BMW Motorrad Spezial

Honda CB450 by Dime City

Honda CB450
EXCLUSIVE The kings of the CB450 café racer are the guys at Dime City Cycles in Florida, who we’ve featured before. They’ll be getting considerably wider exposure soon, because this latest bike will be starring in the new Discovery HD Theater series Café Racer TV. The images here were shot especially for Bike EXIF and reveal a machine that started life as 1968 CB450, but has been heavily reworked. Substantial engine mods include ceramic coated and overbored pistons, a port and polish, custom cams and Dyna electronic ignition, while stepped headers and Norton Commando mufflers free up the breathing. A deep, luxurious color scheme of black and brass provides the show to match the go, with a nod to the Steampunk look without going overboard. There’s a one-up, hand tooled seat, a custom indented tank, 7″ light with visor, and a sweet Dime City ‘Manx’ rear end.

According to According to DCC’s Jason Michaels and Herm Narciso, “The vision behind the Brass Café is one of purity, both in style and heritage. Dime City pursues classic forms in metalworking, paying respect to the builders of the 50s and 60s.” They hope to “inspire a renewed interest in the motorcycle as the ultimate expression of form and function,” and given the Discovery Channel’s clout, they might succeed. A sweet bike like the Brass Café should prove to the average viewer that there’s more to custom motorcycles than the antics of the Teutuls.

1968 CB450 Donor
TIG welded and closed all factory joints on the frame; added DCC rear steel hoop and custom lower race swing-arm brace
Custom vented front drum hub w/ race stay
Metzler tire mounted on stock CB450 18″ wheel powder coated gloss black
Chopped and lowered standard CB450 front fender
DCC “Manx” Headlight bucket with integrated blinker mounts
Tomaselli/DCC spade levers & clip-ons
Smoothed triple tree with lowered 2.5″ gauges
DCC “Manx” vintage racer fuel tank
DCC “Manx” cowl and seat w/ rear steel hoop
Completely reworked engine: ceramic coated, overbore pistons, ported & polished, custom CAMS, Dyna electronic ignition
Mikuni 32MM race carburetors
Hand built DCC rearsets and linkage system & hand spun brass pegs and kick pedal by Rev. Jim Goodrich
DCC “Manx” swingarm mounted rear fender
DCC Custom 1.5″ stepped headers & exhaust w/ Norton Commando mufflers
Gas charged rear race reservoir dampers
Custom vented rear hub w/ hand made brake aluminum stay
Stock CB450 18″ rear wheel powder coated gloss black w/ Metzler tire
Pinstriping by: Liza aka; Von Dutch’s Daughter
Powdercoating by: Brothers Powdercoating
Hand Nickel Plating and Chroming by: Jota @ Metal Refinishing

Honda CB450
Honda CB450
Honda CB450
Honda CB450

  • Sportster Cafe

    I saw a CB350 with a Bennelli Mojave tank that these guys did, very nice! I like that they don’t over do it, but nice little touches, like the gas cap.

  • Sportster Cafe

    One bad thing about this TV show, Cafes will be the latest trend, that the trendy will use and abuse, then through away! Leaving those of us who liked them before they were in wondering, what happened?!

  • Warren Smith

    Hey Sportster Cafe, I was getting all excited about this show until you dead on assessed the situation…yeah, your right-the chopper shows put bankers on hard-tail Harleys. Now they’ll all be switching to CB’s, XS’s, and Bonnies wearing pudd’in basins and Belstaff jackets!

  • Harry Farquhar

    I for one am looking forward to this new program. All those chopper shows didn’t hurt the industry in general or custom builders in particular at all.
    If anything it got more people out of cages and in the wind. Likewise there will be no down side to having what many will insist on referring to as trendy poser wannabies appearing on our roads aboard Cafe Racers. As long as they ride responsibly and represent my sport in a positive manner it can only help the industry.

