Ready to race: Sacha Lakic’s CX500 cafe racer

Sacha Lakic's high-performance Honda CX500 cafe racer.
Who’d have thought that the humble Honda CX500 would one day join the CB750 and SR500 as a staple of custom builders? The poor man’s Guzzi—once loved only by despatch riders—has fast become the sweetheart of the custom world.

The CX500 works best when builders manage to straighten out its awkward lines. And who better to do that than an experienced automotive, furniture and architectural designer? Cue Sacha Lakic, who runs a studio in Luxembourg and likes to add the occasional motorcycle to his portfolio.

Sacha Lakic's high-performance Honda CX500 cafe racer.
This ’82-model CX500 was found by Sacha at George’s Garage—a shop owned by friends. It was standing in one corner of the garage, with an assortment of parts scattered on a shelf in another.

“I have always been a great fan of the motor of this machine,” he says, “a magnificent 80-degree V-twin, full of character.” From the onset, he decided to keep the bike’s overall design as sleek and minimalistic as possible in order to draw attention to the engine.

Sacha Lakic's high-performance Honda CX500 cafe racer.
Sacha also liked the CX’s stock fuel tank. So he kept it, tilting it forward 10-degrees for a more dynamic feel. The Honda’s subframe wasn’t as fortunate though. It was replaced by a custom-made rear end that includes a mono-shock and solo seat arrangement.

Sacha Lakic's high-performance Honda CX500 cafe racer.
The swingarm’s been reinforced, and the shock itself is an Öhlins unit lifted from a Ducati 851. It’s matched to a set of adjustable Marzocchi RAC forks up front—their beefy 50mm stanchions held in place by custom triple trees. There’s a hand-made fender mounted to it as well.

Sacha Lakic's high-performance Honda CX500 cafe racer.
The wheelset is equally special: 17” Excel rims laced to one-off hubs. They’re kitted with Dunlop Sportmax Mutants—tires designed for supermotard use. Braking is handled by Nissin calipers, with a Rizoma reservoir up top. The engine’s been rebuilt too, and a CBR125 radiator plumbed in.

To match this CX500’s sporty lines, clip-ons and rear-sets have been fitted—the latter adapted from a CBR1000. And the cockpit has been trimmed down with a smaller headlight, speedo and tacho.

Sacha Lakic's high-performance Honda CX500 cafe racer.
Emphasizing the engine layout even more is a gorgeous two-into-one exhaust system: starting with y-shaped headers and terminating in a box-shaped muffler underneath the bike.

Sacha’s finished his CX500 in a simple matte black, red and aluminum livery, similar to the colors of the Voxan Black Magic he designed ten years ago. (We love how all the engine fins have been polished for a contrast effect.) The bike now tips the scales at a mere 125kg.

Sacha Lakic's high-performance Honda CX500 cafe racer.
Less weight, sharper lines and much-improved handling sounds like a winning formula to us. Only one question remains: could Sacha Lakic please build more bikes?

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