1982 Honda CM450E
CM450E: twist the handle soulfully, but keep your distance
Turn signals were whack - fixed the ground on tail light assembly.
Headlight and front turn signals became loose - tightened the stalks.
Forks were twisted slightly - loosened the triple clamps and readjusted. There is a lot of range.
Front brake cable - replaced with generic junkyard cable for 10$
Front brake return spring (s) - fixed with external spring, $2.5.
CM450s did not have a center stand - sucks : (looks like 1970s CB360 stand might fit?$?)
Rear brake takes a moment to release due to weak old springs. I'm too cheap to buy a special motorcycle jack.
Rear wheel spokes are loose. I bought a special wrench - still in the bag.
CM450E rips hard from standstill, and it's an absolute pleasure to accelerate to the traffic ahead and then slice right in between cars.
Nice low exhaust tone - ddrrrrrrrrr. It must have been re-jetted in the past because the literature tells of lean emission-friendly jetting, but my plugs are normal-looking brown (consider the clean-burning modern gasoline). I recommend 89 octane to prevent detonation during hot idle in traffic. The engine runs smooth at all RPMs, hot or cold. 6-speed OD trans adds to the smoothness on freeway. The gearbox is gigantic, like 4-bangers of that era. The powerplant feels like it was built to last forever.
Comfy saddle. Needs a windshield for high-speed touring. The suspension could be softer.
It is a relatively lightweight motorcycle (~400 lbs) but due to soft wheels and thin flexible forks, it feels dangerous in turns. Now I know what all the fuss is about with vintage cafe racers :) Opposite of my old kz650c.
Brakes are horrible - drums front and rear. Even when they work perfectly, drum brakes are bad. So I don't rely on them. Instead I use the engine's massive braking effect to slow way down, then the brakes for the final stop.
That said it is a perfect motorcycle for a beginner - it teaches precision of inputs and attention. Plus they are dirt-cheap to buy and maintain, so the first wipeout (s) won't put you in a poor house.
Proper attire is mandatory though. The seller of this bike wiped out on his wet front lawn and showed me a nasty welting flesh burn on his leg, because the exhaust headers stick way out. I still haven't cleaned off the black-burgundy carbon stain. If a hot one falls on your leg, it will burn it off in no time. That guy is a limping louie for a month, heheh.
Of the many motors I rode in my life, I highly recommend this model to anyone aspiring to become a cyco4lyf like me :)
Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 27th August, 2006
30th Aug 2006, 00:43
Update: the liners on rear brake shoes were separated! They were still in place though because the shoes have locating ridges at ends.
Straightened rear rim with a sledge (steel rules:) and tightened the spokes. Found a better front tire for 10$.
Valves are adjustable with common tools in contrast to typical shim-and-bucket quagmire.
This is the best mid-size street bike ever!
26th Sep 2006, 18:54
I'd have the brakes fixed right dude. We wouldn't want you down-shifting feverishly into the side of a truck that took a left turn in front of you! Fix the wheels too, for safety's sake.