I’ll be trustworthy, rebuilding the wheels on our 1975 Honda CB550F was a job I hoped to place off loads longer. The strategy of lacing and truing wheels is tedious, and there are many alternatives to scratch a recent rim whenever you pull the tire irons out. Considering a shoestring finances is the cornerstone of our everyman CB550 tracker construct, and our inventory wheels are utterly roached, I’ll be DIYing this complete course of to your training and commentary. Buckle up, as a result of we have now some severe floor to cowl.
In Part 3 of our Honda CB550 tracker construct, we began getting a few of our main visible modifications mocked up, however there was no seeing previous our trashed wheels. Additionally, we actually wanted our gnarly Bridgestone BATTLAX AX41 tires mounted to visualise the remainder of the challenge.
We’re solely salvaging the inventory hubs, so we ordered a primary wheel rebuild equipment with aluminum rims and zinc-plated spokes and nipples for proper round $170. That means the one disassembly concerned is taking an angle grinder to the unique spokes to liberate the hubs. I used a brass wire wheel on an air software to take away the corrosion and the previous Honda clear coat, and buffed the hubs to a mediocre end with a sprucing wheel.
Lacing Motorcycle Wheels I haven’t constructed sufficient wheels to think about myself professional, and even superior for that matter, however it’s not all that difficult in the event you take your time and do your homework. Before you narrow up your previous wheels, take a number of measurements to find out if the hubs are offset to at least one aspect, and a few photographs will assist set up reference factors for lacing spokes.
Lacing our Honda CB550F wheels begins with our inside spokes (the spokes with lower than a 90-degree bend) and the valve stem gap as our place to begin. We recognized its corresponding gap within the hub earlier than we began, however there’s loads of information on the internet in the event you’re ranging from scratch. Using our entrance wheel for instance, you possibly can see the bench rule varieties a tangent line from our first gap within the rim to its gap within the hub.
From there, word the sample of holes within the hub and rim (skip one gap within the hub and three within the rim for our entrance wheel), and the inside spokes fall into place. Thread every nipple on just some turns to maintain every part unfastened, and also you’ll need to use some kind of lube on the spoke threads so that they tighten up persistently with out galling.
Next, we flipped the wheel and used the identical sample for the inside spokes on the opposite aspect, however lacing in the wrong way so the inside spokes cross one another. With inside spokes completed, the outer spokes are put in from the other aspect of the hub and also you’ll be capable to inform proper the place they go. Our outer spokes lace the wrong way of the inners, and the spokes cross 3 times on our entrance wheel, and two instances on the rear wheel.
Truing Motorcycle Wheels We have each wheels loosely assembled at this level, and it’s time to make them tight and true. A truing stand simplifies this course of a terrific deal, and ours is nothing greater than a finances unit from Harbor Freight. It will get the job completed, however (hilariously) doesn’t include a pointer, so we’ll use a dial indicator on a magnetic base with out being too choosy in regards to the precise measured values. If you’re actually balling on a finances, you possibly can true your wheels on the bike utilizing your axle as a fixture and a cable tie or another piece of scrap as a pointer.
With your wheel within the fixture of your selecting, it’s time to begin tightening up the nipples, however take it gradual. Running the nipples down slowly and EVENLY will make the true enterprise of truing the wheel loads simpler, and the wheel will begin to take form whenever you’re right down to the final couple of threads.
As the spokes begin seating within the rim, we are able to get away our pointer and begin fine-tuning the wheel. I like to begin with wheel hop, or up and down variance, to make sure we’re not too far out of whack proper off the bat. Tighten a collection of inside and outer spokes to carry the rim up (nearer to the hub), and you could must loosen some on the other aspect to get issues into form. Addressing runout, or side-to-side variance, is completed similarly, besides you’ll tighten or loosen spokes on one aspect of the wheel to shift it proper or left.
I went backwards and forwards with our CB550 wheels, checking the hop and runout, and making small changes of 1 / 4 flip at a time. It’s useful to make some reference marks with tape that will help you maintain monitor of your drawback areas. The larger the part that’s out of whack, the extra spokes you’ll have to regulate, however you’re all the time working a number of spokes to right a piece.
Once the wheel is straightened out (and any hub offset accounted for), you need to be certain that your spokes are tight, however not too tight—as you’ll gall up the threads on the spoke in the event you go too far. There’s a specified torque to your spokes, however until you will have an adaptor and an inch-pound wrench, you’ll most likely use the audible torque spec technique. Knock an 8 mm wrench in opposition to every spoke and pay attention for a pleasant ‘ping’ sound. A unfastened spoke will give a uninteresting tone.
Perfection is the enemy of the nice, as I spent means an excessive amount of time straightening out our cheapo aluminum hoops. You’ll all the time have a hiccup in your measurements on the seam the place the wheel is welded collectively, and bear in mind to decorate any spokes protruding by means of the nipples earlier than putting in your rim strips.
Mounting Motorcycle Tires We’ve come a protracted method to get our CB on some new rubber, and in the event you’re nonetheless with me, I promise I’ll maintain this transient to get us over the end line. We’ve been teasing that we have now some gnarly meats for our tracker challenge from the get-go, and it’s lastly time to put in our new BATTLAX ADVENTURECROSS AX41 tires from our pals at Bridgestone. They’re beefy and rad sufficient to ruffle some feathers, however we additionally appreciated the combination of DOT road and off-road efficiency the tire affords, and we have been stoked to seek out sizing choices that may work on our previous CB550F.
If you journey bikes, you’ve most likely modified a tire (or at the very least perceive the method), so I received’t beat this one into the bottom. Line up the balancing mark in your tire (if it has one) together with your valve stem and work the primary bead over. Soapy water and child powder are your folks right here. Then set up the tube and work your second bead on together with your trusty tire irons, ensuring to not pinch the tube within the course of.
We mounted our entrance tire by the ebook, however I did it a second time to point out a trick utilizing cable ties (as a result of I clearly wouldn’t mount the tire backward and need to redo it). With this hack, you put in the tube into the tire after which use a number of cable ties to squish each beads collectively. Essentially, you solely need to work the bead over the rim as soon as with this method, earlier than slicing and pulling the cable ties.
Postscript Finishing that challenge, and condensing it for this website, requires a deep breath and a chilly drink. It’s not all that troublesome in the event you’re headstrong and useful, and positively price it in the event you can take satisfaction in a pair easy items of aluminum like I can. For the small dimension of our funding, the transformation is big, though I nonetheless must redo the brakes and polish a number of extra items.
With our new wheels and tires on the bike, I can lastly see every part coming collectively and fine-tune the visible weight of our Honda CB tracker. It’s PLAINLY apparent the entrance fender doesn’t work as is, and I’ll do some mock-ups with the fender shortened, raised to the decrease tree and eliminated utterly, however we’ll save that for one more day.
Even with a contemporary tread design, I’m stoked on the tires. The bike seems to be timeless and rugged with a little bit early ’60s grime bike affect, and I can’t wait to hoon this factor round when it’s completed—that’s what it’s all about proper? I might ramble on, however there’s work to do. Time to tidy up our body extra and set up some suspension to match these meats. Stay tuned.
Bike EXIF thanks Motogadget, Tuffside, Bridgestone, Lowbrow Customs and Biltwell Inc. for supporting our Honda CB550F tracker construct.