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Author Topic: CB-1 new owner impressions  (Read 6386 times)
emiller412
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« on: October 04, 2018, 01:39:27 AM »

Bought my first CB-1 this summer, finally got it running after carb overhaul and fuel pump replacement (used, off ebay), thanks also to Spurlock, ... Great engine, such precision, the sound of it (used to have a 1977 CB400F 40 years ago) is fantastic .. Amazing performance, 13.5K rpm .. but anything over 10K is frightening.   Wide power band, not peaky.  Compact seating position, great brakes, nice gauges..  Unusual yellow neutral light.. I like it.

Bars are low, thumbs hit gas tank at full lock.. Most surprising is short gearing.   I keep wanting to shift up, it feels like it's in 4th when it's in 6th.  Ok, I understand it's the very high redline but it has the torque to go 4500 at 60mph, no need to spin 6500.   8.5K at 75 mph seems extreme, yes, it wants to rev higher ..  I see why they did it, but couldn't we have a taller top gear?   So extraordinary, it makes me think for hours  .. but I wouldn't change it, this is how they wanted it, it's not for me to criticize... 

Engine is excellent, transmission operation is perfect.  Technology and precision is outstanding.  Compact feel, a pleasure to drive, terrific styling.   An amazing engineering achievement.

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filterMan
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« Reply #1 on: October 04, 2018, 04:12:54 AM »

Welcome emiller412, your analysis is spot on, great engine and yes top gear should be higher. But apart from that I think it does everything well and me having freakishly short legs it suits me :-) I've had mine for seven years now and I can't seem to part with it. Enjoy!
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Efreeman55
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« Reply #2 on: October 04, 2018, 09:50:12 PM »

You can change sprockets to get taller gearing but will have an inaccurate speedometer since it's driven off the trans sprocket instead of the front wheel like many bikes.  I dropped about 4 teeth on the rear sprocket and it has helped and the accelerations is still good.

Eric
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Spurlock
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« Reply #3 on: October 08, 2018, 08:29:15 PM »

Welcome emiller 412, I also agree with your impressions, these are amazing bikes! I am light - 150# w/gear - and like you found the gearing way too low. I went up to a 16T C-S sprocket and down to a 37T rear and like it much better. I can still motor through 30 mph zones without needing to downshift, and the transmission is still close ratio and acceleration is still downright frightening at high revs. We like pictures, post some when you can!

-Bill
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1975 Honda CB125S2, 1989 Honda NX250, 1989 Honda GB500, 1989 Honda CB-1, 1997 Honda CB50V
Spurlock
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« Reply #4 on: October 08, 2018, 11:24:55 PM »

Forgot to add, with my 16/37 sprockets the speedo is about 7 mph slow but in sixth gear the tach numbers match mph almost exactly according to GPS, i.e. 6K rpm = 61 mph. So I just watch the tach as long as I am in 6th gear.

-Bill
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1975 Honda CB125S2, 1989 Honda NX250, 1989 Honda GB500, 1989 Honda CB-1, 1997 Honda CB50V
Paulbwatertownct
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« Reply #5 on: December 29, 2018, 01:58:13 AM »

Emiller,
Iím a little late to comment here, but I too am running 16/37 sprockets and find them much better than stock.

You mentioned your bars being close to the tank... stock bars from a Honda Hawk GT are either identical or almost identical to the CB-1 MKII of 1991, and will give you a few inches of rise. Iíve read of several CB-1 owners who love the feel of the GT bars, and still retain the Honda OEM quality. You will need new cables made a few inches longer than stock, so it is not a plug and play option if you decide to go that route. Motion Pro can make the cables. I will change mine at some point, I have the bars, I just havenít gotten around to ordering the longer cables.

Everyone will have opinions on tires, for me there is nothing better than the Bridgestone S20 EVOs. Amazing in every aspect.
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In the garage now: 03 Aprilia RST, 01 Aprilia Falco, 89 Hawk GT 650, 89 CB-1, 90 NSR250R-SP, 91 CBR600F2, 79 CX500, 89 CBR600F Cafe/Fighter,
uglygit
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« Reply #6 on: April 15, 2020, 01:41:06 PM »

I have read reports of cb400sf cable being compatible with higher bars to allow standard routing to be maintained.
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ptlcb1
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« Reply #7 on: March 26, 2021, 02:06:03 PM »

The CB-1 was definitely waaay ahead of its time! Great motorcycle!
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East Van Dad
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« Reply #8 on: April 09, 2021, 09:30:47 PM »

I just purchased my (new to me) '89 CB-1. My younger self loved the look of these when they first came out and I still do. Timeless styling. Anyways, mine has just over 40,000 km. I have service records for the last 5 years. It's not without it's minor blemishes (patina) but runs like a top. After a few weeks of riding I can say it meets my expectations and all the reviews I've red. Stable, smooth, short geared and really small gas tank. I already ran out of fuel unexpectedly. Lesson learned.

Looks like mine had a stator replaced a few years ago. I've heard that is common. Normally I'd do my own service but for the first one I had the local dealer give it a once over. They recommended a valve adjustment with a pretty steep quote. I think I can pull out the feeler gauges and check myself.

Any comments from anyone on the complexity of this work with the DOHC, gears and shims? My last bike had classic adjustable tappets.

Also, can anyone comment on their VIN number?  The last digits of mine are ..00151 so I think it was pretty early off the line.
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ptlcb1
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« Reply #9 on: May 26, 2021, 04:16:08 PM »

Send a message to amorti. He is very well versed on the mechanical workings of the CB-1.
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a_morti
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« Reply #10 on: June 02, 2021, 07:52:52 AM »

Valve shim job is about as easy as it gets on a 16v LV motorcycle engine.

Access could be better, but hey it's a good chance to get familiar with the bike; take the tank and airbox off, look around at the cable routings etc.

Get the rocker cover off, being careful of the rubber gasket which is of course no longer available at Honda. No big deal, it can be reused pretty much indefinitely as long as you don't rip it.

Spin it to TDC using a socket on the end of the crank - access is easy through the inspection cover on the RHS.

Have a real good look at the orientation of the timing marks, take yourself a picture.

Remove the cam caps, remove the camshafts (no chains!), do the shims as you usually would.

When putting the camshafts back on, observe the marks. They want to rotate about a tooth as you tighten the cam caps, so it's relatively easy to mistime them. Refer back to the picture you took.

You'll want a small torque wrench for reinstalling the cam cap bolts. They are m6 HT bolts, so can snap off relatively easy.

When reassembling, note the left coil spark wires go to cylinders 1+4, the right coil wires go to 2+3. It's very very easy to get this wrong.

Anyway, job is easy enough, the lack of cam chains is a real boon.
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