CRD #3: CB750 custom

Honda CB750 custom
The comments ran hot when we posted the first bike from Spanish builder Café Racer Dreams, so it’ll be interesting to see the reaction to this one. CRD’s third release is called ‘Military Gold’, a reference to the Firestone Military tires fitted to 19” wheels. It’s 1979 CB750 KZ, and CRD have shown once again how small (and inexpensive) changes can radically change the character of a bike. The engine is stock, apart from modified Keihin carbs, a free-flowing intake system and Megaton mufflers. The frame has been stripped of all unnecessary addenda, a simplified wiring loom has been fitted, and an aluminum battery box and Renthal bars complete the picture. The fenders are bobbed and everything else has been blacked out or repainted. To our eyes it’s simple, unsophisticated and drop-dead maravilloso.

Honda CB750 custom
Honda CB750 custom
Honda CB750 custom
Honda CB750 custom
Honda CB750 custom
Honda CB750 custom

  • cap’n

    Another beautiful, clean design I wouldn’t actually want to own. I think I’m getting over the “old tire style” fetish, and there are no mirrors or signals here. I’m glad people make these things, because it’s great to see how far you can go (how much can be stripped off, how chunky it would look with those wheel sizes and tires, etc), but it doesn’t fall into that magical category of “GIMME.”

    • Ken

      Agree.
      Also, why wouldn’t anyone extend the rear fender so you don’t sling dirt into the carbs? Turns a good looking practical bike into tar baby. Is it me, or does the back tire look out of alignment with the fender?

  • Cirpanli

    that’s an archetype. beautiful.

  • Gerrard

    no

    • toecutter

      yes

    • Mule

      This style is getting extremely repititious. Nothing new really and at the very kindest, it’s a style of build that can be accomplished very quickly and without much brainspace consumed by innovation. The monster front tire look is not my favorite either.

      The CB900 these guys built was pretty darn cool, but this bike has the look of just another “Brat Style”. Oh yea, and a close up showing the chain adjuster with the rounded off, rusted lock nut? No.

      • Kerry

        This is not a monster tire bike. A 19″ Dunlop K70 is a direct replacement for stock tires on cb750s.

        • Mule

          I don’t believe these are K-70’s and they don’t look like 19’s even though the story says they are. The side view gives the impression of the front tire being larger than the rear. That was my point. This is a style of build people either like or don’t like. Different styles are popular in different countries and different parts of the world. That’s a good thing! I realize this site features lots of bikes of this style and this type of build has a huge following. No arguing that point. I’m hoping this style will pass quickly and evolve into something a lot easier on the eyes, while still retaining the good design points that this type of build brings to the table.

          Back to the big front tire look, I believe there are two distinct schools of thought on this, or more to the point, two opions on what looks good or “Right”. One is, anything that gets cobbed together by anyone, anywhere with old, used stuff is cool. The other is that over the last hundred and ten years, motorcycle design has evolved. Things are designed a certain way for lots of reasons. Disregarding those reasons to make your bike fit into the first school of thought, looses it’s coolness very quickly. But some people just don’t know what they don’t know. Thats cool. Everyone has to learn and it takes a lot of time.

        • Mule

          On their website the tires are listed as 400 x 19″ Firstone “Militay”. Not sure how they got a Comstar 19″ rear, but if it happens the the rear is an 18 and the front a 19, that would splain the big front wheel look.

          I do like the paint job on the tank though!

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1053674829 Ira Cox

      I really like this style but have a hard time not comparing it to a Wrenchmonkees bike. They’re still the apex of this kind of stripped-down aesthetic if only because they mod the heck out of the engines in addition to pulling everything off. I’d love to ride this 750, but it would be cooler if it was pushing the envelope in the performance department as well as style.

    • iñaki

      YEAHHHH!!

  • Larry Pearson

    I, too, like the simplicity of this bike. Still hate the tire selection, though. The rear wheel looks like a stock 18″ rather than a 19″ as stated. Comstars can’t really be modified. Those engines were very cool, very powerful for their time. DOHCs will be seen a lot more in the coming years I believe.

