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building a killer cb360

Posted: Tue Feb 26, 2008 5:53 pm
by corey
my name's corey, i'm a bartender. i'm also a freak for old racecars and cool bikes. being a bartender, i spend alot of time meeting folks that share the same interests, and love talking about what they have, what they want to do, etc. so, i've heard it all, i've seen it all, i like it all.

one beautiful sunday afternoon, my current fetish for cafe racers became a reality when one of my regulars let it slip (after one of my famous bloody marys) that he had too many bikes in his garage. another drink and my best pathetic bike-less sigh, and the gentleman donated an old cb360 to my cause. i'm now the proud owner of a soon to be killer cafe racer.

:D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D

i wish i'd taken pictures right when i brought it home. it was basket case, rusty, leaky, smelly, and in three pieces and two boxes. one week in to it, i've stripped it down completely, and i'm going through the build slowly and precisely. i want this project to rock.

my first step was to pull all the parts off, separate and and label all parts to keep, and begin work on the fork tree.

here's the original, rusty, heavy, and in need of some sex appeal:
a little cutting of the fat, some drilling for weight reduction, and proper priming:


then i polished and painted all the nuts, bolts, and washers, coated the tree bodies with spray-on rubber, coated the bar clamps with a matte clear finish ('cause i love the color of primer against black rubber and brushed steel) and labeled my bar clamps with directional kanji (in case i get confused in tokyo) and put it all back together:



that was fun. my tree is almost a pound lighter, and should stand up to high speeds and seattle weather quite well. i've got my frame stripped, cut off all of the pieces not 110% essential to performance (seat anchors, helmet lock, steering lock, rear extension, kick stand) managed to shed a pound and a half from the frame
:twisted: :twisted: :twisted:

and i'm in the process of priming and sanding now. my upcoming posts will be alot more in detail and contain more pics, as i'll be making some pretty radical changes to this machine. my goal is to make it AT LEAST 40% lighter, and sort of work in a blade runner theme.

thanks for reading!

cleanliness is next to godliness...

Posted: Tue Feb 26, 2008 6:17 pm
by corey
ok so the weather here in seattle can be chilly and wet, and being a bartender, my hours of operation don't really jive with my neighbors. so one rainy cold night in an attempt no to use my right angle grinder after midnight, i decided to take a look at the jumbled confusing mess known as "the wiring loom". for anyone who's ever messed with wiring from the 70's you probably well know that simplicity was not a priority.

having spent half of my life turning old volkswagons into demon killing robot warriors, i hate extra wires, foofy accessories, and confusion. who wants to figure out which fuse goes to what relay and what switch that relay controls halfway to the finish line???

seriously, here's a diagram of my bike:


my brain works like this: if it doesn't make you safer, faster, or sexier, cut it off and feed it to a robot. or sell it on ebay.

here's what the cold wet night produced:


leave faith to love and religion. i like proven results and surgical precision.

Posted: Tue Feb 26, 2008 9:18 pm
by dr_bar
Welcome to the site...

Looks like you've got a bit of a job ahead of you, You should repost this in the blog section and keep us all up to date with your work, so far, it looks great...

blog section?

Posted: Wed Feb 27, 2008 2:19 am
by corey
good idea! i've just realized this blog may go on for a while, so i'll repost this elsewhere. thanks!

Posted: Wed Feb 27, 2008 10:15 am
by dablade
Congrats on your new project! I admire your ambition.
My knowledge of motorcycle electrical is limited. However, I spent over 20 years as an automotive electronics professional.
Upon examination of your wiring diagrams (I definitely like yours better, keep it simple works well) I have a question regarding coil supply voltage. Does a motorcycle coil use full charging system voltage, or is there some way (regulator or ballast resistor) to limit voltage to the ignition coil? Just curious.
Keep the pictures and commentary coming. What you have so far looks great.

Posted: Wed Feb 27, 2008 11:14 am
by Johnj
Motorcycles don't use ballast resistors on their coils. At least none of the point ignition ones I worked on did.

I think your wiring plan is great, make it as simple as possible I say. I would consider running the lights, flashers,
and horn with relays to keep the current through the key switch lower.


