I have been doing some reading into the life of Soichiro Honda, the founder of Honda who passed away in 1991. The man loved racing. In a previous article I voiced my opinion about the Japanese manufacturers’ unimaginative attempts at recreating modern versions of their classics. Corporate thinking maximises profits and minimises risk by removing individual creativity from the business model, often resulting in efficient products with no visible flair. It takes a free thinking individual like Soichiro Honda, not his corporation, to bring visible passion to their creations.
I bet you that Mr Honda would have loved the cafe racers being created by individuals around his Honda models of the ’70s and ’80s. He would surely not have been able to resist bringing his own interpretation into the market place. I wonder how similar his official Honda cafe racer would have been to this big budget KCR built Honda CB750 cafe racer.
This is the second Honda CB750 cafe racer built by KCR from Kempton Park that we have featured on Retro Write Up. Although the CB750s are a very popular choice for cafe racer treatment, it is unusual to see a version with a fairing fitted. The truth is that, back in the day, fairings were a popular aftermarket accessory and many of the Japanese bikes’ owners had them installed. The large rising sun graphic leaves no doubt to this machine’s country of origin, even if the fairing is off a Ducati Pantah.
KCR have not been afraid to bring modern aspects to a retro style. The look is very reminiscent of the endurance racers of the late ’70s. The black 4 into 4 exhaust system is pure racing. The modern wheels and tyres are off a Honda NSR250. The brakes are Brembos and the rear shocks are Marzocchi units. Only the best components are used on this cafe racer.
The aluminium tank and tail piece were specifically fabricated for this project, as was the oil tank. The single overhead cam (sohc) 750cc Honda engine is known as a “dry sump engine” which means oil is stored in an external tank and is pumped through the motor. The later model double overhead cam (dohc) engines have “wet sump engines”, meaning oil is stored in the sump of the engine. The original oil tank has been replaced on this motorcycle with a flat fabricated unit running across the frame behind the engine. This adds to the minimalist, racy looks of the cafe racer. KCR have set a very high standard with this cafe racer. They are known for their high end quality builds and this baby does not disappoint.
If Soichiro Honda was still around, we can only imagine what his creative influence and huge resources would have produced in a cafe racer. Thank goodness for other creative people who are able bring us their own individual interpretations.