Murdered-out customs used to be all the rage. But lately, builders have been favoring more diverse color palettes. Which is a real pity: done right, black-on-black can be downright beautiful.
Clockwork Motorcycles‘ Samuel Guertin proves it with his latest offering: a 1978 Honda CB750 with a brawny stance and subdued finishes.
“It needs to be all-black” was his client’s primary request—and the helicopter-mechanic-turned-bike-builder was more than happy to comply. But first, he had to get the CB750 back on the road.
“The bike was a non-runner,” he explains, “and was worked on by some mysterious guys with questionable skills. Just the fact that a concrete screw was screwed in the engine head, to hold the valve cover in place, was enough to scare most.”
Thankfully, Samuel believes that no motorcycle deserves to die. From his workshop just outside of Montréal, Canada, he stripped the engine down and began rebuilding it.
Even the heads themselves were damaged, so J-Precision were called in to resurface them, cut new valve seats and install a new guide. All of that was put back together with a 836cc Wiseco big-bore kit, SuperFlow valves, Beehive racing springs, heavy duty studs and a performance camshaft.
Samuel also rewired the entire bike around a Motogadget m-Unit control box, and installed a new electronic ignition and high output coils. Adding a little more grunt are a set of Keihin CR29 carbs with K&N filters, and four-into-two headers terminated with less restrictive mufflers.
Shifting his attention to the CB750’s lines and proportions, Samuel trimmed the rear of the frame—adding a new loop and trimming any superfluous tabs in the process. The front forks from a Suzuki GSX-R1000 were installed, via a custom aluminum front hub and top triple tree—both machined by Devin at Cognito Moto.
The rear shocks are from Hagon, with the springs powder coated black. To balance out the bike’s stance, Samuel laced up a pair of 18” wheels with stainless steel spokes and nipples. The GSX-R offered up its dual-disc front braking system too—which he admits is slightly overkill for the older CB750.
A custom seat was made up, and sent to Ginger at New Church Moto to wrap in black leather. The effect is echoed on the leather-wrapped grips, shift lever and kick starter.
Moving to just under the seat, Samuel built a small box to house the electrics. He decided to retain and expose the CB’s stock oil tank—treating the opposite side to a one-off side cover with a brushed, blacked-out metal effect.
The same effect’s been applied to the fuel tank’s filler cap cover, with the addition of a nifty Clockwork badge. The tank itself has had its stock emblem brackets removed to neaten it up.
Thanks to a full complement of Motogadget componentry, the cockpit’s as minimal as can be. M-Switch push buttons, an m-Lock keyless ignition and a tiny Motoscope mini gauge have all been installed. (The latter’s been dropped into the triple clamp itself, along with a set of LED warning lights.)
Other finishing kit includes a neatly tucked-away LED tail light, a smaller headlight and turn signals, clip-ons and new foot pegs.
To honor the client’s initial request, just about every component has been finished in gloss, satin or matte black. Only a few metal highlights punctuate the darkness—like the fasteners and the stainless steel spokes.
The final effect is both alluring and menacing; a well-balanced classic with modern performance, handling and braking.
Merci to Samuel for saving it.