Posted: Wed Feb 27, 2008 12:52 pm
by blues2cruise
Welcome to TMW. :)
Thanks for sharing your project. It's great to see talented people sharing their know how.

Posted: Wed Feb 27, 2008 1:05 pm
by fireguzzi
Good luck with the new project.
here is a little inspiration from another forum member.

wow, talk about support!

Posted: Wed Feb 27, 2008 1:50 pm
by corey
you guys are great! i can't wait to start a dialog with people who know what they're doing! per some earlier suggestions, i'll be re-posting this blog in the "garage" category as soon as i get permission.

and yeah, that other guy's cb360 cafe racer is SWEET!

as far as wiring goes, i'll be starting a much further in -depth blog in my new post.

thanks for reading!

sorry 'bout that..

Posted: Wed Feb 27, 2008 1:56 pm
by corey
i guess it's already been moved to the proper location. ok then, back to business :roll:

running lean

Posted: Wed Feb 27, 2008 2:47 pm
by corey
Congrats on your new project! I admire your ambition.
My knowledge of motorcycle electrical is limited. However, I spent over 20 years as an automotive electronics professional.
Upon examination of your wiring diagrams (I definitely like yours better, keep it simple works well) I have a question regarding coil supply voltage. Does a motorcycle coil use full charging system voltage, or is there some way (regulator or ballast resistor) to limit voltage to the ignition coil? Just curious.

well, here's the deal with wiring up an engine on two wheels. you can use regulators, or you can use as much power as you can get. raw, unregulated, with a mind of it's own and a logic that follows only one rule: go faster.

the engine needs a basic circuit to operate, the lights need a basic circuit to operate, the charging system needs a basic circuit to operate.

so you have three really simple systems, each one has ways of making it "better". for instance you can put a voltage regulator between your battery and your headlight so that the light stays the same brightness no matter what your RPM's are, you can put a switch on your headlight to switch from high beam to low beam, you can wire up the starter to your engine, you can use a switch and relay to make a hazard flasher so all your turn signals flash when you break down, etc. the list goes on forever.

my way of thinking is this: use heavier wires than stock, keep your wire lengths as short as possible, keep your stator clean, and keep your options and accessories to a minimum, buy the best battery you can, use heavy duty bulbs. keep it as lean as possible. it's when you start trying to improve on a circuit that already works that you end up with weak points. in my opinion, i'd rather have my headlight dim at stoplights than have a resistor, relay, or switch burn out or fail on the freeway.

if you look at my diagram you'll see that i've even removed the front brake light switch. for as long as i've been riding, i've never applied the front brake without applying the rear brake, so for me there is no reason for the front brake switch. the advantage?

the front brake switch is a pressure switch tied into my hydraulic brake line. instead of two ends of a hose, i end up with four. two between the cylinder and the switch, two between the switch and the caliper. four possible leaks. i also have a hydraulic switch that can burst, leaking my brake fluid, leaving me with no front brake, or the switch can fail altogether and short out my tail light circuit.

by deeming that whole system a risk i can run without, and putting my whole brake light system at the control of a simple heavy duty mechanical switch on my rear brake, i've cut my chances of failure in half. the switch doesn't have any way of interfering with my brakes, has no leak points, and is as simple and heavy duty as you can get.

use that equation on all three of the basic systems that make up a bike's wiring, and you get where i'm coming from.

keep in mind i sacrifice a lot of convenience and modern comforts for the sake of precision and power in this case. the reality of this bike is it's being built for loud quick rides through commuter traffic to a sushi joint or racetrack on sunny dry afternoons in the city. i'll be riding this bike just to hear raw pipes and quick shifts, to feel the vibration of an engine revved in my teeth and the heat of cylinder heads right in front of my knees. this is the bike you rev loudly at stoplights and get fear and respect. this is a machine you ride to ride, not to pick up cat food and dish soap at the grocery store.

my comfortable daily driver is a 2004 yamaha zuma. i'll leave all the safety features and accessory lights on that one.


