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Honda CB750 K6 – “Scratch Monkee”

Posted on July 9, 2012 by Scott in Brat. 107 comments

Recently the Wrenchmonkees (WM) decided to put down their wrenches, pack their duffle bags and hit the freeway to do what we all love to do – ride. “For the last four years we have been wrenching all the time and spending too little hours on the road” says Nicholas from WM. “That will change now”. The problem was Nicholas needed to build a bike really quickly with as little money as possible for the trip. “The donor bike was bought cheap and I didn’t have any money to use on the bike, of course we did it all ourself, but due to the lack of money reserve in the company I couldn’t afford to renovate the engine, and the whole bike was put together the last few days before our Monkee trip.” It’s definitely not the most beautiful bike the monkees have built but what it lacks in beauty it makes up for in character. Meet the “Scratch Monkee”…

The dirt cheap donor is a mix of a 1976 Honda CB 750 K6 and 1977 Super Sport. The frame was slighlty modified with a Kawasaki swingarm. LESTER cast aluminum rims 16″ + 19″ with Firestone 16 x 5″ and Avon Speedmaster 19 x 3,5″. The monkees decided to test these vintage tires that so many people love to hate – we havent heard the results but from the sounds of things they. The brakes used were Brembo 4 pot caliber and Brembo 16mm brake master front. WM Garage made the battery case and the license plate/rear light holder, clip on’s and a bracket for the front caliber. The monkees also made the cafe seat and of course did all the wiring. They even threw in some Halrey parts for good measure – Sportster mufflers and cut down Sportster rear fender. No paint job, just clear lacquer on bare frame and the original blue tank. “Paint job will come this winter, need donations from family” says Nicholas. Some other features include Keihin CR Carbs, KN Filters, Bates style headlight and Tarozzi footpegs.

“For the last four years we have been wrenching all the time and spending too little hours on the road”

Nicholas had the bike finished just in time for the sweet ride from Copenhagen to the South of France. “I rode the bike 2800 Km, from Copenhagen to Narbonne in rain, thunder and sun, and the only problem was rust in the tank.” This was their first trip testing the new Wrenchmonkee gear and also seeing how those vintage Firestone tires stack up on long rides – we look forward to seeing those results. “We try to document the trips, the fuck-up´s and the good times along the way.” The first video of the Monkee ride will be released soon.

  • John

    For a no budget bike with no motor mods, aren't the CR carbs a little overkill?

  • auro

    how did he manage to survive 2800 kms on that seat, exactly? i hope he had enough beer stops along the way… 😉

  • @auro – I did 1000MI in a week on a similarly skinny seat (except I made it for £10 and it was covered with some old denim, I didn’t have any money at the time). The trick is to use layers of different density foam, very hard to soft. It doesn’t have to be that thick, and I can ride on it for 100+ miles.

    On the bike here, I quite like the grubby look provided it’s a work in progress that’s being thrashed around. But if it was really being ridden like well, a real motorcycle, you wouldn’t fit Firestones and a yellow headlamp. It’s not really a work in progress when you have time to hipsterise it with fancy glass and £130 push bike tyres. And who needs a speedo when you’ve got somewhere to strap on your trendy duffel bag? Where else would you keep your Livi’s and bubble visors…

    • I like bubble visors. And I think you mean Levis.

      • I buy my jeans from M&S like a normal man. Bubble visors are all well and good until your helmet actually has to do the job of stopping your face coming off.

        • brad

          clearly not a fan of open face helmets,

          and what the fuck is a normal man? seriously

          • Twistedchildturnsmadmonk


    • Oldroadie

      If you ever rode in the rain or even on a wet road it would be pretty obvious that the duffel is a great substitute for the missing front fender and is doing a heck of a job keeping that bubble shield clean.

      • I don’t own a car, and ride year round in England on a naked bike mate. There aren’t many people who ride in wetter weather than the English in the Summer.

  • MotoTrooper

    On the bike: it’s got that WM stance and the signature look. They must’ve been spending their spare euros on beer and massages at the end of every riding day. Not the most comfortable looking rides but who am I to say? I’d like to have ridden with these guys on their trip as they seem to be in the mode of just enjoying life. As widely notorious as bike builders I have a hard time believing that they would be short of cash to build a bike. Either they haven’t sold out their name and merchandised the crap out of it (which I would respect) or someone’s made off with their hard earned money. Regardless I hope they enjoyed their respite.

