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Classified Moto’s ’92 Honda CB250 – “MoHawk 250”

Posted on September 4, 2012 by Andrew in Café Racer. 162 comments

Name the most uncool motorbike you can think of. No, it’s not a lime green Harley chopper. Or a billet-covered Hayabusa with an extended swing arm. Hell, even the humble Honda CT110 has some redeeming features if you think about it. Oh no, if you really want to plumb the depths of icy, frigid lameness you’d be very hard pressed to beat the Honda CB250 NightHawk. In Australia, it’s (in)famous as the bike the public servants brought in their thousands for the government’s Motorbike Learner Schools and, just when you thought there was nothing more you could do to degrade a bike’s reputation, they went and welded giant protective crash frames onto them. Personally, I couldn’t think of a worse bike as a starting point for a custom build. Which makes what you see here all the more amazing. Meet Classified Moto’s “now we’re just showing off” masterpiece, the “MoHawk 250”.

Hey – where’d all the lame go?

Here’s John. “Brant Shalikashvili lives in Washington, DC. He works at the Pentagon. He doesn’t own or want a car. He now rides a Classified commuter. He came to us with a fairly unusual request. He wanted a bike to ride around DC and to his job across the river. He hadn’t ridden bikes in years and had no interest in rubbing elbows with Hayabusas on I-395. Something small, light and fun around town — but very Classified.”


“(our) mechanic had been wanting us to Classify one
just to see if it could be done.”


“Recently our riding buddy DeeDee Ray had sold me her ’92 Nighthawk 250 and it turned out to be the perfect donor bike. It’s reliable, light and definitely not fast. Plus, Greg (CM mechanic) had been wanting us to Classify one just to see if it could be done.

We talked about design and could tell that Brant had some love for the classic cafe style. That’s something we’ve avoided up to now, really just because it’s being covered pretty thoroughly out in the motosphere. Of all the bikes we’ve built, this one looks the most like a cafe racer. But we feel like we did it our own way.”

Note notched pipes to accomodate rearsets

“Pretty much everything is either nickel plated or powder coated. It’s got big gnarly tires. A splash of perforated metal for good measure. Modern Ducati forks. It’s a little different look for us, but it’s definitely Classified.

There were a lot of little things to figure out on this one, but overall the build was trouble free. Until we got to the exhaust and foot controls. Brant is fairly tall and we went to great lengths to get his feet in a comfortable position. Unfortunately, the best position interfered with the mufflers in a big way. It seems there’s something like that on every build. I figured the only way to keep the pegs in the preferred position was to notch out the cans to clear the pegs. It looks awesome. I broke down and bought a set of billet Loaded Gun rear sets. Alex TIG welded the foot control mounts. The whole thing cost 15 times what I estimated. But I love the result.”


“if we were going for wheelies and burnouts,
we would not have started with the CB250”


“Another challenge was coaxing a little power out of the tiny motor. The big tires didn’t help, but we didn’t want to give up the ability to roll up over any curb so we did a lot of playing around with sprockets and jetting to get the best all-around feel. Now it can keep up with freeway traffic if need be, but it still feels peppy around town. But obviously, if we were going for wheelies and burnouts, we would not have started with the CB250. We love the way this thing looks and feels. And so does Brant. I’m sure critics will give us the newsflash it’s not fast. Neither is an old Karmann Ghia, but they’re both fun and easy to love.”

A NightHawk in the, er, day

(Photos by the stupidly talented Adam Ewing.)

  • Frank

    Another one?Please stop this kind of motorcycle!Are all the same!

    • gone

      > Frank + 1 …. It aint a bad bike : but it is SBDD ( same bike.. different day ) for certain !

      Oh but Andrew . Calling this a ” masterpiece ” is in fact beyond Hyperbole and delving into the realm of blatant hardcore overstatement . It is a nice bike . Not bad at all . But a ‘ masterpiece ‘ ? Not hardly

      • tmcsp

        The masterpiece is turning such a turd of a CB250 into a very cool little bike.

      • Your mum – now THERE’S a masterpiece.

        • gone

          Aint that ever so cute . The Antipode trying to go all ( New ) Jersey street on the Yank !

          • Andrew, that is far too proper. What I think you meant to say is “YO MOMMA!”

      • davmo

        Ah, yes. GS taking on TS, manxman, Andrew, and any other rube foolish enough to wander into the arena. A Texas Chain match, as they are called. Let me get my popcorn, this is getting good. Bike? What bike?

  • Bill

    I agree with Frank. Cafe Racers were built by the man in street for himself. These bikes that are churned out by the ‘big boys’ are starting to look the same.

    • Greg Ownby

      I think the tiny garage that is Classified Moto would be humbled to be in with the ‘big boys’

  • Super cool little bike! Very well done. I can’t find a SINGLE thing wrong with it.

