I’ve featured Braam’s CX before and follow him on Instagram so when I saw some teaser pics of this CB550 from his brother Louis I was messaging them and asking for pics. BAM!! Here you go…
Over to Louis…
I am a professional accountant by trade and these garage builds are just a creative escape from my corporate day-to-day existence. Based in Nelspruit, South Africa….a small town with no custom biking scene to speak of, but with some of the best mountain roads suitable for riding in our country.
It all started a 2 years ago when I inadvertently spotted the “Wrenchmonkey’s CX500” on a random blog, after a week’s surfing and catching up on the Discovery Channels “Café Racer” series I was smitten, and had to build something. A CX500 was the first build and in conjunction with my brother (designer based in Brazil at the time) we acquired a ’82 CX500 custom and started with no prior experience customising a motorcycle. The internet and online communities are a great help and inspiration and scratching a little even small towns have people that have the required skill and passion to pull of even the most daring build. So on my brothers return from Brazil he used the CX as daily drive and the next project started…….a 1976 CB550f.
The CB was acquired as a failed restoration job from Johannesburg and bought in a few boxes. I had the bike professionally reassembled and in essence had a perfectly restored CB550f in the garage, the bike was indeed very special by all accounts but the emotional attachment just wasn’t the same as with the CB where actual hard labour achieved the result rather than a platinum credit card.
So the transformation began and I took to the rear frame with my mini grinder one weekend 6 months ago, to the absolute disgust of some forum members I should add. Well the transformation began and eventually the shopping list looked like this:
- Progressive series 12 rear shocks
- Excel 18” High Ribbed aluminium rims
- Firestone Champion Deluxe Rubber
- Renthal Low Road bars
- SuperTrapp muffler
- POSH Faith aluminium indicators
- POSH Faith rear light
- POSH Faith Gum Grips
- MotoGadget Tiny speedometer
The rear hoop, seatpan and foam was all fabricated in the garage an old upholsterer in town handled the leather work for the seat. On the tank the creative skills of my brother was used as well as some help of some experts in Durban were required on a old CB500 tank sent off for some “big flake” treatment.
The result has indeed been very pleasing and even some of the forum traditionalists are impressed with the transformation. The allure of fabricating something yourself is absolutely amazing, and the “emotional attachment” that was missing with the commissioned restore is back in bucket loads!
Photography by Sven Musica, http://www.svenmusica.co.za/