Bike journo and occasional bike breaker Scott Redmond is currently ‘doing up’ a knackered old Honda CBR400RR that he’s picked up for £550. The plan is to get this 29-year-old wrecker back on the road in 2019 and, it would seem, that when Scott’s not getting his hands dirty he’s searching the web for new parts and daydreaming about his new ride. So what’s been happening this week? Over to you, Scottie…
So many projects are never completed. Good intentions and big ideas can and often do end up getting pushed further towards the back of the garage, and any progress is good progress when faffing around with an old motorcycle. This is my way of putting my hands up and saying nothing too much is different from the last update on the story of this 27 year old Honda CBR400RR NC29, but despite the lack of any visible improvements I have spent plenty of time mulling things over.
A big part of my plan is to avoid using too many (if any ) new parts. The obvious reason is cost because I want to keep an eye on the budget. Unlike other ‘projects’ carried out by motorcycle journalists, I also want to avoid it becoming a blag fest, I know for a fact that I could send a few emails to people I know in high places and sit back and await delivery of brand spanking new bits. The downside of this tried and tested way of the world is you, the reader, can’t do the same. Blagging would dilute my efforts and just be another old bionic motorcycle project, rebuilt with new parts that outweigh the value of the bikes worth, so if I do find myself needing new parts I will look for the best deal for my own bucks.
Buying used parts can be fun, but it can also be a misery. Either way, it’s always a case of buyer beware.
I have been writing up a wish list of parts that I know I’ll be needing to replace, mostly because the ones on my NC29 are totally shot. The first entry on that list was some decent bodywork, although these could also prove to be the toughest parts to cross off. I have joined a few CBR400 groups on Facebook, as these can be a great place to buy and sell parts.
I’ve also been looking on eBay, but other than several sets of seat panels that ironically I don’t need, it’s been very light on fairing parts, with only one decent top fairing showing up, and that was the wrong side of £100 for me.
Away from the internet, there’s also the autojumble. I love a good rummage around the Newark autojumble, with the next one looming I will be there bright and early to sniff out anything of use for my NC29. I will also look out for those new screwdrivers too so I can get my carbs apart.
The front end on my little Honda is very well used, the forks look proper scruffy, there’s not much of the original paint left on the lowers and the metal is very rough to the touch, also amazingly the fork seals appear to be oil tight! Either that, or there’s no oil left inside them….
Both of the front brake calipers are dragging like a dog on heat. The discs are nearing the end of their life and, although not overly visible, they have both worn a lip on the outside edge that’s evident when you touch them. Completing the pain is a front wheel that’s lost most of its white paint. Oh, and the tyre is knackered, but on the plus side the mudguard looks ok. I am torn between refreshing the original NC29 items or replacing the front end with something newer? Top of my list would be a CBR600RR3 front end, or at least just the forks, yokes and calipers.
Popping to see a mate recently he was excited to show me some powder coated items for his GSX-R1100K project, there is something warming about freshly coated motorcycle parts, so I’ve got the contact details for the company that he used. I will definitely get items like the fairing brackets redone in black, also the rear subframe would look great freshened up in silver.
That’s unless I stumble over a used one at Newark that’s in better condition that the manky looking one on my bike!
I have no end of options open to me, but ultimately it’s a bit of a waiting game, sitting tight and keeping my eyes peeled for the ever growing wish list of parts to cross my path. Patience is probably one of the most important things you need once undertaking a project, and that’s one thing you can’t buy!