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Lost & Lovin It! 79'CB650 Build
*Let the truth be known...In order to catch everyone up as fast as possible on my build from stock to current without having to re post my journey from day one, I am taking my thread from another forum and posting here . . . I know I know . . . I am lazy . . .  With that said lets catch you all up!! Really excited to watch this forum and community grow!

Whats up everyone! My name is Juan I am new to . . . well to all of this. New to motorcycles, new to mechanics in general, new to the site and new to the whole motorcycle community and culture that surrounds it. And, in short . . .  I LOVE it!

I decided I would start a thread on here to document my first ever motorcycle project. Now I have all ready started and didn't take pictures of everything but I will try and post what I have and be more diligent from now on lol. I also have a youtube channel where I stated making videos on the build and plan to continue with that, so for those interested its 

I called the thread "Lost & Lovin' it!' quite simply because most days I have no clue what I am doing or how something is going to turn out and I love it. Each time I work on my bike its like a little adventure. An adventure filled with horribly foul language and random wrenches and other tools flying through the air and an empty beer can or two for good measure. . . To fill you in on the back story a little bit, last year I purchased my first ever motorcycle. I have always liked bikes and have wanted one for years, but, never for whatever reason got one. Now last year I posted online through a local classifieds that I was looking for a "project bike…year,make,model don't matter to me.Just want something to teach myself the ins and outs of motorcycles…." Well as you can imagine the response I got was something along the lines of, "I have a bike that will work for you. 1979 Honda CB650….was running before…hasn't run for awhile now…all the parts are there … second bike for parts included $300" SOLD! Perhaps I should have looked more closely and did some more research as the "parts bike" was a 1980 Cb650 which as time will tell means most parts I'd need were not compatible between years anyway. Not to mention the 79 CB650 seems hard as f**k to find parts for, especially locally. But oh well. I wanted a project right lol
Now as well as being my first motorcycle it is also my first real mechanical undertaking. Never really worked on cars or bikes before. So I apologize in advance if I ever ask you a completely bizarre question. With that being said, after bringing home my new bike and staring at it for about a week I was ready to get started! BUT first . . . lets pack up the family and move. Long story short my family and I moved to a new town for work and the bike got put aside while we settled in and got ourselves organized. A few months ago I finally got started.

First problem I found after watching youtube videos, reading forums and searching on google to determine what I was even looking for . . . a dead battery? Seriously? All that work to find the battery was dead? OK . . . battery charged . . . and the bike turns over! Doesn't run, but she tries! "Maybe this isn't so bad after all" . . . next problem I found . . . bad spark plugs. Replaced all for and tadah! She fired up. Ran like sh*t but fired up. Off to a good start. Next determined that fuel was old so replaced that only to discover the carbs were filthy and poorly adjusted. Did some more research, gave em a quick cleaning, re set the idle screws to factory stock settings, put it all back together and fired it up. Runs ok but needs work. . . But lets do something for the "looks" first . . . easy project for the day?? Strip the paint off the tank so it's bare metal and remove extra bits off the bike. Front fairing, side covers, seat rack…and….cut the exhaust off. Hmmm, looking better, but the handle bars aren't doing it for me. So I order a new set online, as well as a set of forward controls…waited….once they arrived I installed everything. Also decided I wanted to run pod filters so I removed the stock air box etc. All right, she looks a bit better but still runs like crap. Lets get back to work . . . .

And thats pretty much where we are now. I have removed the carbs off the bike again as well as picked up a second pair to rob parts from and have a spare. Slight problem there though. My carbs are Keihin PD50A style carbs and the spare set I got was a PD50B style…my bad. For the most part they look pretty much the same. BUT, from the limited answers I have found online, it seems the PD50B style have a slightly different slide/needle set up?? Anyone know about this? I ask because they are in better shape than my 50A set so was wondering about swapping the slide and needle sets from the 50B's into the 50A's…is this doable? Also my set of PD50A have a stripped out hole for one the the float goal screws on the #3 body so the goal doesn't seal all that great….could I use the #3 body from the 50B set if I use all the jets,floats,etc from the 50A set to keep things the same across all four bodies? I know with the cut off exhaust and pod filters I will have to re jet anyway but perhaps the different slide/needle sets will help with the tuning?
Also in regards to these carbs…they have the haircut off valves in them. Or will. My PD50A set had silicone plugging the holes for the valves when I got it but I have cleaned them all out now and stole the valves from the 50B set. BUT they seem to fit much looser in the 50B set than the A set…why is this and how tight should they fit? maybe theres still some silicone residue? I don't know. When I look online for replacement valves I can only find one style/part number claiming to fit PD50A/B carbs so I assume they are the same for each . . .
 As for re-jetting . . . I am in central BC Canada near Prince George . . . for those that don't know that puts me somewhere in the range of 1800-1900 feet above sea level . . . from what I can tell . . . with the stock jets being 90main and 35slow . . . If I run pods and cut off exhaust (small aftermarket baffles) I should be running 115-120mains and 38-40slow . . . my plan is to get 118mains and 38slow and hope the new slides/needle settings stolen from the PD50B carbs help out making everything run like a finely tuned beast! . . . Thoughts? Am I way off? What a noob hey lol.

Other than that . . . I have some shorter suspension,the pods,new carb boots, a master cylinder rebuild kit,and some mini gauges coming in the mail right now so I will update as I tackle those projects. Now assuming I figure out how to post images . . . below this text should be some images of when I got the bike until now . . . if not . . . well come back later and check em out when I know more lol . . . . After all . . . . you read this far all ready Wink

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Stock Bike

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After removing some of the extras

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Had to test ride her

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Sorry stock exhaust lovers

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Tank fully stripped . . .clear coat or add paint?

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The forward controls

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And some new bars...