  • davesee

    that seat doesn’t look too bad, mi8ne has about as much padding (and is multi density as mentioned) as is more comfortable than the original. i’m curious about the rear suspension travel…mine has more than that but i worry about it constantly.

  • sc

    Since this seems to be a discussion about seats only, I’ll put in my five cents’ worth: On the first year H-D XLX (1983) the seat was as thin as it is on this WM bike. Surprisingly it was also one of the most comfortable seats I’ve enjoyed on the 30+ different bikes I’ve owned, beating even that of the BMW my wife owned at the time. Not just around town, but Connecticut to Florida and back, too. I suspect people wouldn’t believe such a thin seat could be any good, because later ones had a thicker seat – which in turn was LESS comfortable, as one couldn’t readily move back a few inches on it.

    • I’m sorry, but opinions are only worth 2 cents around here.

  • GuitarSlinger

    WrenchMonkee’s I used to really like . For some reason I can’t put my finger on …. not so much anymore . There’s something about their bikes that wears a bit thin after awhile IMHO.

    BTW- MotoTrooper – Knowing as I do more than a few of the internationally famous builders /restorers Worldwide I can guarantee you there just isn’t that much money to be made building or restoring M/C’s by most : with the exception of the very rare few . Very rare indeed ! Best way to make a small fortune building custom bikes ( or restoring classics ) is to spend a very large one . Unless of course you’re willing to sell your Soul to the Gods of Television and Cable . Either that or get yourself a deep pocketed benefactor 😉

    • Generally, this is true. One may be able to make a living, but isn’t likely to see OCC wealth. Seems like a better idea to either be a designer/engineer working for one of the big boys so one CAN have enough money to support their habit. Or, at least be a dealership/garage for one of the major brands and do the custom thing on the side. In any case, I’d rather be rich doing one thing and have a garage full of rides I love than to “follow my dream” of having a custom shop and always scrimping.

      • That my friend is where the world has gone to shit. Let’s just buy some fun with whatever entertains us “today”. People without passion for what they do will never understand why somebody else would do somthing they love even if it doesn’t line their pockets. Sitting in a cubicle doing “Design” work seems to be the pinacle of desired proffessions. No thanks.

        • You miss my point. It’s not about being entertained today. It’s also not about buying what someone else has built. It’s about having a passion for something that can get expensive and having a career that can support that habit.

          If one loves building bikes AND barely getting by day in and day out, knock yourself out. I personally would rather pursue my passion wherever it may lead me and not be hindered by whether or not I can afford it. Hence, the point of having a career outside of one’s hobby.

          And I never said anything about sitting in a cubicle. Designing machines that make it to production is the pinnacle of bike building, nothing to be sneered at. And don’t go off some assumption that I don’t understand one living a meager life to chase their dream. I was an art major in college and know that story up one side and down the other.

          • davmo

            Have had this same debate for years with artist friends: Is it better to be a totally dedicated artist, pursuing your art with limited means, forced to sell all your work for survival, and ultimately confined by your lack of resources, despite plentiful time to devote, OR a part time artist unrestrained by the necessity of actually selling your work and capable of producing precisely the art you imagine, regardless of cost, but limited by time? Having chosen the latter, I can tell you I have no regrets. Sadly, most of the artist friends I describe end up with a day job in the end, but only after years of struggle. Even sadder, they end up producing less art than the part-timer. The best would be a balance between the two extremes. An artist that can get a respectable return on their work, without having to become OCC. It seems that Mule has some of that respect on the business side, and certainly my respect on the art side. If that is the case, he is a rare one indeed.

          • Swivel

            What do you call an artist? : “waiter,….waiter…..waiter!”

          • What do you call a musician without a girlfriend?: Homeless!

          • arnold

            Nah, that used to be an Oil Geologist.

          • lol @ swivel and manxman

  • arnold

    It may be an optical delusion on my part but the wiper position and travel seems to be different from left to right sides on the fork legs. Maybe that heavy wheel, good sized disk brake on one side, with no brace twisted things a bit? Might just be my peeper prescription though.

  • cagivarider

    I really love the colors and stickers and the used look
    and I’m sure the testride will proove that a bike with no
    ground clearance nor suspension nor fenders, clipons
    but no rearsets and a questionable sized mc and firestone
    tire performs perfectly well ….

    Kind regards

  • John

    So….they didn’t have any money to spend on the bike but it has CR carbs and brembo brakes? They obviously have a different idea of a budget bike than I do.

