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Howard Coop returns with another cafe racer - this time inspired by the old Ford GT40 cars that ran in the 1960s Le Mans races;
Howard loved the colour scheme and stance of those cars and decided to implement it on a CX500. He found a fairly sorry looking black CX500 that had been destined for the breaker's yard and spent some time going over it, finding that the motor was good despite the shabby exterior.
Howard stripped the bike down to it's bare bones and contacted Cafe Racer Kits in the Isle of White (UK) and ordered a frame conversion kit, a set of exhaust downpipes and the seat. Once they arrived he started cutting down the frame and brazing in the parts as instructed. Howard took the opportunity to perform necessary frame repairs and smooth down the welds using a soft abrasive wheel to give the frame a smooth look.
The frame, swingarm, center stand, front engine mount and a few other loose bits and pieces were sent off to be powdercoated gloss black. Once they returned he started the build using all new stainless steel fasteners (eBay US, eBay UK, eBay AU) and NOS (new old stock) parts.
Howard found the cylinder head covers at an auto jumble sale, painted matte black, before removing the paint and polishing them. Chrome pieces were sent off to be rechromed.
The carbs were re-jetted for the new pods and exhaust and the wheels are now made up of aluminium rims, stainless steel spoke converter rings and stainless steel spokes. Tyre choice was Continental for that old school look. The round tube you see behind the frame spine is actually a toolbox!
Some Koni rear shocks (1979, NOS) replaced the FVQ units and a new front fender was sourced. Not content with just the front fender at the front, Howard fitted a fork brace. All necessary brake parts and both sets of wheel bearings were also replaced.
Howard did the painting himself with rattle cans - with a lot of preparation and sanding - and sourced some Gulf decals for the tank from the Internet.
Howard also painted the engine in high temp paint and fabricated the radiator grille himself.
The tank took quite a long time to complete - the fitting of the Monza cap (eBay US, eBay UK, eBay AU) took some time to get right. The headlight is from a Yamaha 350 LC, the indicators have been changed to LED units and the seat is leather from the CRK.
Overall the build took approximately 7 months to build from start to finish.
For more cafe racer inspiration, check out the master build list.
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