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 Virtually every part that is worn or likely to fail has been replaced by a NOS Honda item, including a complete new wiring loom and switchgear.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.