Wrenchmonkees Honda CB750

Honda CB750 KZ cafe racer by the Wrenchmonkees
Here’s an exclusive peak at the latest creation from the Copenhagen-based Wrenchmonkees. They’ve already made a name for themselves with Honda CB750 café racers, causing a stir last year when ‘Gorilla Punch’ appeared. But their latest CB750 is a budget customer project, rather than a full-on custom: the frame, wheels, fork, swingarm and tank have been left untouched. The base is a 1979 (KZ) spec bike, which has been given a new rear frame, bars, fender, and seat and battery box, plus a rewire. There’s plenty of power from the stock inline four motor—which breathes through four Keihin carburettors and puts out over 75 bhp—but new ‘Megatron’ mufflers and K&N filters will help the breathing still further. The starting price for projects like these is around 70,000 kroner (US$13,000) and up, which includes the donor bike. And because the structural modifications are minimal, the finished motorcycle is easier to register and get road approval. If you’re hankering after that signature monochrome Monkees look, this is a good place to start.

  • http://www.flickr.com/blueyes/ tony starr

    okay, who do i leave my deposit with?

  • http://www.peterlombardi.com Peter Lombardi

    now that’s just perfect!
    -peter

  • http://www.car137.com Glenn Edley

    A cool ‘custom’ you could afford and ride every day. Nice job Wrench Monkees.

  • sam

    *drool*, I’d love a CB750…

  • powermatic

    Looks good, and a good deal for someone with more money than time, but this is the sort of project that someone with a modicum of mechanical prowess, and no welding skills, could pull off for half the cost at most, and that’s starting with a very clean 750f. Or if you don’t need the Honda cache, for even less with a UJM whose popularity, and price hasn’t kept up the Honda’s.

  • heavy-duty

    Sweet! I like it – nicely sorted however I think I’d prefer black spoke wheels

  • Kozzy

    I normally like to WM’s work, but this one doesn’t do it for me. Maybe’s it’s seeing what the price tag is. I realize people have to make a living, but $13K for a stripped down/cleaned up CB750? A NICE donor bike’s what, a thousand bucks? Where’d they put the other 12?

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

    A CB750 of this era on eBay will go for between US$1,000 and $5,000, depending on condition. A thousand bucks will get something heading for the salvage yard.

    As with any bike, there’s always someone, somewhere, who can do it cheaper. It’ll have taken a fair few man-hours to make this machine, and on top of that, there’s the cost of the tools, the premises, the marketing and so on.

    Personally, I think it’s a good price. I’d be reluctant to buy a motorcycle that has been ‘done up’ by someone I don’t know. But I wouldn’t hesitate to buy a secondhand motorcycle that was originally created by a builder such as the Wrenchmonkees, or Deus, or Mecatwin. They have the reputation, the brand name and the consistency.

  • http://stusshots.blogspot.com/ Mike ‘Stu’ Stuhler

    Sweet ride! However, the ‘KZ’ line was Kawasaki, whereas the Honda’s were ‘CB.’ Just saying….

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

    Mike,

    ‘KZ’ was one of many suffixes used to differentiate between different CB750 models.

    It started with the CB750 Four K0 of 1969 and finished with the CB750 KA of 1980, I believe.

    This particular bike is a ‘KZ’, the 1978-9 model of CB750.

  • http://stusshots.blogspot.com/ Mike ‘Stu’ Stuhler

    I see said the blind man! HA!
    I remember the ‘K’ model CB line–they were released here in the states as the touring/custom models. The ’82 like my ’82 900F model came with a ten speed, dual shift tranny. And unlike the blacked out motors on the ‘F’ line they all had the standard engine finish.
    Great bikes, and like all of the CB DOHC’s were all but bullet-proof.

  • MaTa

    One thing some of you need to keep in mind with these guys and their prices are that that SOHC Hondas go for a LOT more money in other countries. On the SOHC4 forums I frequent (especially SOHC4.net), the fans in other countries are always bemoaning the under priced deals we can obtain here. So much so that I have heard of a couple guys that send shipping containers full of them overseas where prices are much higher-especially Japan.

    Also, personally I would never confuse the SOHC CBs with the later DOHCs. The SOHCs are of a higher build quality overall, IMHO, as I have worked on both and I don’t happen to be too impressed with the DOHCs. All sorts of little differences show up such as flimsy plastic side covers, more complicated, not-so-bullet proof engines (compared to the SOHC), etc. Plus, there are FAR more aftermarket parts available for the SOHCs including a plethora of NOS stuff from the ’70s (chopper and cafe’ accessories, hard tail frames, etc.) as well as currently produced items. Not nearly as much for the DOHCs.

