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  1. #1
    Fact or Crap? Al's Avatar
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    I Bought A 1982 Honda CB900C

    Hello BCMers.

    After nearly 2 years since the loss of my 07 Sportster, I wanted a motorcycle again. I bought a Honda CB900C.



    Year: 1982...same as me
    Miles: 42,000...not sure if actual
    Looks: as if it's been gone over with the ugly stick.
    Engine: Noisy, needs valves adjusted. Drips oil from valve cover to exhaust and makes smoke (wants to be an AMF HD?).
    Drive Train: 10 speed (5 x 2). Shifts like a Harley.
    Other Stuff: Paint looks odd, tires need replacing.

    Riding: Clutch slips a bit, but bike still goes like hell

    After hearing the song "where is my mind" on my way home after dropping some down-money, I named this bike "Marla."
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    When Injustice Becomes Law; Rebellion Becomes Duty

  2. #2
    Senior Member..now yer posting! SSScottSS's Avatar
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    What are your plans for her? Shine her up and keep her stock, or turn her into a cafe bike?

  3. #3
    Ol' School -stew-'s Avatar
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    I lurv me some CB! Buddy has one of those sitting at his house, his friend is working on it for some guy or some shit. Gorgeous two tone brown with a wind jammer. Neither of them knew it was a ten speed.

  4. #4
    Senior Member..now yer posting!
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    Quote Originally Posted by -stew- View Post
    I lurv me some CB! Buddy has one of those sitting at his house, his friend is working on it for some guy or some shit. Gorgeous two tone brown with a wind jammer. Neither of them knew it was a ten speed.
    " Gorgeous two tone brown with a wind jammer"

    LOL! wow!

  5. #5
    Fact or Crap? Al's Avatar
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    A little more about "Marla":
    She smokes...in the morning, after riding for a while, after a good thrashing.
    She is modified...i'm not sure what is factory...one mirror is square and the other is round.
    She has been around the block with waaaaay too many boys (owners).
    She has spent some time in barns, hiding.


    One feature that stands out on this bike is its 8 inch diameter headlight. I think Honda borrowed it from
    an airplane because it lights up the road better than any vehicle I have ever been on.

    Quote Originally Posted by SSScottSS View Post
    What are your plans for her? Shine her up and keep her stock, or turn her
    into a cafe bike?
    I love the cafe style, but I think this bike is a bit too large to be a true cafe. Some of the cafe purists I have come
    across will say "that bike is too big to be a cafe." I once replied, "that's what they said about your mother, but that
    didn't stop her."

    The picture in my mind is 80% cafe/20% Mad Max (monster bike?).

    -I want to shorten the seat and eliminate any part of the frame past the rear shock mounts.
    -I thing a 4-2-1 exhast would be an improvement with the muffler underneath the frame.
    -Replace the "lunch box" brake light (it is huge) when I shorten the frame. I want a brake light that flickers when on.
    -Straighter handlebars (but no clip ons)
    -Make two saddle(?) boxes. Preferably wood with finger or dovetail joints. 8w x 16l x12h.
    Figure out some removeable cantilever mount so that they look like they are "floating" near the rear tire.
    -Weld a metal spike on it somewhere and put a doll's head on it.

    I already bought a can of chalkboard pain for the tank and side covers. I thought it would be a good idea to take the bike down
    to a place like "The Exit" in Chicago and leave a box of chalk on the seat and a little sign that says "use chalk on tank...have fun"
    and keep a photo diary of what people write on Marla.

    I want to try tuning this bike somehow. So far, I have found very few performance parts. The engine is sourced
    from a cb750, so that should make things easier.
    Last edited by Al; 04-12-2012 at 03:23 PM.
    When Injustice Becomes Law; Rebellion Becomes Duty

  6. #6
    Ol' School -stew-'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CannotPost View Post
    " Gorgeous two tone brown with a wind jammer"

    LOL! wow!
    I like earth tones.

