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Honda 1971 CB450 “Bonita Applebum”

Posted on January 4, 2011 by Andrew in Café Racer, Classic. 67 comments

Suddenly, Bonita found herself lost and alone in a scary but very well-lit cave

Here’s another bike from one of the new friends we made at the Deus Build-off. Please meet the very lovely Bonita Applebum and her old man, Pepe Luque.

Can you tell us a little about yourself?

I was born in Bolivia and migrated to Australia at the age of 2. I grew up in the western suburbs of Sydney in a family of 7 in a small housing commission home (aka ‘housos’ to us westies). As you could imagine, I spent most of my time on the streets getting away from a cramped up houso, where we were fighting over every little thing. Meanwhile, I had taken up skateboarding which till this day I still do and love. The rest of the time was spent modifying cars in my mother’s backyard, poor Mum! These mods were basically pulling out the piston motor and dropping in a rotary. Some of the cars were Gemini’s 12a and 12a turbo, Datsun 1000 coupe 12a, 13b turbo, and a Ford Anglia (Harry Potter’s car) 12a and so on… In the meantime, while skating, I managed to pick up a few sponsors and a few speeding fines! I eventually moved out of the western ‘burbs and I am currently working for a large private hospital on Sydney’s North Shore as the Operating Theatre Prosthetic Inventory Co-ordinator. Still skating biatches! I also love snowboarding, wakeskating, PS3 and anything to do with Apple Inc. I love building things and Bonita Applebum is my first ever bike build.

Take us through the build of the bike.

Bonita Applebum began life as a 1971 Honda CB450, which I bought on eBay. It had a broken top triple tree and it was also unregistered. I searched everywhere for a replacement and was unable to find one, until a friend suggested I contact Jay from Sydney Motorcycle Wreckers. I was fortunate enough that he had one, but it came with a price, I had to buy a beaten up, rusted, old ass rolling chassis with it. I was content on riding Bonita stock standard until I witnessed my first ever nostalgic race class at Eastern Creek, and from that day on I fell in love with Cafe Racers and that era of bikes.


I had no intention of building a serious contender in the Cafe world. This build took place on the lounge room floor in my small apartment; I was very fortunate that I had an understanding flatmate at the time. The majority of the parts were gathered from eBay, and the transformation started. As I took parts off the bike I bought on eBay, I cleaned, painted and spit polished them before I installed them onto the newly sand blasted and powder coated frame I got from Jay. I thought it would be easier to take parts off from one bike and put them back on the other, considering I had no experience in building motorcycles.

I’m considerably happy with the final outcome, besides some minor fine-tuning. For example upsizing the main jets to compensate for the airflow in and out of the motor and replacing the Pirelli tyres for some Firestones is on the agenda also.

Polishing – so addictive

Did you sketch, Photoshop, or just go with the flow while building?

There was basically no detailed pre planning with the build, but I did have a picture of a bike that inspired me that BCR built, that was the CB450 Armadillo. The colour scheme chosen for the bike is timeless. The handgrips and seat colour was suggested by my flatmate, it turned out better than I could imagine.

You entered the bike in the Deus Bike Build-off. How was it?

Since I had never built a bike before I was a little freaked out in entering the bike in the Deus Enthusiast Biker Build-off. It was nerve racking and a lot of fun at the same time. The atmosphere Deus created helped with my nerves and by lunchtime I had made some new friends and met some interesting people. One of them I consider to be the Godfather of the old Hondas, who I speak to occasionally and he has a lot of Honda wisdom (Sensei). It was extremely flattering receiving so many positive comments from spectators. What I also found out on the day was that Tony (who did the pinstripe demo at the Deus show) was the original Bonita owner. He swapped it with Glenn, the guy I bought the bike off on eBay, I discovered it’s a small world!

Judging by the faces and comments from the judges it seemed and sounded like they really appreciated Bonita Applebum. The only thing that went wrong on the day was when the bike was being judged and the throttle cable snapped when the judges asked me to give it some stick (who’s cable snaps just on judgement time?) I only wished someone had taken a picture of my face at the time of the throttle snapping, it would have been priceless.


How have the mods you’ve made changed the way the bike rides?

Considering I had not ridden the bike before the mods, they have not affected my ride, as I don’t know what the ride should be like! I have had a lot of negative feedback about the travel height between the rear tyre and the rear cowl. After riding the bike for the first time on the road recently, I had no issue with the travel height; no scrubbing or rubbing.

Any lessons you’ve learnt from the build?

I did tackle this bike aesthetically first before considering every other aspect. I now know for future builds that getting it up and running comes first, then tear it down, then pretty everything up and put it back together. Also, do not neglect Call of Duty as I once reined supreme and now I have a lot of catching up to do. Muff-Diver is my PSN username if anyone wants to add me and please add Pipeburn when requesting.