Like I said I'll be more diligent with the photos as I go now. Thank you for checking out my build. Look forward to talking with as many of you as possible and sharing my build with you all! Hopefully one day I can meet some of you and [b]RIDE![/b]

New parts & wiring questions

Well my order from Dime City Cycles came in (mini speedo & tach, shorty 11" shocks, pod filters, carb boots, headlight, taillight, turn signals, mini mirrors) . . . but because its an order from the states and I am in Canada I have to pay the ridiculous brokerage fee as well as the British Columbia PST. Rad . . . 
 So before I go hand over my hard earned money to the man, a couple quick questions.
1- If I have to replace some top end gaskets to fix a leak should I remove the whole engine or can I just do it on the bike? As far as I can tell the bottom end is "fine" …
2- In regards to wiring . . . does anyone have any tips for a complete noob as to how to figure out what wire should go where when the bike was partially disassembled when I got it so I don't know what the lose wires are for? I have been trying to look at the wiring diagram but as a first timer I'm not 100% sure what I am looking at lol
 Also if I was going to do a custom wire job and ditch things that aren't needed . . .  what are the bare essentials needed for the motorcycle to operate so I can have a baseline to then add accessories (lights,horn,etc) 
 Figure I'll tackle the engine rebuild and get the wiring ready for the new accessories before picking up the parts . . . aka wait for payday Wink

Thanks in advance to those reading/following along. Please feel free to share the thread link with others.

Rebuilt my carbs tonight - Keihin PD50A/PD50B

Well I decided tonight to go for it and put the carbs back together. I was still unsure if the swaps between the Keihin PD50A and PD50B carbs would work…. But so far, and this is before a test run or tuning, they seem to fit fine.
I used the Keihin PD50A rack that came with my bike. Stole the #3 body from the PD50B rack (removed all jets etc) as well as the air cut off valves and the choke linkage spring which was missing from the PD50A rack when I got the bike . . actually was just held in place with zip ties . . . yea….. I decided to use the PD50A slides and needles to start and see how she runs later…If it seems like I need more air during the first bit of throttle I'll switch to the PD50B slides and needles as I believe they have slightly larger cut out and different needle position.
One kinda cool thing though . . . since I am going to be running  pods I looked into re-jetting and starting point numbers etc. The 79' CB650 is supposed to have 90's for the mains and 35's for slow jets….but when I went to rebuild tonight I noticed I have 42's for the slows. This is awesome as my research showed that I should run between 115-120 for the mains and 40-42 for the slows. Which means someone else just saved me some cash!! I'll run it as is now and see what happens. Probably still have to go up with the mains a bit, was thinking about 118's since I am pretty high above sea level anyway. Once I get everything all back together I'll get myself a cab sync tool and see how I did Wink
Overview of carbs:
Keihin PD50A/PD50B 
Mains - 90
Slow - 42
Pilot screw - 2 turns out
Float height - 1/2 inch

Oh also grabbed a few photos of the wiring right now so anyone following along can see what I was talking about. Although I will say . . . Its not as bad as I thought after actually looking it over a bit. Most the harness is still neat and tidy…just near the connectors where the PO did his thing is messy. But if I can follow the path from the battery I can replace connectors and clean up as I go….OR I could still make my own harness…but I am not trimming  much so might as well use the stock one and save a bit of coin.

Now some photos:
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Keihin PD50A carb - missing air cutoff valves

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So I stole some from the PD50B rack

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Replaced jets etc and found my slows are 42's instead of 35's  . . . BONUS

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Finally replaced this choke linkage spring!!

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And now I have this  . . .

*Removed 1 photo due to 10 limit*
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Some shots of the wiring . .

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oh and I found this . . . how can I incorporate it into my buid somehow?

Thanks for checking out my build. If you enjoy it please share this thread with others on the forum

So my order from Dimecity Cycles came in and after the usual government ass raping (taxes/brokerage fees) you receive when ordering parts for the US into Canada, I have them all unboxed and ready to GO! First some pics of the parts that came in. Nothing fancy just slimming down some things and getting the essentials I need to get riding….
New shorter shocks
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Some new bar end mini mirrors
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A new bates style head lamp
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A set of mini gauges. Speedo w/ idiot lights and a Tach
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Some new carb boots….old ones pretty hard and had cracks
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New blinkers…small torpedo style
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Master cylinder rebuild kit . . . breaks a good thing
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License plate bracket and tail light
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And some new pod filters
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Also got a horn but didn't take a photo I guess . . . but its a horn . . . use your imagination lol.
 After unboxing I figured I'd do some work. First thing was a simple little job. Just cut down the old foot controls peg mounts so I could use them as spacers instead of fabricating new ones or using a bunch of washers…
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 Then I measured the ride height both with the stock seat and again just at the frame height. Was planning on switching to the new suspension tonight.
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Instead of doing the shocks however, I decided to check out the new mini gauges…first I removed the old cluster. Then just used the stock brackets and some old hardware to test mount the new minis.
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Then I had to check light placement . . . just by hand of course because I'll have to fabricate some sort of track for the headlight myself.
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I was curious though. Can you mount a bates style headlight like this upside down? I don't see why not?
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Ok….easy stuff over. I really need to stop procrastinating in regards to the top end engine rebuild. I have had the full engine rebuild kit for quite some time now but haven't used it….So I started tonight!
First removed the exhaust . . . and it's looking a little dirty you could say…
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After exhaust was off I removed the breather covers and the valve cover.
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Notice the 'X' marks on the three bolts…two have stripped heads…but the third…..
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And of course I forgot to look first on which length bolt goes where . . . but at least I laid them out nice after . . . right?
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Will be replacing this gasket . . .
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And thats where I stopped tonight. Mostly because I think I need a second set of hands for the cylinder head removal so I can keep tension on the cam chain while lifting the head off. Plus I'm going to have to drill out that broken bolt and figure I should do that job not at 2am after a few beers.. .. .. instead I'll do it mid day . . . after a few beers lol
So next I'll finish disassembly of the engine to replace gaskets . . . I should have got new piston rings but didn't Sad . . . then I'll put her all back together and switch over that rear suspension to see how much different ride height is going to be. Then I guess it's on to that mess of wires, figuring how and where to mount lights, fabrication of any brackets etc needed, and then mounting that rear light/licence plate bracket. I suppose at that point I can replace fluids and test start and hopefully with any luck she'll run! I am pretty sure I'll need new main jets still, probably up to a 118 or so. Also not sure if the needles on the carbs are adjustable so that might be fun.

