Cb750 cafe racer honda
‘92 Honda CB750 - Bull Cafe Racers
Written by Martin Hodgson.
From the outside looking in the custom motorcycle culture must appear to be quite confusing for those who don’t have petrol running through their veins. Why do builders the world over take old bikes, that may not have even been that great at the time of their release, and then spend thousands of dollars and hours building crazy contraptions when you could just go into a dealership and buy a brand new superbike for the same price. The reasoning is just not something the average punter will ever understand, the thrill of an old 2-stroke, the character of the best of British or buzz that comes from hearing a 50-year-old engine fire to life again for the first time in decades, it has to be lived. But amongst us is a rare breed that make much more logical decisions, like first time builder Krystian Bednarek from Bull Cafe Racers who chose a 1992 Honda CB750 as his project over the much more fancied early models.
There is no doubt the original CB750 is one of the most important motorcycles of the custom bike scene, it was revolutionary when in 1969 it was released as the first “superbike” and decades later its classic beauty and punchy performance haven’t dimmed any of its popularity. But with purchase prices rising, original spare parts harder to find and the aftermarket charging a pretty penny for custom parts the often maligned late models start to make some sense. That becomes even more true for a young man undertaking his first build, who wants to end up with a reliable motorcycle that can be used daily and benefits from Honda’s years of development before it re-released the classic CB750 in 1992 as a retro model that would meet the long warranty/never fail demands of the modern consumer. With an idea in his mind of exactly what the end result should be and a helpful hand from his Dad he set to work on his first adventure into world of bike building.
The bike was disassembled methodically with Krystian labelling every part, bagging them and even taking pictures and videos to ensure reassembly would be a smooth process, a brilliant tip for first time builders. With boxes of labelled parts to one side he could get to bringing to life his vision and got straight to work modifying the standard frame. The subframe has been shortened with the rails straightened and a rear loop added. The swingarm and side stand were also smoothed out, with brackets added for later use before the whole lot was sent out to be blasted and powder coated in black. So happy with the result the wheels were stripped of their rubber and sent out for the same finish before it was all reassembled into a rolling chassis. Krystian then built a hand-made stainless battery box that bolts to the swingarm brackets he added and drastically cleans up the look of the Honda with much of the wiring hidden in there too.
With the wiring now relocated there was no need for the less than appealing side covers that took away from much of the classic bike looks. With these ditched Krystian got to work on the tank, smoothing the areas that once supported the covers and making sure the metal was straight as a die. With his metal work skills improving by the day the Fenders were handmade from 2mm sheet metal with the rear unit mounted to the swingarm with metal rod resulting in a fender that moves seamlessly with the suspension. With his tins finished they were sandblasted to remove any imperfections before being painted in a classic deep metallic grey. The finishing touch comes with the custom logos for this machine known as Bull Cafe Racer and Krystian’s design was added to the tank in black before being cleared leaving the logos proud from the metal; a classic hot rod trick to create the look of badges without the cost.
With such high quality paint work and having gone to the effort to create a subframe capable of holding the exact seat he desired Krystian outsourced the work to ARMJ, known for their high-end leather work in the automotive industry. The seat consists of two foam types, the bottom a stiff hard-wearing product, with the upper layer a soft body contouring material, perfect for long days in the saddle. High grade brown leather was then chosen as the cover, with double stitched sides for increased durability. New headlight ears were purchased and then drilled to take the new indicators. While the rear features matching items mounted to the frame and a classic round tail light fitted up. The final touch to the vintage look is the removal of the bulky standard instrument cluster with classic look items held in place by Krystian’s own polished steel bracket.
Like it’s older Brother’s the ’92 is powered by an air-cooled, four-stroke, transverse four-cylinder with the benefit of a new 16-valve head using hydraulic tappets for low maintenance. Along with the bank of four carbs the rest of the engine even has a distinct resemblance to the original and thanks to bead blasting Krystian had an engine that looked the goods. Wanting to ensure the CB would give him years of trouble-free riding he threw a set of gaskets and seals at the donk and added a modern oil filter that was chrome-plated. But logic also calls for unleashing the classic air-cooled growl and the heat-resistant painted and wrapped pipes end with a pair of chrome megaphone mufflers with removable baffles for extra bark. While the 52mm conical air filters to add some extra air and a rorty induction sound were made for him especially by Proton.
The original suspension has largely been left in place but given what Honda fitted as standard that is not a bad thing at all. The adjustable telescopic front forks are based on the CBR600 items of the time and with the legs given a brilliant polish, retain a classic look. A new set of factory remote reservoir dampers with adjustable spring preload offer up superb handling in all conditions with the twin shock setup a throwback to the original CB750. To steer the Honda the factory low-rise bars have been ditched for a custom set of clip-ons that consist of steel handles and machined aluminium attachments. Where the risers once sat for the bars a steel backing plate and leather cover with the Bull Racer logo cut out mask the site perfectly. To show just how serious Krystian is about racking up bulk kilometres on his build there are even heated grips for the Polish winters, but with the controller and wiring hidden you’d never know!