  • Lew

    I’ve gotta agree with Harry Farquhar, choppers have been way overdone, but their industry has been massively boosted by TV shows. Big bore American V-twins deserve their place, but they are by no means the only custom bikes, and most people outside of the industry don’t realize this.

  • Evan3000

    Very cool Bike..
    Does anyone know what fuel cap that is?

  • it is, in this world of absolute lack of privacy and protection of content and culture that anyone can replicate and exploit the most niche of things for their well being and fiscal gain. homogeneity for the masses at the lowest price. what are we all complaining about? that’s what we wanted. right?

    the key here, though folks, is to remember, to believe, that there are still a few good blokes out there who simply, “do it because they do it.” the fine folks putting on CafeRacerTV know more than most about the realities of what it was to be a ton-up boy in Brighton because for a few, they lived it. loving cop chasing, bike steeling heart racing moment of it. the accounts and content in the show, i am sure, will be spot on with those elements and will most definitely usher in a new era of riders purely through proximity exposure.

    why is everyone so afraid of this? would it be better to all grow old and die with the secrets of the stripped down naked bike lifestyle for none to enjoy? rather say we, spend the next 10-15 years learning it, developing it, perfecting it and most importantly, making it our own? leaving it intact to pass on to our future generations.

    be it hipsters on semi-hacked up cafe’s or full blown ton-up clubs terrin’ up the streets, it makes no difference. and why you ask? the answer is a simple one. the times may have changed, bikes may have gotten more complicated for those who choose to use current vintage, but there still exists, within them and us- that single innate thread of adventure willing to put it all on the line solely for the pursuit of speed and individuality.

    these boys, they may not be “rockers” in the literal sense, and they sure as hell don’t all live in london and they ride just about anything they can get their hands on for the good price. those, my friends, are the things that make different, that give them the edge, it is because they’re willing to pursue the sames things of yesteryear at whatever the cost that will succeed.

    they want not too cheapen it, and whore it out like Walmart. they want to coddle it like their first born and give it everything it’s ever wanted for in return, they get the simple pleasure of hearing the throttle crack and the light ‘almost’ bend around a sharp wet corner. these are the next generation cafe racers. they’re here and they will protect the heritage of where they came from.

    it cannot be helped. it’s all in the steel they’re rebuilding….


  • Cafes have been out of fashion since the 70s. We like them because they are classics. So what if the media bites the retro euro bug? let them have it! As for I, i’ll continue in my search for style and performance however I see fit and that goal is never going to be stationary so who cares if they come in about 40 years too late? I had my fun with cafe bikes, now on to something a bit more comfortable and radical: True 70s honda choppers.

  • I’m ready to embrace this series. Obnoxious “purists” who felt they were special because they rode a Cafe Racer may have a different opinion though. Cafe Racers are already appearing in advertising and TV why not fill the people in on what these bikes are all about. Best of all this series will spawn a new generation of Cafe Racer builders who will explore new styles and techniques and not be restricted by the imaginary rulebook of Cafe Racer building. If this series leads to the availability of more well made parts at more affordable prices I wil be smiling all the way to my shed.

  • Vincent Le Fre

    Right. This article is gonna kick up the fire in a lot of people methinks.

    I urge you all to go to their website and watch the video. Having done that you should see the true extent of a bizarre American love affair with the British motorcycle. You should see the true extent of their detachment from any element of British life, then or now. You should see that this has resulted (like so many things that come out of America) in a parody of every aspect of what café racers were about, the reason they existed, the reason that young men spent weeks, months, years in their garages building bikes out of what little they could afford, grafting in whatever shit-hole jobs where around at the time in a country who was only just getting up off it’s knees form a crippling war.

