In the early 60′s, the cafe racer was a prime element to British Rocker culture. While the Americans were bobbing their Harleys and Indians in the States, over in the UK, Triumphs, Nortons, and others were being modified in homage to MotoGP legends of the era. These bikes were plentiful and best of all, were strong at heart, simple in design, and aesthetically beautiful. Even as time progressed, the cafe racer scene was not ready to go away.
A few months back I caught the motorcycle bug and now I’m a proud owner of a stock 1979 Honda CB550 which will set the basis of my cafe racer build. The bike was acquired after months of searching advertising boards across different counties and luckily enough, I found one just 40 minutes away. As with many old cars and bikes, the CB550 I bought wasn’t perfect, but it ran reasonable as any vintage machinery would run. Yet, as a tuner at heart, this was an opportunity in restoring s vintage heart with a modern mindset. I was determined to restore, modify, and build my first motorcycle cafe racer build.
As the bike stands right now, it’s pretty much stock except for some K&N air pods. There’s plenty of body work that needs to be done to meet my standards. Likewise with age comes rust, so I’ll have to take care of that as soon as possible. Moving to the air/fuel scene, the carbs needs to be rebuilt and synchronized. I can’t believe I’m mentioning all these mechanically inclined task when my last project only revolved around: “buy bolt-in parts, install bolt-in parts.” The S14 build was easy compared to the territory that I will be traveling into and I’m quite thrilled about the new challenges.
This cafe racer build will revolve around the Fitted Life mentality of incorporating new ideals with a classic foundation. Likewise, the build will be done in-house and tailored to the design elements we embrace. I plan on engineering some new parts, building custom seats and tanks, and doing the paint job all in-house. It will be one of my greatest test as an artist and as a modern tuner. This will not be an easy “purchase-all” project, but rather a project that pushes my own limits.
Stay tuned to Fitted Life as we build this vintage heart into a modern inspiration for others. We can’t wait to hit the road and take on the coolest scenery that California has to offer.