  7. #7
    Fact or Crap? Al's Avatar
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    Clutch removal:

    I ground down a cheap, old socket and turned it into a lock nut socket. Aside from making the tool, this bike has been easy to work on.



    The checklist for the slipping clutch:
    -Clutch Cable - adjusted to factor specs. clutch still slips
    -Spring Length - unsprung: middle of acceptable range
    -Disk Thickness - not checked yet
    -Disk Flatness - not checked yet
    (time to dig out my granite surface plate...all 250 lbs of it!)

    Could old oil (very black, maybe 20 years old) make a wet clutch slip?

    Once the clutch has been dealt with, I have to clean the carbs.

    The engine also has an intermittent habit of blowing blue smoke from the left exhaust pipe. A few CB750 people have said that this could be due to bad valve seals. The engine is due to have the valves shimmed and the cam cover gasket replaces.

    Any other thoughts or suggestions?


    I also wonder if I am the first person to remove some of these fasteners since 1982.
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  8. #8
    Fact or Crap? Al's Avatar
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    I put some new rubber on the bike.

    Aside from the backlash in the drivetrain, nothing feels loose on this bike. Prior to the new tires, the bike felt a bit odd as I entered turns. I thought the steering or suspension bearings were worn somewhere. This bike is solid going down the road!

    The clutch still slips. I changed the oil and scuffed up the plates, but the clutches don't grab after I pass 1/3 throttle. I'll order a new one tomorrow.
    When Injustice Becomes Law; Rebellion Becomes Duty

  9. #9
    Those old hondas go forever!

  10. #10
    Ol' School -stew-'s Avatar
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    What do you mean by "backlash?" Are you talking about what I call the bucking feeling when you lay on the power? Only shaft bike I'm familiar with is the '83 Virago I had. And that when you laid onto it the whole bike rose up rather than the front end coming up. As far as I know this is characteristic of most shaft drive bikes.

    Sent from my SCH-I500 using Tapatalk 2

  11. #11
    Fact or Crap? Al's Avatar
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    I was snooping around on Google when I came across a CL add for a CB900c clutch in Sun Prairie. I emailed the guy and he contacted me back 20 minutes later. Two hours later, I bought a complete clutch for $40. The friction plates have far more material on them than mine, so this should work out.

    Quote Originally Posted by -stew- View Post
    What do you mean by "backlash?" Are you talking about what I call the bucking feeling when you lay on the power? Only shaft bike I'm familiar with is the '83 Virago I had. And that when you laid onto it the whole bike rose up rather than the front end coming up. As far as I know this is characteristic of most shaft drive bikes.

    Sent from my SCH-I500 using Tapatalk 2
    I'm talking about all of the play in the gears.

    I heard that the rear raising when you gun it is called "jacking" or "jacking up/on." This bike does that.
    When Injustice Becomes Law; Rebellion Becomes Duty

  12. #12
    Fact or Crap? Al's Avatar
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    I measured the thickness of the plates on the new clutch and they are only 0.001 off from mine.

    I'm thinking that it is either the springs, the cable, or the plates are saturated with "friction reducers" due to the incorrect oil.
    When Injustice Becomes Law; Rebellion Becomes Duty

  13. #13
    Fact or Crap? Al's Avatar
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    I drilled out some 1/4 inch washers and shimmed all of the springs, but this made the clutch too heavy to open. I removed half of the shims (3 of 6) and put it all back together.

    This bike scoots!!!

    The next step it to adjust the valves. I think cylinder #1 is a bit low on compression (egt is low).
    When Injustice Becomes Law; Rebellion Becomes Duty

  14. #14
    Fact or Crap? Al's Avatar
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    Insight:
    I thought my clutch was slipping because the engine would spin but the speedo did not change. When mounting the front wheel, I saw that the speedo links to the front wheel. My clutch was not slipping: I was spinning the rear tire.

    More CB woes:

    5th gear disengages when i give the bike throttle. It sounds like the dogs are worn. It can barely maintain speed in the gear.

