1973 CB500 K2 Work Log


  • Installed rebuilt carbs
  • Hooked up aux fuel tank
  • Tested cards (look good)
  • Tested charging (also looks good after disconnecting headlamp and wire ball)
  • Installed tank
  • Worked on diagnosing turn signal issue


  • Rebuilt carbs again. Waiting for Aux Fuel tank so I can test


  • Got bike running again
  • Added carb treatment stuff to tank
  • Test drove up to top of neighborhood
    • Bike road well this time around. I assume the issue I had last time was simply shitty gas
  • Battery died when I got back to the house
    • Unplugged headlamp to see if that would make a difference. IT seems it did not, though it was acting weird when I tested battery while revving.
    • Tested battery, 12v when I tested with idle engine, 12v with engine revd
  • Charged battery
  • Noticed carb#2 was leaking again


  • Cleaned Carbs and intake manifold
  • Installed new carb boots
  • Installed carbs
  • Ran bike, tested carb #2 leak (fixed) and petcock (looks to be working)
  • Looked for wiring shorts, rewired a couple of things
  • Broke throttle adjuster again


  • Installed latest petcock and tested, only one line flowing
  • Reassembled carbs

5.13.17 – 5.20.17

  • Installed new petcock (friggin thing wont shut off)
  • Removed and cleaned carbs
  • Polished tach mount and installed new tach plug
  • Began installation of new speedo


  • Installed side emblems and badges on side covers
  • Installed tank badges
  • Polished and installed petcock
  • Polished and installed gas cap and lock
  • Installed new switch assemblies
  • Rewired, removed bulb wiring harness
  • Installed mini tach to get a feel for what I want to do there, removed gauge bracket
  • Charged battery
  • Cleaned bike


  • Installed grommets

12.4.2016 – 10.19.2016

  • Hacked ignition switch so that it was not going crazy every time I put key in
  • Added oil
  • Changed fuse holder under seat
  • Added air to tires
  • Cranked her up and road her around neighborhood
  • Winterized, and drained carbs
  • Trimmed fuel lines

09.24.2016 – 10.19.2016

  • Worked on ignition button problem, not sure what is going on there. Soldered contact, reinstalled and still constantly runs
  • Installed carbs
  • Installed fuel lines
  • Finished rewiring bike, other than ignition button everything works
  • Rebuild gauges, installed new gauge bolts, lamps, and seals
  • New K&N pods are too big, need to get new carb mounts or pods


  • Fixed car problem (bent float plate), cleaned, and reassembled


  • Attempted to fix carb #1
  • Took carbs off for cleaning/jetting
  • Wired front of bike
  • Installed headlamp


  • Installed new ignition
  • Began cleaning plugs
  • Diagnosing ignition wires
  • Began putting together gauges
  • Installed new battery
  • No luck getting it started
  • Ignition button/switch getting stuck
  • Installed head lamp
  • Began replacing bulbs


  • Installed ignition button
  • Put on fuel lines
  • Put on fuel tank
  • Put on seat (new cotter pins)


  • Fixed ignition issue


  • Assembled and installed passenger foot pegs
  • Tightened exhaust system
  • Tightened exhaust collars
  • Tightened handlebar bridge bolt
  • Installed new seat lock
  • Began working on wiring, could not get engine to turn over, got lights and horn working
  • Charged battery
  • Tightened Brakes
  • Put on back shock bolt
  • Cleaned bike a little
  • Installed and wired horn

04.24.15 Powder Coating

Blast prep and coat Engine block$
Blast prep and coat Brake Disk$
Blast prep and coat Brake caliper$
Blast prep and coat Shock mounts$
Blast prep and coat Instrument covers$
Blast prep and coat Rear brake cover$
Blast prep and coat Kick stand$
Blast prep and coat Upper fork tubes$
Blast prep and coat Shock covers$
Blast prep and coat 2 pc triple tree$
Blast prep and coat Brake support Pod$
Blast prep and coat Brake lever$
Blast prep and coat Chain guard$
Blast prep and coat Center Stand$
Blast prep and coat Swing Arm$
Blast prep and coat Lower fork Tubes$
Blast prep and coat Rims$
Blast prep and coat Exhaust flanges$
Blast prep and coat Disassemble wheel woody$
Motorcycle Wheel Bearing Cartridge Remove$
Motorcycle Remove Sprocket$
Motorcycle Remove Rotors$

