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Today's featured build comes from the Swansea in South Wales in the United Kingdom:
With nearly 60 years of "messing about" with motorcycles, owner Howard was a biker of the 60s during the original Cafe Racer craze. After retiring from his job as a fitter and turner due to heart troubles he looked for a motorcycle build to keep himself out of trouble and settled upon a Honda CX500 - a 1981 Custom model, to be precise. While the motor ran the bike was in poor condition cosmetically and Howard made the decision to make his own cafe racer out of it.
The front end was not up to Howard's standards for a cafe racer and as you can see above he did something about it - he found a Kawasaki GPZ600 front end complete with a 16" wheel, improved brakes and trick-looking anti-dive cylinders attached to the bottom of the forks. The GPZ steering yoke had to be machined to fit the CX500 headstock, and Howard made use of CX500 head bearings to get it all working properly together. The handlebars are stock GPZ items:
The tank started out life as a Standard/Deluxe/Shadow tank and was extensively reworked by Hartlepool Radiators (link) who come highly recommended by Howard:
Hartlepool Radiators cut out the bottom of the tank, sandblasted the insides, welded the bottom back on, re-shaped the tank to Howard's specifications, fitted a Monza fuel filler cap and coated the insides with "Renu" 2-pack rust-proof coating.
The seat Howard made from the existing Honda CX500 seat pan which he built up a hump from using building insulation and fibreglass. The seat was upholstered by Digger (link) and Howard is extremely pleased with the work done:
The tail lights were originally from a Yamaha RD250:
The exhaust system is a Jarma setup which Howard chose for the twin large silencers. The silencers have had their baffles replaced with 1.5" perforated tubing held in place by large circlips so that he can put the stock baffles back in place easily should he need to.
The engine was stripped and rebuilt and has not been modified otherwise. The "Kustom" on the side is spelled with a K due to it having a Kawasaki front end:
Overall Howard's project bike took nearly twenty years to complete, and he's pleased to have done so much of the work himself - sandblasting, priming, painting and even fabricating what he couldn't find. He titled it the "Top Gun Cafe Racer".
For more inspirational builds, check out the rest of the build list.
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