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1966 Honda CB77 – Super Hawk ‘Café’

Posted on June 26, 2012 by Scott in Café Racer, Classic. 43 comments

We love custom bike builders. Let’s face it, without their creations we wouldn’t have much to feature on this site. We love the Shinya’s, the LaRossa’s, the Benjie’s, the Dime City Cycles, the Heiwa’s, the Wrenchmonkees, the Radical Ducati’s, the DP Customs, the Classified Moto’s… you get the idea. But we also really love the young bike builders. The guys who are wet behind the ears. They haven’t built many bikes but they are passionate as hell. They aren’t jaded by the industry. They don’t know what’s been done or what hasn’t been done. They don’t even care what shouldn’t be done. They haven’t read a million negative comments on motorcycle blogs. They just got bitten by the bike bug and they simply want to build sweet bikes. Their attitude is what motorcycling is all about. The freedom to do what you like with whatever you have. Guys like Hill Hudson. Hill is an illustrator from Portland Oregon who came across the very healthy Portland motorcycle scene a few years ago and liked what he saw. He managed to purchase an old CB77 that had been out of action for some time and took on the challenge to rebuild it. This is Hill’s story…

“To be honest, I’m not a very experienced builder. I’ve only done two bikes from the ground up and about four engine rebuilds. My interest in motorcycles only started about three years ago, a bit before my 21st birthday. I bought this bike after it had been supposedly sitting for thirty years and knew from the start that it was going be a keeper. The Honda CB77’s were an extremely popular bike throughout the 1960s and after a lot of research I found that most people road them into the ground or if they still had one, usually restored them to factory specs as much as possible. I knew that I wanted something different, and being that the bike is a small 305cc I decided to go with the solo café style.

The first thing I jumped into was rebuilding the engine. This engine is really fun to work with in my opinion, because their is a lot of room for easy customization, such as the gear ratio adjustment, commonly referred to in the CB77 community as “crossing the gears”. This involves taking the two middle gears on both transmission cams and swapping their positions in an X formation, which in turn actually brings the ratio much closer together, enabling fast up shifting and faster acceleration.

After the engine was back together with the newly adjusted trans and a fresh top end job I went to the frame, removing everything that wasn’t absolutely necessary and giving it a nice new coat of paint. I love the look of raw steel on motorcycles and even the occasional controlled rusty look, so I kept the tank, fenders, headlight bucket and seat all raw.

“I ended up drilling what

felt like a million tiny holes”

The seat was actually the most challenging part of this bike, I probably made ten different mock ups before finally getting the idea to grab the extra CB77 tank I had laying around, cut it up and us it for the seat hump. Getting the seat pan upholstered by New Church Moto in Portland Oregon was also a little icing on the cake. The taillight also took some thinking. I ended up drilling what felt like a million tiny holes on either side of the seam on the end of the seat, and made a custom LED circuit board that mounts right behind the holes, maintaining a discreet and bright brake light.

I had a little fun with the tank badges too, I designed an insignia that included my initials and had the logo laser engraved on to stainless steel, that was kind of where I stopped and realized I could easily go too far with details a bit too easily. I’m excited to keep touching the bike up as time goes on but I know I’ll never hear the end of my girlfriends ranting about how selfish it was to put a solo seat on it!”

Hill, your girlfriend might hate the seat but we think it’s the standout feature on the bike. Chopping up the extra CB77 tank for the seat hump was a stroke of genius and the tail light is simply stunning.

  • adien

    is it finished yet??????

  • I love that it looks like a machine, not so sanitized all the tanks and lines hidden. That is one of the coolest gauge clusters I’ve seen in a long time too. Overall well done, have fun with it!

  • blackbird

    Hell yes its finished and it looks great! The details are well balanced on the machine. I appreciate the tank emblem is your personal signature and the silver and black is a excellent color scheme. Love the tachometer and that it shares the same symmetry as the tank badge. Pretty sweet my friend. Question, is it legal to be without turn signals in as big a city as Portland?

    • Greenstreet

      I have a ’66 CB77 as well. I’m one of those that kept it stock. I think they are a great bike stock, but I love what Hill did to his.
      Dave is right about the signals. They were produced without them, so it’s not a requirement to get the bike registered here in Minnesota at least. I’ve never been questioned about it either.

  • dg

    It’s a work of incredible functional art!

  • Dave

    @e87e45159102838a4f313376d6bef2a0:disqus I’d figure it’s the same as it is every where. Old bike, came without signals, so it’s grandfathered in.

  • sickfab

    Great Bike. Great photos. Can’t wait to see more from Hill. There’s going to be more right?!

  • davmo

    Nice little build, Hill. Stay with it, you have a good eye. Love the vintage Honda steel from this era.

  • revdub

    Pure awesome. I love that seat. Find it, build it, and ride the hell out of it!

  • Phillip Goodwin

    Yum. I will eat this bike.

  • arnold

    Three thumbs up.ald

  • Hill_Hudson

    Hey thanks everyone! Really appreciate all the kind words, to answer a couple questions: I’m not sure if it will ever be finished! I actually jut added a steering damper from the CL77 model, which looks and works great. Also if a motorccle was made before 1974 without turn signals, then it’s not necessary to have them, at least in Oregon. This deffinitely won’t be my last build!


  • nvr2old

    Very nicely done. Love the fact that you bucked a current trend and used a front fender and good rubber. The bike still maintains it’s Honda heritage, too. Noticed it’s licensed in Washington.

    • Hill_Hudson

      Hey thanks man, I actually wanted this to be a daily rider and Portland is known for its rain, so fenders are very needed! The bike is registered in Washington because they don’t require you to have insurance unlike Oregon. 😉

      • nvr2old

        You could get a Classic Vehicle tag next time you renew. Never have to do it again. They don’t need to know it’s a daily rider 😉 I’ve done that to all mine. It’s one of the perks of having a 30+ year old bike.