11.7.14 – 7.15.14 The dark hours of maintenance for my 500

I dropped my bike off to a local “hobby” mechanic named Jim (with Vintage Motorcycle Repair), which I had used for some minor work before. I had hoped that I could drop it off to him, prior to my knee surgery, and have an oil leak fixed, and have the rims powder coated. He assured me he would have it done by the time I was ready to ride since I would be rehabbing about 3 months. Well, 3 months rolled around and he had not even looked at my bike. In early February he began disassembling the engine to repair the 2 oil leaks, and he called and mentioned that it would be a good idea to have the block milled, and while we were at it, have the cylinder rings replaced. I decided to go ahead with that and waited for news. He began taking off the wheels of the bike for painting and I swung by for a visit, and he told me he could quickly take off the shocks, center stand, swing arm, exhaust flanges, fork tubes, brake calipers and some other items fairly quick and cheap. Also since the cylinder ring work was complete, I opted to pony up and get the engine block coated in a porcelain flat black. The paint people (Prestige, work shown above) took a couple of weeks (and kind of screwed up the job on the real wheel). After I got all of the parts back to Jim, I told him I did not want to pay more than a total of $1200 for the work since he never likes to give quotes. He drug ass for a couple of more months and finally I pressured him enough to get him to move on the bike. After a few arguments I came to pick it up early September and it was barely assembled, see list of things I had to do below, and he said I owed $1800. After some more arguing he resigned to accept my $1200 and we both happily never saw each other again. I should also mention, that the dudes garage is always a complete train wreck, and he lost an entire gasket kit and switch assembly that I supplied (and I even provided labeled bins for him to keep everything in). At one point of time I visited and he had my bike leaning/laying on another bike. When I did get it back he mentioned a problem with my coils, and the damned thing would not even turn over. So basically I turned it in for an oil leak and got it back in pieces about 10 months later.

Problems Jim left me with

  • Put on speedo (perhaps take off old bracket)
  • Put on fuel lines
  • Add steering column lock, ignition, figure out how the heck to replace steering column lock
  • Carb #2 leak
  • Carb tops dirty
  • Wiring
  • Headlamp
  • Coils
  • Install new alternator cover and clips
  • Polish aluminum near alternator cover
  • Clean bike
  • Install new license plate holder
  • New starter switch/button (Jim broke mine)
  • New spark plug cables
  • Missing front wheel assembly bolt (Jim) 90122-300-D20
  • Need speedo/tach water-tight rubber piece / grommet (37238-323-700, 37244-307-670)
  • Replace bulbs
  • Tighten Exhaust
  • Put on foot pegs
  • Tightened exhaust collars
  • Tightened handlebar bridge bolt
  • Charge battery (which is now dead)
  • Put on back shock bolt
  • Install and wire horn

Stuff Jim did

  • Fixed stripped drain plug hole causing leak, drilled and tapped to next size.
  • Found and stripped hole in #4 cylinder ex stud, drilled and tapped to next size
  • Replaced rings and upper gaskets /O-rings
  • Head was milled for leak prevention
  • Did not rebuild carbs
  • Polished valves and replaced seals
  • Replaced fork seals
  • Changed oil
  • 27 hours of assembly/disassembly
  • Had new tires put on by Apex


Pipes Wrapped

Pipes Wrapped

I recently spent a couple of days wrapping my pipes with a coworker who had just done the same with his bike. There were a couple of snafus but it came out looking really good. So I decided to bring her up to the cabin for the first time. It was a fun ride but I could not help but notice that she was sputtering and significantly lacking in power. I know that it is advised to re-jet the bike to lean out the air/fuel ratio (stoichiometric ratio), but had not gotten around to it. That being said she had was noticeably more hesitant than the last time I took her out for a round trip to Denver. I spoke to my friend in San Antonio and found two very good references (below) and decided to check/gap/clean the plugs, check the point gaps, and manually adjust the fuel/air mixture screws.

Carbon fouled plug from running super rich

Carbon fouled plug from running super rich

I removed the plugs and noticed that they were covered in carbon deposits, which should have been expected since I knew the altitude had me running extremely rich. I cleaned the contacts a bit with 80 grit sandpaper, and checked their gaps. All four were gaped to .8 mm or so which is within the acceptable range (.7mm – .8mm).

After removing the plugs I checked the breaker point gaps and found that the right breaker point was only gaped to .25mm or so when fully open. I cleaned the contacts on both points with my sandpaper, adjusted the right point, and moved on to the fuel/air ratio problem.

Each of the four screws were about 2.5 full turns (900 degrees) from being screwed all the way in. I backed each out 1/2 turn and reassembled the bike.

When I started her up she ran and idled much more smoothly than the day before. I have yet to take her out for a spin but I hope to take her to work sometime this week. Next up, installing clip-on bars, powder coating the rims, and re-jetting the carbs.


  • Treated gas tank and sealed (Texas Industrial Radiator Inc).
  • Changed paint from yellow to clear-coat base-coat light blue with metallic flake (painted ourselves).


  • Replaced Rectifier.