Oh yea . . . I almost forgot . . . my daughter "Milani Rayne" just might end up a little biker girl yet. Pretty sure the horses are winning though, but she did come spend some time in the shop and on her future chopper lol
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Well thats all for now! Thanks for checking out my build, and if you enjoy it please share it with others. Peace!

Feeling accomplished!
  Well I finally did it.I decided it was about time I start taking the engine head apart and replacing gaskets. I was avoiding it as I was worried as a first timer I would mess it up and ruin the bike. Turns out theres really not that much to mess up. Well I say that now as I still have to reassemble lol. But I got it all taken apart and cleaned up (just quick clean as I'll have to do it all again when I get more stuff and attempt valve lapping and replacing piston rings….and painting the engine maybe) and now I just have to put the new gaskets etc back where they belong and put it all back together. I'll post pics tomorrow for those interested.
I only found 8 washers though and theres 12 cylinder head bolts?? After looking into the holes I notice the 4 centre holes have are different…so my assumption is the 8 washers go on the remaining bolts and the 4 centre don't have washers? Any feedback appreciated.
Also I am pretty sure in my rebuild kit theres new copper gaskets for my exhaust…at least thats what I think they are lol. Either that or a part for the bottom end….do the copper gaskets seem like they'd be too thick when your looking at them? I know they get squished down when installed so thats why I think the 4 pieces I have are them. Again I'll post pics tomorrow.
Anyway thats all for now as it's 2:30am and I still have a bunch of work around here this weekend!
 Thanks for reading Smile

PS. The broken bolt the was in the cylinder head cover came out no problem. And I found a couple bolts on the parts bike that might work…just slightly shorter so we'll see. I still need one to replace one of the stripped head ones anyway so might as well get a few. Or file down the head of the stripped 8mm down to a 7mm . . . hmmmm

Photo Update

Ok so as promised pictures so far . . .

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Cylinder head cover - will replace this gasket

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Bearther covers will also get new gaskets

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Camshaft removed

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Removed 6 rubber seals

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Suspended cam chain like forum members suggested

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Beer breaks are important

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First look at piston tops and old gasket (Left side)

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Right side

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First look at valves  . . . future project

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Cleaned up quickly . . . will do better when doing valves

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Other side

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Also just a quick clean on piston heads…

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Other side

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New gasket

Now it's time to put everything back together. Filed down the stripped head on the one bolt to a 7mm so that should be ok now. Going to try the slightly shorter bolts to replace the other stripped and broken one. If not I'll hit the hardware store…Then check the oil pump screen as suggested…Put the carbs back on…put exhaust back on,maybe add baffles…clean up and put back spark plugs (new ones if needed)…add fluids….and test fire!!
I assume I'll want to turn the engine over a few times by hand first or with no spark kinda deal to get lubes going where they should be.
Anyway, thats it for now. . . fingers crossed!


Ok . . . So I have everything I took off back on.Put new seals on the breather covers, cylinder head cover, and cylinder head (+ O-rings) as well as the oil pan. While the oil pan was off I cleaned the gunk out and cleaned the screen. All in all not bad for a 35 year old bike…few little pieces of POs blue gasket crap that was everywhere but no random pieces of metal or anything gnarly so I'm pleased there. Also installed the exhaust with new gaskets, even if it took a few minutes to figure out how the split ring collar things went back in . . . Now I have to reinstall the carbs add fluids and hook everything back up and test fire! Fingers crossed.
Also have to rebuild the master cylinder, bleed breaks, install new mirrors, the license plate bracket and tail light, new rear suspension, mount the headlight, and mount the new speedo n tach more permanently than I have them now.Then once I figure out the wiring she SHOULD be good to go! I'll still have to re-jet and tune and figure out what I am doing for a seat..…and in the future lap the valves, replace piston rings, rebuild the front suspension, new paint, new tires, etc etc etc lol
I did take pictures but didn't post them as  . . . well they don't really look too different lol. The seals just look a little nicer. If anyone wants them posted though just ask. Also, when replacing the 6 rubber seals that cover the head bolts do you use some sort of silicone or locktite OR install dry? I saw both done when previously watching youtube videos . . . thoughts???

Quick Update

Well a quick update is in order I suppose. Tonight I did the same thing I have done for the past week . . . tried to figure out wiring.
New mini speedo tach are both working (minus the high beam indicator light??) and blinkers all blink when they are supposed to and at the right rate (indicator light works after installing diodes). Brake/running light only works when brake is pushed, but I think this is a grounding issue on the running circuit or I have it wired wrong....we'll see and the headlight is not hooked up yet. I am hoping that part goes easy. But when I wire the new headlight I am unsure where 2 wires go. OEM had 3 wires (blue/highbeam, White/lowbeam, Green/ground) and the new one has 2 more (black, brown) which I assume are for running lights but I don't know where to tie them in. Wiring diagram thread will hopefully help.
Next step fabricate some brackets for everything and figure out where to hide the wiring mess now that I don't have the stock headlight housing  . . . weeee wiring is fun

Oh and so far I have not discovered any further signs of the infamous blue crap (rvt) being anywhere it shouldn't be. SO as long as that luck continues I am almost ready to button her back up and put in some fresh fluids and finally start her back up! (I hope lol)

Then re build master cylinder....Check brakes....figure out what I am doing for a seat....then test ride!! Further mods over the winter but I want at least one ride before snow flies.

Thanks for reading!

First off thanks ******* for your help!!
  2 more blown fuses while trying to trouble shoot with the battery still hooked up lol but in the end I figured it out. The black and brown wire off the light are for the small secondary bulb that is on when running and ignition in "P"...One to power one to ground.
The lack of running light in the back is due to the light being on the same circuit as the front one that works in "P"...from what I can tell it should also activate in the "on" position but only does sometimes....or after I sit in "P" for a second first then switch to this a bad connection or a weird factory setting? I have no clue. Might wire a second line to the back from the hot line up front so the tail light is always on as well as on in "p"....would hate to deal with the "ol law man" cause that light decided not to work while on the road lol.
Still have to properly connect everything though....either bullet connectors or solder and heat shrink?? we'll see. For now I am just STOKED that everything is working!!!