  • davmo

    I’m digging it. These less radical, more practical builds, something attainable to a lot of riders are great. Props to the builders for looking past the usual donor bike. Too often, a really good looking stock bike (the CB750 comes to mind ) is used to make a slightly cooler custom.Like the stance, smooth clean lines, color selection. Now just give me a small front fender…

  • itsmefool

    A decent bike that’s totally ruined by that ugly license plate…

    • gone

      I’m not sure the owner has much choice on that . But hey ….. at least there’s no pipewrap , loaf of bread saddle or antique Firestones to complain about . Though that front tire’s size looks like a wash out waiting to happen . Hmmmmn .

      • itsmefool

        Oh, I’m sure he doesn’t…it just seems out of proportion on this bike.

        • I agree and I am curious about the turning behavior that has on this bike.
          To be more specific about the effort that the rider has to put down, (maybe a low fat-bar would give better lever ???), in order to be agile in everyday traffic.
          Plus the factor that this motor has not enough torque to let you ride with ‘a flow’.
          But…only after a test ride I could understand and make solid conclusions.
          Now I only wonder about, but what is a fact,in my opinion, is that Classified Moto are improving build by built.
          Their attention in quality and details, the clean lines,the paint schemes, overall the bikes have character, they stand from the crowd and shout: CLASSIFIED !!
          And that’s cool for the rider and for the builder.

    • Jerkpants2000

      At least theyre able to run it sideways. My state just made that illegal..not that I see it being enforced.
      The riders fantastic lack of gear, on the other hand, makes me chuckle.

  • gone

    > Tony Stark (for whenever you make your appearance today )

    A couple of leftovers from the last bike ;

    1) Kaizen = ” To improve upon ” not strive for perfection . If you truly comprehend the tenants of Zen philosophy you’d know ‘ Perfection ‘ is never attainable … nor desirable . Could perfection be attained …. there’d be no purpose to continue living .e.g. The ‘ purpose of living is constant ‘ improvement ‘ Sorry to be pedantic there but it needed to be said
    2) My response to your challenge yesterday is there now to be read
    3) Carry on with this bike . I’m guessing you’ll love it as well

    We’re finally back to SNAFU TS 😉

    • Hey, GS, I didn’t know that you knew how to google – good job! ;^)

      • gone

        Yeah right . Couldn’t possibly have anything to do with that Masters in Philosophy of Religion … a decades old relationship with Japan ( business , personal and otherwise) or my overwhelming interest in Zen etc ideology …. now could it ! 🙂 Wise acre !

        • I guess it didn’t take? You know, the living in harmony, love is all you need, living in peace with your fellow man, eschewing worldly things – I’m just saying? lol

      • Manxman – In case you happen to be curious (since one cannot reason with those who already know it all) Kaizen is an effort to achieve perfection. Toyota applied it to their business model trying to get workers and management to work in harmony. I like the broader idea of trying to improve upon something (anything really) on a daily basis. Since perfection is subjective and relative, one can only apply the effort to improve (kaizen) rather than feeling that perfection can actually be achieved. (Except in Christianity where we are told that we are “perfected through Christ.”) Doesn’t it then stand to reason that by “improving upon” we are, in fact, striving for perfection?

        • Tony – the alternative to striving for perfection is an unfathomable (for me, anyway) postion. What a sad and empty life it would be to live in such a way that one would intentionally seek a baser, more mundane, and chaotic existence. You mentioned Christianity – I see being perfected through (or in) Christ as an ongoing journey and experience that does not preclude the Kaizen philosophy. So, “improving upon” and “striving for perfection” are not mutually exclusive but the same. In motorcycles the act of tightening a loose chain or adjusting a valve are examples of striving for the perfect chain tension or the perfect valve adjustment. No one in their right mind would make a chain slack or a valve too tight. But I’ve just had a beer so what I just typed may not make a bit of sense.

    • OK. Oh, and I’m not into the whole “nothingness” of zen.

  • Jesús Learte

    Very clean, very simple, nice colour scheme. Well done, although I always think… where is the place for the girl? (or the boy, trying not to fall in any discrimination). If this is not a pure racer, why to renouce to the chance of sharing a ride with someone? (although sometimes it’s a pleasure to say, “sorry I can’t take you”)
    (P.S. thanks for the last picture, sometimes it’s difficult, at least for me, to imagine how the bike fits)

    • Pettit

      Easy…..only date girls that know how to ride their own. Problem solved. NEXT!

    • Ugh

      Having owned a CB250, you don’t want a girl on the back. The girl will push those 20bhp to the absolute limit of performance.

    • brantshali

      Given the relative size of this little moto (read: teeny), a passenger accommodation wasn’t really in the cards. Rather, I’m trying to convince my girlfriend that maybe…just maybe…she wants a Classified Moto of her very own… 🙂

  • I like the current theme of the bikes on Piepburn: real bikes for real streets and real riders. Calssified Moto does a good job with their builds. This is a perfect bike for DC and on rainy days you can always take the metro to the Pentagon.

    • tmcsp

      Yes! +1. Real retro riders are much more interesting than overblown, over serious, show bikes. They have an honesty about them that I find appealing.

