BMW Motorrad Spezial

Honda CB750 custom

Honda CB750 custom
If the CB750 is the archetypal café racer motorcycle, Steve ‘Carpy’ Carpenter must be the epitome of the café racer builder. He’s a Londoner now based in Orange County, California, and his name is legend amongst CB750 aficionados. This latest Carpy creation is called BRG750—a reference to the British Racing Green paint—and it’s based on a 1973 CB750K. (That means it has a SOHC engine good for almost 120mph, and was one of the last CBs to rule the roost before serious competition arrived in the form of Kawasaki’s 900cc Z1.)

Carpy’s attention to detail is legendary, and that’s a big part of his reputation. He’ll grind all the tabs and brackets off a bare bead-blasted frame, and clean up the welds. Then he’ll go over it with a file looking for imperfections of any kind. And then he’ll bake the whole thing in an oven for a day or so, to release any oil residue hiding in the joints. After this particular frame was painted silver and clear-coated, Carpy washed it with thinner and baked it for a another three times, “Just to make sure that all the oil deposits that sit behind welds from years of riding finally get cleaned—or burnt—out. Silver will show any defect up.” So this CB750 is in better condition now than when it rolled off the factory floor. Virtually every part that is worn or likely to fail has been replaced by a NOS Honda item, including a complete new wiring loom and switchgear. BRG750 now lives in Kansas City with its new owner, Montgomery Drake, and I’m green with envy.

Honda CB750 custom

  • mack-o-matik

    oh mon dieu… pure perfection. BRG, very inspiring indeed!

  • Emmet

    This is a fine machine. Some will bitch that it’s bought and not built, but honestly, who has the time and skills to go out and obtain the bike of their dreams? Hiring a professional is more than okay in my book. I could never get results like that if I tried!

  • Jefferson

    I think this and Greaser Mike’s Triumph may be the best back to back bikes you’ve had since I’ve been reading.

  • Andrew

    If this bike catches your eye, you have to go to Carpy’s webpage. The details are simply amazing. The pictures in the above views don’t do it any justice. The silver frame with clearcoat is an amazing effect. The swisscheese drillings of the rear hub area are so organic, no CNC billet bullshit here… The polishing of the aluminum is great, once again, hand done and organic. I would love to see this bike in person on a sunny day and just oggle the details. Well done!

  • neuroboy

    oh man, the silver flake gauges. so great.

  • Pamberjack

    I’v esaid it before – his stuff is usually overdone. This one is pretty sweet and I’d be more than happy to give it a space in my, er, parking space…

    But usually his stuff tends to look a bit “more is more“.

  • Rich

    CB750 – archetypyal cafe racer?

  • That’s a beauty!

  • Mingh

    apart from the detailing and craftsmanship, I couldn’t disagree more. CB is NOT the archetypal cafe racer. A triton would be. The CB is the mother of all UJM, and this is yet another uninspired, overdone polished t…

  • Mingh, you’re right—archetype is the wrong word and a Triton would be the archetype. ‘Ubiquitous’ would probably be a better word.

    Heartily disagree with the uninspired and overdone bit, though!

  • al

    Carpy is an excellent builder with some great skills, but he is devoid of taste. Either that, or his not so subtle american customers who commission him to build their bikes are. All those checkered decals, CAFE and 59 stickers, for me, wreck a quite a nice looking bike.

  • db

    bit too rocker for me, definitely respect the craftsmanship though

  • Say what you will about the blokes taste, he is a damn decent human and very talented. I’ve emailed him with nagging questions before and he personally took the time to respond and give me advice. I’ve never bought anything from him.

    I know I’d have a Triton or Ducati or BMW if I could. But Honda isn’t bad either. I bought a CB400F for my first project bike and have to say, Carpy has been an inspiration if only for his level of detail and craftsmanship.

    I’ve got no problem with people paying someone like this to make their dream bike. Sure, it’s maybe not as fun, but it supports the industry and means if a kid like me wants a set of chrome bar clamps, I can get ’em.

    BikeEXIF rocks.

  • Markos

    This is the meanest & coolest motorcycle I have ever seen…I prefer cruiser style bikes, but this is something I would like to ride better! Best Wishes…

  • Wahyu Prabowo

    Damn,Hot!!! Nice Horse..