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Honda CB550 tracker build overview

Jun 05, 2021
What's going on guys, welcome back to Classic Octane? I'm Taylor, so it's been a while since you saw me a couple of weeks ago. I had to make a difficult decision: do I continue making videos or do I somehow put my head down for a moment, delete a


or two to compensate, obviously you guys are aware that when everything happened, I blocked a lot of my


s that They were scheduled for earlier this year and were put on hold when things started to open up a little more. I had kind of an avalanche of bikes to build, which is a big problem, but if I sat there and filmed everything on each bike, it would take me way too long and to be completely honest, I had some ground to make up from the point of income view, so I had to make that difficult decision to go ahead and just tear down a bike without filming anything, but I didn't want to leave them completely out of the loop, so I wanted to make this


video, show them the bike, show them what I did, what I've been doing for the last few weeks and then starting today we'll go back to a more normal schedule and sort of More on that at the end of the video, but let's go ahead and show you the motorcycle, so that's it and I'm not kidding when I say this is probably in my top two classic Honda builds I've ever done.
honda cb550 tracker build overview
I'm very proud of how this bike turned out and I hope you agree, but I just the color combination, it's all like that. I'm very proud of it, especially how this bike looked when it first arrived here. I will vomit. a before photo, now it was basically completely in pieces, the engine was previously off before the customer brought it to me and he basically threw it out, put a bolt on it and actually towed this bike to Texas from Pennsylvania and it's on its way . I got back from Pennsylvania today and he's picking up the bike tomorrow, so this is the last chance I'll have to show you the build, so we'll start from the front and work our way back. everything I've done and I'll also try to include a link in the description to any of the bits and pieces you might be interested in that way if you're looking to duplicate some of this build yourself. bike, it'll be a little bit easier for you to find those parts, so this bike has a lot of elements from a couple different styles of bikes, so it's a little bit street


, a little bit scrambler, a little bit a snotty style and you know that most of my builds end up that way because I don't like to be limited by what I'm going to do to a bike to make it exactly a cafe racer or exactly a


honda cb550 tracker build overview

More Interesting Facts About,

honda cb550 tracker build overview...

