Unstoppable: The CB750F café racer build that almost wasn’t

Stan Chen's 1975 Honda CB750F café racer
We’ve heard countless stories of custom motorcycle projects stalling, but the tale of this Honda CB750F café racer takes the cake. Its owner, Stan Chen, had to endure an eight-year wait before work could even begin on the bike—and he had to get the cops involved, too.

Stan originally picked up the 1975-model Honda CB750F intending to do some light café racer mods to it. He dropped it off at a friend’s workshop, and pretty soon the list grew to include an overbore and a few more mods. After a year, minimal progress had been made—and Stan’s friend stopped answering the phone.

Stan Chen's 1975 Honda CB750F café racer
“Fast forward to about 6 years after my ‘friend’ went MIA, I decided to go to the police station to just file a report that the bike was stolen,” Stan tells us. “The officer asked where the bike was, so I gave him the address not thinking much of it, since all the previous attempts to go to the shop failed. I waited in the station lobby for about 15 mins, when the receptionist asked if I was the bike’s owner.”

“I said ‘yes,’ and she said that the officer was at the shop and to head over immediately. I drove down there in my little BMW i3 and, sure enough, the officer had my ‘friend’ there and told him to return all my parts. Needless to say, I was not prepared at all to take a bike home in pieces in my car—or to even get the bike back at all.”

Stan Chen's 1975 Honda CB750F café racer
Stan stored the bike for another two years while he figured out what to do with it. Then he met Craig Marleau from Kick Start Garage at the OG Moto Show—a custom bike show held in downtown Los Angeles, that Stan co-founded. Stan’s faith in custom motorcycle builders was restored, and Craig was tasked with getting the CB750F café racer over the finish line.

The wait was evidently worth it. Stan’s CB750F looks immaculate, effortless fusing classic café racer aesthetics with several ultra-modern details.

Stan Chen's 1975 Honda CB750F café racer
The 48-year-old motor looks good as new and hides a slew of performance upgrades. There’s an 836 cc big-bore kit inside, using fresh pistons from JE Pistons. Stan also opted for billet valve tappets from J.Webster Designs, a new ignition and coils from Dyna, and a Ricks regulator/rectifier.

A row of Keihin CR29 carbs with K&N filters feeds the motor, while exhaust gasses exit through a burly four-into-two exhaust system. Johnny Nguyen at Upcycle Moto Garage fabricated the headers, terminating them in a pair of underslung Yoshimura cans.

Stan Chen's 1975 Honda CB750F café racer
The CB750F also sits lower and more purposeful now, thanks to a total reworking of its running gear. It now rolls on vintage Yamaha alloy wheels, measuring 19F/18R, and wearing Pirelli Sport Demon rubber. A single Beringer disc brake sits up front, with the Yamaha wheel’s drum brake doing duty out back.

The front forks have been lowered and re-fitted into a set of Cognito Moto yokes. The CB750F has shed its twin shocks too, in favor of a custom mono-shock setup with a 6” swingarm stretch.

Stan Chen's 1975 Honda CB750F café racer
Custom bodywork sits up top, in the form of an aluminum fuel tank and tail section. A row of bright LEDs acts as a taillight, while a swingarm-mounted bracket hosts the taillight. And if you’re looking for the oil, it’s now stored in a bespoke reservoir under the tail bump.

Just in front of it is a slim electronics tray. The whole bike’s been rewired with a simpler harness, running off a Motogadget controller.

Stan Chen's 1975 Honda CB750F café racer
A PIAA headlight lights the way out front, with a tiny Motogadget speedo embedded in the top yoke just behind it. The cockpit sports custom-made clip-ons with grips from Posh Japan, minimalistic push-button-style switchgear, and Beringer clutch and brake controls. The front brake’s hooked up via a custom hose from Spiegler.

The bike also wears discreet LED turn signals from Morimoto, and stylish rear-set foot controls from Cognito Moto.

Stan Chen's 1975 Honda CB750F café racer
The Honda’s color scheme is simple and striking, perfectly complementing its deeply contoured fuel tank and angular rear section. Powder blue dominates the bodywork, white striping matches the frame and wheels, and a hint of red on the saddle demands attention.

It’s a flawless livery to match this CB750F café racer’s equally flawless stance and proportions. Not bad for a bike that was almost lost forever.

Stan would like to thank Craig at Kick Start Garage, Johnny at Upcycle, Jay at Lossa Engineering, Cognito Moto, Beringer Brakes, Motul, and Pirelli Moto.

Stan Chen Instagram | Images by Viet Nguyen

Stan Chen's 1975 Honda CB750F café racer