Posted: Wed Feb 27, 2008 4:05 pm
by Wrider
What's up Corey! I'm Ryan, and I'm a bouncer and a motorcycle tech in training! Sounds like we'd get along famously! :laughing:
I can't wait to see how this goes for you! Looks like fun!

the frame

Posted: Wed Feb 27, 2008 9:50 pm
by corey
what's up ryan! bouncers are THE BEST! being a bartender, i give big respect to the guys that have to calm the bad element when i'm making money. i hope motorcycle tech is workin for ya, let me know if i can help.

anyway, i've got a couple of pictures of the frame so far. i stripped it completely down to the metal and used a rust remover where needed.


then i cut off all of the metal tabs for the seat, cropped the tail, (yeah, just like mysta)

and cut off the kickstand, and steering lock. i drilled holes in some mounting tabs and seat/tank support to take out an extra quarter pound. i know it seems silly to worry about a quarter pound, but when you take a quarter pound here and a quarter pound there, it starts to add up quick.



my color scheme is going to fit the "blade runner" theme i've been dreaming up, so i'm not sure if i want to go with white or red for the frame.

everything else on the bike is going to be black, primer grey, or brushed metal, so the frame has to be a color that nothing else on the bike is... wow, anyone have an art degree?


new paint, and weight reduction.

Posted: Sat Mar 01, 2008 4:14 am
by corey
friday is a weird day to have off, and i love it. today i sanded the sweet be-jesus out of my fork tubes:


and tested what i'm pretty sure is going to be the paint for my frame. it's rustoleum's hammered silver, and it's working really well so far and looks great!


i didn't test it on the frame until i could test it on something smaller though, here's my headlight ring in hammered silver and flat black finished with frosted clear finish.


the kickstand got cut off because i prefer to use the center stand, so i lightened up the stand with a couple of well placed weight reduction holes and some grinding around the thick parts.


used the rustoleum hammered finish on the stand too, and i'm VERY pleased with the results.


the lightest seat pan ever.

Posted: Sat Mar 01, 2008 11:50 pm
by corey
today i was poking around in my garage looking for ideas when i discovered some left over tin like they use on ductwork. i chopped it up and drilled some holes and now i have myself a fancy new cafe-style seat pan. it weighs about as much as an empty coffee can.


here's a side view before i shaved it for size and mounted it. it's as thin as construction paper, and it's all one piece just folded back on itself. it's very sturdy, and seems to fit my rear end perfectly.


i think i'll just cut some temper-foam into shape and mount it via velcro.

Posted: Tue Mar 04, 2008 1:26 am
by jason team shralp
looks good keep it coming

Posted: Tue Mar 04, 2008 8:32 am
by fireguzzi
That's pretty good there with the left over ductwork.
Staying true to your signature I see.

Keep it coming, Im interested to see how it will turn out.

total change of plans

Posted: Sat Mar 08, 2008 11:58 am
by corey
so in in effort to find handlebars that fit the theme i'm going with, i browsed though at least 4 different sets of cafe racer style bars, and messed with the idea of clip-ons. as with all of my previous projects, i like a fusion of vintage and ultra-modern. clip-ons offset the balance of my design too much, though they are lighter and very low profile, and there's a few styles of cafe racer bars that all kind of gave the bike a generic quality to it. i had to find something new. i started going through parts in my garage, and came across a bar i used on an old whizzer i built ... d-bike.jpg

i flipped the bars upside down, made a few cuts and bends, and it was like love at first sight! unfortunately it clashed bad with my current seat pan, which would have worked well with clip-ons, but looked wrong with this bar.

i'm going to fashion up some new work to match the bar, and post soon. the design is taking a radical turn from cafe-esque to something else, i just can't put my finger on it...

and then came the carbs...

Posted: Mon Mar 10, 2008 1:34 am
by corey
so i just got a chance to look at the carbs. no good. not even worth trying to rebuild...

no problem.


i LOVE fuel atomization! i LOVE internal combustion!

so really, i'm up to the challenge of finding better carbs. anyone got any suggestions? does anyone know how i'd go about figuring out which carbs will also work ???

Posted: Sat Mar 29, 2008 11:14 pm
by corey