After cleaning up wiring its on to brakes and then hopefully one ride before snow flies lol! Oh . . . right . . . I need a seat too :p

Forum User Wrote:Nice the motor aside from being carboned all up looks pretty good inside, I don't like that jagged looking shit where the plugs come into the head. I'd personally know that shit down smooth. Some steel wool would knock all the carbon off without too much effort especially if dipped in a bit of kerosene.

Yea I plan on giving it a proper cleaning or everything and finish the rebuild over winter. New piston rings, valve lapping etc. I'll make it all shiny and sexy again then. Also thinking about painting portions of the engine (maybe whole thing) but will wait and see what I decide on for a overall paint scheme.
Right now it's just about getting her running Smile

Oh and in regards to wiring…a member on another site pointed out a flaw in my wiring. I have the black off the headlight running to brown on the wiring harness and the brown from the light to ground….both black and brown should be going to switched power sources SO am I right in assuming the black should go to black/brn (hot) and the brown should go to brown (parking light circuit) as so I always have the secondary light on regardless of which position the key is in? And could I duplicate the same effect if I run the two wires to the brake light (both brn/blk and blk) if I utilize the diodes to prevent back flow of the current just like I did with the indicator light?? 
I either fell like I have learned a ton with this project or I am way out to left field hahaha time will tell right!

Forum User Wrote:You sure can do that if that's what you want to do seeing the age of the bike you are grandfathered on not having to have a rear running light. The easier way to run it without diodes and shit, is see the wire feeding it in the P or park position? Liberate that from there and move it to the switched on power position and it will have power when the key is in the on position. Bare in mind if that's too much pull on the system with all the running lights on before starting you can simply wire in an on/off switch for the running lights.

So you can start it without too much pull from your power source then flip it on when the bike is generating it's own.

I re wired the head light black and brown so instead of the brown going to ground it now goes to the same brown as the rear. Now when I start the rear running light seems to be working and the small secondary light on the headlight only comes on when in park. Otherwise the headlights low is always on as running. I am happy with this unless someone points out a flaw in my system lol

Feeling good!

Well its about time for a proper photo update since it's been awhile. I had not been taking may photos because I have only been working on wiring, and taking a bunch of pictures of wires in various spots on the bike didn't seem very exciting to me lol.
Anyway, the bike is wired and working finally. Big shout out to everyone that helped but especially @******* here on ******** who seems to be the man when it comes to wiring ANY motorcycle! I have however yet to decide what to do with the battery and the connectors,rectifier,etc etc that was under the stock seat...they can stay put for now and I'll look at it again over the winter! But for now all the wires are wrapped up nice, new connections where needed, and everything is working I feel pretty good about myself lol. My only complaint is without the stock headlight housing I have a bunch of wires up front I don't like. They are currently bundled up and wrapped in an old leather wrist cuff/bracelet I wore for years (all I could find lol) but I will be on the lookout for a way to hide em all in the future.
I also forgot to take pictures of the process but I chopped a few inches of her ass end. First alteration to the frame itself and I like it! Funny how a couple quick cuts can make a stock bike look like a bobber that quick! Now I need a proper seat as the one you'll see in the pics below is actually the back rest cushion pad from the "sissy bar" rack thing that was on there. It fits pretty well though so I might just alter it a bit and re cover it for now till I make a better one. Also going to need a rear fender but need to look into that a bit still as I want to keep the bobber look and just run a fender strong enough to hold a person with a small pad on the fender itself (At least for now, I have an idea for a rear seat set up later) but all the pics I find like this are hard tail bikes and the fender has a strut off the farm to help with weight. SO not 100% sure how to mount everything to operate with rear suspension. *any tips?* Now I have to rebuild the master cylinder and check over the brakes. If thats good I'll put new fluids in and see if she still fires up!
Still lots to do to reach my goal, but considering I bought this bike as a non running project bike and am hopefully a few small jobs away from having a running and rideable bike....I am pretty fuc%!#g stoked.
Ok pictures . . . .

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Lighting and gauge placement upfront (photo is pre final wiring obviously)

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Chopped rear end w/ temp seat

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View with rear lighting placement

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Just another view of the bike with chopped frame

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New ride height. Stock was 32" at seat and 27.5" at frame. (Pictures previously posted)

As always thanks for checking out my build thread and any feedback is appreciated! Stay Rad!

Soooo…. been awhile since I posted here. And that because I haven't done shit on my bike. Wifes pregnant with baby number 2 and on modified bed rest. So I am home acting as a stay at home dad and errand boy Smile But in another few weeks I will have a son to accompany my daughter so putting the bike on hold for a bit is ok!

BUT with that said I want to return to tinkering a bit here and there so I'm ready to ride come spring … hopefully lol
Just have a couple questions for anyone reading this….

1. Does anyone know if either a sportster style peanut tank or a mustang style tank would fit a 79' CB650 with little mods? I don't want to have to cut, widen, and weld tanks back together . . . aka wouldn't trust my welds lol

2. Has anyone here made a seat pan or a fender out of fibreglass? Both were ideas I had but am unsure if its worth the time or I should just stick with metals

3. If throttle and choke cables are "sticky" is it worth spending the time to clean em and lubricate or should I just spend the cash for new ones??

Forum User Wrote:Gratz on the first bike and all! I think your doing a good job and taking your time and doing it right. It's a huge learning experience. My piece of advice here is to not do any fab work, dont paint anything, swap back to the old bars and ride that son of a bitch. Because chances are, you will drop it. I dropped my first bike a few times, and millions others have. someone on here will say "I never dropped my bike, not any of them." well good for one cares. Riding these things is an art and once you figure it out you'll never actually think about it again. When i got my first bike, it was a 83 kaw 440 and it looked decent, but if i dropped it and it ate dirt, no ones worried about the paint or any custom parts, pick it up, laugh it off, keep riding.
Thanks a lot man. I am trying to build a bike that looks good but on a low enough budget that if/when I drop it its ok. Plus I have the mentality that if I wanted my stuff to stay looking perfect all the time it'd be on display, not being used. Scratches…dents…drops…etc….Shit happens. I'll just call it character building lol

OMG! Its almost time to ride!!
 Yes its true! I have finally got my $300 non running 79'CB650 to a rideable bike! I am still getting the tuning right through trial and error. I have pod filters installed again so have been gradually drilling out my jets to get a rough idea where I need to be before spending the money on new ones. Currently have the slow jets somewhere in the #42 range and the mains I just went up to about #110 tonight, test ride tomorrow! From what I have found online most people suggest around a #120 main, but taking into consideration the elevation I am at I didn't want to jump right to if the 110 doesn't cut it I will do a 115-118 range and keep going from there. Idle screws set at 1.5 out right now....why share all that? I don't know cause I am excited and maybe it will help someone else!
Made a seat so now its just a fender needed. And then ride time! Also playing with the idea of eventually hard tailing it. Probably with the voodoo vintage hard tail but who knows. Pics and video updates soon!

