Likes to race old junk.
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Innisfail, Alberta and Baffin Island, Nunavut Territory, Canada
Motorcycle: Singles, Twins, a Triple, Four's, a Six and an Eight!
1979 Honda CBX 1000 Cafe Racer
There's a long list of bikes from the 60's, 70's & 80's that I hope to own and enjoy at some point in my life. I kick myself for not buying early Z1's, RZ's and RG's when they were so cheap, 'cause they've gone through the roof.
I'm fortunate to have been able to fill my garage up with some interesting vintage bikes, but it's getting full in there, and I said no more unless I was going to let something go, in order to make room for another...that didn't last long.
Last June, I saw pictures of a scruffy '79 CBX on-line and mulled it over for a few days. It was too far gone to justify a proper restoration back to original specs, but I figured it was perfect for what I wanted...a period 70's Café Racer. Back in the days of the "Universal Japanese Motorcycle", if you wanted a sport bike, you "rolled your own". I've never cared too much if my vintage bikes are totally original, I've always leaned more towards period correct performance parts and modifications. If I'd had my 305 Superhawk back in the 60's, it would have had megaphones etc and naturally my H1 500 would have had expansion chambers back in the day too. And the same can be said for tracking down Yoshimura pieces for my '86 GSXR 1100.
The shop in Calgary were firm on $2500. I knew it was incomplete, but it was a runner and I knew it was unlikely that I'd run across a CBX project again for that kind of money. I started poking around on eBay to see what was available. So I grabbed a trailer and ran down to have a closer look, the ad pictures didn't do it justice. It was bastardized beyond expectations, I never realized it had a "wide glide" front end. Years ago, there was a local custom shop that built a lot of bad choppers and bobbers, based on Japanese bikes, because they were cheap.
My "new" CBX was a victim of that shop, I'm surprised that someone paid to have this thing commissioned, but... "it takes all kinds", or some crazy bullshit like that.
It was obvious that the back of the bike had been "bobbed", I figured we could just weld in a new hoop to fix that. The gas tank was puzzling, it has the original bottom to fit the unique CBX trellis frame, but I was told that someone had grafted a huge Yamaha skin over the top. I spent a long time going over the front end. An intrepid craftsman had fabricated crude upper and lower trees and lavishly dipped them in chrome. The fork tubes were now spaced out an extra couple of inches on either side. In order to use the original brake rotors, giant aluminium hockey puck spacers had been placed on either side of the rim. The front fender had also been modified with a chunky bracket to meet up with the forks, again strangely crude but someone went through the trouble and expense of chroming it. I get the whole wide glide front end concept, but it looked silly with the stock spindly forks and skinny front wheel. I was satisfied that I could build something with it. Then they started it up, it idled fine and they revved it up...6 cylinder bike engines have a unique scream...I was sold and brought it home.
I stuck it in the corner of the garage and started collecting pieces for it.