For many a Honda CB is a logical choice to start their Cafe Racer project with. However normally people tend to use the CB’s of the seventies for the already Cafe Racer looks. Nelson did pick a Honda CB for his Cafe Racer project, but a CB750 F2, aka Seven Fifty, from the eighties/nineties.
Let’s dive into his Honda CB750 Seven Fifty Cafe Racer project.
When it first re-appeared in 1992, Honda’s latest CB Seven Fifty was a rather different beast from its 1960s namesake. The original CB750 was the first real superbike, and revolutionized the biking world – a rather tall order for an air-cooled retro roadster in 1992.
The CB Seven Fifty’s simple, unfaired chassis holds few surprises: a steel-tube cradle-type frame joins a twin-shock rear swingarm to the conventional telescopic front forks (based on the CBR600’s items).
Twin front disc brakes wear dual-piston calipers, while the twin piggyback rear shocks and 41mm (1.6in) air-assisted forks offer comfortable, soft handling.
The engine is similarly anonymous, despite its 747cc capacity and double overhead camshaft design. It is based on the mid-1980s CBX750 design, its 16-valve head uses hydraulic tappets for low maintenance, while producing a lower output than the CBX, down to 53kW (71bhp) from 67kW (90bhp) and uses a five-speed gearbox, one less than the CBX. The CB’s engine is willing enough at low to medium revs, but is less impressive at higher engine speeds: 145km/h (90mph) is its comfortable cruising limit. Windblast limits travelling much over 177km/h (1 lOmph), and the CB struggles to its 193km/h (120mph) maximum speed.
Styling and build quality are the CB’s strengths. A large round chrome headlamp
gives a classic look to the front end, and the deep paint finish and chrome megaphone exhaust impart a high-quality feel to the bike. A handy aluminium grabrail looks good as well as offering a secure grip for pillions and an easy-to-operate mainstand permits straightforward rear-end maintenance.
But for all its build quality and classic appeal, the CB Seven Fifty is a rather uninspiring machine, which would make it a great bike for an extreme Cafe Racer Make Over and Nelson couldn’t agree more.