My motorcycle journey started on Monday April 22nd 2019. I had gotten to work that morning when a phone call came though, I was lucky enough to answer the right call. The lady on the other end was wondering if she could be transferred to the sales department (I work at a motorcycle dealership). I replied, "yeah, no problem, may I ask what it is in regards to?" She said she had a bike and she was getting rid of and wanted to know if there was a bulletin she could post on or if the shop would just take it. She was moving to Kenya soon and wanted a good home for her bike. I asked her how much she wanted for it and she said she was giving it away and needed it gone by Friday, so I got permission from work to leave early that Friday and pick up my new 1983 Honda CM250 Custom!!!
When I got the bike it hadn't run in 5 years, there was a giant dent in the gas tank, the frame had some pretty bad surface rust etc. The first thing I did was check the gas tank, all good not even a spot of rust. Then I drained out the old fuel. I took the old battery out and hooked in a fresh new one, turned the killswitch to the on position and pressed start, the motor turned over but I wasn't getting any spark. I remembered that the old Honda's would still turn over even if the kill switch was off so it sounded like I wasn't getting that connection at the switch. Sure enough I pulled off the switch, cleaned the back with contact cleaner and presto! I got my spark I so desired. But it still didn't turn over. To the carb!
I took the carb off and brought it to the shop on my day off where I took it almost completely apart and cleaned every little bit of it that I could. I then brought it home threw it back on the bike, gathered a bit of an audience and pressed that start button! Still nothing, I took off opened up and cleaned and reinstalled that thing three or four times before I realized (still don't think I should admit this) I WAS PUTTING THE FLOAT IN UPSIDE DOWN!!!! Once I rectified that little issue it started no problem. Now about the look of the bike.
When I fist got it I wanted to bob it out so I fixed the dent in the tank (did a pretty horrid job will be fixing this spring) I threw a base coat of maroon paint on it and figured that would look the business with a set of the old Honda Golden wing decals on the side.
When I was starting to get that look I was going for I changed my mind. It was way to easy to get the look I was going for and we were well into August at this point, I'd have to put it away for winter soon and all I really wanted to do was ride it. So I put a bunch of the stock parts back on, got it roadworthy and put over 4,000 km on it in about a month and a half.
As you can tell by the title I decided to go more in the cafe racer direction. Once it started getting too cold to ride I took the bike over to my in-laws (they are amazing for letting me build a bike in their basement) and began disassembly. I took the entire thing apart right down to the frame. I sanded down the entire frame and swing arm and painted it gloss black and then I didn't like it (really indecisive) so I painted it satin black instead. Better! I was going to paint the fork lowers initially but decided to try my hand at polishing them and if I did a crap job I would settle for painting them. I sanded them down starting with 320 grit and then worked my way through 400, 600, 800, 1,000 and 1,500 up to 2,000 (by hand cause I'm apparently into torture) before finishing them up with a couple doses of Autosol and a coat of wax for a layer of protection. They ended up looking pretty good so I kept them unpainted.
After I was done with the forks it was time to start on the motor. I knew I wanted it black and I wanted to polish the fins. I removed the starter and cleaned it up as best as I could and slathered paint all over it. I polished just the head fins (Triumph style) and and shoehorned that sucker back into the frame thus starting the cycle of reassembly!!
New bars! I had a hard time choosing between tracker bars and clip on bars. I'm glad I decided to go with the clip on's because they're super adjustable, con is they were so difficult to get symmetrical. Got new rubber as well Bridgestone Battlax BT-45's on the front and Shinko SR735's on the rear. My girlfriend even got me the headlight I wanted for Christmas and I got a taillight for Christmas with integrated turn signals as well. Since the lights are LED's I had to wire in some resistors to prevent from hyper flash since the LED uses a lot less power than the standard lights. New seat too!!
And now for the wheels, I spent the better half of a weekend polishing the wheels as my father in law forbade me from painting them ha! Did the spokes and hub on the front and just the spokes on the back. It's starting to look a lot better and it works very well with those fork lowers. I also tried my hand at photo editing and attempted to design a paint job for the bike. The stripes are influenced by a build done by Slipstream Creations. A CB200T build that I've absolutely fallen in love with. Well that's all for now, I'll continue to post on here as the build progresses.
I know it's been a while since the last post but I can assure you I've been working away every chance I get. Btw, with everything that is going on right now I hope everyone is staying safe, all we can do at this point is work together and do whatever we must to make it through these very tuff times.