Honda CB450 cafe racer

Honda cafe racer
Eric Meglasson lives in Bend, Oregon, and his motorcycling journey has had its fair share of twists and turns. “Over the years, my bikes kept getting faster and faster,” says Eric. “But I started longing for a slower, more fun, naked bike to ride on the street at more reasonable speeds.” Although Eric owned a Monster, he’d been collecting images of café racers for years. “I loved the pure, shiny café racers, but also loved the fat tired, matte-finish bikes. I didn’t even know the term Brat existed at that point.” While recovering from knee surgery after a supermoto race accident, Eric sold a dirt bike to free up some dollars—and started researching his next purchase. “I probably looked at every motorcycle on Bike EXIF. After several weeks of Craigslist and eBay shopping, I stumbled upon ‘Rusty’. I was blown away. The second I saw this Honda cafe racer, I knew it was exactly what I wanted.”

Honda cafe racer
The CB450 was built by Jared Johnson of Holiday Customs, a one-man builder in Portland, Oregon, who shares a shop space with two other builders. The engine has been revitalized with an overbore kit from Superior Sleeve & Machine in Milwaukie, OR. The airbox has been removed, and cone filters fitted. The custom straight pipes are raw steel (“requires lots of WD-40 to keep the rust at bay”) with custom baffle inserts “to keep my neighbors happy”. To accentuate the cafe racer look, the flat bars have a sanded raw steel finish and house just levers and the throttle—no instruments at all. “The local coppers have looked at it, but don’t seem to mind, as long as I hand signal,” says Eric.

The suspension has been lowered 1½” all around with shorter rear shocks and lowered triple clamps; the wheels are 18“ front and rear, shod with 18 x 4.5” Coker tires. The frame has been bobbed at the back, with tabs shaved off, and fitted with a custom seat pan. Aside from the paintwork, the finish on the Honda is mostly wire brush on the shinier metalwork, with matte black everywhere else.

Honda cafe racer
After buying his Honda cafe racer, Eric tidied the bike up still further with a complete re-wire, and now does all his own maintenance. And he’s been inspired to get his hands increasingly dirty. “I’ve started my own project bike, a 1982 Virago inspired by Classified Moto—and I’m also helping a couple of friends with their own builds.”

Great to see another home builder in the making—especially one with such good taste.

Images by Alan Brandt Photography. Thanks to reader Rex Havoc for the tip.

Honda cafe racer
Honda cafe racer