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1975 Honda CB200T Café Racer


Posted on May 17, 2011 by Andrew in Café Racer, Racer. 26 comments

The Beatles. A great band. Actually, the greatest band. And do you know why they rock so many record collections and get raved about so much, so many years after they split up? It’s because they were so amazingly eclectic. In other words they weren’t slaves to one particular style of music but instead they simply had superbly developed taste, allowing them to cherry pick sounds and styles from pretty much any musical source they liked and somehow transform it into an amazing song that would inevitably top the charts globally. Only a band like that can manage to stay so popular and so loved for so long. If they had just re-written “Love Me Do” over and over again they would have been a flash in the pan, but instead they pushed themselves to do more, and to do it better.

Meanwhile in Spencer, Iowa… Yes, as promised here’s Kevin White’s other amazing bike. First, a killer bobber – then an amazing Café Racer. I don’t know about you, but if he manages to do another great bike in yet another sweet-ass style I’m definitely considering a jealously-filled grudge towards him. How can one guy be so good at two such diverse styles?

Here’s Ringo… I mean Kev. “My dad bought a junk CL175 a few years back and did nothing with it. I traded it to my buddy with the cycle shop (where the Triumph engine came from) for an untitled “better” CB200t. I took it home and stored it for a year.”

“Last spring, I dug it out and got it running. Having the confidence it was a good piece to start with, I tore into it. The same friend with the shop ended up with a titled frame which he gave me. I switched frames and started in. I ditched the stock front hub (mechanical disc) for a CL175 hub, drilled holes, polished, painted, and laced gold anodized rims both front and rear. Next, I notched and re-inforced the backbone of the frame to fit large K&N filters. I then made a front fender on a friends’ English wheel and made the clip-on handlebars. I fabricated up a set of rear sets from used parts and made the seat pan/tail section out of aluminium, which the local college welded for me.”

“I sourced some VM Mikunis and Hagon shocks. I made the 2-into-1 exhaust system and turned out the exhaust collets on the lathe. I rebuilt the engine, installed oversize pistons, did some light port work and assembled. Once I had the general shape I was looking for, I stripped it and prepped it for paint.”

“I painted the frame first, then painted the tank and tail silver to begin with. I then put down the gold and orange. I wasn’t sure I liked it, but with good advice over at the Do The Ton website, I kept it and incorporated the black pin stripes on the tank. The 4x number was my Dad’s old number when he raced cars. It was a fun project and it’s a fun bike to terrorize the neighborhood on.”

And wow. Just picture yourself all alone with this bike, a sunny warm day, a cool breeze, and a Long and Winding Road. Um – okay then. Please address all emails concerning bad puns and Beatles song titles to “Scott”, c/o Pipeburn.com, Sydney, Australia. Or just check out the build over at Do The Ton.








  • RT

    Take any image of this bike and make it black and white and it will look 10 times better. Nice build, but color leaves much to be desired.

  • I got a bit of flack a while over at BikeExif for my comment on Steve Carpenters CB750. I didn't feel like getting dragged into an internet debate. But my response, is this. Yes, it's shiny, and I think the paint job is a little campy. But it's a real bike built by a dude–just a dude in a garage–who likes bikes, likes playing with bikes, who just wanted a cool bike to ride. It wasn't built to be a show bike or to be cool or "period," and it's certainly not a factory restoration.

    But it looks like it's damned fun to ride. That's the only thing that matters, and Mr.White knows it.

  • Matthew

    That is a hot bike. Interesting color choices.

  • Larry Pearson

    I really like everything about this bike. I always thought the CB200T was a good foundation for a cafe' bike. The tank has the perfect shape. I really like all the hand-made pieces. I also find the paint job very interesting. So much nicer then just a single color. Flashy but not over-the-top. As a painter myself, the only change I would make would be to incorporate the gold of the tank into the tail section. If the panels that have the 4x on them were gold, too, it would tie it all together. A very small nit-picky thing. I'll bet it's a blast to ride. Nicely done!

  • dead cool color choices, and I should know, I'm a design professional.

    Sure you business types may not like it because it won't sell to that mother of three looking to lose 15lbs but for the rest of us landlubbers it is spot on.
    It smacks of the Elsinore, and Honda GP racers of the era with a touch of modern technologies- gold rims and fancy-pimped seat material.

    dead cool

    xxoo
    Spit

  • VonYinzer

    As always Kev, you know I love it!

    Right on! And as far as the colors, eff em!

    You wanted it to be a bit of a tribute to a certain someones 80s era racers and you nailed it!

    Great bike, killer work, and when ya win the LEL it'll just be that much better!

    -Mike

  • P.F. Flyer

    I tend to agree with Derek on this, but since we're being critical: I don't like the seat, seat pan or the shape of the rear cowling. This bike would be fun to ride but only for a very short time. The square edges of the seat and seat pan would cut into the legs pretty quickly. The rear cowling should be shaped more like the rear of the tank to keep the flow. If it were mine, I would make those changes and then ride the sh_t out of it! A 200cc bike is like riding a fast bicycle.

  • Ringo

    Bad Ass, Kev. I think you nailed it, man. Everything about it screams "in your face" and I wouldn't have it any other way. Love it.

  • Bo Selecta!

    Easy Kev, loving the 200. It's great to see unique bikes. I love the attention to detail like the forward tank mounts painted the frame colour and the black fins on hubs. You've inspired me to pick up pace with my CB200. May I ask what rear shocks you've used?

  • Glenn

    Well done!

  • Frank

    It's the Repsol livery you fucks. Beautiful bike.

  • VonYinzer

    Wow… How about we all build our own bikes and stop trying to give other guys a hard time for theirs. Ya dont like it, fine… But keep your mouth shut until your bike is deemed nice enough to end up here on Pipeburn. Man…

  • Alex

    Very nice. Certainly to my taste. 🙂

  • mule

    Awesome color combo and very clean workmanship!

  • Ben

    Awesome bike and great effort. Like that he's done something different with the paint.

    Agree with you about the Beatles, the White Album was the best.

  • stevo

    these were crap bikes in 1975 and they still are what a waste of energy that could have been used on something decent!

  • Ash in Bali

    Nice build, I like the clip ons…but personally I think the paint colours are a bit busy. Less is more…more or less. And yeah, small CC cafe's are a whole lotta fun.

  • jack

    the paint job is so…honda. so its fitting. these little japanese bikes are so fun to ride you feel like your on a bicycle, they are so "moveable". i like the seat section, the pan is made that way to house the electronics i assume (unless you placed them in the rear cowl).

    the spie of the frame is pure awesome, the frame on my cb350 is the same as what i assume this ones used to be, ugly and not very accomadating to upgragrades in the carb area. well done for finding a way around that, it looks great, plus you get the added bonus of oversized K&N filters.

  • michaelb1

    Love the colors. It's different in a good way.

  • SR85

    I like it! I think the colours gel really well together (apart from the gold on the wheels).

    Wheels in white would look cool.

    Very interesting choice of tail light.

  • CHETtheJET

    ….Oh my,oh ….my!!!!

  • Hot Rod Troy

    Kev,
    Your build looks great. I'm glad to see have her finished. Way to go!!

  • alex

    I can't believe there's even one single comment hating on this. The bike is sweet as heck! I love the paint, the custom parts, the everything! Beautiful ride.

  • Rob

    Totally dig the paint…nice work

  • CB Stuck

    Anybody happen to know where to get valve stem seals for a CB200T?  I can’t find them anywhere and my project is on hold until I find them.  Thanks in advance!

  • pipe adams

    that is adorable