Icon 1000 Axys Collection

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.