From the “you don’t ssee that everyday” department. A CX500 Senna tribute bike.

Regular contributor Ken Fontenot sends in this rather unusual build.

Beaux Barfields CX500

Steve, I have a friend/customer that just finished building a Honda CX-500 Cafe Racer with a bit of a different twist to it. Beaux Barfield is the race director for Indy Car Series and builder of the bike, it was built in his garage at home. This bike is was built as a tribute to Formula 1 driver Ayrton Senna, and was done in Ayrton’s Black & Gold John Player Special Paint scheme with his number 12. Beaux did a fantastic job on the bike, and will proudly ride it around Houston and display it at a few special events. Here are a few words from him:
Tribute to a racing legend. Ayrton Senna. I couldn’t be more proud of how this bike turned out. Big shout out to Ken Fontenot, Gordon Rundle III, and Erik Contreras for making this one happen.

Here is a short Bio of Ayrton:

Ayrton Senna da Silva was born in Sao Paulo, Brazil to a wealthy family. When he was four years old his father Milton bought him a go-kart, and by age eight Ayrton was regularly competing in karting events. His career progressed quickly, and in 1982 he moved to England to pursue his racing. In 1984 he came to the attention of the whole world by racing in Formula One. Over the next ten years he won the World Championship three times and engaged in some controversial racing with France’s Alain Prost and England’s Nigel Mansell. Ayrton Senna was killed on 1 May 1994 in a race at the San Marino Grand Prix when his car, which had been beset with problems the entire season, inexplicably left the track and crashed into the concrete barrier. His was the last death in Formula One due to the major safety reforms that the tragic weekend at Imola had brought about. He was voted by over two hundred of his fellow Formula One drivers as the best driver of all time in a 2010 poll. Senna was also a humanitarian who discreetly donated millions to help those less fortunate in his native country.

Simply Fantastic CB160 Racer.

Another outstanding build from regular contributor Ken Fontenot and our friends at Cycle Sports of Houston. If I wasn’t too big for these little Honda’s I’d build one tomorrow.

Here it is with the recently posted Suzuki 2 stroke.  That’s a hell of a nice set!

Suzuki GT500 & Honda CB160

That exhaust is a work of art.
Honda '68 CB160 1

Honda Cb160 6

Honda CB160 2

Honda CB160 3

Honda CB160 4

Honda CB160 7

Honda CB160 8

Honda CB160 10

Honda CB160 11

Honda CB160 12

Honda CB160 5

Here are a few pics of the Honda CB160 Road Racer we have been building alongside the Suzuki GT500 for the last year. A few pics and a short Bio:

Honda ’68 CB160 Road Racer

A customer of ours decided he wanted to have fun doing some vintage racing. He looked at options and decided that the guys racing the Honda 160’s were having the most fun of all the classes in AHMRA (American Historic Motorcycle Racing Association) so he decided to find a bike and have something built. He found a stock ’68 Honda CB160 in San Diego in absolutly terrible condition, rusted badly and everything locked up. It was delivered to our shop here in Houston and we began by dissassembling the entire bike and evaluating everything… needed everything. We sandblasted the frame, cut off most of the unneeded parts, painted it gloss black and put it on a lift. From there we started either replacing, repainting, replating or refurbishing every part, nuts and bolts included as we put them back on.
Mark Shim owns several restaurants and when he is not riding one of the bikes in his collection or racing them he displays them in his restaurants…..Ya know, like art. So we decided this was going to be a VERY nice race bike with lots of attention to detail. We rebuilt the engine completely, put in 2mm oversize, higher compression pistons, new valve train, and replaced lots of worn out parts and did a lot more custom work that we won’t discuss. We painted the engine cases satin black, covers gloss black or polished, sanded the fins down and had a nice engine to bolt back in.
Mark handed a seat/tailsection to us that he bought years ago and said this is the color scheme. We painted the tank black & yellow to match, ordered a Dunstall 1/4 fairing, painted it, made custom brackets and bolted it all up. We had Shane Davis at graphtec make a set of tanks badges with the old dodge “Super Bee” as a guideline changed up to look like Mark with his vintage shorty helmet and goggles he likes to wear. They set the tank off really well! Thanks Shane!
We used slightly modified stock carbs, painted and polished them and got a set of really nice velocity stacks. John Easton over at Jemco Exhaust systems, down the street from us built a killer looking Exhaust system, had it nickel plated and I must say, its the best sounding 160 I have ever heard! He made a jig if anyone wants one of these systems he can build one for you. He can be reached at 713-461-3834.
We found some nice aluminum rims, powdercoated them gloss black, installed stainless spokes, race spec Avon vintage tires and wheels were ready. We found a ’74 TA-125 Yamaha road race front suspension, rebuilt it, made a few modifications, installed some tapered roller bearings, installed a set of Hagon rear shocks, new swingarm bushings and we had suspension. We rebuilt all the brakes, and made the hardware look as good as the rest of the bike. Marc LaNoue at Metal Cutting Specialties did all the waterjet work on the brake hubs and chainguard. Moto-Bits provided a set of rearsets that work really nice. All new handlebar controls, new cables, grips and kill switch and after about a year of messaging the rest of the parts and safety wiring everything we had a race spec ’68 Honda CB160 race bike that seems to work really well on the track and looks good on display. When not at the race track it can be seen at Kapop restaurant in Houston texas.
Thanks to all of our friends who helped with the build and a special thanks to Mike Valdez for setting up studio and taking the photos for us!