    • gone

      OK . I’ll take the bait and play Devils Advocate on this one ;

      Here’s my stance on the subject . If …. I want to see pedestrian , mundane , for real ( really ? ) street bikes .. for real riders ( what … like the NYC toy bike that was just featured and wouldn’t last a week on the Real streets of NYC ) …… well then….. Guess what ?

      I’ll simply take a trip downtown or to the local bikers coffee hang out …… and see all the pedestrian wanna be customs , spray can and pipewrap specials and mundane builds that I can possibly take in with at least as much if not better quality than a couple of the snooze alarms that have showed up recently around these parts built by supposed professionals .

      Fact is I come aboard here hoping to see the extraordinary .. sublime ….. excessively high quality builds that are out there so’s to always keep my sights set higher and higher , raising my personal standards as well as hopefully having a bit of creative inspiration from those builds

      Set your sights low and lower your standards will go . Set them high and watch yourself soar. Assuming you’ve the courage to move forward .

      End of Lecture . Carry on . I’m sure that the LowBrow- Post Modern – Ugly is the New Beautiful – Below Average is the new Excellence zeitgeist won’t go away any time soon . Though I might !

      • Promises, promises…

        • gone

          Hasta la vista TS . Hope bikeexif didn’t boot yer tail as well ( they said it was your fault I got the boot … but I think the guy responding was FOS ) It wasn’t so real . But it was fun . Sort of . Toodles

          • davmo

            Say it aint so, GS. If you depart, we will be subjected to banal cheerleading and kudos all the way around. Your counterpoint allows those of us less enamored with the current post to chime in. You end up taking most of the heat, while the rest of us comment, and sound less harsh by comparison. If you leave , Tony will be the target, the big Kahuna,” the Situation.” Don’t do that to us!!!!

          • I know, right? Now all I can say are sweet things.

          • It just won’t be the same without you. All kidding aside, I do wish you would reconsider and stay. I do enjoy our conversations. I’m not sure what the deal might have been with that other site.

          • Yeah, I got the boot too. I guess Chris is a bit of a thin skinned wank. I’ve already dumped BikeExif from my favs. If the guy isn’t willing to let people post what they post, be it good, bad, or ugly, I’d rather not be there looking at his bikes…or clicking the ads that make him money. Some people are just sensitive.

      • Hey GS, I’ve been looking for some extraordinary, sublime, and excessively high quality guitar playing (and I’m willing to pay, by the way) but I can’t find a CD by an internationally acclaimed 6’4″ acoustic guitar player who sometimes lives in Colorado and sometimes south of Kansas City and who lived for a while in NYC. This isn’t a challenge or a taunt – I’m a guitar playing, guitar builder who loves music by Ry Cooder to Richard Thompson and I’m sure I’d enjoy yours. Cheers!

        • “This isn’t a challenge or a taunt…” (liar.)

        • gone

          You know Manxman something odd’s just hit me . You’ve been stalking me … and taking notes . Hmmmmn . That is creeping me out ( the ‘ baiting ‘ comment was the clue ) ! I’ve dealt with real groupies and stalkers …. but virtual ones ? Thats beyond creepy .

          • No…what’s creeping me out is that you think I’m stalking you. I’m just checking out the bikes and trying to give positive props on good builds. Have a beer and chill. Didn’t know you were kicked off the other blog. I’ve got nothing against you or your posts – it’s all good fun.

          • ditto. I mean let’s face it, there have been guys that are total a-holes and need to go, but that isn’t the situation here.

      • tmcsp

        Every biker hang out near me is either filled with chrome encrusted land barges or tupperware clad race bikes.

        Fact is Pipeburn serves up a variety of flavor bikes. For everyone to enjoy, not just to suit your “exquisite” tastes. You don’t like the bike, that’s cool. Don’t lambast the people who can see the fun in it.

        These are motorcycles after all, not works of art. I don’t care what-brow-zeitgeist your clamoring on about. Hop off your art-critic pedestal and have some fun. Go do a wheelie. Ride down the sidewalk. For god sakes your going to give motorcyclists a bad reputation. People are going to think we are all stuffed up grumps wearing black turtle necks, square rimmed glasses, sipping on Chardonnay while discussing the hideous implications of practicality.

        And I don’t know of ANY motorcyclists who hang out at coffee shops. That is a disgrace.

        • “tupperware clad race bikes.” That’s funny. I’m gonna use that one.

          Edit: I like coffee. I have no problem riding to a coffee shop. They are “cafe racers” after all…

        • gone

          > tmcsp – You don’t get out much now do you son ? Either that or you’re living in a vacuum . Forgotten where the term Cafe Racer came from sonny ? Or is it that you never really knew . Wingnut !

          > Manxman – I’ve got two . Third on the way . Any suggestions as to how ? I’ve none …. without exposing who I am to everyone here . Which … is too bad really as Richard Thompson and Ry Cooder are two favorites as well as influences …RT and I share a builder or two as well . And errr.. in KC currently , moving to CO . so get the facts straight if you’re gonna toss em in my face.