    • teddy

      This is what i was going to say. A set like that would be around $800 new. Thats a lot of money that could have helped “renovate the engine”. The brembos i guess could have come off a donor bike they had laying around.

    • I agree, except that it’s obvious they are donor parts.

    • JeCo

      Thats the first thing that popped in my head as well.. If they are that cheap and easy to get then please send me a set.

      On a another note I love this bike (minus the front tire size)…. this is how every motorcycle should be.

  • Robbie

    Really like the stance of the bike and rough, but sturdy look. Not sure how you get brembo brakes into a low budget build though!

    • cagivarider

      Buy a used one at ebay or so. Ain’t expensive.

      • Robbie

        Cool, thanks for the info. I’ve only ever looked at them brand new.

        • JeCo

          buell guys do this all the time for a cheap upgrade to their rear caliper.. 80bucks and your set. The bracket is pocket change to them since they already have what is need to machine it. You could even do this via a cad app and have an online shop machine it and ship it to you fairly cheap.

  • Dusten R Trounce

    Love the seat… the stitching is awesome.

  • Swivel

    I don’t believe for one second that bike was ridden by the same guy for 2.8K /K’s in less than three weeks.I think it was in the back of the van the fashion shoots where taken from.I am a king of pain and have done 800 miles on a naked bike in one day and I call the cards:B.S.!

    • Why should they lie?

      • Finkster

        And they don´t …. I was with them on the trip, riding my own CB750. And Nicholas rode it the entire 2800 km over a period of 10 days. Why would that be so hard to belive??

        • Swivel

          Well I got my answer:Ten slow riding days of pain…..

          • Robbie

            Not everyone rides bikes to hammer them through corners at 200km/h. Firestones are fine if you’re just going for a cruise, no matter what the distance. Have you ever ridden a bike with them? They suit the look of this bike in my opinion and are practical for what the bikes used for.

          • Swivel

            Marginal safety on vintage spec tires is delusional nonsense,no one “just cruises” when braking for a drunk in car.If you ride over 50mph you need good tires and not ones that should be on sepia toned art posters.”they suit the look”,maybe,but they sure don’t suit the road surface for a heavy old four.Most of these type of tires have the wrong profile for good steering and stability,are out of round after fitting and are hard to balance well.I’ve read enough reports from people that have bought this type of tire say it is not very good to actually ride…..and they won’t buy them again….

          • Robbie

            Thanks for the response. Fair enough. I’ve owned a bike with them on it, and while I agree there are much better performing tyres, they served the purpose of riding around the city at pretty low speeds for me.

          • Swivel

            Until you brake for a drunk in a car on a wet slippery city street.The “I just cruise on this bike”defense for low spec tires is delusional nonsense.

          • brad

            by the way, the front tyre is an avon SM

          • Swivel

            Quote:”vintage spec tires” No mention of Clown Shoes or Clowns.Some people see things that ain’t there,like pink elephants…..hic! “Percy Dovetonsils” ?

          • They may not be the highest performance tires, but you do know they have to meet specs to be sold, right?

          • Swivel

            MC tires only have to meet load ratings and high speed construction standards so they don’t fall apart.They don’t have to meet grip,steering and stability at speed specs as far as I know.Maybe they have to in Germany…..

        • McMilligan

          So what did you do for the other 6 days?

          • Finkster

            Hanging out, drinking bears, eating, enjoying the roads of Southern France and the scenery. The things you do on a trip with friends 🙂 ….

          • arnold

            I’ve been around drinking Bears, they are nasty.

          • lol You beat me to it.

        • arnold

          He may have rode, but on that bike? Clean up your syntax.

      • Swivel

        I would not be amazed if this “ride”was done for the camera so as to “prove” to guys like me that their vintage tire follow fashion mob bikes actually leave the bike salon and go further than five miles from their shop to a pub.They can probably pay rent at home now by selling t shirts to the fashion industry…..Maybe that’s why…..

        • Isn’t that what that Motolady broad does? “I’m into bikes, so I’m gonna start a blog and sell t-shirts!” lol. Oh…uh…no offense, Andrew.

    • arnold

      I ride the things I repair and build. Do I have an Ideal? no. Do I have a preference? yes. Do I always do it right? no. There are many subjective opinions , and thank goodness not all of them are mine. Many of you guys are selling to clients. good. Calling people HATERS because they disagree with you, ignorant , Please look the word up.

