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Carsnz123's 1986 Honda Rebel 450 - Touring, Fixing, and General Stupidity

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Seeing as I'm doing some tidy up work on my bike I might as well share it with the OS crew and let you bask in its amazingness. To start off with I'd better run over the last 18 months.


Chapter 1 - Purchasing 

October 2015. I'd just got my licence and was now looking for a bike. I was after something with some legs for touring, under 600cc for cheaper rego, classic for ease of maintenance, and under $1500. On trademe was listed "1986 Honda Rebel 450 - No wof, No reg, No worries!". The sort story is it was an insurance wright off which 2 owners previous had started to turn into a bobber. The bike changed hands a couple times with minimal work done on it. Then i got my hands on it.



I went and looked at it, had a mate test ride it, did a bit of haggling, and by the end of the day I had it on the trailer heading for home.




Over The next two months  I fixed the issues with it including plugging exhaust leaks, replacing the front tyre, replacing the dodgy bar clamps, cleaning the carbs out, poorly tuning it for the modified exhaust, and making the speedo cable longer. A week before Christmas it passed compliance and was ready for summer cruising.


My brother and I spend a few days riding all over Banks Peninsula. The weather was epic, the roads were quiet, and my bike didn't miss a beat.






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Chapter 2 - Queenstown 

I may have lied a bit about not missing a beat. The Banks Peninsula trip showed up a couple problems the main one being the tune. It got further and further out and kept dropping off onto one cylinder at 100k. The wrap on the exhaust looked cool but was hiding a terrible. The exhaust had rotted out and required a new section to be added in. After fixing the exhaust and re jetting the carbs it was time for another roadie.



I wanted to go over the crown range so a trip to Queenstown was organised. The problem was I had to be at a riding cause in a few days and the weather for the rest of my Christmas leave period looked a bit rubbish so we only had 2 days to do it in, no problem. Pack racks were hastily knocked up out of bunnings alloy box section and steel bar lying around the farm. I also stripped off the last of the pipe wrap and painted the exhaust black.     






My poorly designed pack rack proceeded to break during the trip and by the time we returned to Christchurch it was held together with string and duct tape. No joke, that's literally what happened. Also what became apparent is the engine seals didn't enjoy doing more kms in 3 weeks than it had done in the last 10 years. The valve stem seals were leaking so much I burnt all my oil during the trip. Top end rebuild time



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Chapter 3 - Winter

After solving the majority of the oil consumption I continued to use the rebel daily, took it on a few day trip, and competed in the end of season drags at Ruapuna. The more I used the bike the more things broke and needed fixing. It was a constant battle. Due to kms I was doing I was doing oil changes every month, the 15 year old rear tyre and chain were fast wearing out and the suspension bushes had disintegrated. The tyre and bushes were replaced but I have yet to touch the chain. I used the bike on and off during winter when the weather was clear. When the Ashburton lake got a large dumping of snow I decided to go for a day trip out there. The scenery was epic, the hills were silent, and it was a little chilly but I enjoyed myself. When the rego ran out at the start of spring I put it on hold and focused on my Golf as the bike needed work doing to it.





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Browsing through my photos of the bike I've come across some of the fails that happened



When I first got the bike it had these awesome but sketchy as fuck brass bar clamps on it. It got pinged during compliance for excess movement between the triple clamp and the bars. Whoever made these homebrew jobbies did a halfass job of making the clamping surface round and the mounting bolts didn't sit properly in the triple clamp bushes. the crushed down dynabolt sleeves were an attempt at packing them out which was a major fail. 



A small exhaust leak which I thought was a loose nut was actually a broken stud that someone had decided the appropriate fix was gluing the nut on and making it look ok.




While taking part in the ANZAC day charity ride the rear brake torque arm bolt sheered off under hard braking. Due to the way the brake operates as the backing plate rotated it pulled the brake on harder and harder until something gave way. It was a rather scary ride but all over in a second.   Parts are not easy to find as the bike uses a lot of model specific bits but a modified xl500 front brake cam serves as a replacement.   

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Currently I'm stripping the bike down for a re-wire, new carbs, new exhaust, and a bit of a restyle. Being a California import the engine, fuel tank, and air box were hooked up to a carbon can because hydrocarbons and environment. Anyway its all been ripped off and put in the bin. I've stripped the carbs and exhaust in prep for replacement. A couple 32mm Mikuni carbs off an RF400 will replace the old 30mm Keihin carbs. They require a bit of modification but if it was easy everyone would do it. I'm still undecided about the exhaust but I'm leaning towards having the pipes on one side above the crankcase. The old pipes are rusty, dented and pretty much good for scrap. The battery box is being replaced with a 30 cal ammo can which will also house any fuses and relays. I picked up an old headlight  which I later found out is off a D4 Caterpillar. It's built like a brick shithouse but looks awesome. the mounting bracket is a chunk of 1/4 inch steel that I'd like to use on the bike. The gas axe at work assisted in disassembling it in prep of a halogen unit to be fitted.






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