Month: June 2013

A Simply Epic (and well documented) CB550 Cafe from flying J Customs.

Monster thanks to Jason Moore for sending in this outstanding build. If you didn’t read his full description below then you missed the link to his very thorough build thread over on SOHC. Go check it out. If that doesn’t get you in the mood to build a custom then nothing will. An while you’re at it check out his Website Flying J Customs For more fantastic shots and builds.

This has me in the mood to get back in the shop.

I bought this bike 5 years ago. It was on craigslist and was a non running pile of junk. I fixed it up for my girlfriend, now wife, to ride. At least that was my intent. But after i finished building a cafe racer out of my very first bike,a CB750F, I had discovered what some would call an obsession for building bikes. So with the 750 done I turned my attention to the CB550. I stripped it down and started to work out in my head and on photoshop what I wanted the bike to look like. My inspiration was drawn from websites like pipeburn and tons of google searches for cafe racers. I wasn’t totally sure what I wanted until I talked to Richard from TAB Classics. He sent me a picture of a cb550 frame with the norton sprint tank on it and I was sold. Then I found the fairing on ebay and things just started to snowball. I didnt want to just build a good looking bike I wanted it to be fast too so the motor was ported and bored out to a 592 with a hot cam and a dyna 2000 electronic ignition with mini coils were added. I towed the bike 4 hours to Los Angeles to have the exhaust custom built. The rest i did my self. I did all the welding on the frame, built the motor, wired the bike from scratch, laced both aluminum 18″ wheels, ect. I added a second disc and caliper for improved braking as well as having the discs drilled and lighted by 2 lbs each.

Its taken me 5 years to build this bike. I have restored or cafe’ed 6 other bikes and sold them since i started this bike to help pay for this one. They served as funding as well as practice to hone my bike building ability.

Here is my start to finish build thread, its a little long but has lots of pictures.
and website

The details on the bike.
> Hand built for this bike norton sprint tank and matching seat.
> Aluminum fairing from japan
> 18″ aluminum Excel rims and stainless spokes
> Aluminum clip ons
> Aluminum velocity stacks
> Raask Rearsets
> Acewell speedo/tac
> Dual front disc with lightened and drilled rotors
> 61mm, 10.5:1 pistons bump it up to 592cc
> Mildly ported head and matched intakes
> hot street cam
> Dyna 2000 ignition and mini coils
> Light weight Shorai Battery
> Modern regulator rectifier
> 4-4 stainless header replica race exhaust.

I hope you don’t mind Jason but it was such a nice shot I couldn’t resist having a little fun with your original shot in Lightroom.

Here’s the original photo.
Flying J Original

And here’s me having a bit of fun.
Flying J

Some B&W
Flying J

Oh and here is the before pic! You have some skills sir!

The awsome power of….The Honda Mini-Trail.

I suppose in terms of sales it might have been King Kong there for a while.

AKA the Z50, AKA the “Monkey Bike”. I started on a Z50 myself about 40 years ago. Gave the bike to a friends little brother at some point. Last I heard it was still going strong. Those tires were a PITA to change.


An excellent RX-K 135cc Yamaha Cafe from Malaysia.

I’m getting a real soft spot for the small cc customs and this is certainly no exception to that.  More proof that it does not take huge money and big cc to build a cool bike. Congratulations Amli. name is Amli from Malaysia..this is my weekend project..just completed 3 weeks ago..This bike originally is Yamaha RX-K with 135 cc..I decided to convert it to Cafe Racer..This is the end of the weekend project.