For those interested or possibly building their owns cb650 with pods...the 110 main jet with 42 slow and idle jets set at only 1 turn out (was a mistake but hey) does not run ideal. Still sputters a lot above half throttle. Re jetting again tomorrow. Stay tuned!

*At this time I started another thread looking for help...I'll include that here too*

Bike: 1979 Honda CB650 running pod filters and a basically open exhaust (does have mini baffles, and some steel wool packing but I don't think they do much lol)
Carbs: Keihin PD50A mechanical slides with drilled out jets.
Question: I need to know which direction to go with the jetting....yes the stock air box would help. Yes proper exhaust would help. But thats not what I have to work with lol. Currently my floats are set to stock height (I think) and the idle adjustment screws are 2 turns out. Slow jet has been drilled to aprx. a #42 (hard to tell exactly) and the mains are aprx. #118. Now, bike starts up really easy needing very little choke which I can shut off very quickly. Idles awesome around 1000rpm or slightly lower. Has decent response from idle till about 1/2 throttle....At which point if I try to crack it open it has major hesitation and stumbles. I need to keep going up in jet size until it makes a difference OR go back to smaller sizes? Also, If it starts super easy with almost no choke, is my idle jet to large and therefore too rich as well??

*Note: I am only drilling out jets to get close idea. I want to order proper new ones when I think I know the correct size so I am not spending a fortune on multiple sizes to test*

Forum User Wrote:Try riding in the upper range with the enricher pulled. even just halfway.
As long as choke plates aren't involved it'll tell you if it likes more gas or not.

Well, being the noob I am .... I am not sure what you mean by the enricher? I did take it out tonight and try riding and pulling the choke out soon as I did it started to hesitate and stumble...If I tried to open up the throttle with any more than maybe 1/4 choke it died completely. Does that tell anyone anything as to where I stand?
Also I paid more attention to the rpm rather than throttle position tonight...great response from 1000 to 3000....then bogs down and stumbles from 3000 to 3500ish...then it feels like you hit a power boost till just past 4000....everything after 4000 on was stumbling and/or basically non responsive!
Maybe I need a proper mechanic lol

Forum User Wrote:As for jetting; the main only takes over once the needle is held at WOT... so being you get a stutter at half throttle it's not the main. Seeing how you are rich on the idle but it idles fine? It's not that circuit either... leaving just the main needle jet or float heights at fault... barring electrical or fuel starvation issues, aside from the tank not flowing and filling the bowls... that leaves the accelerator pump not doing it's job to fuel on demand. 

You can do the clear hose trick on the float bowl drains to check your float heights... the heights are important and can cause your stumble business. Your accelerator pump could also be faulty as it gives a bump in fuel flow into the cylinder as the bowls are filling up... if it's not working properly needless to say it can act like it's running out of gas and buck around... but in the mid range 1/2 throttle the main needle jet is the typical fault. Starting with little or no choke means you are rich, which is better than lean, lean drys out a motor and rich lubes it up a bit better although it can also carbon the shit out of things and eat the plugs from fouling leading to misfires.

I ran into this issue on my motor swap, I'm currently in the rich range and I get a bog if I whack the throttle to quick, my slides can't respond fast enough... but I'm getting twice the mpg not being able to whack the throttle and get the instant response in every throttle range I'm used too, I haven't put much time into dialing the slides in yet because of that :p The bucking stumbling shit is not fun, especially if you're trying to dial carbs in with heavy fast traffic on your street like mine is.

Carbs have 3 stages, idle, mid, and wot... all 3 of these can be either too rich or too lean. Your idle is rich because of the choke behavior... I bet if you pull the plugs they will be black and sooty as fuck from the starting richness fouling and carbonating everything up. I suggest dropping your needle a clip(up a notch) clean up your plugs and see what it does, if it gets worse the go down from there 2 notches and see if it gets better. You're trying to combat a lean condition with the steel wool stuff in there... take that shit out of there, the big fucking metal pot scrubber shit is best if anyone is going that route, as steel wool is too fine and breaks off too easy... you're just going to be pulling tiny meta wire through your carb and into the cylinder with that business... 

pods, depending on the brand they can block off vital ports on the back of the carb that need air to flow through those ports... below is an example of this.

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If the needle clip positioning and float height is on point doesn't fix it... a poor battery ground or loose connection, clogged tank vent/fuel starvation, and misfire as the coils heat up, timing off not set right/broken rotor key/sticky timing advance. Those are very common culprits that act like a carb issue. 

A note about float height, this is set from the factory, for their set it to run lean on air business and often the most overlooked on carb modifications... a +/- 1mm to the stock height and a/f screw adjustment is usually all it takes to run shit open and unrestricted... many people focus on jetting and typically only focus on the main when opening things up... which has almost zero effect on idle or mid as far as size is concerned. You are trying to achieve a good fuel to air ratio with carbs so the engine performs at it's peak when opening shit up... in my experience, mpg takes a huge hit and so does the life of your motor with these modifications, if not dialed in at a near perfect ratio... a lot of bikes out there are running too lean or too rich from these mods... so make sure to read your plugs, even if shit "feels" right on the throttle if you want to ride a bit farther and trouble free.

AWESOME! Just made note pad full of maybes to check from this post.....back to the shop! Thanks again *******!!

