1978 Honda CB 750K (SOHC) VIRUS

I purchased this CB 750 the day before the quarantine was announced in California. I was finishing up another project, so it was three days before I even turned a wrench on “VIRUS”. My original plan was a complete teardown and revamp of this bike, but suddenly having a project to stay busy with seemed the better idea. I thought to myself, “What can I do with what I have in the shop right now, and have finished before the quarantine ends?”

Having that goal in mind, I decided to work in a fashion that I could finish the build in approximately the month most were expecting the quarantine to last. During this build, I decided I’d make most of the parts for “VIRUS” by hand and the following is a list of what I simply pounded out using Aluminum sheet, my English wheel, and gas welding:

1). The seat pan and upholstery base,
2). The headlamp mounts,
3). The side panels,
4). The front fender,
5). The fuel vent catch tank,
6). The fuel tank, and
7). The hand made reverse cone megaphone exhaust can.

The following are items I re-used and/or rescued from my parts stock, some used, some not:

1). The handlebars
2). The Headlamp
3). The LED brake and taillight internals
4). The LED blinker unit
5). The seat hinges, latch, and mounts
6). The handlebar controls, cables, levers, and etc,
7). The original shifter and brake levers modified to accept rearset peg/shifters, and
8). A new horn was installed

Items made by hand utilizing my lathe

1). The rears peg/shifter/brake combo,
2). The fuel tank bungs, mounts, etc
3). The shifting rods
4). The fender brackets,
5). The seat pan upholstery pan mounts
6). The aluminum taillight/brake lamp housing, and
7). The aluminum fork covers for the headlamp mounts

Parts I purchased. I tried to keep this to a bare minimum, but I’m not willing to compromise the reliability of the engine or the safety aspects of the completed build, so these items I purchased:

1). The front and rear brakes received new pads,
2). The chain was replaced,
3). The carburetors received complete rebuild kits and were properly re-jetted,
4). The ignition points, plugs, and condensers were replaced,
5). The oil filter was replaced,
6). The velocity stacks were purchased,
7). The miniature LED turn signals were purchased,
8). The rear shocks were replaced,
9). The seat upholstery was sewn by my friend since High School, Cory who owns Intermountain Upholstery in Burney, CA.

Other hand made items:

1). The rear frame was cut and I hand bent a rear frame hoop using sand and a torch, Made from lugs on the lathe, welded it in place, and
2). The rear inner fender was modified, a new aluminum mount made for it, and it was put back into use.

Maintenance Items:

1). The fork fluid was changed,
2). The entire front brake system disassembled, cleaned, bled, and put back into perfect working order,
3). The engine cam chain adjusted, valves adjusted, and oil changed, and timing set
4). The air box deleted,
5). The original footpegs deleted, mounting bolts resized and rethreaded, and
6). The new lights and all electronics were wired and made to work perfectly with the original controls.

In the end, I finished this build in 24 days and I actually took off two days during that time with my wife who is an “Essential Worker” at our local hospital. So the reality is this was a 22 day build from starting with a filthy roached out cruiser with a gigantic sofa seat, Windjammer fairing, highway pegs, and a seat rack to this. I did not repaint or clean up a lot of the frame, just leaving the original paint and then touching up where I had to weld new mounts. I left the aluminum brushed instead of polished (Although ALL of it is perfect and could be polished), and I let “VIRUS” look a little “rough around the edges,” but with a different but very functional beauty to her. Since I finished up, I’ve been riding “VIRUS” a lot! As I write this, she’s had over 200 miles put on her odometer. I was fortunate to have purchased a strong engine in this motorcycle that simply needed a complete tune up. “VIRUS” is not a thrown together build with sketchy function or potential safety issues. There is not one single thing on “VIRUS” that does not work properly, is not in perfect order, and that might strand someone by the side of a road. She’s fun to ride, quasi speedy, and I’d not hesitate to ride her from California to New York, she’s that good. I’m not bragging, but I’m saying that I think I hit the target of this build I intentionally aimed for from the beginning and I did it during the quarantine with starting and finishing the build during that time frame. I also feel that her name, “VIRUS” is a perfect fit for this build. She had a rough start, she had some shop time, she came out the other side with a new look, a new purpose, and very healthy with a LOT of potential for a great future.

Thanks for considering VIRUS. She’s truly a COVID-19 build.

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