Ken Fontenot & Jeff Wisenbaker
Cycle Sports Ltd of Houston

A Totally Bitchin Cafe Honda from Iron Spade Cycles

I had promised this last week and got totally submarined at work. Sorry Travis. Absolutely bitchin build. I’m a big fan of the unpainted look and it works extremely well here.

What do you do when a client shows up with a half started project and an Ipad filled with pictures of another builders work in some far away state, and asks you to please finish the build and make it look just like this? At first I was a little perplexed, I had never been asked to build a bike just like something already finished and all over the interweb. Well sort of but not really. I wanted it to be different, special, with my own personal touches and not totally recognizable. Many of you might think this bike looks very similar to one created by James Crowe of Crowe Customs in Portland OR for the Tarantulas. I won’t deny it, she is strikingly similar, but in this economy who am I to turn down good paying work strictly on principal? So before I dove right in, I contacted James Crowe and explained that if he was vehemently opposed to it I would decline and insist with the client that we went a different direction. I think at first he was flattered that someone liked his work so much that they wanted to copy it.

A week after our first conversation I contacted him a second time to answer a couple questions and that is when he told me, “well if I were to do it again, here are all the things I’d do differently and why.” We had a great conversation and he suggested that some aspects of a project you just can’t foresee until it is completed and road proven. We agreed that placing the oil tank under the seat created several inherent problems that needed to be addressed. After some trial and error on his part he noted the necessary longer upper shock towers to increase rear wheel clearance without increasing rear end travel. Those two small parts insignificant parts had to be custom made and turned on a lathe and then welded to the stock Progressive shocks after literally cutting off the upper shock mounts.

Although Crowe used steel for his under seat oil tank, I chose aluminum. Mostly for the alloy fittings and filler cap I already had in my shop, and for the ease to hammer form the complex shape from just a couple pieces of material to reduce the amount of welded joints. I changed my oil tank design three times after each prototype showed other inherent problems. The outer seat shell is hammer formed steel that we intentionally left the welded seams slightly visible. It follows the oil tank contour with only a 1/4 inch air gap so the hot oil doesn’t transfer heat to the seat pan and ultimately the rider’s butt.

All the engine cases and covers were disassembled and shot with glass beads, while a new top end and head work were preformed by Harold’s Machine Shop in Richmond, TX. Only the chrome of the brand new Sun rims, the stock gauge trim rings and the new halo headlight assembly were left untouched. A Carpy 4 into1 exhaust system was polished with Scotch-Brite pads and 6 layers of VHT clear were applied, only to have it bake and discolor during the break-in period. The primer-less clear coat on the bare steel tank and seat is a special DuPont PPG DAU-75 with a hardener DX-80. Carbs were treated to an ultrasonic cleaning dip, a Dynojet stage 3 kit and a set of K&N pods added to keep her on the road. Hidden under the seat are the electrical components and an 8-cell Li-Ion Ballistic battery. A micro switch cluster on the left side clutch perch serves double duty with the engine start button and horn button routed through individual 30Amp relays. The LED halo was wired to be always on and is very brite with the headlight hi/lo having a kill switch for daytime running. Rearsets are Tarrozi’s and are well engineered but have to be completely disassembled to adjust and that is a two hour job I have done three times. Many late nights over the last year to complete this build, but we are really happy with how she turned out.

James Crowe does amazing work at Crowe Customs and is a very nice guy. He was quite helpful in the few conversations we had. I can only hope that if he see’s this he will feel I did him justice. Although imitation is the ultimate form of flattery, no one wants to be copied without recognition. Thank you for the opportunity to create a unique work of art. My client also thanks you for giving us a great inspiration to follow.

If you want to see more pictures of this project and other bikes I’ve created visit my work page on Facebook at

Thanks again Steve for taking the time to help expose each of us for our talents and abilities. Talk soon, Travis

Final 006

Final 007

Final 008

Final 009

Final 011

Final 013

A really Excellent CL77 Restoration

Thanks to Matt Krsul. Sorry about the foul-ups. I have a “legendary” (in a bad way) spam filter. Please do keep em coming!

I had sent this before as well as a couple others and never did see anything. I am resending this one.

A complete ground up restoration for a customer on this 1967 CL77 Scrambler. Customer did not want a “Perfect” one, but one he would be comfortable riding as well as showing.
Interesting sidenote: My father started the Honda Dealership in Butte in 1961. I remember Jim buying Honda’s at our family store back then. This was not one of them but a neat story non the less.
I have more bikes to send photos of as time permits.

Matt Krsul

Used 423

Used 425

Used 427

I like it! The “dominator” style seems to have some traction.

I keep measuring my DR650 along the lines of something like this. My dirt days are over and it’s already got motard wheels anyway…

William Weege writes in with his Honda version. Nice but my tailbone would need more padding.

My 1988 NX650 Steet “Tractor” inspired by Andrew Greenland of Wales Australia, Honda NX650 Dominator as seen on other blogs