      • arnold

        Swivel , I hardly never sacrifice the truth for the sake of a good story, but I agree with you on the Naked Bike theory especially at a hundred miles a tankful or so.ald

        • Swivel

          Two words coined for people incapable of debate or just plain ignoring ideas they don’t like:troll and haters.Troll can be valid sometimes,but hater haters are just another specie of hater……

          • Unless you’re trolling for haters in which case that would make you a traitor.

        • arnold

          Y’all forget lurkers who might have something interesting , but be too shy to say.

      • You’re such a hater for disagreeing with the haters. lol

  • I think there are a couple of interesting points to be made here.

    First, if someone wants to get out and ride, with a little money (relative term) and maybe a couple of helpful friends, it can be put together.

    Second, there are sometimes bikes on here going for a rat look, or whatever you want to call it. But this bike seems sincere. It is an example of not needing a show stopper to have something that can still have good lines.

    I don’t know much about WM, and frankly don’t care to hear their tale or follow their journey. What I like about this article, if nothing else, is it exposes the fact that some people TRY to make rats because they’re trendy. Kind of like buying pre-wornout jeans (I’ll never understand that one.) What we have here is a bike that looks the way it does because it is what it is.

  • JeCo

    Probably the best seat / rear fender design I have seen to date.

    *Slow Clap*

  • coop

    Love it.

    I love that debate and discussion are welcome on this site, but always surprised at the griping at flat seats and firestone tires. Let’s be honest, slamming an old Honda CB is about style and making a great looking bike, not about making a substitute Goldwing or ST1100. And goddammit, style matters. When I was a kid I didn’t want a motorcycle because it looked like the most comfortable mode of highway travel, I wanted one because they’re loud, dangerous and cool.

    The bikes made for loooong distance hauling, all day saddle comfort, adventure riding- these bikes are well represented on the internet. And they don’t interest me, so I come here for my bike porn.

    The raw, the hunkered down, the garage built- that’s what I love to see.

    Why do we tee off on bikes like this on this site?

    • JimmyR14

      Well said. Actually I don’t get all the griping about flat seats – padding doesn’t make a seat comfortable, shape and position do. And even seats that appear to be well padded aren’t, they just have a rounder shape that looks more padded. Similar amount of padding though.

      And when a cool cafe comes up here – “shame there’s no pillion so I could take my wife…” Buy her a bike too! It’s horses for courses. Why criticise a city bike for being uncomfortable on long trips? Nobody seems to criticise an offroad bike for being no good for cruising interstate two-up.

      This bike is cool, to me at least. I don’t really care for the offset number plate and I like mirrors, but damn this bike is cool. And the owner/builder seems to find it comfy enough. If a bike comes up here that doesn’t move me in some way I just don’t comment.

    • Swivel

      coop.These vintage tire tragics are mainly people so desperate to show their individuality by building fashion accessories like every other individual that they resort to building poorly engineered and dysfunctional bikes.What ever happened to the idea that stripped down bikes were made to be better to ride? Something has been lost in the bikers brains lately,like the reality of actually riding a bike…..

      • brad


      • Singletracker

        Dude if you were riding a bike because it was better to ride you would be on a sport bike! This bike is just about fun. Best monkee to date!

    • arnold

      Board Track racer. If he was building one for display, yeah. Modern cycle? nay……………

    • Don’t forget pipe wrap.

      • Singletracker

        If it had some I’m sure it would have been mentioned.

  • davmo

    Hey! that last picture cut off his hand flipping off the camera!

    • revdub

      I thought the same exact thing. Another flip off shot!

      • Nah, looks like the peace to me.

        • Finkster

          It is the peace!

  • Oldnbroken

    That is a tidy lack of perfection. Is it only in Australia that we need to add turn signals and front mud guards to legally ride a bike on the road?

    • yes

      • Oldnbroken

        Thanks Tony…..I reckon if you came here the authorities would make you add rear view mirrors to your iron suit. It may be a little safer for you given that car drivers don’t seem to be able to see anything smaller than a bus but you wouldn’t look so cool

        • Well, being from California (truly,) I am very familiar with laws to protect us from ourselves. The suit may fall under ‘aircraft’ or maybe ‘nuclear missile.’ In either case, no mirrors required. I’m just waiting for the day builders are required to install airbags in their handlebars!

    • Kumo

      No, of course. And don’t forget mirrors. I don’t know why anyone will ride a bike without mirrors, except in a circuit.