          FYI ; You can’t find the first two cause they’re out of print currently selling used for between $35 -$75 a pop …. god knows why ! Oh but I’ve got a few left in my reserves . Too bad for the ‘problem ‘ exacerbated by the attitude of your request .. cause I’d let you have them for retail … or maybe even less ( as in free ) had you been a bit more civil .

          And as to Mr Stark’s promises promises comment ….. well after a little run in with another Disqus site today partially brought on by one Mr Stark I do believe I will take my leave . Oh well . Back to the real World !

          • I want a CD. I’ve been civil…or Sybil…or whatever. I know who this is. This is Jimmy Page.

          • Can you make me a copy?

          • *POOF* You’re a copy.

          • tmcsp

            When was the last time you saw a bunch of bikes outside a coffee shop racing around the block trying to ton up? If you haven’t realized, that doesn’t happen anymore. The only bikes I see at coffee shops are fully loaded BMW’s coming around the block on an adventure.

            As far as me not getting out enough, I rode 10,000 miles in July and August alone. Ohh and I did them all on a 30 year old bike. (that also handles NYC great BTW)

          • gone

            > tmcsp – Whens the last time you stepped outside your house never mind read the news ? Missed out on the Hells Angels and a rival club last year in So Cal battling it out over who’s turf a Starbucks was in ? Missed out on the fact that 90% of these custom bikes are bought by Hipster Suburban Urban wanna be’s who’s main passion in life is showing up at cafe’s and coffee houses to show off their purchases ? Before you try contradicting my each and every word you might want to get a bit of a life and see whats going on beyond your laptops reach

            As to the 30 year old bike in NYC comment . Yeah right and I’m Jeff Beck ! No wait . I’m Jimmy Page . TS said so . No ….. Eric Clapton . Yeah …. no … oh hell who the heck am I ? Now that my friends …. ” Would be Telling “

          • tmcsp

            Nice use of sweeping generalizations about things you know nothing about. Wasn’t aware you were in possession of a international census regarding the demographic and activities of custom bike owners.

            I ride an ’82 Suzuki GS850G. I rode it coast to coast to coast this summer. When I need to, I will take it into the city. It’s old bones have plenty of life left in them. Some people RIDE old bikes and so appreciate bikes like this one that are built to be ridden.

            Trying to keep the discussion focused on the bike here. A different opinion is not a contradiction, get used to it and don’t take yourself so seriously. (Not trying to be a jerk or anything like that, your entitled to your opinion just as I am. But I do think you’re taking this all a bit too personally. )

          • guitarslingersucks

            you should be a jerk, everyone should, he brings nothing positive to this site and just puts everyone and everything down.

          • cool guy

            will you shut up, you dumbass? nobody goes to cafe’s or coffee houses to show off their bikes, ever. get real you washed up loser. it’s too bad you weren’t caught in the crossfire of the turf war, it’d make the comments on this site a lot less frustrating to read.

          • BigPeeWee

            You don’t need pipewrap, you be wrapped in self importance. World’s most interesting Man? “I don’t always read rambling, self promoting posts, but when I do I make sure they’re by GS.”

          • I think cafe racers should come with cup holders so I have someplace to put my Starbucks.

          • They’re called “Goldwings”.

          • o_0

          • I saw a Goldwing today at the Honda shop. The thing was bigger than my car plus it had a trailer (to pull, not ride on.) Together they went for $29000. What a waste. But I didn’t notice a cup holder. That ruined the deal for me.

          • My wife’s Scion was about 15k and it came with at least 3 cup holders, and abs, airconditioning and a sound system we haven’t figured out yet.

          • you make me hate people. but mostly just you. this site and “the real world” would be a lot better with out you and your 2 cents.

      • “You use that term so often. I do not think that it means what you think that it means.” – Inigo Montoya

        • davmo


          • lol (And I bet you said it with a lisp.)

      • Guest

        +1000 on your thoughts.
        …And I can find honesty on a hypermotard, on a duke, on a mule’s bike,
        on a -I want to give to my rider satisfaction and laughs- bike.
        From the perspective of the bike, any bike,custom or OEM, this is honesty to me.

      • Guest

        +1000 on your thoughts.
        …And I can find honesty on a hypermotard, on a duke, on a mule’s bike,
        on a -I want to give to my rider satisfaction and laughs- bike.
        From the perspective of the bike, any bike,custom or OEM, this is honesty to me.

      • Ugh

        That’s a sound argument. The problem is that your starting premise – what you consider to be sublime – is actually pedestrian in itself.

  • Rob

    Any more info on the performance upgrades? I have a 92 CB250 as well (although mine is really beat up) and I’d like to add a little to the top speed so I feel more comfortable on highways. Thanks!

  • Shades

    Clever using the numberplate as a chainguard! A cool 250cc is kind a rare i think, but now i want one..!

  • tmcsp

    This is a very cool bike. It looks like a glutton for punishment that begs you to hop up the curb to escape city traffic. Just to remind everyone how cool this bike actually is, I’ve attached a picture of the stock nighthawk… Shudder.

