My ongoing project:
Honda CB750 K2 (1972) Café Racer
(What is a Café Racer?)
This song says it all: Mike Sarne's
JUST FOR KICKS (2Mb)
The Honda CB750 has a well documented and illustrious history. First released
in 1969 it changed the motorcycle market for ever.
Despite persistent rumours, most pundits at the time said it couldn't be done! A
four cylinder road bike just would be too complex, too heavy and too expensive.
(I wont provide any links to CB750 sites here - just type CB750 K
into your browsers search engine and you shall find...)
According to a knowledgeable insider, some British motorcycle engineers
believed that an inline four cylinder engine could not be cooled sufficiently to
be useful as a road bike. Rumour has it that a major British motor cycle manqué
purchased one of the first CB750's and let it idle from morning to high tea.
Needless to say, it still ran sweetly ever after they had finished their
cucumber sandwiches! What's more, it didn't leak a drop of oil and didn't need a
service to get going (at the push of a button) the next day.
And the look, oh the look... I remember drooling over the first pictures and
riding to the nearest big German city (on a BMW R26) especially to have a look
What can I say,
An extract from Goethe's poem 'The Fisher'
probably says it best:
She spoke to him, she sang to him,
His fate became quite plain:
Half drawn by her, half gave he in
And was not seen again.
(Sie sprach zu ihm, sie sang zu ihm;
Da war's um ihn geschehn;
Halb zog sie ihn, halb sank er hin
Und ward nicht mehr gesehn.)
The CB750 K series is a popular restoration project and while the early K
series at least are considered "classic" motorbikes by most, the racing
fraternity classifies K0's, K1's and K2's (up to 1972) as "post classic".
So why not restore one to its original glory?
Several reasons, really:
Firstly, to do an original restoration justice one needs to expand huge amounts
of time and money, neither of which I have or am willing to expend.
Secondly, I have always been fascinated by café racers: That is the art (or
madness) of stripping down a perfectly good motorcycle and turning it into a
lean, mean, insanely glorious contraption with the single purpose of generating
copious, heart pounding amounts of adrenalin (and, if you are my age, lumbago,
haemorrhoids and dicky knees).
And lastly, a café racer is a "free style" motorcycle. Building a café racer
gives me lots of leeway in the design, appearance and materials I can use. The
end product will be a reflection of of my ideas, tastes, skills and enthusiasm.
So there you have it:
In the coming weeks and month, I'll add more pictures of my project for those who are
For comments or questions click here:
Café Racer Project
I have not been able find a CB750 Cafe Racer on the Internet that is looking
close to what I have in mind. The closest I could find actually turned up at my
favourite motorbike shop (Lindsay Donai - Oxenford, Australia). Lindsay, an
Australian racing identity, is tuning this particular post classic racer
(left below) for the (obviously discerning) owner. Lindsay
is assisting me with my project.
Click on thumbnail pictures to enlarge
Post Classic CB750
Here's Lindsey (right) in deep conversation Just look at
the detail The Holy Grail
It's an out an out racer with the
proud owner of one of the very
but pretty close to my ideal few original Honda Seeley's in
'road' café racer
1969 My Honda CB450 and me
My mates and me on
(Couldn't afford a CB750)
a camping holiday
CB750 K2 Already partly stripped (one of two, plus other parts)
Front End Finished First Mock-up with new Front
End, Norton Tank and Custom Seat Seat
after a year of searching for parts and deliberating about
details such as placement of rear sets, exhausts, etc
(the dude in the picture is my son Christopher)
Almost done - she's registered and running like a dream...
Chris in his new leathers
Moved seat forward (previous position too uncomfortable) and installed original
Honda Tank. The Norton replica tank is in the process of being shortened to suit
new seat position.
Final paint job, new speedo/rev counter decals, etc, etc,