  • TS057

    I would love to see the bikes that all of the people with negative comments ride…

    • Eric H.

      I agree! This bike is just plain awesome!! Clean lines, no BS, and plenty of retro coolness! Thumbs up in my book!!

  • elven

    I really like stripped-down bikes, but why those tyres?

    • http://www.atombombcustom.com Clay

      Agreed. It’s one thing to put knobbies or other non handling tires on an old, slow vintage rigid since they don’t handle anyhow (lord knows I’ve done it enough times)…but I truly don’t get the fascination with building a bike that might potentially be quick, turn corners well and stop in a hurry, and then putting the absolute worst tire possible on it.

    • Kerry

      Because they are Dunlop K70’s and were a common and direct fit replacement for stock cb750 tires.

      • http://www.atombombcustom.com Clay

        Those are repopped Firestone ANS tires, not K70s. If you look real hard you can even see the bit where they say “Firestone”. I’ve run them on vintage bikes. They suck.

        • http://atombombcustom.blogspot.com Clay

          By the way, I actually like this style of bikes. They’re dead simple and obviously not at the forefront of custom fabrication, but they’re not supposed to be. For what they are, they’re a hoot to ride…assuming they have tires that’ll keep up with the chassis.

  • monkeytom

    can somebody tell me how to start it – -‘

    • iñaki

      The battery is hidden. The start on-off is a small point in the bar. Take a look in crd website. And it runs as you can see in the videos.

  • Beem

    i’ve got the same model with the same tyres on it. I like the look and i’m no speed merchant so have never had any issues. The gyroscopic effect of a front that size makes for a bit of a wrestle but it’s a big old lump an i enjoy riding it. The whole thing cost me about 1000 gbp including powdercoating the wheels and forks (just like this one…) and a bit of welding and mechanical work. It’s a fun bike. Though i too would like to know how it starts? It’s much cleaner looking han mine as they’ve removed the battery and loom from beneath the seat but where’s it gone? It’s not got a kicker either. This looks much better than mine but i’d guess mine was alot cheaper…

    B.

    • Mario

      The battery is down of swing arm and all wire harness is into the frame. visit your blog for more detail pics of the project. Cool bike

  • tq

    dirt bike pegs!

  • tq

    if you’re going to have dirt bike pegs, you NEED to keep the kick starter. Enduro Cafe Racers are taking over!

  • CZD

    Where is the battery?

    • Meat

      I guess it is down where the swing arm connects to the frame but I can’t see how. Their blog doesn’t really have a pic of that section.

  • toecutter

    if you scope out their blog there are some other pictures, she’s got a start button, its just real small.

  • Jefro7077

    It says in the article that it has had an aluminimum battery box added. Where? looked at all pic saw nowhere to hide a battery!

  • Davidabl2

    If we’re gonna go all “form over function” I think i’d rather see brit style perforated canisters instead of
    the fugly K&N pods. If we’re gonna go “function over form” I’d want some sort of effective but discreet
    signals, a mirror or two, a horn, and some sort of toolbox somewhere..Don’t get me wrong ‘tho, I DO like this kind of build and i think there’s one in my own future..

    • Cliff

      Where would I find ‘brit style perforated canisters’ for my CB750, so I don’t have to use the obvious filter replacement? I like the idea – but I can’t find any.

  • Kumo

    Like and dislike in equal parts. But, to be spanish builders, the bike is street illegal in Spain.

    • elven

      Assume they fit a mirror to the mount on the clutch lever, doesn’t its age, 30+ years, allow it to have no intermitentes/indicators?

  • Ben-bot

    It looks like a Wrenchmonkee.

  • http://firstgenerationmotors.blogspot.com/ Emmet

    I laughed when I saw that front fender.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000578098359 Matthew Farley

      ha! i didn’t even see it until you mentioned it… minimum coverage!

  • Clawbrant

    The battery is most likely down by the swingarm pivot. You can fit one down there if you use a small scooter battery. Without a kickstart though you better hope the engine starts quickly because the starter will dry it out fast.