    Kudos to Classified for a bitchin’ transformation.

    • I rode on the sidewalk in LA once (It was a black Yamaha 650, I think.) The cop that caught me wasn’t impressed, but at least I didn’t get a ticket.

      • Found this on craigslist today. An upscale “Nighthawk” but not as good as the Bike of the Year “Nighthulk”: 60 MPG!!! 83 cb 550 Nighthalk

  • revdub

    Ryland and CM can do no wrong by me. I don’t say this often, but I’m a total fan. If they can make that bike look amazing, they are true magicians. And, anyone notice what grips they used on this? It seems that we have (very) similar tastes. What beer do you guys drink?

    • Probably PBR? 🙂

      • revdub

        Ha. Maybe so. But if we’re going to continue our parallel tastes, they better get hot on Rogue’s Dead Guy.

        • Interesting, you’re an Ale drinker? I prefer Lager, liker Augustiner Braeu.

    • brantshali

      Oury grips. He may have used them anyway, but I specifically wanted them, because I remember them from one of my old mountain bikes years ago… 🙂

  • I would have never guessed that this was a Nighthawk. I think it’s really cool. I like the fat rubber. That last pic makes it look like it was left out in the rain and shrunk a little. Whatever you do, though, don’t ride it in New York. Apparently, there you need something akin to what Batman rides.

    Edit: That skinny little rotor cracks me up. Looks like it would just crumple into a slinky if you tried to stop.

    • Funny how a pedal bike can survive the mean streets of NYC but a light weight motorcycle won’t? or Tokyo or Mumbai, or Kandahar, or Mexico City…Maybe GS has lived in those places, too? ;^}

      • I know, right? I’m thinking the place he sees most often is mommy’s basement. And I don’t think Guitar Hero counts as far as award winning musician.

  • Hille Dalstra

    Really nice bike. What was done to the wheels and tires? Wider rims?

  • paul@evolution

    Getting a bit tired of reading all the tall poppy banter in the comments section. You guys should go down to your garage and build a bike, instead of ripping apart those that can build one. By the way you carry on, the bikes you build would be by far, the best that have ever been on Pipeburn. Some people like loaf of bread seats, pipe wrap and firestone tyres, just because you don’t doesn’t mean you need to tell us everytime. If you don’t like it, say nothing. If you do like it, give it praise. Trolling is not a real hobby.

    • Russell Lowe

      Well said, I agree 100%. I’ve been on the receiving end of these nameless opinionated people and I’ll confirm it’s not pleasant (take a look at the comments on my WLA bobber posted a while ago). I’m looking for comments from the builders responding to feedback/questions re their builds and I cringe every time I read opinions stated as if they were facts. How about not saying anything here unless you’d be prepared to say it to the builders face?

      Ps, and more importantly, that’s a very cool bike.

    • simon

      agreed…..117 comments…a few about the bikes and the rest back and forth bullshit from “world beaters”….

      • ” and the rest back and forth bullshit”

        Looks like the Mod is BS’ing as much as the rest of us so must be OK. But you guys are right; everyone should say the same generic “I love it” comment in one form or another. Not to mention your rhetoric has more to do with what you think about the comments than the bike, so I guess you’re as guilty as the rest of us.

      • davmo

        Pipeburn and most other blogs of this sort are looking for “hits”on their site. A lot of
        “back and forth bullshit” is what greases the wheel. Sometimes it is the bike, sometimes silly banter. It is internet traffic, all the same. The stuff that helps pay some bills.

    • davmo

      Ah yes, the hater police. Blathering on about how if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all. It is the “comment” segment we are talking about. Perhaps we could have a “kudos” or “atta boy” segment for all those weary of others contrary opinions. The other comical point that always seems to work itself in is the notion that if you have said opinion, you could not possibly be a bike builder, or at least a good one. Trust me, after hearing criticism, some builders will take a second look at their bike, and address some of the weaknesses…the smart builders, that is. If you don’t want to hear criticism of your bike, don’t submit it for publication. If you don’t like to read the criticism, skip the comments segment. If you want to run with the big dogs, better learn to pee in the tall grass.

      • Ditto. Well, except for maybe the peeing part.

        Maybe all criticisms aren’t constructive, but if you can’t handle it, don’t submit your pics.

        • davmo

          But Tony, the peeing part is the central premise of the argument. Without it the rationale crumbles. Love you, man.

  • msb

    Nice – liking this one.

  • TVB

    She’s a little beauty

  • Proper build for a small bike!

  • Philip Beresford

    Beautiful. There is not a single thing I would change. My favourite Classified bike so far.

  • Coming to a book store near you – a beautifully bound, hard-cover book cataloging all of GuitarSlinger’s wonderful Pipeburn prose in an impressively weighty 897 page tome entitled “Guitar …. Slinger …. Man …. of …. Many …. Words….” Yours for only….

    • paul@evolution

      897 pages of the same shit…..

      • nathans909

        HA HA HA HA HA. I just laughed, well said

    • Can I get an autographed copy? And will it be available on Kindle?