  • GuitarSlinger

    Thats a pretty darn good build especially considering he’s not had a lot of experience . Heck we’ve seen a whole lot of ‘ Pro ‘ stuff here and elsewhere that doesn’t stand up to this build .
    But if I may Mr Hill … with this bike ….. take the words of David Wilcox to heart . ” Leave it Like it Is … its Fine ” Then …… build another ….. please

    • Just when I think I’ve got you pigeonholed… 😉

      • GuitarSlinger

        Here’s a hint mate . Trying to pigeonhole an Artist ( a genuine one that is ) is like trying to squeeze liquid mercury in the palm of your hand . The second you think you’ve got it its slipped right out the edges 😉 BTW Andrew – on a personal note . I may go balls out sometimes in defense of a position / opinion but DON’T take that to mean I don’t like your site or an awful lot of your opinions . I do . I likes what I likes and am not afraid to say it when I do not ( BTW if you haven’t sussed it out I do like Heiwa’s bikes ) As well as I’m a Jersey Boy ( NJ that is ) and as Bruce Springsteen once said when it comes to our kind . ” The motto on the Jersey State flag SHOULD read ‘ Don’t _____ with Me ! ” Which is to say we/I am quite blunt sometimes … sometimes to a fault . But you and your site IMO ( which I’d kick some serious ___ defending BTW ) are OK in my book . Even when we have us a good knock down .. drag out 😉 Cheers & Rock On .

    • Hill_Hudson

      “But if I may Mr Hill … with this bike ….. take the words of David Wilcox to heart . ” Leave it Like it Is … its Fine ” Then …… build another ….. please”

      note taken!

  • Van Bo!

    I love small bikes….and this is a great build.

  • Russell Stolzoff

    Hill- It’s Russell. That’s RAD man!! Great to see your work and read your descriptions of the project. Want to take on a Suzuki 850GS? I’ve got one sitting here 🙂

    • Hill_Hudson

      hey thanks russell, i’ll contact you next time i’m in town.

  • One of my favourite bikes on this blog for sure. Nice find

  • Oldroadie

    Wonderful. Just wonderful.

  • Hi Hill, are the gauges the original one’s that where on the bike? Don’t think I’ve ever seen a vertical odometer before?

    • Hill_Hudson

      The gauges are stock for the CB77s from 1961-1966 i believe, then they switched to a different style in which both needles move together, clockwise, until 1968, but i love how these older cb77 gauges look, i bought this one and rebuilt it, cleaned the face plate, repainted the redline and rolled the ODO back to zero 🙂

      • Good choice and thanks for the info. I like the quirkiness of the gauges.

  • “Chopping up the extra CB77 tank for the seat hump was a stroke of genius and the tail light is simply stunning.”
    200% agree!

  • Cameron

    Hill – what size tires & rims? And how do they handle compared to stock size? I’m rebuilding my superhawk and in the buying phase for rims/tires.

  • bigmattie

    Holly sh#t that is cool. Hill, damn nice work. The seam that
    is now on both tank and seat hump is such a neat detail, makes it feel factory.
    Question – the background/typography on the dials – is that your own work or

    • Hill_Hudson

      hey thanks a lot bigmattie, the gauges are totally stock for the cb77 from 1961-1966, all i did was disassemble it and clean it up/ roll the odo to zero.

  • A hands down great build. I’ve always loved those bikes and this very tasteful build makes me want one even more. Love the seat, love the color scheme, love the tail light. Keep up the good work.

  • Ted Scherrer

    Well I know Hill personally, I helped him get launched into the motorcycle medium (not that the art rubbed off just the stubbornness!) I think this is just the beginning – this kid has serious talent – keep an eye on him! Way to go Hill!

  • That’s cool. Cries out to be named the “Bull Pup”. Maybe I don’t get out enough, but that speedo/tach is freakin’ awesome.

  • Mgmue mgmu

    Now that’s a hot bike. Love it. Especially the seat hump & brake light.

    What is that cylinder along the riders left leg? Also the tube that goes from the rear fender to behind the shock? Is that for the license plate light wiring?

    Adding some holes & screening for the drum brakes like they did in the old days would be a nice touch. As would dropping the headlight a few inches.

    Nice job

    • Hill_Hudson

      hey thanks, mgmu.
      the cylinder on the side with the copper cap is a tool box i made, it’s detachable from the frame, and the tube going through the fender is the rear brake cable.



  • asda

    what is the size of the tire and the rim?

  • J Wulzen

    Nice to see someone else is building the 60’s Honda CB77, good job! check out our site

  • uncbilly

    This is what it’s all about. Tail light is brilliant. Excellent job!

  • James Knight

    That one is a true classic. Props to the owner for making it in a state of performance level on this day. It will fetch a good price in honda dealers in queens.

  • Alvin Smith

    Wow awesome pics!The bike looks so cool.. led pcb
    led circuit board

  • Adam Santella

    the Honda Superhawk is one of the most beautiful bikes ever made in my book. My list may seem strange, but to me, the 1970 CB350, the Triumph Daytona (the original one), Yamaha XS650, and my most questionable choice, the Ducati 860GT, are the greatest looking bikes every made (and are moderately affordable to boot). Oh, and always in the fridge of coolness above these, and all other bikes, is the CBX, which may not look the best after its tourer bike makeover, but sounds more stirring than god’s hoover making love with a french horn.

  • yamahawarrior

    Keep that sexy beast locked up. I am eyeballing one on craigs right now may just have to get this ine from you love it great work. The one i want comes with spare parts looks like a tank spare too might steal the seat idea