    To each their own, but SOHC4s are an outstanding platform-especially for customizing, cafe OR chopper/bobber.

  • RetroGrouch

    For the asking price, they could’ve at least ditch those god awful Comstars.

  • earthling

    I guess I need to accept that I’m never going to enjoy the look of mags. Nice and clean (if a little standard at this point) job of bobbing off the fenders, side covers and “work out bench”. Hate the wheels though.

  • valvolux

    All the comments above are true, but I’m with chris, why are views based on price? What happened to just judging stuff on aesthetics only? To me, if someone gave me that bike, I would be totally stoked and WMs have produced one handsome looking bike. Though mata, like ya say as a cb owner … sohcs are the sh*t.

  • mingh

    hHard to miss a heartbeat over Yet Another CB Makeover.
    I’d have liked it better with WM’s trademark rusty tank. Now it’s a bit as if someone tried to copy their style in a mailorder-customizing way.

  • Kozzy

    Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to have that bike. It looks like it’d be a riot. But it does not have the style that made Wrenchmonkees a household name (around here) and if you attach a price to a bike, the price is just as open to comment as the bike. In the US, you could have a garage full of nice 750s for the price of that one. Copenhagen could be an entirely different story…

  • pushrodmofo

    Another great WM job if you ask me (OK, no one asked :)).
    re: pricing – as I’m sure everyone knows, it’s the labor not the parts. This bike was supplied, not included in the 13K. For folks that like to work on their own that sure is a lot of money, but for those who want the WM treatment? I’m sure it’s money well spent.
    These guys do great work and the attention to detail is great. While this job may have been a “budget customer project” it looks to me like it still involved a total tear-down with cleaning, paint / powdercoat, etc. and that’s a lot of hours.

  • http://cerberusmotorcycles.blogspot.com/ LeftLaneGuy

    Love it! Very simple, clean rebuild of a DOHC 750.
    Several points: Euro nations see higher pricing than the US. Labour, parts, outsourcing… All more expensive, via exchange rate. Exchange rate being what it is, doesn’t translate well to actual cost to local consumers. WM bikes are very nice, and as this ‘budget’ build attests, still costs a substanial sum- But, again we are talking about europe. Most people don’t have the facilities to do thier own work.
    DOHC’s are a lesser-built bike. Due to popularity, parts availability, and reliability/power. SOHC’s are commanding more dollars as well, due to ‘cult’ status. Still a nice bike, but not as desired as the older versions.
    Cost of build- My first reaction was ?? as well to a $19k pricetag… But again, it’s converted to US dollars… A good-quality custom job like this, if done by a shop, would cost similarly… Comparing to what Joe Rider would spend himself isn’t a fair pricing comparison. For example, my personal CB has a build sheet of almost $15k. If I’d built the same bike for someone else, I’d ask $20k+ Sure, for an old bike, that sounds excessive, but it is what it is. Clean custom jobs realisticly should fetch in the $5-8k range stateside.
    Comstars. Sure, not my cup o’ joe either, as I prefer laced wheels, but the Comstars are EXCELLENT wheels in strength, weight, and reliability.. Not to mention tubeless.

    Very nice bike. Too bad there isn’t anyone building bikes like this in the US… Oh wait…..

  • kim scholer

    Kozzy & others who commented about the cost; Denmark has very high taxes on registered vehicles (about 200% of cost at border), a high VAT/sales tax of 25%, and on top of that labour costs are higher than in most countries. Minimum wage runs at about $12 at the current exchange rate. The price of a Wrenchmonkees bike reflect that. (I’ve been to their workshop a few times, and I didn’t see any Ferraris parked outside)

  • michael

    given i have that same model, should i bide that off myself?

  • http://bikernetmetric.com trent reker

    chris, even if you are right and the donor bike would cost as much as 5k, that would be because it would be pristine, and why would you want to chop a cherry?

    (insert porn reference here)

    so let’s say 2k for the average cb750 because here in austin, all the cb750’s, whether stock or already tricked to be cafe, are 2k or less (some with less than 10,000 miles!). do your own research on craigslist and ebay and see it’s true throughout the usa. so, to paraphrase kozzy, where’d they put the other 11?

    the exchange rate? bummer for them and not my problem. their stuff doesn’t appeal to americans because it’s so overpriced. especially considering the frame, wheels, forks and tank are o.g.

    oh, that’s right. if they did that, it would be 30k. whatever. if they cost so much more overseas, then i’ll stick to guys like carpy in cali who’ll make one for 13k but it will have custom wheels, forks, tanks, a killer paint job and much more.

    buy american! unless you’re austrailian. or germanican. or something.