      • It comes with a $75 CD inside the back cover.

  • T Bone

    Hahaha…, was surprised by what you wrote above….”Personally, I couldn’t think of a worse bike as a starting point for a custom build.” …. I’d say there the perfect little bike to start a custom build, easy to find, easy for parts, flexible format for all kinds of bullds and most of all….cheap to customise for budding builders. In fact, my first actual build was a ’96 Honda Rebel 250cc pretty much the same as the Nighthawk, which I built as an old style Bobber…..the build cost me around $500 – $600 tops I reckon and I originally bought it for around $3000.00 as a stocker. 😀 T

  • Brandon

    Can someone tell me what grips these are? Thanks.

    • revdub

      Oury mountain bike grips.

  • $52244477


    • paul@evolution

      I’m with you Chris……

  • Cliff Overton

    I reckon this looks great for what it was, I particularly like the shape of the pan behind the seat, it tucks the seat in well and provides a tidy spot for the tail light. I am a little confused by the single air filter for a twin – am I looking at it right?

    • CB250’s (except one version, pre-Nighthawk) all have a single carb.

  • JimmyR14

    It wouldn’t have been my choice of bike to mod but what a beautiful job they have done. I prefer Renthal bars but it’s not my bike! Really well done. The whole thing works and looks finished and complete. I could whinge about lack of fenders etc but who cares? It’s beautiful.

    • brantshali

      Heck, I’m the customer and I’m not sure it would have been MY choice of a bike to mod…but I went into this project not with preconceptions, but a list of things I wanted. Yeah, I’m sure the day will come when I’m caught out in the rain (or take a rock to the face) where I’ll wish for a front fender, but I can always address that down the road. However, for the vast majority of my needs, this bike works pretty perfectly as is. Well, ok, I will likely add a second mirror for practicality sake…

  • Thanks for all the feedback, folks. Also, thanks to Andrew and Pipeburn for including this one on the site. Much appreciated!

    Credit for the studio photos goes to the amazing Adam Ewing ( Check out his site for more of his work (and ours).

    I was on the road yesterday all day and it was hard to follow the comment thread on my phone. Still is, in fact, even at full size. But I waded through the soapbox stuff to find the actual questions! Here are the specs:
    Donor bike: 1992 Honda CB250 NighthawkFront suspension: 2004 Ducati Monster 600 forks with CM Triple Tree conversion, custom billet upper clamp and All-Balls tapered roller bearing upgrade.Wheels: Warp 9 Supermoto wheels front and rear with Warp 9 rotor and Suzuki RMZ250 caliper at front. Nighthawk drum hub laced with stainless spokes at rear. Tires: Shinko 705 120/90-17, front and rearExhaust: Standard pipes (ceramic coated) with nickel plated mufflers modified to clear foot controls.Engine: Stock CB250 motor and carb, jetted for Uni filter and free flowing exhaust. -2 front sprocket (12 tooth)Tank: Modified 1978 Yamaha XS750, nickel platedTail section: Custom shaped by our buddy Alex HeathSeat: Custom made and shaped in-house. Upholstered by Roy Baird in Richmond.Controls: Loaded Gun rear sets on modified mounts. Woodcraft adjustable clip-ons with Oury grips.Other: Acewell digital gauge, custom LED taillight, custom aluminum skid plate made by Seth Ingham, DID gold X-Ring chain, Galfer stainless brake line.

    The bike weighs nothing and handles great. It was given a thorough flogging in the city/burbs/highways around Richmond. Riding position is very comfortable, as the clip ons sit pretty high up due to the position of the steering tube. Worked out great.

    Brant, like most of our other clients, was awesome to work with. He had some pretty specific things that he wanted (and didn’t want). It was a great open convo the whole time and we ended up with something we’re all proud of.

    It’s always fun to show off a bike when we’re done and see the public’s reaction. We unveiled this one at the Iron Horse Taproom in DC a few weeks back and it was a hit. Great to see people sit on it, inspect the details, etc. (And no long-winded comments on what we did wrong! People are so civil in person.)

    We’ve had a blast meeting people who seem like they’re in this whole motorcycle thing to have fun — that’s most people, by the way. And we’ve learned not to try and please everybody. No need to. Those who look at our work with a cynical (different from critical) eye will certainly find the flaws they’re craving. So everyone’s happy!

    Anyway, thanks again for the comments. Honk at Brant if you see him in the left lane.

    —JR @classified

    • ” And we’ve learned not to try and please everybody. No need to.”

      You hit the nail on the head. You do what you’re going to do and get it posted. Many will like it, many will hate it. Both groups will have good and bad reasons, but it’s all relative. I wouldn’t change a thing about a bike just because a couple of people don’t like it. If I liked it and the customer liked it, to heck with what they think. If I should choose to use the 3 cardinal sins of pipe wrap, a flat seat, and Firestones, then that’s what I’d do.