    When I jockey the throttle (such as when I try to power-wheelie from a roll (no clutch)), the bike feels odd afterwards. It seems as if the carbs get a bit messed up when I do this. Usually, the bike gradually returns to normal, but that takes afew miles. Any thoughts?
    When Injustice Becomes Law; Rebellion Becomes Duty

  15. #15
    Ol' School -stew-'s Avatar
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    I doubt you were spinning the tire. Unless your rear tire is dangerously dry (or wet) and over inflated. Idk what you weigh, but I'm 225, and on my 120hp at the tire zrx, I couldnt blow the tire off it. It would either go, or go and pull the front tire up and go. And my 100 tire HP Ducati has never spun the tire. I really doubt your not running right, 75hp at the crank when it was new bike is blowin the tire off under hard acceleration.
    Sent from my SCH-I500 using Tapatalk 2

  16. #16
    Post whore Lawn Pac Champion Irish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by -stew- View Post
    I doubt you were spinning the tire. Unless your rear tire is dangerously dry (or wet) and over inflated. Idk what you weigh, but I'm 225, and on my 120hp at the tire zrx, I couldnt blow the tire off it. It would either go, or go and pull the front tire up and go. And my 100 tire HP Ducati has never spun the tire. I really doubt your not running right, 75hp at the crank when it was new bike is blowin the tire off under hard acceleration.
    Sent from my SCH-I500 using Tapatalk 2
    Dump the clutch! I had an 89 Katana 1100 that'd roast the tire easily. The tire wasn't dry, wet, or over inflated.

  17. #17
    Fact or Crap? Al's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by -stew- View Post
    I doubt you were spinning the tire. Unless your rear tire is dangerously dry
    I was spinning my old tire before I replaced it. That tire was about 20 years old and would spin at 50% throttle and low revs in second gear. The lack of throttle-input, alond with the stationary speedo, led me to believe it was the clutch.

    The new tire does not spin on asphalt; the bike wheelies. Road paint, manhole covers and broken asphalt are needed to spin the tire.

    Shaft-drive power-wheelies (no clutching, just brakes) are a bit odd: the bike rears up and then the front does its thing.


    About those carbs:
    The guy I bought the bike from gave me a very detailed runthrough of how to clean the carbs. I'm going to get a look at them tonight. I'm also checking the valve clearances and maybe comp testing.


    Anyone here ever lap their valves? I'm just curious at this point.


    Quote Originally Posted by -stew- View Post
    Idk what you weigh, but I'm 225
    I'm not heavy by any means (I am down nearly 50 lbs from a little over a year ago).

    On a similar subject, I beat some sort of Honda 600 on Saturday. I think the reason I won is because the rider was HUGE! I'm sure he was past the 300 mark.
    When Injustice Becomes Law; Rebellion Becomes Duty

  18. #18
    Fact or Crap? Al's Avatar
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    I tore the bike apart and found this. More pics on this later on. That shift for is missing about 3mm of its thickness.
    Last edited by Al; 07-21-2012 at 06:12 PM.
    When Injustice Becomes Law; Rebellion Becomes Duty

  19. #19
    R.I.P. BCM Jawashoot Champion Toby and Kiki Champion GTSLOW's Avatar
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    Mad Max...one of the greatest movies ever!

    All posts from the above author are expected to be 100% BS. Thank you and have a nice day.

  20. #20
    Fact or Crap? Al's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GTSLOW View Post
    Mad Max...one of the greatest movies ever!

    I agree eleventy thousand percent!!!

    One of my buddies has plans for a Mad Max party some time in August. He makes one hell of a Lord Humongous. He's a bit of a leather-fetishits-kinkster, so he'll walk around Milwaukee like that. BTW- you should see how his wife dresses!

    Anyway, I need to weld some rebar spikes on my bike.
    When Injustice Becomes Law; Rebellion Becomes Duty

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