Well.....Took the pods right off and zip tied some fabric over the air intakes to keep out debris and took er for a ride to see if the pods where restricting any ports...ran like SHIT! That was not the problem lol. But then I decided when I got home to drain the carbs individually into glass jars and compare how much fuel came out....They were close at 1 and 2. and 2 was close to 3. But 4 was low and none were actually the exact same...SO I checked the manual and cut out a measuring tool and set the floats to .50 in as suggested.And then I had an idea.... I changed out my modified main jets and put in the stock set again....then I re installed the stock air box and re lubed a sticky throttle cable so the throttle actually snapped back to close instead of sticking slightly open :p I also set the idle adjuster screws to 2 turns out as a starting point. The only thing I can't do that I want to is replace the stock idle jets . . . I don't have another set. . . So in theory everything should be far more balanced now. The idle jet circuit will still be rich clearly but hopefully I will be back at a good base to start tuning from. I did roll it out of the shop and start it up. Still required little to no choke, but was still slightly warm from previous test ride. Still idled well around 1000rpm and if I tried to crack it open really fast it stumbled a little, but if I eased it up in throttle I was able to get up to 5000rpm without an issue. I stopped there as it's 1am and the family is asleep and seeing as I have cut off exhaust I don't want my wife and neighbours planning my accidental death lol
Hoping to get a quick test ride in tomorrow and see where I'm at! Who knows if I am really lucky maybe I can find somewhere or someone who has a set of idle jest I can grab, then as JetBlack had said I could probably get it tuned with a simple needle shim and float adjustment. Fingers crossed!!!

Oh and ******** the steel wool was in the pipes to dampen the sound a little until I get a new set of shorty mufflers or a new exhaust set. I like the loud pipes but not "hello officer" loud Wink

Forum User Wrote:Oh you had the steel wool in the exhaust... I thought you had the pods stuffed with that shit. I know pulling carbs off and on suck ass, it's the worst part about dialing them in. Are your carbs on it CV's or mechanical slide? I was web hopping around seeing if I could see some CB650 carbs and notice they switched it up in production. CV's and a free flowing open intake do not get along very well because of the vacuum pressure required to raise the slides... a bank of 4 carbs though and different bowl levels of fuel means they likely need to be sync'd to get the proper vacuum in all the carbs so they all fill up right... one of the boards I found a picture on said they run emgo pods the middle 2 need trimming to clear some shit glue etc. but most said they were running pods fine with a main anywhere from 95-102 and the pilot 42-45 with a stock float height... no mention of the needle, though they also said it wasn't exactly a smooth throttle transition either especially the first 10 minutes ti it warmed up.

It sounds like they are going by the standard pod rule of thumb since they are changing out both jets... up 3 mains from stock with a single bump in the pilot sounds about right from their numbers. This standard requires more tweaking if you have a CV carb though, because air raises the slides not the cable... so knowing what carb bank you have on it will certainly help dial em in quicker. Drilling out the jets is not something I personally recommend as it's easy to fuck up and have no idea what size it actually is, especially if there's a slight off center wobble in the drill chuck or tiny bend in the bit(common).

Here's where I get my jets typically less than 2 bucks each per jet... I'd personally hit up some boards using a browser search for "CB650 pod jetting" in quotes like that and write down all the jetting numbers people are using and see which numbers pop up most frequently and get those as the jets when ordering... no reason to blaze the same trail in trial and error when many have already pulled the carbs off 100 times for you figuring it out Wink

They are mechanical slide carbs (Keihin PD50a style) and nobody mentions shimming the needle on them because getting the needle out in the first place is a pain in the ass!!! And once you do you'll discover they were not meant for needle clip position or anything.
Now, I need take the bike for another test run with the stock air filter, stock float heights, and stock main...Idle jet is still larger..and the bike responded better. Still has the midrange to wot problem but makes it to about 4500/5000 RPM before stuttering. I still have to check the plugs and see what kind of read the new set up gives. Then I'm thinking of putting in the modified main jets again and seeing if that makes things better or worse both in throttle response and plug read. Then hopefully I'll know if the problem is fuel related at least in relation to the main jets....If not I am sure the carbs need to be synced properly but I don't have a vacuum sync tool. Also I have not checked the ignition/electrical system properly yet. I know all plugs have a decent spark and fire consistently but not sure about the strength of spark and/or timing etc.
I'll check out that z1 site for sure as I looked on JetsRus and after shipping etc it would cost over $60 for the jets some border crossing charge I'm sure.

Forum User Wrote:an easy way to check which way you need to go is pulling the spark plugs and see if they are black and sooty or burned clean. 

Black and sooty=too rich

Too clean = lean

Does this work if there is basically nothing happening when I open up the throttle? My assumption would be I would get a false reading if the bike wasn't at least trying to accelerate etc at the appropriate throttle setting

Forum User Wrote:Did you bench sync them?  Should get you close enough, then instead of buying a 4-carb sync tool you can make your own on the cheap using clear tube and oil. (google cheap carb sync)

To be honest I am not 100% sure how to bench sync mechanical carbs. Joys of having that "noob" title lol

When should someone with very little know how call it quits and just hire someone to finish the damn job!! After researching further and watching youtube videos for a few days etc, I bench synced my carbs as best I could going off the baseline carb suggested in the manual, double checked and adjusted the accelerator pump, re set the slow idle adjustment and the idle screw, and have been playing with the idle/fuel screw adjustments and it seems nothing is working! I still have ok response in the lower RPMS/throttle position, but if I try and crack the throttle open full its got nothing!! Like the bike doesn't die and stall out, but it has no power and starts to slow down until I let off the throttle to the last position of acceleration, then it kicks right back in and starts going. 
I am guessing that it's probably not a fuel/air issue at this point and instead something more advanced like ignition timing or something along those lines which I am really not good with (any thing electrical) so unless some one out there has some more suggestions for me . . . . Perhaps it is finally time to admit defeat and take it to a REAL mechanic. Was really hoping to accomplish this all by doing the work myself, but at this point I am just getting frustrated.

I can promise one thing though . . . my next bike . . .  is going to be a V twin style bike with only TWO CARBS and then I will try and figure out if its possible to modify that into a single carb cause I am done with this bank of four BS LOL

Thanks in advance for any more help and all the help up until this point.

