The original Honda CB750 Four is one of the most sought-after bikes to customize. And it’s not hard to see why: classic 1970s style, peerless performance for its era, and that legendary Honda engineering.
It also means it’s getting harder to find a good, serviceable SOHC CB750 for reasonable money. Anything under $4,000 is likely to need remedial work, and a pristine 1969 example with the ‘sandcast’ engine will set you back three times that.
With CB750 Four values escalating, the stereotypical checkered-stripe-and-clip-ons CB custom is on the wane. The best builders are now putting more thought into their CB750 builds, as befits the first production motorcycle to crack the 200 kph (124 mph) barrier. So take a look at these five customs from the USA, Europe and Australia. Each one puts a unique spin on the ‘world’s first superbike.’
WRENCHMONKEES GORILLA PUNCH If there’s one bike that put the Danish masters on the map, it’s ‘Gorilla Punch’ (above and top). Four years ago, this CB750 made the custom world sit up and notice, and not just because it’s the first time whitewalls have looked good on a post-War bike. The engine gets a healthy power boost from Keihin CR29 carbs and a straight-through exhaust system, and the bodywork is all-new new. There are too many custom parts to list, from the triple trees up front to the extended swingarm out back, and a complete new brake system in between. ‘Gorilla Punch’ was put on display at at Kunst Industri Museet, the Danish Museum of Art & Design, and today it lives in Dubai. Hopefully it’s being ridden as it was intended. [Wrenchmonkees]
STEVE ‘CARPY’ CARPENTER’S CYCLONE Carpy is the world’s pre-eminent CB750 specialist, and a real character to boot. An expat Londoner living in the USA, he’s known for his jovial personality as much as his bike builds. But there’s little this guy doesn’t know about building CB750s. ‘Cyclone’ is his tour-de-force, a bike that has been stripped down to its core components and painstakingly rebuilt with a nod to the traditional ‘Ace Café’ genre of customs. [More about this bike | CB750 Café]
MOTOHANGAR 1976 CB750 Pat Jones knows how to make a bike look good, but this has got to be the most arresting of all Motohangar builds. The biggest stroke of genius was fitting a Kawasaki KZ tail, instantly giving the CB750 a rakish stance—accentuated by the edgy graphics and monochrome paint and powder. It’s an unapologetically ‘new wave’ build, complete with pod filters, pipewrap and Firestones, but we don’t care. With ample power on tap to match the brutal looks, this bike has attitude by the bucketload. [More about this bike | Motohangar]
HOUSE ROCKERS This Japanese workshop is not well-known in the West, but should be. It builds CB750s with a strong performance slant, starting with seriously hot-rodded engines. This one is sporting a forged crank, big valves, a Wiseco 836cc kit and Yoshimura-tweaked carbs. The suspension on has been upgraded too, with new Kayaba forks up front, Öhlins out back, and magnesium wheels. It might look a little high-ridin’—but this is a CB750 built for pure speed. [More about this bike | House Rockers]
EXTREME CREATIONS DICK MANN REPLICA Dick Mann was one of the all-time AMA racing greats, and there are several CB750 replicas bearing his name. This, in our opinion, is one of the best. It was built by the Australian shop Extreme Creations, and promptly delivered to the Deus studio for a shoot before it went on sale. As a transformation, it’s beyond reproach: the donor CB750 was a complete wreck, and the result is jaw-dropping. The frame was blasted back to bare metal, the bodywork is hand-formed, and beautiful details are everywhere you look—including a CNC-machined stator cover with a sandcast finish. Automotive jewelry of the highest order, with performance to match. [More images of this bike | Extreme Creations]
Our previous Top 5 covered the Moto Guzzi Le Mans.