OK, you carved out that spot in the garage, you have some room, a nice set of tools, a workbench, everything you need to build your own little classic cafe racer, something with a bit of panache and classic good looks. What’s missing? Well, let’s face it, with a lot of us, it’s the skill necessary to figure out what bike to start with, what to modify, how to modify it, and of course, our actual hands on skills in the metal work or fiberglass departments aren’t much either. Dang! Well, before you kick your dog, slam the door and start watching TV, how about building your own CR-450 Clubman Cafe like the one shown here?
Phil Little, of Phil Little Racing, he’s the guy that put together the slick SXR Street Tracker kit for your Sportster, has once again done some magic, this time with the Honda CB450 and CL450 twins, those old tried and true friends you can find all over the place for very little money, like in your friend’s garage or in the back of the used section at your local dealer. Way back in 2003, Phil started this project and just this year finished it, you know how that goes, but, like his other offerings, it looks like a tastefully modified Honda with a lot of the cool factor engineered right in, yet, you can build one of these yourself. Imagine riding over to your local bike night, everyone loves your new wheels and you can say, “Yep, built it myself.” No one else will have one, everyone will think you’re some kind of super talented fabricator and don’t worry, you’re secret is safe with me.
Once you have an old CB/CL450, you’ll be like the Honda Kid following Mr. Miyagi’s rules, “Bolt off, Bolt on,” of course, you’ll need some elbow grease and time, too, old donor bikes tend to need some cleanup and care, but you knew that going in. I think this is a very nice resto-mod of the old Honda and it fits in nicely with the slow economy, a project for the “hands on” kind of guy, even if your building skills are less than expert.
Here’s the press release:
Mid sized Japanese bikes are ideal custom project candidates because host bikes and parts are plentiful and cheap. Performance and handling are locked in time but who cares…a bike like this is just rolling art anyway.
This CB-450 café was started in 2003 by Phil Little. The build was to be a showcase for his CR450 body kit and hard parts. The bike’s completion, in 2010, came after the Omar product line was purchased by Robert Ward of Concord, CA. Little now makes street tracker kits for Sportsters at PhilLittleRacing.com
Honda CB450 or CL450 motorcycles need no modification to accept the Omar kit. Other than fabricating a mount for the tail fender, the café kit is a simple bolt-on project. Builders do not have to pull engines or paint frames.
Most of the needed CR450 café products can be sourced from OmarsDTR.com: fairing, café bars, bar end mirrors, tank, tail, taillight, shocks and 2-into-1 exhaust. The front fender is a reshaped www.maiers-mfg.com ABS fender mated to the OEM CB450 fender brace. The CR450’s paint is Ford’s High Performance Red. The Clubman parts will fit motorcycles other than the CB/CL450.
On its first public showing, the bike won Best in Class at a Minnesota VJMC meet. Phil Little has been a custom builder of vintage motorcycles for 45 years and many of his projects can be seen at PhilLittleRacing.com/toys.