  • Jjwithers

    Great job! Where’s the battery?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Sam-Brown/1146150889 Sam Brown

    dang-a-lang-a-ling-long

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000578098359 Matthew Farley

    beautifully appointed! not identical to what my vision would have been, but well-realized, for sure.

    anyone’s style or practical considerations can be questions, but the quality of work and finish that’s here to see definitely speaks for itself. build more bikes!

  • Lew

    I like it. Not sure about the tires.

  • bryguy9

    It’s got brakes (Front AND Rear!), a seat, and fenders. Haters be hating I guess. I love me some CB!

  • http://www.robertlevinson.com/Project_C/ RobL

    I’ll preface my comments by saying as far as this style of bike goes, this is one of the nicest. Lots of really nice details; very clean, trick switchgear, stealthy battery box, best brat-style seat upholstery I’ve ever seen (and it’s not board-flat), and the whole package looks very fresh, not like a lot of parts hacked off an old bike.

    Now for the constructive criticism; unfortunately, it is “yet another brat CB”. CRD showed some fresh insight with one of their previous projects, the CB900 featured earlier (http://www.bikeexif.com/cb900). It’s a step backwards to adopt another style rather than follow their own vision.

    I really do wish I had access to their upholsterer here in the US!

    • Dave in Kalifornia

      rob:
      My girlfriend is a professional seamstress… I’ve conned her into doing seats. Both recovers, and complete jobs. I do alot of ‘brat-style’ (hate that term, they’re more ‘wrenchmonkees’ than brat-style) seats on builds. I think her works is comparable to this one, if not better… and she *likes* to do them… I’m in San Diego….

      • http://www.robertlevinson.com/Project_C/ RobL

        Hey Dave,

        Drop me an email (address on page linked in my name) with some pics, would love to see her work.

        • Dave in Kalifornia

          Rob-
          Not seeing an addy on those pages… hit me back. leftlaneguy at yahoo

  • Sportster Cafe

    If you look at the last two pictures on the blog, http://caferacerdreams.blogspot.com/2010/11/escondiendo-cables-o.html you can see a box that is under the swing arm pivot, that is the battery box. Keep in mind, some modern batteries, can rest on there side with out leaking. I wonder how many of the haters have had their bike on this sight? Not easy, I know, I tried, the moderator didn’t even respond, so I know where mine stands.

    • Dave in Kalifornia

      I feel your pain… LOL all the ‘popular’ blogs for this kind of thing pretty-much ignore US-built bikes and builders. Don’t know if it’s an accessibility thing, or what… Being that bikeexif and pipeburn are both half-a-planet away… heh, maybe some intrepid reader will start a US-based version. I suck on computers, so don’t ask me… ;)

      • http://www.bikeexif.com Chris Hunter

        I’m not sure how you get the impression we ignore the USA? In recent days we’ve had the Von Dutch Falcone, a US-built Triumph Tiger custom, a Curtiss Marvel, the MotoMorphic JAFM, a 1950 Harley Panhead and the US-based Honda CL750 Scrambler concept. What we don’t feature are mildly customized versions of recent Harley production bikes. But that’s a whole niche in itself.

        • Dave in Kalifornia

          Chris:
          Make no mistake; I LOVE what you and other blogs are doing… What I have noticed, is the few US-based bikes shown are usually VERY rare examples, or something really special. ie: something covered by many other blogs/mssg boards before arriving here. Alot of your readers are members of other online communities, so it’s nothing to them… Been there. While I personally DO appreciate most of the bikes featured by you, some I just wonder “Why *that bike*?? Why *Him*? Sometimes, the only explanation I can arrive at is that the bike in question is closer to *you* or is covered in other overseas circles. There is an AMAZING amount of talented builders and custom bikes stateside. You’d never know it from some of the comments left on the wall here, but there really is. Personally, I’ve been doing this sort of thing since ’98… “brat-style”?? when did that look become associated with one shop in Japan? wrenchmonkees… Love their stuff, but I know of 10+ bikes that look *just like those* (including mine) that were built 5+ years ago. It’s just frustrating at times to see all the blogs jump-on and elevate some bikes that, honestly (as nice as they are) are nothing special to some of us that have been doing this for years… and not spamming web-boards with pictures, etc…
          Chris: Again- LOVE YOUR SITE… And what you do. And the bikes you feature. I just got all defensive today after (for the 20th time this week) being accosted by some guy @ the local hardware about how “cafe” my bike was… and how it was a “good copy” of a bike he saw online… LOL…

          Keep it up. Make a trip to the USofA and we’ll hook you up with some sexy bikes, some great food, and a place to crash. not to mention some really incredible rides/trips.