      • Oldnbroken

        Cheers Kumo. You say “of course” but the reason I ask is because I see many bikes on the net from other countries that have number plates(so I assume they are road registered) yet they are missing certain safety features. The “Scratch Monkey” is just one example. I agree on the mirrors as many road accidents are “rear enders” and considering the amount of large 4 wheel drive vehicles with bull bars on the roads where I live that seem hell bent on driving as close to your rear as possible(while chatting on their mobile phone) I always check my mirrors when coming to a halt.

    • Yves

      Mandatory in France as well but what cop would stop to check about it ?

  • imanemergency

    Gotta respect the Wrenchmonkees. If you don’t know who they are are you should look them up. There’s a pretty cool mini documentary sponsored by Levi’s called Locals Only: Copenhagen. Also, thumbs up for the Obey and Rebel Eight stickers.

  • Jesús Learte

    Great great composition, the blue aged tank is superb, perhaps the travel was not as comfortable as using a high speed train, but I’m sure it was much funnier. Firestone tyres are simply the best looking ever for a bike like this. Some times you can compromise, up to certain point, best handling for beauty. And this is beautiful, no doubt.

  • eastoak

    lots of player haters on here.

  • redrumracer

    i just can’t help but love this thing! yes it’s another bike in a similar style to other WM bikes but it’s got something different going on at the same time. LOVE IT! and i can completely relate to the ‘not having enough cash to throw at paint and finishes’ thing too. who cares? it works and it still looks good in all it’s gritty glory. just ride the thing, you can paint it later!

  • Dreaming

    There are a lot of bitter people that post here. A lot of “hipster” and “douchy” being thrown around these days. From an outsiders perspective this appears to be coming from angry, over-weight older me who have lost their lust for life and resort to petty name calling and one-upping in order to some how validate to themselves that they still have meaning somewhere. Look at the pictures and move on. It’s time to come off it already.

    • davmo

      Wow, thanks for a really nasty and petty post. Please don’t let your hate for your Dad taint all your experiences, you will someday realize he is but an older version of yourself. If you don’t enjoy the comments section, it is easy enough to “look at the pictures and move on,” as you stated. The irony of haters hating haters is more tedious than comical. What is really comical is your typo : “angry, over-weight older me”

      • lol @ davmo. I’m 2 outta 3 of those descriptions. I’ll let you guess which.

        • Davmo

          Hey, who you calling overweight?

      • As opposed to the happier, younger, under-weight mini-me.

      • Yves

        I was thinking about posting haters hating haters hating haters but could be boring 🙂


    Rat bikes are what kids find cool now. There’s a whole population that could care less how it performs. Welcome to 2012. The 80’s and 90’s glory days of the haters are long gone along with the styles and chrome bling that made you a somebody back then.

    • I think now they put the bling on their teeth.

    • It’s better to throw off shiny chrome parts, quit cleaning and ride the fucking bikes. That’s what they are made for. If its that what makes it a rat, maybe.

  • genn

    Another perfectly good CB750 ruined………………………..

    • That’s harsh. How would you have made it better?

      • GS in a thong?

        • HAH! That would be one way…

          • genn

            Not GS/s bitch……and over here a thong is foot wear.

            Aint easy to make a pig a better bike.

            A pig is a pig…and a CB750 is a pig. But it can be improved. A little..

            By dropping it from a great height…far better than what WM do with them.

          • You’re just a CB750 hater. lol. Seriously, I think it’s just the “in bike” right now because it can still be had cheap and is easy to mod.

          • Motorcyclist Magazine just named the the original (1969) Honda CB750 the motorcycle of the century.

  • aaaaaaand that’s 80!

  • Dusty roads

    This Is a wonderful bike. I love it. Cheap? Who cares. Keep up the good work….q

  • Desmaniac

    Perhaps he traded some magic beans for the CRs? The #1 rule of budget building. Use of that which falls into your lap. A project of chaos, if you will, is the attraction. Save sensibleness for the hordes that are absolutely sure a free spirited adventure awaits them at King's Island.

  • eyetod

    what I want to know is how he doesn’t bottom out that fork on the tire? I want mine that low but at a 2.5 inch drop mine bottoms out on the fender..

  • Ian

    What kind of jacket is that?

  • _____lino

    Can you tell me where to get the rear tire cover? Tx man. –

  • Pingback: Monkeetrip Episode 1 |

  • Jonte

    Den här hojen fick mig att skaffa CB 750-78, kort och börja bygga på egna projekt. En pojkdröm blev verklighet!