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

    There’s always someone, somewhere, who can build something cheaper.

    Firstly, check Kim’s comment above about the tax situation in Denmark. Secondly, I did actually check eBay, and found that CB750s usually have a Buy It Now for $3.5-4.9k, with pristine examples going for a whopping $18-26K. Thirdly, the Wrenchmonkees put the rest of the money into earning a living and paying their overheads. Which are not cheap in Copenhagen.

    As for the bike not being popular in the US, the piece about it on our Facebook page broke the record for the number of ‘likes’—over 100 so far—and a very large proportion of those ‘likes’ are from Americans.

  • http://cerberusmotorcycles.blogspot.com/ LeftLaneGuy

    @Chris- You, Sir are correct. On all counts. The stripped-down ‘cafe’ thing has gotten huge in the US of late. Sure, bikes that *used* to be available for sub-$2k ‘merican are all going for substantially more now-a-days. The things I keep seeing/reading/hearing about bikes like WM’s (and others) that sound ‘negative’ usually come from keyboard jockeys that wish they could do anything creative or artful with thier own pile-of-scrapmetal. There are some truly talented people out there, and in the case of the WM crew, they happen to be trying to make a living at it. $3-6k for a personal bike is fair. $10-15k for one to be built for you is reasonable. A total rebuild (not the above bike in question) is going to fetch $20k plus… In the US… It is not uncommon. Most people (yes, MOST) do not have the skills to build bikes, let alone bikes like we’re talking about. I invite ANYONE who thinks they can do one better (hell, like this) for cheaper… Send it in! Quit talkin’ about it, and show us how it should be done….

  • http://bikernetmetric.com trent reker

    i understand all that, chris. the exchange rate especially (like i wrote, “not my problem”). and i never wrote that i didn’t like it. it’s cool, but i’ve seen tons of bikes that looks very similar to this. it’s very clean. wm does that very well. i appreciate that mucho plethora ga-joob.

    but the exchange rate between dollars and denmark whachamacallits isn’t my problem. it just makes their stuff out of reach. again, carpy does stuff that’s just as cool, with as much attention to detail, with better paint and custom body parts, for 13 to 15k. not 35k, like wm.

    i know the “worn” look is the new thing, but oiling up a rusty tank and charging the prices wm does for stuff like that seems out of line to me, even considering the relative worth of our currencies. i know this one is actually painted, but you should all know what i’m writing about.

    say all you want about them and make all the excuses you can, it’s just too much money when you can get the same quality for half the price. if it isn’t too much money for some of you, good for you. regardless, i commend wm for staying in biz. i am a fan of most of their work. this one just doesn’t do it for me, man. seen it before a dozen times in the last month. and for a fraction of the price. that’s all.

    i blame the wto.

  • http://cerberusmotorcycles.blogspot.com/ LeftLaneGuy

    @ trent-
    LOL! yeah, i blame the wto too… hehe!

    BUT, the thing is, as well… WM isn’t trying to sell bikes in the US. Neither is Deus Ex. So… Until someone Stateside starts doing it, on the same level (marketing/image/style/etc.) and starts getting play on the Blogs… We’ll not see the ‘true’ pricing that you (and I for that matter) are expecting.

    Yes?

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

    I’ve just posted an explanation of the effect exchange rates have on pricing in a comment on the Triumph Bonneville Tridays piece. In short, European pricing is irrelevant to US readers in practical terms, because of the current strength of the Euro and the different tax systems in Europe.

    If this becomes a recurrent theme, I’m going to have to stop showing indicative dollar translations—they’re more trouble than they’re worth. There are plenty of economics websites out there!

  • http://bikernetmetric.com trent reker

    LeftLaneGuy:

    yes.

    and chris, if you want to publish stuff without economic standards, you’re elitist because price doesn’t matter to you.

    we’ll continue to be irrelevant to europe and australificatornators ga-joob. forget the last two world wars. build them for yourselves. come at us again, europe. we get more cool shit from our own shores and japan to consider your prices. we get our own home-made custom bikes for half what you charge.

    2012 is coming euro boys and the united states is going to wail. even if we’re riding yamaha xs650’s.

    i’m working on a patent for a handlebar-mounted 9mm automatic with 100 rounds in the chamber. mel gibson’s got nothing on the usa. muah ha ha ha ha!