    It’s a great speach Paul Henry Harrington, and your core points are valid, the more people riding for the sheer thrill of it the better. But I’m afraid there are no traditions being upheld here, there is no heritage being protected, this is a money making excercise, perhaps a feeble attempt to educate an out-of-touch people on a period of history from another country, but not a true representation of what this all means. The Mods and Rockers thing, even in the UK, has mostly become satirical, touched upon now and again in order to give something a ‘1960s theme’. Even the UK press at the time blew it out of all proportion and there are probably more mods and rockers now than there were back then because they’ve both become such huge sub-genres in modern society. The bizarre thing is that these small pockets of violence were few and far between and only punctured a much larger scene. Café racers were about doing a hundred miles an hour between greasy spoons not about fighting on a beach.

    Now, it seems, café racers are a ‘buzz word’, an adjective for anything with low handlebars and that looks like it’s only gonna perpetuate out of control with this new show. I’m no purist or traditionalist but I do belive in honesty and would love to see a bit of integrity from the guys who undertake these projects. Instead I see chumps in tin-pot helmets throwing money at anything that comes through the garage door.

  • sly

    the dimecity bike looks great. i’m tired of dentists on harleys with matching jackets and miles of chrome who believe they become rebels from friday night to sunday afternoon. i love bikes and i truly love guys who can take a bike out of a landfill and turn it into something unique. give the young guys a chance – you might actually learn something from them…and for those of you who say, ‘it’s not england, it’s not the 60’s, it’s not real…’ well, you are correct…so what? you are on this site because you love bikes too. steve mcqueen and mike hailwood live on in our kids through bikes like these – it could be worse…they could all aspire to owning an orange county chopper…

  • Ethan

    To Vincent Le Fre

    If you think that DCC isn’t part of the new community of cafe racers and bike builders and riders you’ve never been to Go check it out. All it is is “young men spen[ding] weeks, months, years in their garages building bikes out of what little they could afford, grafting in whatever shit-hole jobs where around at the time… riding for the sheer thrill of it.”

    That’s ALL it is. Building, riding, breaking, rebuilding.

    Seriously, you don’t know what you’re talking about.

  • Vincent,

    You obviously have an appreciation for the period. It’s too bad you can’t appreciate those trying to pay tribute to it. Kids in Brighton could afford to pick up the parts to make a Tribsa or Triton because they were everywhere, they were domestic and they were cheap. Not so these days…Especially in the US. I saw a Norton in pieces for sale recently for over $4,000.

    When you bash those who are “throwing money at anything that comes through the garage door,” you’re ignoring the fact that times have changed. Cafe racers have changed, and for many, so have the bikes they ride. But what drives a cafe racer has not. Building the best bike you can for as little as you can. Strip off the extra bits. Open up the exhaust. Aggressive riding position. Have a good time with your friends. Built not bought.

    Unless you find joy in bringing others down, I believe you’d be a lot happier doing something else. As for myself, I’m going back in the garage.

  • Swagger

    I’m sorry your panties are in a twist old boy. Truly, it pains me to see you pained. My heart cries for you and the horror you must feel.

    Now fuck off mate.

    It’s you that has the problem. I choose to build bikes (and parts for them) that pay homage to a style I like. You don’t have to like it and I don’t have to care. Go back to Merry Old, I think there’s a vespa with your name on it’s 32 mirrors.

  • ardent

    Should the cafe style become the new wave that will be great as these bikes fall into the standard bike class of which none are being made available in North America beyond the Triumph Bonneville/Thruxton.

    Maybe this will push Honda to offer their new CB-1100 in North America, likewise Yamaha with their XS-500, Kawasaki their new W-800, etc.

    North Americans now want ‘standards’ like those mentioned above, Asian cruisers and “super bike” styles are revolting and are SO OVER MAN!!!

  • Sportster Cafe

    ardent, that would be great! I am tired of going into the Japanese motorcycle shops that look like a Harley shop with all the V-twins, and I own a Harley. I miss the Japanese fours and twins. I do like what these guys are doing, and as you can tell by my handle, I am not a Caferacer purist!