If money was no object, what would be your ultimate Honda? Do you have any other non-Honda favourites?

I don’t know much about Honda bikes, so I can’t really comment on which would be my ultimate Honda. Wait a minute, a friend from work owns a CBR1000RR and that looks pretty nice, so I guess that would be the weapon of choice. My all time favourite bike would be The Falcon Bullet. If Earl Hickey can own one, so can I.

Loving the subdued colours with the tan highlights

What bikes have you owned before?

Previous bike owned before would be a GSR RR, which is a pocket bike with a Bizeta 50cc motor in it. This thing threw my brother-in-law off in a matter of 2 seconds, he ain’t your ordinary size guy! He is quite large which surprised me when it threw him off. Mind you, he was only wearing thongs (flip flops) shorts and a t-shirt. Poor bastard had gravel rash for the rest of his holiday. (Personally, I’d much prefer photos of that over the cable snap face – Andrew.)

You mentioned you are colour blind. How did that impact the bike build?

The main section I really struggled with was the wiring of the bike. As you could imagine, being colour blind did not help with the colours of the wires. I was very fortunate that my girl and my brother’s wife helped with labelling the wires. For instance, yellow with a white trace, I labelled FLB (front left blinker) and so on. It took me by surprise that I nailed the wiring on first go.

You’re a keen skateboarder. Any similarities between the skating world and custom bikes?

The biggest similarity I see between the skateboard world and the bike world is the phrase “Go Hard or go Home”!

PS. Are you in Sydney? Do you have a bike that you think tops Bonita? Why not contact us and see if we can’t get it shot in the Pipeburn Garage of Photographic Super Excellence? Do it; do it now.

  • Mav11b


  • As the name says, it's a pretty bike. Nice build.

  • DJay

    Wow!!! This is one awesome build..

  • Mel

    That is hot, the bike ain't bad either 😉

  • Larry Pearson

    I love this Honda. I was also pleased to see that (finally) someone had used quality tires..until reading that they're to be replaced with Firestones. Jeez. What IS it with people using those crappy, old-styled, squared-off tires? Cafe' bikes are supposed to be about performance and handling. Great looking bike in every other way, though.

  • Braaaatt….

    mmmmh… Tell me an apple… really pretty build

  • tika

    Get dooown hermanito, Love your work, all that time, travel and money was well spent… muy caliente.

    "Bonita applebum, you gotta put me on. Bonita applebum, you gotta put me on. Bonita applebum you gotta put me on. Bonita applebum, you gotta put me on."


  • J. C. Tocchio

    I followed this build on and I'm happy that it's being shown to a wider audience.

    P.s. I've been looking for that headlight bracket for 6 months now and can't find it. Jealous.

    P.s.s. I'm going to add and smoke muffdiver in black ops! : )

  • Andrew

    @ J.C. Tocchio Good point – anyone who'd like to see the full build of Bonita can find it here.

  • kik

    BRUTAL ! LOVE IT..!!

  • JohnDoe

    bike of the month in August of last year over at dotheton. well deserved in my opinion.

  • Jurp

    Beautiful, simply beautiful!!

  • b.a.

    From the first ' b.a.' to the second
    "yeah, you measure up….damn sexy"!
    Well done hommie, you deserve all the credit,
    I remember all the hours you put into her build, well worth
    the big effort – congratulations. Now the bars way up
    for your next build!

  • Pepe

    @ J.C Tocchio
    You can thank me later online when I make you my biatch on Black Ops 🙂

    Thanks guys for you kind words.

  • Ramon

    All the hours, all the stress, result a second to none build. Proud of you bro, an absolutely beautiful bike.

  • Robin

    Holly smokes Batman! That is spider-mans build from DTT, well down Pipeburn for nabbing the rights to this luxurious build.

  • Robin

    Photos taken in the bat cave..

  • Jack

    The lines and the polished parts are perfectly synchronized and coexist in utter harmony. Props to the prime mover.

  • Sproggy

    Beautiful – no other words necessary. But as Larry said, keep those tyres – forget the Firestones.

  • D.

    That ain't no 37 inch hips, Q-Tip.

  • Chris

    Saludos compatriota…

    Absolutely beautiful … astonishing bike.

  • Menz

    Just wanting to know how many pushups did you do before the photo shoot?

    Get some biceps pep!

  • Alex

    Love it, especially like the invisible kickstand in the first shot.

  • Scott

    @Alex We are thinking about selling those stands soon, so keep an eye out for them in our store

  • Pepe

    @Menz, Absolutely zero push ups, but thanks for noticing.

  • Andrew

    @ Alex That alien anti-grav technology is a bastard to license; you wouldn't believe the paperwork…

  • Neilc

    Absolutely beautiful; fantastic styling lines and design balance. There couldn't be a better one. What's the next project?

