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Honda CB836CR “Sentoh” – AFT Customs

Posted on October 15, 2011 by Andrew in Other, Racer. 28 comments

There’s always an inherent problem being in a “scene” like the current boom for cafe racers, and that is that you are so bombarded with cool bikes that your eyes become a little shuttered to the possibilities you have when you set out to make a bike for yourself. In many ways the eyes of someone outside the “scene” are more fresh and therefore able to really create something new, like this all-original take on a cafe racer by Jim Guiffra and the guys girls at his AFT Customs shop in Jackson, CA. More used to a Californian chopper style of customising, it’s really refreshing to see a racer with a new approach. Based on a 1976 CB750 Four, It’s definitely channelling the spirit of cafe racers but with a healthy shot of west coast ‘tood, a pinch of track gear and (seemingly) a few left-over parts from a giant Japanese robot. It’s one of those rare bikes that makes you do a double-take with it’s deft, effortless mix of genres yet coherent overall look.

Instead of the usual four-carb set-up you’d expect on a Honda like this, Jim has opted to use a single Mikuni HSR 42 with a custom intake manifold. The engine has been modded with a Wiseco 836 piston and gasket kit and a well-regarded Dynatek ignition system. The guys at TPJ Customs were drafted in to fabricate a bespoke frame, with the rest of the metal work done in-house. Need we point out the unique way the tank and frame work together? No – didn’t think so… The kick-starter is a CRF450 unit that been rebuilt internally to suit the 750 input.

There’s a set of Race Tech tweaked Yamaha R1 forks up front held in place by hand-made triple trees, and crowned by hand-made risers hugging a set of bars from Kraus Motor Co.

The hubs are from the same CRF450 that supplied the kick-starter, and check out the MotoGP-style remote front brake adjuster. While you’re there you may also take note of the cool switches build into the left-hand side rubber grip. Not sure we’ve seen that before and it sure looks like a great way to maintain the bike’s functionality while still keeping a clean set of bars.

As with all AFT’s work, the details are immaculate. And small golf clap for the unique choice of colours. Where most of us would just default to a generic red and white, or gold and black, Jim has made a bold choice with bronze and “sage” (the wife told me that’s what it’s called) and if the photos don’t lie, they’ve come off a treat.

According to Jim the Sentoh’s weight is a pretty comfortable 415 lbs/188 kgs and it’s legal to be ridden on the street, which is something that always gets our goat as a bike like this would be about as easy to get registered over here as it would be getting Lady Gaga to appear in public dressed in sensible clothes. Damn you free-living Yankies!

(Via Cyril Huze Post – spotted by Mark at Sydney Cafe Racers. Photography copyright and courtesy of Jerry Southworth.)

  • Kurt Perth WA


  • Kurt Perth WA


  • Alex

    Looks like too much trail for my personal tastes. Not sure how it would handle.

    That said, it's a sexy looking bike. Especially like the colo(u)rs, kickstart, exhaust and rear cowl.

  • Trav

    I can't imagine how well it runs, but it looks cool. Looks like it has one single carb.

  • HAZ

    The tank thru the exposed frame is the thing my eye goes to first and likes the least, but when I start taking in all the other elements, I am liking it more & more. Love the colors – outstanding original choice, different without being so selective it turns you off…NICE! Also love the engine/exhaust treatment and…you gotta have a kicker!!! Thumbs up!

  • Very unusual and very cool at the same time…


  • Ash in Bali

    It's innovative, interesting, and has an originality to its aesthetic. Was there a little photoshop done on the photos? It looks too good to be true. Take that as a complement.

  • Ash in Bali

    It's innovative, interesting, and has an originality to its aesthetic. Was there a little photoshop done on the photos? It looks too good to be true. Take that as a complement.

  • donzo

    this is one sweet bike i would love to it take to the curves. oh how nice it would be to ride

  • revdub

    Totally odd, but the build quality looks off the charts.

  • Geoff

    Man they are at their job.

  • Dtheis

    Original, stunning, I love it! This one just took a chunk out of my morning by force!

  • This is the kind of bike that I hate and love at the same time because the odd style and the stunning details mixing.

  • baybutt

    amazing. super cool job. the front looks like Nien Nunb from Star Wars!

  • Jed

    Yep. This is tops.
    Great colours too.

  • ran

    LOL ->

    Great original bike but I would have to change the front because of this….

  • @ran – Ha! Love it!

  • Nate

    Very creative with outstanding build quality…I've never seen a 4 in 1 carb if that is still the original cb750(4) engine.

  • This may not be exactly beautiful, but it's wonderful. I'm not sure quite how to say it. A gremlin face in the front and in the rear?

    Kudos to Mr.Cyril Huze for dispalying something I actually like. Doesn't often happen.

  • Note to AFT: please double shoot the bikes, one set with models, AND a second set that allows more focus on the bikes!

  • kyle

    god that frame/tank/exhaust is amazing

  • very very cool!
    like the kemosabe one!

  • The Ogre

    Oh man. I really love the styling of this one. I really want this bike.

  • Davmo

    Very cool. Love most all of it, was also reminded of Nien Nunb. Don’t mean to nitpick, but is that front tire mounted backwards? 

  • Charlie

    does anybody know what those silencers are, and where I could grab them? They’re pretty cool.

  • AFT Customs

    Thanks for all the positve comments. Rake /trail 28/4.25 Handles great. The tank looks funky but holds 3 gal & keeps the center of gravity low. Honda’s first bike in 1948 model D had a similar look. Sentoh in english means the beginning. Like the tank more now? ha ha. The fit & finish is perfect -it won the AMD World Championship Performance Custom in 2011. Single carb was tough to jet -went from a HSR42 to a Kehin FCR39. Much better. The AFt Girls built about 60% of this bike. No Joke.

  • AFT Customs

    Front tire is mounted correctly. We’re sponsored by AVON TYRE. We designed the silensers for LEO VINCE. This bike is for sale. All the history & provinance comes with it. Many magazines,calenders,show wins ,photo shoot dvd’s,posters,build book,show signs,Artistry in Iron invite,2011 AMD World Champion.

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