  • valvolux

    chris, i think you made a valid point, its a shame to read that last comment.
    Trent, i think you just summed up about everything that’s wrong with america at the moment.

  • michael

    I THINK THIS BIKE IS COOL! PERIOD.

    seriously guys, cant we just enjoy the damn bike and get on with it? if it looks too damn hard to do , go buy a 750 and take it to a shop where they are willing to do the job for cheap. geezus.

  • http://bikernetmetric.com trent reker

    val; where is it that you are from? australia, i’m going to guess. you know, i’ve never met an aussie i didn’t like but it’s easy to make remarks about america if you’ve never been here or assume things based out of stereotypes. i know you don’t get my humor, but chris knows me on a little bit of a personal level and understands that i like to stir the pot a bit, especially after a few beers.

    my sober first-thing-in-the-morning with a strong cup of coffee thought is that i’m looking out for my country and that means “buy american.” please don’t quibble over jap or brit motors and no, i am not a harley sheep. i just know folks here building killer brit and jap choppers, bobbers and cafes for less than 15k. it’s just a fact.

    michael; you are right. it’s a nice bike. if i drop the cost in my evaluation of it, it’s cool and so is everything the monkees do. i like “last train to clarksville” best.

  • RichMurdoch

    1. they are building bikes and creating demand for them

    2. they’re doing it well

    3. people love the bikes (me included)

    4. the key word is ‘value’, not in the way of “oh yeah the donor costs this, the spray costs that, their coffee beans cost the other”, but in the way of “that’s an ace bike, i love it and i dont have enough spare time, tools, space and skill to build it so i’m gonna pay them what it’s worth to me to be able to pick the keys up and ride it everyday, not spend endless saturdays in the garage buggering about with a leaky old bike.

    5. the end.

  • http://bikernetmetric.com trent reker

    hey rich,

    1. absolutely.

    2. obviously.

    3. me included, too (cost excepted). don’t know how many times i have to write that.

    4. what constitutes “value” is a subjective term with numerous variables i no longer care to enumerate for those without the foresight to contemplate them without me holding their hands and pointing to the obvious they refuse to see. i can get a killer, more-customized-than-the bike-above for less money that is perfectly reliable from a renowned builder.

    5. obviously not.

  • RichMurdoch

    6. ok then

  • http://www.adnauseum.net Christian

    Hey everybody. I read through the comments and didn’t see my question, but please excuse me if its overlooked, and already been called out. I have a 77 Yammy XS650, I am starting to mod it a bit by myself and like this seat. What do they call this style of seat? Thinner than the stock ones, Typically I see them with the ribbed stitiching like above. Anyboody know a manufacturer. I see tons of Cafe Bubble-style seats for sale and bobber saddles. But havent found a good lead on this one. WM seems to use it alot. Much appreciated. Cheers.

  • http://cerberusmotorcycles.blogspot.com/ LeftLaneGuy

    Christian,
    This particular seat-style has yet to be defined… It’s more of a custom-thing lately… AFAIK, they are all custom-built for the bike. Any good upholstery shop can make one. You make the base, and take ‘em a pic of what you want. Anywhere from $80-300 depending on the shop…

  • http://www.adnauseum.net Christian

    Ahhhh… So, you’re telling me I’m a sucker for the trend. Got it. ;) Thanks for the info.

  • balls mcfurry

    small penis huh trent?

  • http://bikernetmetric.com trent reker

    nice retort. bet you got all a’s in skül with the debate team.

  • Francois

    They left the Comstars because of wheel compatibility issues with spokes. They would have had to machine the sprocket to fit a spoked rear and swapped forks to get one on the front, I guess that wasn’t in the budget. The owner defiantely should have sprung for CR carbs instead of those awful stock CVs. The bike is incredibly similar (even the same tank treatment) as a 900 I am building at the moment. It will have cost me about $2500 NZ when allis said and done, that includes the donor.

  • felix

    I think this is good bike other than bikes
    This cost also so pretty

  • Jason

    This may be a silly question but here it goes. Where is the oil tank? The oil tank belongs where the battery is.

  • http://www.flickr.com/blueyes tony starr

    here’s a interesting comparison between this and the new CB1100.

    http://cb1100.tumblr.com/

  • Cam

    Yeh, where is the oil tank. Hiding the oil tanks worth $10,400. Where is it?

  • houston

    DOHC hondas dont have an oil tank its all in the engine.

  • http://twitter.com/carn3r0 carnero

    Based on this design i am creating my own ;-)

  • Tim Graham

    I’d love to know where the oil tank is too. My DOHC honda cb750 has one.