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‘73 Honda CB750 – Wes York

Posted on May 30, 2014 by Andrew in Brat, Classic. 15 comments


“I had to cut the tree down that was growing through the old bike I found.” It reads like some kind of urban legend or biking folk law, right up there with the story of the guy who wheelied all the way home after he punctured the front. That and the one about loud pipes saving lives… but we’re here to tell you that sometimes the truth is stranger than fiction. And the guy with the saw? Introducing Wes York from Indianapolis, Indiana and his rather sawdusty Honda CB750 brat.


“Two years ago I found a ‘73 CB750 and a ‘74 CB550 that had been rotting away in a field in Illinois for over 20 years. I had to cut down a tree growing through the wheel to remove the bikes (yes, seriously) but after we got them out I discovered the 750’s motor was free.”


Wes says that he’s always had an appreciation for the industrial age and it’s relics because of their raw, mechanical, do-it-yourself feel. To him, a vehicle is best appreciated when it is stripped down to its purest form, without any fancy paint jobs or flashy chrome. Or leaves, we guess.


“To achieve this raw, mechanical look I started with a new frame and cut off just about every extra tab and the rear section of the frame to weld in the new hoop. I machined the top triple flat, installed clip-on bars and replaced the gauges with a GPS unit to make the highest point of the bike the fork tops.”


Wes then obtained an original Ford Model A tail light and converted it over to 12 volt to make it usable. He also managed to get his hands on a 1978 Super Sport tank and decided to sand it and the motor down to give them a brushed metal look. The wheels were blasted, powder coated, re-laced with new spokes and wrapped in vintage Firestone tires to complement the retro/industrial look.


“The bike had an original 4-into-1 Kerker header that I wrapped in exhaust wrap and left as an open pipe. I made a custom flat seat with diamond stitching to try to distance my look from the traditional cafe tail section that I feel is a little over used now-a-days. In the end, I couldn’t be more happy with the outcome of the bike and I look forward to starting the next project. It means a lot to me to bring a motorcycle like this back to life that was certain to rust away and die.”


Wes also took the time to say a huge thanks to his family and friends for their help. He also wanted us to mention his wife for her complete support in his ‘sometimes frustrating but satisfying hobby.’ Awe, shucks, Wes.

  • suspect ste

    i know all this paint it black and make it raw stuff has been done before but i still love it and just getting a bike going again is better then it sitting in on a farm for 20 more years?

  • revdub

    I’m in Indy often. I hope to see this clean bike on the road one day. If I do, I’m buying the first round! Great stance and overall look, Wes. Congrats.

  • NBarnes464

    what size tires are you running?

    • York-Design

      They are 450×18 rear and 400×19 front.

  • Thomas Høj Jørgensen

    Really like the bike, but If you think the cafe-hump seat is overused (and I completely agree), wouldn’t you think the same of pipe-wrap and firestones and a flat brat-style diamond stitched seat? Don’t get me wrong, those elements work great on this bike, but I find that comment very odd.

  • Beto

    What GPS unit is used on this bike?

  • Britbike

    Brutally beautiful! Like a punch. Well done,

  • This may be the first brat I really dig. The lines are great and a bench seat finally looks good on a bike. Great work! Will it be at Rockers Reunion?? And you should definitely bring it to Kentucky Kick Down in September!

  • Jape Sinisalo

    The rearloop does not offer much suspension travel, but I guess rideability is overrated anyways, judging by the ergonomics and tires. It does look really good though.

  • Peter Gorišek

    Love it. Great bike, minimalistic but street legal. Just wondering what model of GPS unit did you use. Did you manage to configure it in a way that it start to show speed on power on. Thanks.

    • york-design

      Its a garmin nuvi gps unit that has a speedo and tripometer built in…I hardwired the unit into the harness so that i comes on when you turn the key

  • bart

    pipeburn, all brat , all the time. Yawn.

  • Fredrik Svärd

    The simpleness and the rawness of this bike is just extraordinary! Bravo

  • Kaetyn St.Hilaire

    does this thing bottom out?

  • Jake Leese

    I’m wayyyy late but anyone know what length the rear shocks are? I’m guessing 11.4 shorty’s but I wanted to be sure.