      In the words of Eddie Murphy/Richard Prior (paraphrased) –
      Rich – “Are you gettin’ laughs?”
      Ed – “Yeah.”
      Rich – Are you gettin’ paid?”
      Ed – “Yeah.”
      Rich – “Then you tell Bill to have a Coke and a smile and shut the fuck up.”

  • brantshali

    I would like to take this opportunity to thank John Ryland and his fantastic and passionate crew (yes, this includes his significantly better half, Betsy). From the first time I got on the phone with John to the text message from Betsy the other day when the bike got posted here, the journey has been great! They are incredibly engaging, have an eye for aesthetic and were great to work with.

    I feel like one of those cheesy moments from that horrible show Overhaulin’ when the “mark” gets their car back at the end…faces the camera…and says…

    My name is Brant, and I’ve just been Classified! 🙂

    • That’s beautiful. I started tearing up a little…

      • brantshali

        That’s what I was shooting for…glad it worked… 😉

      • Need a kleenex?

    • Enjoy her, brant. She’s amazing…

  • BoxerFanatic

    Different strokes for different folks, and all… and I tend to prefer bikes that are at least somewhat highway ready…

    But in a sub-urban or urban setting, a small-displacement motorcycle like this makes more sense than an even-less-powerful moped, to me.

    They are both vulnerable, but even a 250 is probably a little bit more equipped for evasive driving options that involve acceleration… and the brakes might also be a little more effective with motorcycle-diameter tires, as well.

    It looks like a nice bike, even if it isn’t my perfect ideal. It is nicely proportioned, and very well finished.

    But I think I would rather have a Classified XV920R, or a Classified Thunderbird Sport or early T3-series Speed Triple, (basically a Hinckley spine frame triple) with modern Speed Triple suspension and 955 or 1050 engine… Or a Moto Guzzi spine frame flying V, or a BMW oil-head boxer…

    …and as a departure from Classified bikes, with a fixed-bearing half fairing.

  • Robbie

    I’m a big fan of the variety of bikes on pipeburn. While I don’t love them all, I can respect that someone does, and efforts been put into it. There’s nothing wrong with constructive criticism but pointless bashing of modifications you don’t personally like is really boring. Doesn’t have to be positive, at least make it constructive. I rode a cb250 to get my license in Sydney and it was slow and dull, I’m amazed somebody made one look so good and enticing to ride.


    Finally a bike worth looking at on pipeburn. Its been a bit. Well done and great job.

    • Finally a bike worth looking at on Pipeburn is a little harsh.

  • Thanks for the comments and feedback, folks. It’s always nice to see how our bikes rate with the riding public. I wrote a response earlier, but I don’t see it, so I’ll give it another shot. Bike specs are as follows:
    Front suspension: 2004 Ducati Monster 600 forks with CM triple tree conversion, custom billet upper clamp and All-Balls tapered bearing upgrade.
    Wheels: Warp 9 supermoto wheels front and rear with W9 rotor at front, CB250 drum hub laced with stainless spokes at rear.
    Tires: Shinko 705 120/90-17, front and rear
    Exhaust: Standard pipes (Ceramic coated) with nickel plated mufflers notched to clear the rearsets.
    Engine: Stock CB250 motor and single carb, jetted for Uni filter and free flowing exhaust. -2 front sprocket (12 tooth)
    Tank: Modified 1978 Yamaha XS750 Standard, nickel plated
    Tail section: Custom shaped by our buddy Alex Heath
    Seat: Custom made and shaped in house. Upholstered by Roy Baird (RVA)
    Other: Loaded gun rear sets on modified mounts, Woodcraft adjustable clip-ons with Oury grips, Acewell digital gauge, custom LED taillight, custom aluminum skid plate made by metal wiz Seth Ingham, DID gold x-ring chain, Galfer stainless front brake line.

    It was a great project for an ideal client. We really wouldn’t have changed a thing were we to do it again. I said it better in my post that evaporated, but I’ll try again:

    We try to surround ourselves with people who are in this whole motorcycle thing to have fun. Online and in the real world, we’ve met some of the coolest, most creative folks over the last two years. They all have a general good will and camaraderie about them regardless of whether they love our work or not. We totally respect and appreciate that, so thanks. You make suffering through the occasional cynical rantings much more bearable. — JR, Classified Moto

    • Love yr work, mate.

    • Thanks, John. Excellent build. Super-cool use of your time, and a 250 Nighthawk.

      • I still can’t believe that was a crappy little Nighthawk. Classified Motos = miracle workers.

    • Darrell Schneider

      Very cool bike.

    • Pipe bike

      What size are the rear shocks?

  • Sean

    Stunning transformation!

    Anyone know what tank that is?

  • Oldnbroken

    I love a small bike and that one is too cool for school.

    Edit….Love the bash plate.


  • gribble

    Im lovin’ this bike, can’t really fault it. Good work!

