Brisbane is Australia’s third biggest city. It’s the capital of Queensland, the unfeasibly huge ‘sunshine state.’ Queensland is also an idyllic environment for motorcycles, so let’s turn our attention to the brightest star on the local custom scene: Ellaspede.
Ellaspede’s latest build is this 1968 Honda CB450 K1, a low-key but very effective resto-mod. “The brief was basically a restoration, with subtle mods where we thought appropriate,” says main man Leo Yip. “The original CB450 is a classic, but the look is somewhat reserved and ‘safe’ to modern eyes. So we shortened the fenders, slimmed down the seat, and lowered the bars and headlight. We also widened the wheels and tires a little to give it a slightly tougher appeal.”
Ellaspede adjusted the CB450’s frame to accommodate the new seat, thoroughly cleaned it up, and then sent it out (with many other parts) to be powdercoated in satin black.
Posh grips were fitted to the lower bars, and the original mirrors and switch blocks were cleaned, polished and reassembled. To lower the headlight the original mount was ground apart and re-welded. It’s now matched to Posh indicators. The tail-light was repositioned too, sitting lower on a modified original mount.
The front and rear fenders are custom shaped stainless items: “It would have been a shame to cut up the originals, because they were in good condition.” The tank and side covers are now finished in two-pack black, with the original badges polished and repainted.
Ellaspede reconditioned the original wheels and up-spec’d them to 2.15 x 18 at the front and 2.50 x 18 at the back. The tires are Dunlop Roadmaster TT100s, sized 3.5” for the front and a snug-fitting 130 at the back. (“We started with a 120 rear, but it just looked under-sized,” says Yip.) The front forks were reconditioned and new Ikon shocks now hold up the rear.
“The engine was in good shape,” says Yip, “so we overhauled it with new gaskets and bolts, and blasted and polished it. We also added an electronic ignition to the parts list.”
And what about the Elvis reference on the seat (below), resplendent in the correct vintage Honda typeface? In 1968, the year this bike was built, Presley appeared in the TV show that became known as the ‘Comeback Special.’ Clad in black leather, he resurrected his flagging career. Ellaspede’s client drew inspiration from this, and decided to name his similarly resurrected CB450 ‘Elvis’. A neat finishing touch for a bike that—like The King—is still popular after all these years.