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149 Posts
Discussion Starter #41 (Edited)
Made some more progress. Decided to hold off on rebuilding the front end until I have the bike running properly. I mounted the front end from the VN750 to the 454, then removed the wheel, brake lines etc to get stuff out of the way. Ive mounted the bars, choke cable, and Tachometer. I still need to install the throttle cables.

For now I just wanted to get the bike to where I can verify the wiring is good, the bike starts and runs well, and I can sync the carbs with it on the lift. I was having an issue where the starter button wasnt working, so last time we started it we jumped the solenoid.

After checking diagrams, connections etc I figured it must be one of the safeties. Checked the kickstand and brake switches.. finally realized it was the third safety at the clutch. I hadnt mounted the controls for that side and sure enough once I plugged it in the starter button started clicking the starter no problem.

Heres how she is sitting right now

I went ahead and scrubbed the airbox to get it nice and clean before installing. I actually ordered this from Europe, it just happened to be the best one available on Ebay at the time that had the filter housings and clips also. A nice little bonus is that I dont have to get a rubber plug for the hole from the emissions tubing because this model did not have emissions installed, so theres no hole in the airbox.

I ordered new oil filters and new air filters, and I received my new airbox in the mail.
Next on the list is to put fresh coolant in, new oil and filter, and install the air filters / airbox.


Once that is done, I will return to the front end. Plans for the front end look like this:
1) Swap triple trees. The VN750 and 454 Triple trees are compatible size wise, but I need to use
the 454 lower triple because the frame stops are different on the 750. The upper triple tree has a
crossthreaded fastener, but I may be able to tap it instead of replacing.

2) Disassemble forks. Send fork lowers and triple trees to shop for blasting and powdercoat.

3) Rebuild forks, replace seals, Steering Stem bearings, etc.

4) Reassemble front end.

149 Posts
Discussion Starter #42
Hey Guys! Im still alive. Barely haha. Went through a real bad motorcycle wreck in July of 2018 and Ive been off the radar for a while.
Life is going well and getting back to normal, and Im starting to wrench again, Have some updates for yall.

The 454 is coming along nice. Didnt touch it for a good year, came back with fresh eyes. Fixed some things I did wrong in the past,
and have a new vision for it going forward. This bike was initially going to be a gift for a little brother, but he has since picked up a
nice Honda Shadow, and the 454 is too small for him anyways.. Hes tall haha.

Ive decided the direction Im going to go is more sporty, almost a scrambler style, Instead of dropping the back and bobbing it out
like I did with the 750 I built. Id like to put a mean rear tire on it, custom fender, moto style bars instead of apes, etc.

On to the updates!

The 454 didnt have an ignition and I was hot wiring it to start it. I got a used VN750 ignition with a key off ebay for $35.
I found however that the 750 ignition had 7 wires, where the 454 had 5. After tracing the wiring diagrams, I found that
two of the wires were for functions that the 454 didnt have. (cant remember off the top of my head what they were,
Id have to dig up the manual and my notes to check again) I repinned the connector and stripped the extra wires out and
shes alive!


149 Posts
Discussion Starter #43
In between other projects, finished assembling the RH Side foot peg mount, Brake pedal,
and installed new brake switch. The old brake switch had barrel connectors, the new one
had a molex. I chopped them both off, soldered in a waterproof molex and ran some split loom.


149 Posts
Discussion Starter #44
The triple trees I have are all rusted out and some of the fasteners are crossthreaded from the previous owner.
I ended up just ordering a triple tree setup off of Ebay for about $40. Took it to a local shop and asked them if
they could remove the lower bearing but they were getting kinda squirrelly about it, so I used the Dremel and
a cutting wheel to remove it.

Now Ive got my upper and lower triple, top clamp, and headlamp brackets ready to go out for powder coat.
Way stoked.


149 Posts
Discussion Starter #45 (Edited)
Parts are at the powder coater and im awaiting anxiously.

Ive got new bar that arrived in the mail, along with some used parts:
the master cylinder and clutch from a 2017 z650 that im going to mount
to the new bars, designed for dual calipers and a little sleeker design, also
will allow me to use shorty levers which I really like.

Ive been looking at options to replace the controls as well. If I use the controls
from the EN500, it looks like they are pretty much a direct swap - wiring diagram
is the same and they have the choke integrated to the left controls, but they are
a little sleeker and more modern.

I am considering using the controls from a newer ex650 or z650, they would match
the fancy master cylinder and levers im installing, and they have a hazard switch I
could splice into the existing turn signal wires (the 454 doesnt have hazard function),
but the headlamp wiring would be a little different and im still trying to wrap my head
around that.

One more thing - Powder coating and rebuilding the trees, gauges, controls.. wanted
new fasteners too. Ive compiled a list of the fasteners that are used on the triple trees
and have ordered new ones. Wanted to share the info here in case it helps anyone.

Looks like the triples for the 750 and the 454 are damn near identical, the only difference
I am really seeing is the location of the stops that bump the frame when going all the way
left or right, those are on the lower triple for the 750 and absent on the 454.

The 454 comes with a single brake caliper, but shares the same two fasteners on the front
of the lower triple, it just used them for the horn instead of the brake splitter.

I didnt want to put rusty beat up old fasteners onto freshly powder coated parts ya know.

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