When Honda brought out the CB750 in 1969 they may not have imagined it continuing until 2003 and having another version released in 2007 or just how influential it would be on the industry.
Amongst the accolades the CB750 is included in the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Classic Bikes; was in The Art of the Motorcycle exhibition, and is in the UK National Motor Museum. The Society of Automotive Engineers of Japan, Inc. rates the 1969 CB750 as one of the 240 Landmarks of Japanese Automotive Technology.The CB750 was also named in the Discovery Channel's "Greatest Motorbikes Ever" and was the first motorcycle to be called a "superbike."
It should come as no surprise that the CB750 is now a staple in the custom bike world as a solid platform for all forms of custom builds.
Amongst bike builders in Dubai Alan Boyter is known for radically changing an original bike into high quality custom bikes working from his home workshop.
Alan bought this 1980 CB 750 locally with roughly 20,000 miles on the clock. During a thorough look around the recently finished build Alan told us that “the bike was in good condition and seemed to have been restored previously but from the looks of it some later work had been a bit of a botch job so there was a lot to do to make it right.” Knowing Alan that meant a lot of stripping, chopping, manufacturing and a lot of attention to detail.
There wasn’t going to be much left of the original frame when Alan decided that the build was going to be a hardtail. What was left was roughly the front ¼ with the rest of the frame sourced in kit form from the US and fabricated onto the original frame remnants along with the numerous brackets and fixing that had to be welded in place.
The front end was then attached but not that of the CB750. The original Honda stem was retained but the front end came from a Triumph Bonneville – another of the world most popular bikes for custom builds. The front mudguard is from a Moto Guzzi on a modified Bonneville mount to account for the larger Shinko tyres.
The engine was a typically solid CB750 inline four cylinder from Honda. “It seemed like the engine hadn’t been running on all four cylinders for a while. After balancing the carbs and getting the engine running one of the pipes was still cold – a sure sign that the cylinder isn’t firing. I tracked down a pin on one of the electrical connectors that had been pushed back, realigned it and she fired up on all four.” With the engine running it was stripped back, powder coated and polished by SebSports in Dubai coming back looking better than new!
The electronics were always going to be a restart from scratch. The original loom was stripped out and replaced with new Honda plugs and connectors and a complete new set of wiring build by Alan. The clean looks of the wiring really add to the look and value of the bike. This is a factory quality build to the finest detail!
The detail and quality extends to the battery and electrics housing. A home build ‘oil tank’ with a cylinder gas tap top holds the battery and ignition. Below that a cut down ammo box contains the remainder of the electronics.
Another home built part was the 4 into 4 exhausts. With the hardtail frame there is no ‘off the shelf’ exhaust that will fit and the vision was to have shotgun style exhausts running down both sides. After hunting Dubai and failing to find someone with a pipe bender and mandrel of the right size, Alan had no choice but to build each one from scratch.
The rear end of the bike is a rear mix of parts that have come together to set up this masterpiece. There’s the rear wheel from a Triumph Bonneville, a Triumph America hub carrier, the sprocket from a Suzuki Hayabusa and a 530 chain, and the discs from a Triumph Daytona 675R.
“To get the rear wheel aligned and the chain running straight I had to fit the sprocket backwards and manufacture 4 wheel spacers and a new brake carrier from stainless steel on a water jet. I also installed a Go-kart master cylinder with a custom linkage to keep the look tidy.
Other fine points that bring out the best in the best are the Honda Unicorn throttle and clutch cable from a Honda CRF 450. Both of these were used to minimize the look of slack or hanging cables that can often make the front of a bike look untidy.
The clutch mount was manufactured and generic forward control pegs purchased then powered coated to match the rest of the bike.
Almost without exception Alan did all the build and manufacturing work in his home workshop. For paint the bike was sent out to SebSports where the final touches were put to the frame and parts including some excellent work renewing the original Honda badge.
The leather seat installed and all major parts bushed in leather the attention to detail on the bike doesn't go unnoticed. This may be a 1980 CB750 at heart but it is in essence an all new bike and one of the best builds we’ve seen in Dubai from a home-based builder. With this build the original superbike has evolved, been refined and rebuilt.
Test runs of the CB 750 have proven the strength of the original motor and the overall build. The bike runs very well on all four cylinders now and is sitting ready for a new home. Anyone looking for a hardtail bobber with unique looks and the pedigree and history that puts most modern day cruisers to shame would do well to pay attention to this bike!