          Ciao-
          D.

          • http://www.bikeexif.com Chris Hunter

            Hi Dave,

            You’re right, the bikes that appear are generally ones that appeal to me, or have caught my attention. I don’t know where “Brat style” came from either, it just seems to have become a shorthand for that style in Japan — when there are many others like Heiwa and Hidemo doing similar things. (I think the tide is turning on that look anyway, and moving more towards the flat tracker look.) For most visitors here, it’s a ‘new’ style: most of our visitors don’t frequent the web boards or forums, and 50% are outside the US, so they’re not exposed to grassroots US custom bike building. Neither am I, come to think of it!

            I might just take you up on the offer of a place to crash … thanks!

            Chris

  • CSOrtega

    I respect all the comments and because of that I just wanna say that it is very sad to read some of them, They show a lack of knowledge. I am probably not unbiased as I know the guys who build this wonders, but let me tell you haters, that there is so much work behind these bikes you can’t imagine. Hiding the wired inside the chassis was a pain in the neck… and yes, the bike works, and the engine starts and all that… maybe the good thing about CRD is that the make the hard things look simple…

  • Guillaume

    That one will be a model for my future Café Racer transformation, on a 550 K3 basis.
    But my first project is the restoration of my first K3 to match the exact original version…
    Thanks BikeEXIF for posting such interesting things!

  • KIK

    its getting kind of boring..

  • http://vx800-restoration.blogspot.com/ Seriouscallerzonly

    Love it. This bike is simplified and minimized to the extreme. This is VERY difficult to do and takes lots of creative hiding, re-routing and thought. I’ve been struggling with this very thing on my projects and speak from experience. Wiring in the frame is a major pain in the ass and I’ve got respect for that. The engine paint is gorgeous and subtle. The only complaint is the tires.

  • Harry Farquhar

    Ya know what’s dull and repetitive is the same old criticism of the same old bikes if you don’t like the bike then hide your eyes or look away. Oh and the word fugly let’s not bring that worn out remark into this decade. If you feel that something is so appalling that it needs to be characterized as f~#king ugly then just say so. Nice bike particularly the the 4 into 1 collector with a megapone exhaust.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=767783791 Chris Gillham

    i like it, switchgear and hidden wiring job is top notch. everything else has been said.

    Anyone else see the irony in “hating” on the “haters”. all feedback is good even non constructive uneducated rants from keyboard warriors that think J.A.P motorcycles were built in Asia.

  • http://www.facebook.com/matthiasbonjour Matthias Bonjour

    I basically have this bike (81 CB750) – just all rusted up and sitting in my father-in-law’s yard, waiting for love. This is what I will do with it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ben.branch Ben Branch

    I’m putting a bike together not too dissimilar to this, does anyone know where on the bike the battery box has been installed? I may be missing the obvious but I can’t see it.

    • http://www.bikeexif.com Chris Hunter

      It’s on the swingarm, Ben — check the earlier comments.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ben.branch Ben Branch

    I’m putting a bike together not too dissimilar to this, does anyone know where on the bike the battery box has been installed? I may be missing the obvious but I can’t see it.
    *EDIT – Ignore me, I just read the comments and the question was already asked and answered :)

  • Mack-o-matik

    them dudes are VERY impressed if not COPYCATS of the wrenchmonkees style – look at the photographic style, look at the build, look at the lights and the finish (@KIK: thats patina, no rust)… for me not really an own build, more of a me-too thing. And put a nice decal on that checkered “thing” on the tank, please.

  • Mikep

    I don’t care what you guys say. Someone who loves bikes but the work in. To me, it doesn’t matter if you like the tires or some of the aesthetics – They like it, so they built it.