[quote='Forum User']
You having to back off the throttle for it to catch... because when you get hard on the throttle it's too much too soon... as a carb issue this points to the needle... as a mechanical issue it points to the clutch, it should be adjusted where you can sit and rock the bike back and forth at idle(no throttle) simply easing on and off the lever a tad. 

If you have a wet clutch what kind of oil and what weight is it you are running? Friction modifiers in many oils are not wet clutch compatible and can cause the plates to
" Look Long and enjoy the ride..."
~Juan Carlito~

Current Build - 2003 Yamaha Road Star 1600 Silver Edition 034/150

79' Honda CB650
86' Yamaha XV750
And there ya go!!! Up to date more or less. That all happened from about September 2014 to now.

The last couple weeks I have made a few changes and I think I'll be doing some more major ones tomorrow after work. But I have to update my photobucket so I can post up to date photos etc and then I will fill you all in as to where we are now!!
Below is a copy of the little intro thread I posted here on earlier to show an "up to date" photo for you all . . . even though I have been busy with the grinder/ welder the last few nights Wink
"Just wanted to say a quick hello and introduce myself and bike. My name is Juan and I am building my first ever bike. A 1979 CB650 that's going to be a bobber when I am done. I'll make an official build thread when the admin make a CB's section under the Honda tab ;Wink Yes that's a hint lol. Any here's how she looks before the last round of chopping  "

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Hope you all enjoy my thread and the build so far. The last year of my life working on this bike has been a crazy adventure and I have learned so much. Cant wait to "finish" this bike and see what comes next!! I will be looking through the forums and taking a look at your bikes as well. Hopefully I get to know some of you, especially Canadians, as I would love to meet you on the road some day! StayTuned
" Look Long and enjoy the ride..."
~Juan Carlito~

Current Build - 2003 Yamaha Road Star 1600 Silver Edition 034/150

79' Honda CB650
86' Yamaha XV750
Awesome build! Thanks for posting. lots of good info. Looking forward to more of your builds!
Hmm...looks like the posts that were posted after the "Shoot Me" post got deleted or didn't post or something. I will try and repost soon....but spoiler alert....the bike runs awesome now and looks different lol

Cancel that . . there is a lot missing, so I will jump to a post after a bunch of the problem solving posts and just try and catch ya up as best I can with a few key posts! If you want a link to the original forum thread with all the info just message me.

First off huge thank you to everyone who posted any tips or advice on here or my other threads! Thanks to all your suggestions, some youtube hours, and the Haynes and shop manuals . . . . WE have a running 1979 CB650 Brat/Bobber thing!!!

*Below is a copy of my last post on my "So close.Help Needed" thread...Just wanted to update here as well
After my last post I ended up test firing the bike Sunday morning. Started up as normal except I needed just a little choke at first (I re jetted the slow jets to a 38) but still fired right up. Idle and rev seemed the same but seemed like I could crank the throttle a little more than before. So I figured wtf I'll give it a shot. Put it in first, pointed her down the road and accelerated. All was normal. . . . Until I got to the point she usually died . . . then I cranked on the throttle and to surprise she surged forward!! So shifted to second and BAM still pulling . . . third . . . still pulling . . . .I better go get my helmet lol
After some chores were done and I had a little free time, my dad and I decided to take her for a test run on the highway. My first time riding a bike on the first time riding with my dad....and the first time riding a bike that I brought back from the dead and achieved my goal of learning a bit about motorcycles! Needless to say . . . It was an awesome day! Bike handles real nice minus the from suspension being a little soft, will upgrade to progressive shocks I think. Was able to accelerate through all the gears and all throttle positions and could easily keep up with my dad on his Virago 750. All the lights work, signals work, even the extremely manly horn works lol Meep Meep
And after all the fussing with the carbs and trying to fix a problem that turned out to be a 15 minute clean and lube job of the ATU I lucked out! Check the plugs when I got home and they were all a nice golden tan except #3 which was a little rich, but I expected that as I just replaced the float and valve seat and just eyeballed the level. (for those interested I have Keihin PD50a carbs, k&n style pods, 118ish drilled mains, 38 slow, a 1 washer shim on the needles, working air cut off and accelerator pump, and cut off exhaust with simple canadian tire turn down tips and a set of TCbros mini baffles installed)
Now that I know she's running good. upgrades planed are :
+Progressive suspension up front.
+New tires
+Possible hard tail
+Clean and polish stuff
+New paint
+New grips and throttle mechanism
+Maybe move the ignition, kill switch, etc
+Nice solo seat and a sissy bar just cause!
Will be updating my actual build thread again with some photos and videos I haven't uploaded yet as well as the changes as they come. Feeling motivated again and feel as if I have a much greater respect for the build process now. Ups and downs, good days and bad . . . in the end, after all the busted knuckles, laughs with friends, strung together curse words to form a new sentence while working alone...Eventually.....You get to start your bike....feel it come to life under you....and feel the wind in your face!

OK! Been awhile since I updated this thread…So quick photo update from stages in build I never posted
These are all going to be photos I took off my photo bucket page. But I am not posting them all just a few to give you all an idea… If you want to see all the pics I load there just search 'JuanCarlitoOnline' and my page should come up!! Heres the link ---->[URL=""][/URL]

OK . . . Lets begin!
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One thing I did was black out my exhaust…just a rattle can job with high temp paint

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Here the exhaust is back on the bike

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Another shot of exhaust

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Played with some seat ideas . . .

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Played with the idea of a sissy bar..

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And briefly tried to be fancy with paint lol

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Ended up going all black with a gloss clear coat . . . and covered the skate deck seat . . . I miss the raw metal tank

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Another shot of the seat. Covered with foam and vinyl from an old seat

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Was considering selling to buy a different project so took some photos, heres a couple
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Made this little screw driver out of a lamp shade topper, a broken screw driver and some solder….now I can change the idle screw settings without removing the carbs lol

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While trying to diagnose the running issue I tried running no filters to see how the airflow effected the issue . . . this did NOT help lol

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Made a home made float height tool . . . it gets the job done ok...

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Took the carbs apart again to check the needle clip position only to find out that there is only one option!! Ended up adding a washer as a shim

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Playing with the idea of a real rear fender instead of my little stubby plastic one...

