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Honda CB 550 – Cognitomoto

Posted on September 18, 2013 by Andrew in Café Racer. 32 comments

Too often it’s the more wild creations of the custom bike scene that get all the attention. Like cheeky kids, they play the crowd and manage to get all eyes on them. Which is all good and well, unless you aren’t looking to be king of the hill and would rather travel with a certain understated style and grace. For those times, you’ll be wanting a bike that is cleaner than clean with nothing at all more than the absolute minimum required. Everything it its right place. That bike is this bike. This bike is Devin Henriques‘ Honda CB550 café racer.

“I purchased this CB550 from a man in West Virginia, who replied to my Craigslist posting stating that I wanted to buy a CB750 frame. He said he had the title, but the bike didn’t run and sat for a number of years. We settled on $260. Months later, he was still looking for the title. It took me 9 months to find the legally registered owner and proceed with the abandon title process.”

“The frame from the motor back was cut off and redone with all of the tubing. This created that straight, tank-to-seat look. I then used 14” shocks in the rear. I purchased the seat from Dime City and removed about 2” from the front, then had it reupholstered. The tank is from a CB500T and painted with new colors, but with the original profiles. Rearsets are Tarrozzi, mounted to a bolt-on bracket I designed. The front fork is from an ’07 GSX-R. I then designed a front hub for laced wheels, to be a bolt-on solution for people wanting to run a laced wheel on a GSX-R fork. Also, I designed a simple top tree to match. Both are now offered on the website.”

“The entire electrical system was trashed and had to be rewired from scratch. The motor received a complete overhaul and was powder coated along with the frame, hubs, and rims. The exhaust is from Carpy and the shorty muffler from Dime City. The rims are 17” Harley ones so I could run modern tires. There is a ton of stuff I haven’t covered ib detail, but it is all captured on my build forum for anyone interested.”

“This CB550 is a joy to ride. It’s light, nimble and has just enough power to pull you through the turns, but keeps you out of trouble. It truly feels like a mini sport bike. Since I lack any ability to take a decent picture a photographer friend of mine, Sera Petras helped me out with these great pictures. I hope you guys enjoy these pictures as much as I do.”

  • Bruh

    didn’t like the wires in front of the headlight.

    • Guest

      Wow, what in insightful comment. Personally, it’s the overall clean-ness of the build that impresses me. Everything flows so seamlessly. By the way those are throttle cables…not wires, Bruh.

    • Guest

      Wow, what an insightful comment. Personally, it’s the overall clean-ness
      of the build that impresses me. Everything flows so seamlessly. By the
      way those are throttle cables…not wires, Bruh.

      • steve3sc

        In your f-ing face!

        Got served, negro!

  • Dodgey Bruce

    This…is what i need…. does he trade in old body parts?? 😉

  • Tristan Parker

    Beautiful. Inspirational/motivational! Nice one, Jones.

  • revdub

    So clean and classy. Very very nice. I really dig this bike.

  • jlgace

    I really like the seat, though the openness and the size of the rear tire seem to exagerate the spindly frame. I really like the look of this bike, even the slight snub-nose appearance of the front end geometry works not-too-badly with the rest of it. I don’t get the application of the modern running gear. On a more sporting 80’s bike or an H1 or a Z1 where you can really say the bike’s being held back, then I get it. This seems more like a giant spoiler on a Honda Civic. More of a general gripe though, this is a very good-looking bike.

  • xb12r

    This is exceptional. Massive fan, everything just works.

  • Daryl Stewart

    This bike is fantastic. However, I’m left unsatisfied by the photos. There are no photos of the right side of the bike. I feel like no photos of the exhaust is a no no, similar to a blog having no photos of the drive-side of a bicycle. Just my two cents!

  • ecosse

    i can’t believe this but i can’t find anthing to bitch about on this bike.

    please… is there video anywhere of this running?

  • Clean, classy, tasteful, with good tires and attractive colors – good job.

  • Leroy

    I love bikes like this.
    There’s a lot on it I wouldn’t have done, but you can see why the guy who built it would have wanted it that way. Makes for a bike you can respect.

  • And there’s +1k Facebook likes! That’s only the second bike in our history that’s got more that a grand. Here’s the other:

  • Hunter

    with such a fine exhaust, why no pics to capture it? i run one myself, without muffler = loud as hell!

  • Lewn

    Stunning! Love it.

  • Finally! Finally! A bike with perfect proportions and stance. Subdued colors, beautiful front end and wheels, NO pipewrap (!!!), this looks great.

    I think I’d spring for some 21st century shocks though to bring the rear suspension into the same solar system as the front.

    Nice work! My favoritest bike ever on this site! Cool.

  • Just a beautiful bike to look at…………I really like this one, paint, stance, trick front-end. Very well done.

  • AWLongmeyer

    Almost Stunning!
    Only change two things; take the badges off the tank and a finish on the forks to tie in with the
    engine case.
    I would, however, grudgingly ride it the way it is with a huge grin on my face and tented pants.

  • Edward

    Beautiful! Form and function in perfect harmony. Thank you for posting, and thanks to the photographer who’s pictures do justice to this work of art.


    this rules!

  • MonsterMax

    I keep coming back daily for this one, i just cant get enough!

  • Max2230

    Was thinking about doing similar thing with the 750, but now that I’ve seen the front fork setup, I’ll probably go for the milder conversion. Beautiful build though. Isn’t that the beauty of this site, so much inspiration to be had. Don’t know why you would criticise.

  • redhank

    man, that tank is absolutely freakin’ gorrrrregeeeoussss…captures the era, and sexifies the otherwise not-so-sexy 500T tank.

  • Dinh The Minh

    is there any video of this bike ?

  • Exceptional stance. Great job, man.

  • What a great build!… I’m just gunna paraphrase and say that it’s sexy and looks like you could just chuck her into corners and do all sorts of dirty naughty things with her LOL 😉 *two thumbs up*

  • relu

    Awesome bike!
    One question though: how much did it cost to build from start to finish?

    Thank you.

  • Hawkeye

    Pretty sweet, cuz. I just picked up an ’83 with only 6K on it and it’s really clean. The ladt owner put a nice round chrome lamp on it and painted the front fender black to match the tank, etc. He lowered the bars and put a lower profile seat on it and it looks really nice. I’m almost afraid to change it, but it’s inevitable. Fun little screamer custom or stock!