    If you’re really into bikes and you enjoy the site, then don’t critique by saying something is wrong, get in your garage and show us what you think would be better. The best way to push the movement along is to contribute.

    Amongst my six bikes, I have a 68 pan head on the lift. It’s been up there for three years. I’ve done a good job of making it essentially worse. These bikes may look simple in many ways, but there’s nothing simple about re-fabbing a subframe and putting an old bike back together into something better.

    • Mule

      Since I’ve been looking at this site and following all the bikes displayed, there has been a full spectrum of bikes represented. From very exotic, expensive builds to real junkers. As more and more low dollar builds are posted, the comments seem to have become more and more divided. Everyone has things they like and things they don’t like and they are allowed to comment uncensored on this site.

      If someone doesn’t like a goofy paintjob or hardtails or whatever, they are labeled “Haters”.

      If you criticze our government, does that make you a “Comunist”?

      People that visit this site, most likely want to see all bikes presented, they just don’t have love them all and get all sappy about them. HTFU for cripe sake!

      • Mikep

        Has nothing to do with HTFU. It’s just tiring to hear people bitch more than they have constructive criticism. The anonymous nature of sites like this sometimes make the people that do need to HTFU to say things they’d never say in person. There’s a way to say someone doesn’t like this or that in a constructive manner, but people just hating because it’s easy to do in a post is just boring. That’s all it is. Boring opinions.

        • Mule

          Point is, some builds/features get no “Haters” or criticism. Some gets tons. Maybe there’s a reason some bikes get so much. Like the Yamaha with the dented Honda tank a couple months ago. There’s bound to be controversy. It can’t helped or stopped. Like the Von Dutch Falcone. That was all negative. But since it was built 50 years ago and was for sale on EBAY by who knows who and was a hopelessly obsolete bike to start with, I didn’t see anybody crying about THAT bike being criticized or commenters being called haters! Why not then?

          If somebody doesn’t like what you like, it’s possible that they’re just an idiot and it’s also possible that maybe they are making a good point, but aren’t very eloquent at the keyboard.

          Anybody that really likes a certain style for sure won’t give a warm reception to somebody that trashes that style. That’s just life.

          • http://www.robertlevinson.com/Project_C/ RobL

            Mikep’s point is very simple; just saying “I don’t like it” – who cares? What purpose does that serve? It’s not about being thin-skinned, it’s about wasting time posting something meaningless. Every single bike will have people that like it and people that do not like it. We know that. These people that post “I don’t like it”, do they think they are voting in some contest? Absolutely not one bit of point in comments like that.

            Mikep is making a very good point here that points to real discussion – and as I’ve posted before, if a person wants to discuss form, proportion, technology, character, etc., all of these are useful things to discuss… opinion or not, it’s the *reasoning* behind the sentiment that is useful, is real constructive criticism. Discussion isn’t binary. It’s making your opinion make sense for logical or aesthetic reasons that you have explained to your listeners.

            And, if they are not “eloquent at the keyboard” as you mentioned – then, in all seriousness, it’s worse than not saying anything at all. I got the same free public education as any other American, there’s no excuse for not being able to put a dozen words together in a sensible way unless you’ve got a medical condition.

          • Mule

            I somewhat agree. Although, keep in mind not everyone that comments is an American just like you. Well detailed dissention isn’t warmly recieved either.

  • Mikko

    Love it. Will be inspiration to my build. Yes there starts to be alot of this style bikes, but it don’t bother me since those are pretty much exactly what i would my bike look like…

  • Scott Halbleib

    i still don’t get why everyone thinks these bikes have to perform so well. they’re old. they don’t perform well period when compared to modern day bikes. 90% of the bikes on here are form over function as they should be. if you wanna cruise around town in style this thing will do it in spades! if you wanna do a f_ckin track day, go buy a sport bike… or something that’s not 40 years old. very nice build. clean, and nice details!

    • http://www.robertlevinson.com/Project_C/ RobL

      Agreed, but not just style. Old bikes end up being like Miatas… you can ride them at 9/10ths on the street and you’re really not going that fast or being that crazy – which makes them more entertaining than a new sportbike. Not faster – but more fun.

