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Super Six: A Honda CBX 1000 from France

Super Six: A Honda CBX 1000 cafe racer from France
Despite the fact that motorcycles seem to keep getting bigger, the six-cylinder engine layout has never really caught on. Only a handful of bikes have employed it, and these days it’s reserved for mammoth tourers. That gives the Honda CBX 1000 a touch of the mythical.

Even though it was eventually outsold by the CB900F, the CBX 1000 was Honda’s flagship sportbike at the time. These days, it’s fast approaching cult status—which is why Dimitri at Lys Motorcycles picked one to customize.

Super Six: A Honda CBX 1000 cafe racer from France
Based in the northern French region of Hauts-de-France, Dimitri has been building custom motorcycles for a while but it’s only been a full-time gig for the past year. So he needed a personal bike that he could show off at events, and the CBX 1000 sprung to mind.

“I chose the CBX for the engine,” he tells us, “and especially the sound of the six cylinders. With the FCR carbs and six-into-one exhaust, it’s like a Formula One car. And except for the Kawasaki Z1300 and the BMW K1600, inline-six cylinders are not common in a motorcycle.”

Super Six: A Honda CBX 1000 cafe racer from France
Dimitri started with a 1982-model CBX—the upgraded model that featured Honda’s Pro-Link mono-shock system. Since he squeezed the work in between client projects, it took him a year to wrap it up … but he put that time to very good use indeed.

His idea was to blend modern and classic elements, while keeping the vibe aggressive. Top of his list was to narrow the bike to showcase the monstrous power plant, and to give the CBX running gear worthy of its beastly reputation.

Super Six: A Honda CBX 1000 cafe racer from France
To that end, Dimitri installed a set of Öhlins upside-down forks, held in place by custom-made yokes. They’re hooked up to the front wheel and radial Brembo brakes from an Aprilia RSV1000R.

The CBX’s new rear end is the real standout though: Dimitri managed to wedge in the single-sided swing-arm, shock, wheel and brake setup from a Ducati 1098.

Super Six: A Honda CBX 1000 cafe racer from France
It wasn’t exactly a plug-and-play conversion. The entire rear section of the frame was rebuilt with a new shock mount and subframe. Plus, Dimitri had to tweak the frame more, and add an offset pinion, to perfect the wheel and chain alignment.

The bodywork didn’t go untouched either. Dimitri smoothed out the part of the fuel tank that joins with the OEM seat, and trimmed its lower section. Then he wrapped it in carbon fiber and added a Monza gas cap for a classic touch.

Super Six: A Honda CBX 1000 cafe racer from France
The carbon fiber rear cowl is a custom part, and features a black leather seat from ADCsellerie, a frequent Lys Motorcycles collaborator.

Lurking under the cowl is a slew of new electronic components: a Lithium-ion battery, a Motogadget m.unit controller, and the starter relay. The whole bike’s been rewired, and there’s a Motogadget keyless ignition too, with the contact point installed inside the seat.

Super Six: A Honda CBX 1000 cafe racer from France
The cockpit features aftermarket clip-ons, with even more Motogadget parts—including grips, switches and turn signals, and a digital speedo sunk into the top yoke. The master cylinder’s a Brembo unit, and the headlight uses a classic housing with LED internals. A pair of Tarozzi rearsets rounds out the controls.

Even though Dimitri built the CBX 1000 for show, it had to go too. So he also overhauled the motor with new seals and gaskets throughout, and checked and adjusted clearances. The carbs were swapped for Keihin FCR33s with velocity stacks, and the exhaust is a custom-built six-into-one stainless steel system.

Super Six: A Honda CBX 1000 cafe racer from France
“It brings a few more HP to the engine,” says Dimitri, “and completely changes the sound of the six cylinders.”

The stance and parts spec of this Honda demand enough attention as it is, so Dimitri has wisely picked relatively subtle finishes. A whole lot of parts were redone in satin black, with some of the engine getting a wrinkle black treatment. An artist friend, Didoo, then laid down some gold leaf work, before four layers of clear coat were added for a glossy finish.

Super Six: A Honda CBX 1000 cafe racer from France
We’re big fans of the excessive sportbikes of the late 70s and early 80s. This CBX 1000 is a fitting homage to the era, and one hell of a portfolio piece. It’s bound to turn heads at shows—and on the street. Let’s hope it brings in more work for this undeniably talented builder.

Lys Motorcycles | Facebook | Instagram | Images by Ecrismoideslueurs

Super Six: A Honda CBX 1000 cafe racer from France

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