With 500hrs of labour time, a collection of 80 instructional videos he’d made himself and a camera full of photos to guide the way the CB750 was complete. There was just one last step, a process that daunts even seasoned veterans of the bike building game, would it start? Would a year of hard work pay off, this is a moment you only ever get to experience once, the first bike you’ve completely disassembled firing to life again. With a few nervous moments of nothing at all the big Honda four fired to life and filled Krystian’s shed with that glorious smell of burnt fuel and a twist of the throttle that spine tingling sound of a bike you built growling your name. Before he’d even thrown his leg over it Bull Cafe Racer and Krystian had been on a hell of a ride, but with a 1992 Honda CB750 between his legs he’s got a beautiful workhorse that will live on for years and thousands of fun-filled kilometres await!
ElGato Honda CB750 Cafe Racer ~ Return of the Cafe Racers"Necessity is the mother of invention"- In the world of custom motorcycle building that age old saying often rings true. It's one thing to have an idea of how you'd like your bike to look, but when it comes to finding the right parts or people with the skills to help you, it's a different story altogether. This was exactly the case when Alexandros Hadjicostas, a filmmaker/photographer living on the small island of Cyprus, decided to build his own Cafe Racer. It all began with the purchase of a '69 Honda CB750 and ended with a Cafe Racer that was pieced together with parts sourced from 10 different countries around the world. "I live in the small but beautiful island of Cyprus (population 700,000) in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea. I've always been interested in motorcycles and one of my earliest memories is learning to ride a Yamaha DT-175 at the age 7, under the guidance of my oldest brother George. At age 14 working on my Honda Chaly introduced me to the custom motorcycle world and now, along with my CB750 Cafe Racer I own a Harley Davidson Road King and a Vespa GTS 250."
"Two years ago I came across a video about Shinya Kimura, that's when I caught the Cafe Racer bug. It took me a year to find the right bike, a 1969 Honda CB750 and six months to finalise my design ideas. I bought the bike for 500 euro and had a budget of 2.000 euro to work with. When I found the bike it was in a terrible condition after being unused for more than 10 years and missing most of its parts. I had the chassis, engine, carburettors, exhaust and wheels.. and that's all I needed. I couldn't find parts easily in Cyprus so I sourced most of them online from about 10 different countries! The parts I added to the bike came from Dime City Cycles in the US as well as Firestone Champion Deluxe tires, Brooks grips, Motolana headlight brackets & engine covers and a headlight with speedometer from Nostalgia Speed & Cycles; The only parts I managed to source in Cyprus were the indicators."
"One thing I had to deal with was that whenever I said the name 'Cafe Racer' in Cyprus nobody had the slightest idea what I was talking about. Eventually, I met a mechanic called Adonis Syrimis and I couldn't have found a better person to translate my ideas. He was just starting out and wanted to show off his skills using this project. The build itself took six months to complete due to the laid back attitude here in Cyprus. Patience was a virtue I had to master. "
"The colour for the tank and the rear end was clear from the start, I wanted a silver matte paint that would match with the light brown, used leather of the seat and the Brooks handles. The final design has changed a lot from my initial ideas, but with my design and Adonis' mechanical skills we manage to create this gorgeous Honda CB750 Café Racer that we named ElGato!"
And to top it all off, these stunning shots of the ElGato were done by Alexandros Hadjicostas himself.
Looking for Cafe Racer gear? Visit the...
Stunning Red-on-Black Honda CB750 Cafe Racer
This stunning Honda CB750 cafe racer is the result of a collaboration between Dime City Cycles and Iron & Air Magazine, it was presented to the public for the first time at the The Barber Vintage Festival last week.
From a purely detail-oriented perspective this is easily one of the most thorough builds we’ve seen in recent memory. The team at DCC peformed a full, nut and bolt rebuild on the engine, tweaked the frame, added Progressive suspension to the front and back, Keihin CR racing carburettors, a custom DCC/Cone Engineering performance tuned 4-into-1 exhaust, a Legendary Motorcycles Manx fuel tank, a Legendary Motorcycle Thruxton seat, DCC Original “Speed” handlebars, Avon Road Rider tires, paint work by Moe Colours, powder coating by Pro-fab Customs, professional polishing by Henry Canup’s Custom Metal Polishing, Nissin controls, a 7-way adjustable steering damper, 2.5″ mini gauges and quite a bit more.
The elements used in the build of this rather handsome CB750 cafe racer are all available to buy via the Dime City Cycles web-store and all the major mechanical work was done by DCC owners Jason and Herm. We’ve featured some of their 2-wheeled creations here in the past including the beautiful Honda Shadow custom dubbed “Payback”, which still gets a load of web traffic every week.