  • kik

    cafes on discovery channel?..hopefully it will happen like with the chopper craze, a bunch of idiots with money will have some sweet bikes made for them and then we will score them in a few years on ebay or craigslist, think possitive my friends,….my 2 cents…

  • Vincent Le Fre

    Just to follow up…

    My previous comment was a well formulated opinion that did not require the use of swear words nor did it target any idividual directly. Two of the counter-posts to mine have described me as someone who likes putting people down and someone who has a problem and needs to fuck off.

    I’ve always liked BikeEXIF for its open and honest debate on the comments pages and having healthy arguments is a positive thing for the bike world. But it looks like these pages are now frequented by people who work only in absolutes and feel that the only way to voice an opinion is to be as extreme as possible, a bit like a how a child reasons.

    For this reason you’ll not see me again on these forums.

  • Vincent, I sympathize. I normally moderate the comments on here heavily, and on average, I delete about a third of the comments left on any given post. On some posts that have proved contentious, I have deleted over half the comments made. (See our Comments Policy for details.)

    It means that people who are in the habit of making snarky comments and leaving false email addresses notice that their comments aren’t appearing, so they don’t bother to return and the rest of us can get on with life.

    Since the beginning of September, though, I have been travelling through the UK, Europe and Asia, and my internet access has been erratic. That’s why the number of posts has dropped, and the comments have increased in vitriol—because I have not been able to delete them as they appear.

    (The Justin Kell interview was perhaps the worst example. Ironically, he himself said, “I see a lot of nasty stuff in both the motorcycle and fashion business” in the interview.)

    From this weekend normal service will resume. If a comment is abusive or personal, it will be deleted.

  • Right on ya DCC boys! You know I love this and your other builds. Seriously, folks these guys are the real deal. As a member on the aforementioned, Ive seen how these guys operate and its top shelf all the way.
    As far as the whole cafe racer craze that seems to be building in the states right now, who gives a damn? Let the hangers-on do what they will. Let them jump on the ol’ bandwagon, and show off. WHO CARES? The only downside is seeing the old bikes get bought up… But, all ya have to do is wait until the next fad comes rolling in, jump in the truck, head out to the local housing development and buy up last weeks fashions on the cheap. I know people always want to think that they hold the deed to a particular idea or “lifestyle” (god, i hate that word), but guess what gents? You dont.
    Aparrently (to some here on this site), if you dont adhear to the strict rules and regulations of the “lifestyle” than youre in the wrong. And try and make a living by being a part of the world that makes you happy… Oh no… Forget it. Youre obviously just cashing in. Doesnt matter how long you’ve been involved.
    Heres a though, give an atta’ boy to those of us who have made something palpable from their passions, or go do something about it. If you dont like it… FINE, but dont try and drag others down into your pit. You think you know the “real” cafe racer ideals… Than show everyone. Dont badmouth people you’ve never met.

    Again… Atta’ boy DCC… If you ever make it up to PA let me know. You have some cold beers coming to you on me and the PA West DTT crew!

  • Warren Smith

    …and if one person rode a cafe bike, they’d think he was crazy, but if two people rode ’em, they’d think they were f_____s, if three people rode ’em, heck, they’d think it was an organization. But…what if fifty people rode ’em. they’d think it was a movement. and that’s what it is. it’s the real cafe riders anti-fashionable poser movement.

    gotta love the points of view on this thread. cafe racer tv’s going to be the next monster garage.

    and, apologies to Arlo Guthrie

  • Woody

    On the plus side, if cafe racers get popular, hopefully this means more parallel twins like the W800 and CB1100 come stateside. Triumph and Moto Guzzi are already on the band wagon, even though Ducati’s quietly killing the sportclassic.

  • The fuel cap is one of my designs…check out this website it see all of my sandcasted products.

    Crafty B Nostalgic Speed

  • Griffin

    Nice work, DCC! I appreciate the ‘steampunk’ touch with over-doing it. Can’t wait to see it on the show.

    Whats up with all the naysayers? All that matters to me is if I love the bike and it gets ridden. Who cares about bankers, dentists, etc…I’m a college student who grads this semester in genetics. Will I be labeled as well? Don’t care – I build, I ride, I love.