BMW Motorrad Spezial

Honda CB450 cafe racer

Honda cafe racer
Honda’s CB450 never quite met its sales expectations, despite being one of the few 1960s motorcycles to hit the magic 100bhp/liter mark. Honda claimed it was a 450 with the power of a 650—and yes, it was a technological step forward from the British twins of the time. Buyers got greater reliability, an electric starter and more advanced engineering inside the DOHC parallel twin, which included unusual torsion valve springs. This elegant CB450 is a 1969 model that was rebuilt as a cafe racer by Shaun Stewart of Slingshot Cycles, a Virginia-based outfit that specializes in manufacturing brake hoses for classic motorcycles. The rear seat is actually part of a Yamaha XS650 fuel tank, while the front end is a hybrid mix of CB550/CB750F components strengthened by a homemade fork brace. The stainless steel exhaust system is also homemade, and the headlight bucket has a built in tachometer. Shaun likes to customize a couple of bikes a year as a sideline, and he’s done a great job with his cafe racer: it’s the perfect machine for blasting around the Appalachian mountains and Shenandoah Valley.

  • JR

    Sweet machine! I wish a major manufacturer would make something like this (cough Triumph) with a small displacement and low price.

    … just thought I would throw in the obligatory “Wish a major manufacturer would make something like this…” statement for the day.

  • Kozzy

    Very nicely done!

  • i’m in love!!!

  • LarryA

    Having just hopped off a ’71 CL450 not ten minutes ago, I have to say that I approve. Gorgeous bike, gotta love the chrome sided tank. I sure wish I had a K0 or K1 tank for mine! Those reservoir shocks and that fork brace wouldn’t be half bad either.

  • Alright, a VA-based custom!

  • ade

    a very sweet ride..

  • Wow, that’s a stunner. Pretty, practical (for a cafe racer)…well done.

  • Curt

    so, what’s up with the shocks’ lower mounts?

    they look like universal joints rather than fork-&-clevis design…..

  • Chris

    The things on the lower shock mounts are extenders to effectively make the shocks longer. The clevis end of the shock mount is twisted 90 degrees to prevented jack knifing.

    Those look like really nice, custom fitted units.

  • I am a die hard cafe racer fan. You got some very nice write-ups on cafe racers.

    Keep the good work going

  • gavin

    Just wondering if anyone knows of where they got the shock mount extenders from? Found pleanty for scooters but nothing for larger bikes. Thanks gg