  • KrookStreetRacing

    Beautiful and Inspirational. Nice work.

  • alipaige

    sick ride dude!!!

  • thom

    very nice indeed

  • Shoboshi


    Totally made my mind up about what I "need" to build next.

    Congratulations on a stunning build.

  • Aloun

    That's art! I'm just getting into this whole cafe racing thing. Love the raw racing look of these bikes. Your bike is beautiful dude!

  • Shoboshi

    If you are interested in selling this bike please contact me…….Seriously… That is a genuine request.


  • Pepe

    @ Shoboshi,

    If you are genuine you can reach me through Andrew from Pipeburn. I'm based in Sydney Australia if that helps. Thank you

  • Andrew

    @Shoboshi Get in touch if yr interested –

  • glenn

    Awesome job Pepe, it turned out absolultey beautiful.

  • paul

    I'm not normally a cafe racer fan….but that is one NICE bike! My hat is off to you.

  • ‘Paul’

    Wow, this is an inspiration… looking at picking a CB in the coming months and doing a rebuild… love the look and the style… surprised that here in sydney these are happening…im from sydney as well… nice work!!!

  • justme

    another cafe bike what a waste of a honda, why dont u build something different like maybe a streetracker
    or something

  • Amazing Cafe Racer …. I like this bike because it worked perfectly and still have the classic characteristics

    • dead_format

      Is it still for sale?

  • Habanero52

    What a beauty!!!!!! The headlight is from what motorcycle?


  • farrierswede

    My god what an excellent machine!!!
    Please can someone give me a hint as to where I can get those rubber handles??? PLEASE!!! Been looking around for ages.

  • What a hunky styled bike. I loved it!!!

  • swatson

    man what a GREAT build!! where did you get the tank seat combo? BCR? ive looked but i cant decide if it's the dolphin or something else… please get back at me!

  • Pepe

    @ Farrierswede, I got the handle grips from Dues in Camperdown.

    @ Swatson, tank and seat is from BCR and it is the Dolphin combo.

    If anyone is interested the bike is up for sale, no room in the garage 🙁

  • Matthew

    I saw this bike in person at Deus & Pepe allowed me to take a few nice snaps of it. It's just an incredible bike up close & a real credit to him. It also got my vote for the day. Props Pepe. Just bought a 74 CB450 so hopefully I can do it the same justice that Pepe has given to his bike.

    Pepe – Can I please ask where the exhaust is from?

    Cheers Matt

  • Pepe

    Thanks Matt, it was a shame I didn't walk away with a prize 🙂 but I did walk away with some new friends (even better)
    The exhaust was fabricated at Liverpool Exhaust (great value) and the muffler I picked up from Trojan Classics in Belfield.

  • Matthew

    Hi mate, Yes you were completely robbed lol. I know Liverpool Exhaust very well as recently put an exhaust on my car. Small world hey. I'm thinking the Norton peashooter mufflers from Trojans will go very nicely on my CB once it arrives.

    Cheers Matt

  • Chheikki

    Hey Pepe. Beautiful bike, love it. I’m also building a cafe racer with parts from Benjie. Did you use the stock rear fender, and if so how did you modify it?

  • VJ

    Really…..Awesome Restoration ………

  • Kristie

    Wow that is really cool. 🙂

  • R35P3C7 1-800-HiPHOP

    here is your challege from abroad 😉

  • Bl0kh3d

    My father has an old cb450 sitting in his garage fading into his fond memories. Your story and bike have inspired me to build a cafe racer of my own. I had a cbr600 but after being introduced into the moto world I instantly fell in love with te cafe era. I hope my bike turns out to be a masterpiece like yours

  • J J

    This bike is insane. I love it. 

    Since I know nothing about these thing… how much do you think it would cost for a custom shop to build something that looks like this?

  • Twellens

    This bike is a big inspriation to me, such a beautiful creation

  • Baetence

    Damn what a sick build!!!! A very nice inspiration for new builds!! What size of tyres did you use? I’m building a honda CB 500 cafe racer

    Regards, love to see a new build from you Pepe

  • dead_format

    Well done Pepe.. awesome bike! I wanty!!!

  • dead_format

    Do you know if Bonita is still for sale?

  • rattus

    Piece of shit. Built by some immigrant btard who doesn’t ride much if at all. Ruined another bomber and made another unrideable bike. You do know the real cafe racer squad hate this thing? It’s an abomination.

    • 450 lover

      Your name suits your comment!

    • Rattus

      You were an abominaion at birth..

  • WoodGas1

    Nice build, good stance, clean. Where did that tank come from? I need it.

  • rian tata

    good idea ! 🙂

  • johnnyrocket

    love this bike man hope one day mine looks good like that

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