I want to build a bike that's cool and I don't really care what the rules are, so the client wanted a slightly off-road tire, but nothing that was as aggressive as the hard Continental twins I have on my KZ. 750, so we use these shrinks. I think they are 712 as a model again. I'll add a link in the description below but it's a 3.5 by 19 front and 4.0 by 18 rear and if you can look at the clearance with the front. Fender: It has the perfect tire size, it doesn't make contact with the fender, but it fills the fender very well and still has that kind of aggressive look but totally perfect street manners.
honda cb550 tracker build overview
You know, they're not loud, they're not super rude, none of that. So I think you're a really cool vintage style dual sport tire guy, so to speak. I will definitely use these on a future build, speaking of the front fender which is just an original front fender that I cut and bodyworked and painted to match the tank, the tank and fender are painted a front green so the customer He requested a green Mustang from the late '60s. If you're familiar with a Bullitt Mustang from that movie, it's basically the same color I like to paint. all my bikes have a widely available type of automotive color, that way if this bike ever gets scratched in the future it will be very easy to touch up, so the exact color of this tank, i mean look at the tag, It is a deep jewel green from Ford. metallic, so paired with this distressed brown seat, I think I love it, it's a phenomenal color combination again.
honda cb550 tracker build overview
I hope you agree, the entire brake system was also completely overhauled, new caliper, new seal, new stainless steel. brake line to a more modern type of master cylinder a little more efficient, all that works great went through painting the front wheels black as you can see rebuilt the forks with steam bottoms that go up a little higher we have EMCO aluminum headlights. It mounts with little LED signs coming out of the side, so something works in the past. I've run very small signals and what I'm starting to lean more towards is maybe a slightly larger signal missing out, you know, you could argue a little bit. of anesthesia by going that way, but they are much safer because the purpose of a turn signal is so that a car can see if it is about to turn and if the lights are too small, the bike becomes unsafe. ride and I never want to build a bike that someone doesn't want to ride, so we chose those.
I think they look pretty good with black, they blend together really well, oh we have the front light here, we went with little. mini speedo which I always use, flush mounted, nice and low, has the indicator lights built in, everything on the handlebar is brand new so these handlebars are also from EMCO and are actually the exact same handlebar I have on my KZ . 750 is a nice upright seating position that is very comfortable on these bikes. You could ride this bike for a couple of hours without any real problems. If your handlebars are too low, it can look really cool, but if you're going to ride all afternoon, your wrist starts to hurt a little, at least for me, who is old, my wrist starts to hurt if the handlebars are too low. low, so I think this is perfect.
We have matching heavy duty side grips so this is the exact same distressed leather that is on the seat. I mentioned new controls that plug into a new wiring harness with all of my builds. I like to completely replace the entire wiring harness because most of it is 50 years old and for the cost of a new harness it's worth doing anything else. We have these aluminum bars and mirrors that are really nice. I found these recently, they're cheap but they're better quality than the ones I have on some of my other bikes, so I'll probably start swapping them out for these again.
The link will be in the tank description, of course you can see all the new hardware, new petcock. I think it covers most of the top, so let's work on the engine now, so the customer told me that this engine had actually already been serviced before I got it. for me so I don't know if that means a full rebuild or just a high end rebuild but he said the engine should be in good condition and I have no reason to say that wasn't the case because I got excellent compression and it runs great, all I did was, you know, once it came off the bike, I cleaned it, painted it, you know, steam painted it, our side covers went through new spark plugs, valve adjustment, just kind of maintenance, but the engine itself was internally. ready to go I didn't really have to do anything to the exhaust we were using one of my favorite setups this is the Delft Kovac four into one it's a full stainless steel exhaust that we wrapped with the titanium colored wrap just to You know, match that vintage off-road scrambler vibe.
I think it looks great. Some people aren't fans of escape rap. Personally, I really like, especially in this style, carbohydrates. I didn't actually check the carbs. because when he brought them to me he said he had rebuilt them before, it's probably the only thing I would change on this bike just because I would have liked to steam clean them to match the nice clean satin finish of everything else on the bike, but you know what? I can't steam it unless it's completely disassembled and you really only do that when you're doing a full rebuild so they still match well, aren't heavily corroded or anything crazy so I don't think it detracts from the build it's just one of those little adjustments that I would have liked to make, but I think it's okay, we go ahead and spread them out a little bit, clean them up and make sure all the passages are good. they were clear and then they went on 40 and 110 for the Jets which is what I use on every 500 and 550 I have pod filters and a weird exhaust and I have very very good luck with that running our little foam filters which I always run a little further back, we have the custom battery box, very similar to ones I've built in the past, which houses our new Shore I Lithium Ion battery, modern voltage regulator, rectifier, modern LED flash or relay, everything that's there.
Of course, the remaining part of that new wiring harness right above it is our sturdy side seat in distressed brown, as I mentioned. I've used it a thousand times. We've got another tough side to that bike. We have another test slide on that bike. I have one on my KZ 750, we have another one there. You can say I'm a bit of a fan of sturdy side seats. Honestly, I haven't found anything that has similar quality. They are a little expensive, but I think. You get what you pay for, we kept the passenger footpegs on this build because he wants to have that as an option.
New rear shocks, these are a little bit stiffer than the stock shocks, so if you have a passenger, we won't have to worry about the tire going into the frame hoop or anything like that on our traditional frame hoop. You probably saw me make this frame ring in one of the last videos we watched with a center high mount LED brake light. I like it because it's like a bullet style light. You are familiar with this same one that I have on my KZ 750. The same one that I have in the seven day version. It's just a relatively inexpensive white that has a nice vintage feel to this style. build I think this light fits a little better than a cutaway LED strip on the rear hoop like the one I have on that bike, that's a bit more modern style build this one I wanted it to look period correct If that's something you know, but still, modernized safety features of bright signals, bright brake light, you know, modern reliability, that kind of thing, the muffler.
I don't think I mentioned that with the exhaust is the universal short cone engineering 12 inch muffler, same thing when I build or run most of my builds. I'll show you what that sounds like here in just a minute and then on the reliability front we added an electronic ignition and it's something I like to add a lot of people. my builds just because these bikes respond quite well to a modern cold start a little better, they also accelerate a little faster. I've had good luck with them so I like to use them on as many bikes as I can, I think that's it.
I think I've covered it all so you can see it's not night and day for any of the other bikes I've built. , but it's a slightly different style. I haven't made some kind of off-road tracker. 550 scrambler style before the brushed metal 550 type I built, it's pretty similar to this with more street tires and a little different light setup, a little different exhaust setup, but yeah, I'm curious what you guys think , so I'm going to go ahead and throw you guys on a tripod, turn this thing on cold, see how it runs and close the video there.
I'm going to race here forever because I'm in the garage and I don't want to have to turn on all my fans, but for me, for a cold start, this works fantastic, well, sir, I want to get this over with, guys. I appreciate everyone being patient while I put my head down and get to work, I hope. You understand I had to make that business decision, but we're making videos again this week. I'm going to come back to this project. We only have maybe a day or two of work left on that and we'll get it done.
I'll go back to the client and then jump on this bike too. I think this will be a perfect candidate for me to finally make an instructional video on how to paint a gas tank. I really wanted to do it. on both and I got carried away and distracted and this one is going to be black, and if you don't know, the darker the paint color, the more imperfections will show underneath, so the bodywork and all that will have to be on. Otherwise they'll be able to point out a defect in a heartbeat, so this bike will be pretty similar to the rest, but at least I'll show you the gas tank and then we'll see how much it costs.
Most of the build we put into this bike will also feature an EM unit and I haven't actually shown a full M unit on a classic Honda before, I've only shown it on my Triumph bobber, so I think that will be interesting, we will make sureMake a video on how to upgrade your classic Honda to a gadget em moto drive setup and then what are we going to do? Oh, after that, guess what we're going to build a bike that's not a classic Honda, which I'm sure many of you are applauding. I already have the motorcycle.
Excuse me, I already have the bike aligned. We are in the design phase. Now the client, you know, I went to him. Really? I bought the bike about a week or two ago so it's a manufacturer I've never had on the channel before and it's going to be a bike I'm really excited about, it's something I've wanted to build for myself for a while. a long time, so I can imagine that once I build it for him, I'll turn around and want to build another one for myself and I think you guys will be really interested in seeing that, so we're back to normal schedule.
Now I will post as many videos as possible and I appreciate the guys being patient and I will see you soon.

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