If you’d like to read more about the bike and the see who won the competition click here.
There’s something immediately approachable about mini bikes. In fact they might be the only motorcycle genre that almost all motorcyclists like. The mini racing bike you see here started life as a bare 1969 Z50A Magnum frame, it was sourced from a local legend in Denton, Texas nicknamed “Minibike George”. The build is the work…
Walt Siegl is the man many modern custom motorcycle builders pointed to as a primary source of inspiration, he’s been building world class bikes since the ’80s – when he was based out of a friend’s basement in Long Island City. Meet Walt Siegl Walt left art school at the age of 19 and found work…
The Icon 1000 Elsinore HP Boots are the upgraded version of the original Elsinore design from the Portland, Oregon based motor gear manufacturer. Icon 1000 have designed the Elsinore HP with Goodyear™ welt construction, so they can be re-soled when needed. The upper section of the boot is thick top grain leather, with a five-strap…
The Modern Weld is a company in Columbus, Ohio that builds lamps from classic motorcycle headlights and vintage photography tripods. They modernize the intervals and wiring, they fit LED bulbs with new cloth covered cords, and they use the original key or ignition switch as the on/off switch for the lamp. This lamp was inspired…
The Bell Moto-3 Helmet is essentially a re-release of the original helmet from the 1970s, however Bell have incorporated all of the modern safety elements you’d expect in a motorcycle helmet in 2017. The outer shell of the Moto-3 is almost indistinguishable from the old model, which will be a welcome feature to the throngs…
Despite the fact that it was only built from 1962 to 1967, the AC Cobra had a profound impact on the motoring world. The surviving examples are worth a king’s ransom and are hotly pursued by collectors and enthusiasts, many of whom enter them in vintage motor racing events. A Brief History of Carroll Shelby’s…
Honda CB750 Cafe Racer
This minimalist Honda CB750 cafe racer is a quintessential Steel Bent Customs motorcycle, all the unnecessary nonsense is in the garbage leaving just a raw, almost skeletal motorbike that’ll happily carve up mountain roads with the best of them.
The Steel Bent Customs team built this 1981 CB750 for a chap who is serving in Afghanistan, he’s due back in February 2013 so the bike is finished nice and early and is now waiting to hit the open road with a guy who deserves time off more than most.
When he was commissioning the build he asked Michael at SBC to create a dark, all black colour scheme with classic spoked rims and a timeless Manx-style fuel tank. The front end was taken from a CB550 to give the bike a nice low stance, the guys at Dime City Cycles built the clubman style bars for a wider Triumph triple tree that allows a solid, race ready rider position.
That digital gauge is a Acewell model, all electrics have been moved under the fuel tank and all lights have been replaced with smaller LED units and the bike was finished off with a signature low-profile seat.
This is one of those Honda CB750 based customs that I’d happily park in my garage and hopefully it’ll make one guy’s time in Afghanistan a little easier knowing he has this killer bike waiting for him at home. If you like this style of motorcycle, check out another Steel Bent Customs bike here that’s currently for sale on eBay.
The Ranger Waxed Motorcycle Jacket by California-based company Väktare uses an outer shell of 7 oz. waxed sailcloth combined with an under-layer of 1000 Denier Cordura for toughness and abrasion resistance. A layer of genuine Sherpa Wool has been added to the collar and inside the cuffs to minimize windchill during the cooler months, and…
This film documents the Chrysler Turbine Car World Tour of the early 1960s, it was a time when the American automaker was experimenting in no small way with turbine powered cars, and by the end of the project they had built 55, 5 prototypes and 50 pre-production cars. The benefits to turbine use are plentiful,…
The Yamaha Virago XV750 caused quite a stir when it was released in 1981, it was an obvious shot over the bow of Harley-Davidson, and moto journalists of the time waxed lyrical about the Milwaukee-based company’s impending demise. The Yamaha XV750 Virago Yamaha developed the Virago from a blank slate, although many have suspected over the years…
The Ducati 749 you see here is the work of Vibrazioni Art Design, a boutique design house started by Alberto Dassasso and Riccardo Zanobini – two Italians with a penchant for recycling old oil barrels into handmade furniture and occasionally handbuilt motorcycles.
This 1948 Packard Eight Station Sedan comes with a matching 1948 Teardrop Camper, making it an ideal weekend getaway vehicle for those with more classically leaning tastes. The wooden camper has matching whitewall tires and can comfortably sleep two, it also has a kitchen at the back with a cooker, an ice box, shelving, and all the…
The story of the Crocker Motorcycle Company is one of remarkable survival and tenacity. The company was founded in 1932 in the midst of The Great Depression, they initially focussed on building motorcycles for speedway racing, then switched to bikes for private road use. The only two major American motorcycle manufacturers that survived the difficult period…