People love a Honda CB550, don’t they? They’re solid, respectable mid-’70s standards—the kind where if you take care of them, they’ll take care of you pretty much forever. Plenty of ‘em got used and abused between when they were released and now (2022, as I write this), but that also seems to mean that many have been reborn as prime candidates for awesome custom builds. 

Whether you just want to restore a sad and unloved CB550, or you’re planning to go in more of a restomod direction like the folks over at the Classic Octane YouTube channel, one thing is certain: You won’t know what’s what until you start taking things apart. 

Luckily, that’s exactly what Classic Octane loves to do. The channel takes classic bikes and cars that are in serious need of TLC, pulls them apart, fixes what’s wrong, and puts them back together so they can get back out on the road. Based in Austin, Texas, there’s plenty of interesting iron that comes through the shop’s doors—including this particular rusty CB550. 

The engine, as was discovered in a previous video, is a complete lost cause. Everything about it is rusty—so rusty, the rust probably has different rust of its own. In fact, at one point, it’s referred to as “a boat anchor” because the rust is so bad. (Previous owners, amirite?) 

In any case, a replacement CB550 engine luckily isn’t too hard to come by—which is exactly what CO did prior to embarking upon the pull-apart phase of this project. So, the next job is pulling the old, rusty mill out. You may wince when you watch the guy do this, particularly if you or someone you care about has wrenched their back before. (Plenty of fans even took to the comments to suggest alternate ways of getting said 125-ish pound engine out of a bike in ways that are better for your back.) 

Once the engine is out, the next thing is cleaning and degreasing the frame to see what kind of condition it’s in. It seems pretty solid—just needs a good clean, but the only way to know for sure is to have at it with the power washer and preferred cleaning products. If a little paint comes off, that’s fine, because CO plans to repaint the whole thing anyway. 

Sure enough, the frame is pretty solid—and CO goes over the small changes that need doing to the tail section in order to fit the new saddle. It’s a solid start to this project, which should continue in the ongoing series on the Classic Octane YouTube channel. 

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