      • Dave in Kalifornia

        +10000!!!
        I have SO much more fun on ‘old’ bikes than newer ones. Most (if not all) current sportbikes are ridiculously overpowered for daily street-use. Commuting? Who *needs* 140bhp for getting to work? One cannot use even 1/10th of a modern sportbikes’ potential on the streets. Nevermind that the whole point to this blog (and others like it) is ‘old bikes’ and customs. Many years ago, I worked 2 an H-D dealership in Phoenix… We acquired a Mule. Got to ride it many times. Uncomfortable, unruly, obnoxious, but looked damn cool… I had so much fun on that thing, I decided to go ‘streettracker’ on my personal CB350. Damn bike was, and STILL IS a blast to ride. Impracticable for commuting, but COMPLETELY usable on the street. I had a Buell M-2 and a CBR 600 at the time as well… Still have the 350. Smiles-per-mile applies to these bikes.

        • Mule

          Dave, There was such a long, convoluted story to that bike’s life, you would not believe It. It would take at least 2 pitchers! It’s now being racing with much success in Europe! That’s funny/ironic!

          • Dave in Kalifornia

            Heh! I recall that there was a ‘backstory’ of sorts with that one… lol Come out to the 3rd Thursday thing tonite, I’ll start ya on the first pitcher! Info on Spokesmen.

          • Mule

            Maybe Chris would let me wrirte a story? One of the highlights was the calendar photo shoot with the Playboy model! When the make-up girl was rubbing oil all over her and …well….it was pretty cool! Or the magazine photo shoot at the track where I got well and fully upside down into the wall.

            Gettin’ off topic here a bit.

        • elven

          I have a Honda 644 single for the mountains here, but once on open roads Power = Fun, nothing better to come from behind a line of cars @ 30mph and crack the throttle until they are all in the distance and 100+ is showing on the speedo. But I still don’t like plastics and Crapping Frog riding positions… naked everything for me.

    • elven

      No, disagree entirely. Old bikes are best fun when upgraded with better brakes, tyres etc… cruising.. No Way, No Fun, just don’t see the point. Sports bikes.. for me, no fun; even on track days an old naked bike lightened and improved to chuck around inside the sporty poseurs is much more fun! As for power, my best UK street bike was a Vmax, 145bhp, R1 brakes, upgraded suspension etc, 17″ wheels; that one was immense fun getting the Sunday riders on their R1’s trying to keep up…. the guys riding white bikes with blue lights chased, but never caught up. What some do for fun, others won’t do for money :-)

      See we all think differently. Why am I a hater because I look at all bikes and think “what’ll it do, how will it handle on twisty road on a quiet day??

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Da-Keith/1080632047 Da Keith

    Man, I’ve been staring at this bike ALL WEEK! I love it love love it!

  • Cliff

    Well – being new to this kind of thing with bikes and having only just got myself a CB750 to modify and looking for inspiration and ideas for what to do…

    What I admire about the styling on this bike is the seat and rear end treatment.

    Not sure about the tyres, I think they look a bit too chunky for the overall design.

    The tank paint job is cool, the way the colour line puts a clean bottom edge on the tank and the black below the line tends to ‘hide’ the rest of the tank.

    Very clean under the seat, but then – this is what seems to get done a lot. I won’t be doing this, I plan another treatment for this area that lets me keep what is there already.

    So I have picked up some good ideas from this bike, and rejected some of the other ideas as ‘not for me’.

    Anyone know anyone who can do seats like that in Australia?

    • http://www.bikeexif.com Chris Hunter

      Speak to Deus in Sydney – they’ll be able to help with any custom stuff you need.

  • Tim Graham

    Can anybody tell me where they have relocated their oil resivour, I’ve looked at their blog and still can’t work it out. By the way I love this bike!

    • Dave in Kalifornia

      Tim;
      dual-cam 750s do not have an oil tank.

  • Mikkeljohansen_20

    Yo!
    Is this a CB750 C or is it a K model??

    Just wondering…