Bringing you the world's best cafe racers, trackers, scramblers, bobbers & custom motorcycles.

1969 HONDA CB750 ‘El Gato’ by Deranged Motorworks

Posted on September 30, 2013 by Scott in Café Racer, Classic. 23 comments

By guest writer Phil Guy.

Cypriot Alexandros Hadjicostas got the itch for bikes while tinkering on his humble Honda Chaly in his early teens. It wasn’t until years later though, after he saw Henrik Hansen’s short film on Shinya Kimura, that Alexandros caught the full-blown café racer bug. One problem though: “One thing I had to deal with was that whenever I said the name ‘café racer’ in Cyprus nobody had the slightest idea what I was talking about” he says. Not one to be deterred, he cast around for a build candidate. It took him a year, but eventually he found the right bike. A 1969 Honda CB750. The bike that last year Motor Cyclist magazine named ‘Motor Cycle of the Century’. He didn’t exactly snag a mint example, though. “When I found the bike it was in a terrible condition after being unused for more than 10 years and missing most of its parts. I had the chassis, engine, carburettors, exhaust and wheels…and that’s all I needed. I bought the bike for 500 euro and had a budget of 2000 euro to work with.”

Alexandros’ vision for the bike was realised by mechanic Adonis Syrimis at Deranged Motorworks. “He was just starting out and wanted to show off his skills using this project,” Alexandros explains. “I couldn’t have found a better person to translate my ideas”. Although he spent six months prior to the build tinkering on the design, a few things he was sure of from the get-go. “The colour for the tank and the rear end was clear from the start—I wanted a silver matte paint that would match with the light brown leather of the seat and the Brooks handles.“

With Cyprus hardly being the hub of café racer culture, Alexandros had to scour the web for the right hardware. “I couldn’t find parts easily in Cyprus so I sourced most of them online from about ten different countries. The parts I added to the bike came from Dime City Cycles in the US, as well as Firestone Champion Deluxe tires, Brooks grips, Motolana headlight brackets & engine covers, and a headlight with speedometer from Nostalgia Speed & Cycles. The only parts I managed to source in Cyprus were the indicators.”

“The final design has changed a lot from my initial ideas, but with my design and Adonis’ mechanical skills we manage to create this gorgeous Honda CB750 café racer that we named ‘El Gato’.” The sobriquet fits: It’s a poised, serene creature that’s not hard to picture purring through the narrow streets of Cyprus.

Photograghs by Alexandros Hadjicostas

  • Pambos

    cool bike. of course he didnt re-invent the cafe racer but surely a very clean and detailed built.
    mind you there are more things going on in Cyprus than Alexandros suggests 😉

    • Heikki

      I think kind of did. He has no fork brace or fender, terrible tires, lowered suspension, no clearance for rear suspension, super low bars on stock location pegs.
      Its clearly re-invented: make the bike perform worse than stock.
      After all originally care racers were self made race replicas meant to perform better than stock.

      • Pambos

        Well i will dare to separate cafe racers in 2 classes (personal opinion dont bite me!) classic British cafe racers that were built for speed, and the bobber influenced American cafe racers built with style in mind.during the last few years the separating line kinda blurred 🙂

      • Geno

        I can’t understand why this has so many facebook likes. It looks like a Manatee!

  • David

    Nice bike but build budget of 2000 euros is bullshit. There’s more than that in parts alone.

  • Lewn

    I like a lot, the color, the stainless exhaust, seat and very clean lines. I think if were me I’d prefer modern tires, no gators, mini fender and 4 into 2 out back, but that’s personal choice, not really saying the way its been done is wrong.

  • 2,000 euros? That’s a crazy budget if that’s all it took (considering the time that went into it, of course). Love the clean look.

  • dannyb278

    A good way to bring a clapped out sandcast 750 back on the street. well done.

    • sbaugz

      doubt this is a sandcast. Only a handful of the very first 1969 750’s were sandcast.

  • BoxerFanatic

    Clean, memorable bike, from a somewhat ubiquitous, common source.

    Nice work.

  • Γεια σου Αλέξη με το κουκλί σου !!!
    Το γούστο και το μεράκι δεν κρύβονται και μπορώ να πω ότι το τελικό αποτέλεσμα είναι πολύ ισσοροπημένο οπτικά. Βλέπω πολλά cafe CB, αλλά το δικό σου μου έκανε “κλικ” από τη στιγμή που το είδα στο Cafe Racer Special. Προσεγμένες επιλογές σε ότι έχεις βάλει, και μπορώ να πω ότι το τελικό αποτέλεσμα είναι υπέροχο !
    Μου αρέσει ιδιαίτερα που κρατήσεις τα πλαϊνά καπάκια, τα 4 τελικά, και που δεν τυλίξες τους λαιμούς. Το μόνο που λείπει είναι ενα ταμπούρο με τέσσερις σιαγώνες μπροστά, αλλά είναι πανάκριβα τα ρημάδια…
    Πάντως αν το κρατήσεις για πάντα αξίζει η μετατροπή κάποια στιγμή που θα μπορείς να διαθέσεις τα λεφτά. Και πάλι εύγε που “κολυμπήσες έξω από την πεπατημένη” των R1 & GSXR και προτιμήσες να μείνεις ρομαντικός. Και τα φερινγκάτα έχουν τις χάρες τους, αλλά το να αναστήσεις μια γριούλα μπορεί να σου προσφέρει πολλή περισσότερη συγκίνηση καμία φορά, από το να μπεις σε μια αντιπροσωπεία 😉

  • Check this cool video of El Gato’s building process from junk-start to jewel-finish:

  • ccc40821

    Lucky he got the original exhaust pipes with the bike when the bought it. They’re easily 2K for a repro set. Love the headlight too.

    • mustIeverytime?

      It almost has a 50’s automobile look to it

  • Dagema

    Can’t get on board with this one. There are too many things that just don’t work on this bike…

  • alias Winston Smith

    Stupid tyres, stupid with no fork brace stupid with no suspension to speak of.
    Other than that, it looks great

  • Choppie808

    For some reason, it makes me think if the original Solaris had a opener with a motorcycle, it would be in it. I am wondering about the clearance of the rear cowl. I don’t see it taking a bump so well.

  • Steve

    Not loving the headlight for some reason but otherwise a nice bike

    • I actually really dig the headlight! LOL it looks like an old PUCH headlight or something 🙂 if anyone knows what headlight this is, please reply below… Thank you. Although this build may not be everyones cup of tea due to particular personal preferences, one cannot overlook how classy this looks, and the balance of colour and geometry works well. Not every cafe has to be cookie cutter “this and that” criteria. Remeber guys and gals, building is about expression! Expressing your love for all that is 2 wheels! Each to his own, but credit given where credit due… Still a very aesthetically pleasing ride, regardless of any other characteristics.

  • Mort

    My first big bike was a ’72 CB750. I love it….

  • Nem

    This bike is pure art

  • Jeremy Arthur Vandelay

    That is an absolutely disgrace to do that to a K0 model CB750

  • GPE

    I can’t quite get the new “culture” of the latest cafe builds. Ok, it looks clean, but this thing was not made to be ridden. No brace, worst option in tires, no clearance between seat and tire and so on.

    Oh and yes, there is definitely more happening in Cyprus than they suggest. And small narrow streets? Maybe if they could ride it beyond the neighbourhood….