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Also looking at different ways to lock out the rear end until I can get a real hard tail set up…this is my favourite so far but would mean a new seat and relocation of battery/electrics

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Thinking something more like this but with shocks replaced with struts might make more sense fore a temp solution

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BUT this would look way cooler

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Decided the lowers looked like shit….So I cleaned them up . . . and added some paint…. I like it better now.

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Figured I'd do the fender too . . . also moved up the light and repositioned the horn

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Side by side of the exhaust . . .

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An instagram (@Bearded_Bobber) post trying to decide on some exhaust tips…I moved the shorty baffles into the tips as well to make removal easy in the future

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And this was the problem all along! A seized up Automatic Timing Unit . . . Click image for video

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And I finally got to ride the bike for real, on the highway, at speeds, and in ALL the gears at high RPM!!! (Dad is on his 81' Virago 750 project

Since the last pic I have added a little more black paint and basically just been working out ideas as to which direction to go with locking out the rear. Just adding struts would mean I can keep the current seat and leave the battery/electrics alone but would have to either narrow the fender or widen the frame….. By locking out with the angled tubing from tank to axel I could leave the fender fat but would have to get a new seat and relocate all the electrics and battery and would be far more permanent of a "temp solution" in case I did want to sell later….Still have to play the pros and cons game a bit more before I commit . . . BUT at least she runs now and can easily hit 120kmph which is where I stopped as the test ride was with no insurance or license Wink
Will update again soon with photo of the plugs after the test run, some more photos of the whole bike at its current state and any other stuff that may happen by then. As always thanks for checking out my build! Its been a blast so far.

Will follow up with a photos up date in the next couple days here, but . . .
I chopped the rear of the frame further and locked out the swing arm in a way that give the bike that hard tail look. Also got rid of the stock tank and made a couple mods to mount a sportster tank off a Harley 883. Then I build a battery/electrics box using scrap angle iron stolen from an old bed frame . . . Next is mounting the fender, maybe do a sissy bar, re wire the rear blinkers, brake light etc.... and then I need a new seat. Thinking of two options for this.
Also got rid of the plunger pulley style choke actuator and now have a brush metal handle coming right off the carb to operate my choke. Some of these pictures are all ready on my Instagram if you search "Bearded_Bobber"
" Look Long and enjoy the ride..."
~Juan Carlito~

Current Build - 2003 Yamaha Road Star 1600 Silver Edition 034/150

79' Honda CB650
86' Yamaha XV750
This is what I did for my choke….

Not sure how many carbs out there use the same set up, but my carbs on my 79 CB650 and the stupid handle bar plunger you pull up and push down to control the choke. Cable attached to a set of "fingers" between the 2 and 3 carbs . . . Cable was shit . . . fingers got in the way of the pods I am running . . . so came up with this little fix after seeing a post on Instagram!

First what it looks like - Replace the pulley/plunger deal with a brushed metal handle coming off carb 1
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Couple photos of how it works
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Actually lets try a video

OK . . .  What I did . . .
First . . . Borrow some sort of handle to use . . . Thanks old dresser
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Then, drill a hole to fit a piece of threaded rod the same size and the rod that holds the choke plates.
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Weld the thread rod to the end of the choke plate rod so it sticks out like this
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This is what all the pieces will look like
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Then make a spacer or get some small washers

Put it all together putting the spacer or washer between the handle and the carb body,this is where the friction to keep the choke open or closed comes from
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Re-Assemble your carbs minus one cable pulley deal and enjoy!
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Hope someone out there finds this useful.

I'll just try and do a bit of a photo dump here and catch every one up.

First, this is the tank I bought for my bike. Not a fan of the colour but that will change.
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Then I narrowed my rear fender
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Next step . . . chop stuff
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And mark out more . . . and chop!
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Dad came by and helped too
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Then we started test fits and more chops
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My daughter suddenly approves of the bike...
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Ditched the tank paint…and welded in the rear pieces
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Comparing before and current . . . can't wait for the after
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Then it was onto building a battery box
Had an old bed frame in the shop . . . so why not chop it
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Then dropped my grinder . . . onto it's own cord . . .
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Thats better . . . where were we
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All the pieces ready for welding
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Which I am still learning
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All together and painted black
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And the electric bits mounted and how it sits in the frame
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And thats where it sits now more or less….started to mount the rear fender and thinking sissy bar, those pics later
" Look Long and enjoy the ride..."
~Juan Carlito~

Current Build - 2003 Yamaha Road Star 1600 Silver Edition 034/150

79' Honda CB650
86' Yamaha XV750
Lookin' great! Keep up the great posts! Have you thought about finding a smaller battery and laying it more out of view? Just thinking it would be sweet if you could move everything out of that spot! Either way, sweet looking build! I'm jealous!
Yes I have. I am going to be re wiring the whole bike and probably getting a small anti gravity battery to run. Also can't remember the name of the company or unit but there is a little "all in one" box deal for wiring that I may do as well. That way the battery and all the wiring can be hidden better. Also still want to do the full hard tail eventually. At that point the frame will have a few inches of stretch and things won't look so cramped in there. This is still pretty early in the whole process for me. Like I said, its my first build and Im using this bike to teach myself as I go, so in a sense the more steps I take the better!
" Look Long and enjoy the ride..."
~Juan Carlito~

Current Build - 2003 Yamaha Road Star 1600 Silver Edition 034/150

79' Honda CB650
86' Yamaha XV750
How's the build coming along JuanCarlito?
(07-22-2015, 11:08 AM)jmilay Wrote: How's the build coming along JuanCarlito?

Good. Will post photos soon, but got rear fender mounted with small sissy bar. Need to reinstall and wire rear lights and then ad some paint. Then it will be "done" for now. aka until winter. Then hopefully get a full hard tail installed with a few inches of stretch and re wire/clean up things a bit!
" Look Long and enjoy the ride..."
~Juan Carlito~

Current Build - 2003 Yamaha Road Star 1600 Silver Edition 034/150

79' Honda CB650
86' Yamaha XV750
Damn! Great post....looking forward to the finished product!

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