Australia has a relatively small population—around 23 million, a little less than Texas. Despite this, the custom scene is thriving, with a remarkable number of skilled builders and a nationwide taste for cafe racers and classics.
Deus is probably the best-known builder, but there are smaller workshops worth seeking out, such as Mid Life Cycles. At the recent Australian Motorcycle Expo, Mid Life won the prestigious Just Bikes Bike Build Off with this lovely Honda CB77 (Super Hawk) cafe racer.
Mid Life’s Michael Catchpole describes the CB77 as a “California custom meets back-to-basics Sixties racer”. It certainly has the classic touches—including Tingate clip-ons, Brooks leather grips and Tomaselli rearsets. The ducktail rear, fork gaiters and old-school chrome are straight out of the 60s too.
The tank is original, complete with badges, but the seat is a fiberglass Ducati 750SS-style unit. A lightweight lithium Shorai battery hides in the tail. After testing different exhaust systems, Mid Life chose a set of after-market pipes—but the chrome was somewhat lacking. “The pipes cried out for ceramic coating in black,” says Mid Life’s Michael Catchpole, and they look much better for it. At the moment the carbs are stock CB77 units, but upgrades will be tested soon.
The headlight is a rare, original piece that Aprilia made in the early 60s for Ducati singles. (“It arrived from Mama Italia in all its chrome-shell-and-Bakelite-switch glory.”) A single speedo from Steve “Carpy” Carpenter is set within the curve of a bespoke billet-alloy triple clamp. And the wheels are genuine Borrani.
The CB77 is up for sale to fund Mid Life Cycles’ next project, and it’s priced “somewhere in the mid to high-teens”. Contact details are on the Mid Life website.
For more images and an excellent, detailed description of the build, visit the Just Bikes website.