  • Guest

    I’m doing something similar,but with scrambler handlebars,will be a flat tracker,just building it out of what i’ve got laying around the garage from various builds,BSA B31 swingarm frame,Suzuki 450 twin motor,Kawasaki 250 Ninja forks, brakes and foot pegs etc,BMW 650 Funduro wheels,i’ve a new set doing nothing right now (not the ones in the photo,these are some old ones i had), Chinese fuel tank,have much to do so seeing yours here is some inspiration,thanks,nice ride.

    • Shoot some pics to Andrew or post a pic in this thread. Always cool to see bikes inspired by what is being reported on.

  • I’m doing something similar,but with scrambler handlebars,will be a flat tracker,just building it out of what i’ve got laying around the garage from various builds,BSA B31 swingarm frame,Suzuki 450 twin motor,Kawasaki 250 Ninja forks, brakes and foot pegs etc,BMW 650 Funduro wheels,i’ve a new set doing nothing right now (not the ones in the photo,these are some old ones i had), Chinese fuel tank,have much to do so seeing yours here is some inspiration,thanks,nice ride.

  • I was checking out the Honda CBR 250r because I need a commuter that will get 70+ mpg and be able to handle 60’ish mph. I would much rather have something that looked like this.

    • Tony can I ask you something without being offensive ?
      Why do you post so many comments in just one article ???!!!
      I am not ironic, and I don’t have a negative predisposition against you, but I am curious really.You are free to do so but why are you doing this ?

      • Right now, Andrew says I am the second commenter after him. I’m shooting for number one. Now I’ve had to make ANOTHER post because you asked me why. Thanks for helping me out.

        Seriously, though, I spend A LOT of time working on the computer. To rest my brain from that, I check out Pipeburn and rib other posters. All in good fun, really. It’s either this or play Castleville.

  • Alex MacPherson

    What a super cool little bike! It looks amazing and I bet it is tons of fun to scoot around on. Well done!!

  • bmo

    very nice build!

  • This bike looks great. Love the concepts and though behind it. I have looked at it 3 times today. How is the rear suspension travel, does the rear light hit the tyre ever?

  • nice looking bike mate !
    I like the usd forks , any tips on what type of ducati for the triple clamps & forks ?
    keep up the good work!

  • James IV

    paul @ evolution I like your talk, Talk is cheap and actions speak louder than words….Love this cb its looks very well done.

  • One of the sweetest looking cafe’s I’ve seen in a while… bravo! Well done!

  • Hip

    Love this build John. Perfect stance.

  • 日本では、手に入らないのかな?

  • Matthew

    Very nice looking bike. Prob would have more street oriented tires myself. Love the orange stripe. Beautiful cafe racer!

  • Greg

    What colour/ paint code have you guys used on the tank? love the tinged metal look!

  • ant loop

    nice bike wish i owened on

  • casey dixon

    classified motto. you guys have great vision. best of the best. hope to to have one of your viragos built just for me one day. keep up the great work.

  • Lewn

    I know I’m a little out of date here, but no way! A CB250 is by far not the most uncool bike. I mean think of it the new CBR250? Fairings? Single cylinder finnicky EFI? Then we have have the CB250RS, which was a single, I know that thing was uncool, I had one! No the CB250N is a coolish bike, its bigger brother the CB360 is a hugely popular custom bike. Stop bullying it! It was a sweet air-cooled parallel twin, and has been beautifully customized in the photos above and elsewhere on the web, although yes, we all probably crave a bit more power, but damn, its still a fair machine.

  • CoolKid

    Freakin amazing I wonder how much the cost was…? Anyone here know?

  • Darron

    Nice bikes and fabulous work, very inspiring I must say.

  • Johan Wasserman

    Who know’s what swingarm they used on this baby?

  • Nirvair Singh Gauhri

    hello there i think this something so fantastic for a cafe racer , cheers to the builder great work there…!

  • CafeOlé

    Hey! I’m from Spain, and I wish to know what mark and model bike is the fuel tank! Thank you very much guys!

  • Alexander

    Im pretty sure I just fell in love.

  • S

    This bike is super bad-ass. Keep on building your amazing rides and great segment on Cafe Racer.

  • build it yourself

    Ya know. I’m really tired of the criticism on builds of others by those who couldn’t build a fortune out of the Federal Reserve Bank. If those who criticize are so creative then let them get off their ass and show the rest of us peons how it’s done.

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  • WVDingo

    Wow, two years since the last comments. That’s a pretty cool build. I like seeing fun little bikes built for people. I was curious about what all went into fitting the forks. The OD on the Nighthawk stem bearings is a bit of an oddball, so I’d like to know if you swapped cups, figured out an easy bearing conversion, or went all in with a custom stem/clamp set up. I have a Nighthawk 250 that I want to convert into a lightweight ADV bike. The forks flex a good bit and a rotor up front would be nice, which is why I am asking about the forks on your bike.

    I started a resto-mod/cafe RD350 when I was in college and it keeps getting pushed back on my list. I started it before the cafe bikes became big, then lost interest when their popularity peaked. I’m hoping to get to it next winter

  • Shawn Feddern

    It’s amazing what people do with these so called tiny bikes. I so want a little guy like this.