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Honda CB550K ‘Logan’ by KickMoto


Posted on January 7, 2015 by Scott in Café Racer, Classic. 35 comments

Logan 1

Words by Marlon Slack.

I admire the Canadians. They’re a resilient, resourceful people with a long and proud reputation of overcoming adversity. Whether it be thriving in the barren wilderness of the North, co-existing with man-eating bears or having to live alongside French Canadians, they always seem to make the best of the difficult circumstances the Gods have dealt them. KickMoto in Halifax, Nova Scotia continue this long trend of Canuck determination by producing this tidy little café racer. It’s their first commissioned build and if the quality of this 1978 Honda CB550K is anything to go by, it certainly won’t be their last.

Logan 2

I say the bike required some determination because the three guys who make up Kick Moto – Jeff Shaw, Jordan Braun and Daryl Stewart – had their work cut out for them from the beginning. The donor bike was bought for $300 and came disassembled in plastic totes – which may have been convenient, because at the time of the build they didn’t have a shared workshop and all the modifications were carried out separately at each of their houses. And there was a bit of work involved…

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“The frame has been cleared of all unnecessary tabs and welds and has been modified in several places, including the rear hoop, the screen guarding the intake, and the electronics tray.” The guys from KickMoto explain, “We’ve shortened the fork legs, rebuilt the brakes, trimmed the top triple, rebuilt the wheels, and powder coated everything.” The electronics didn’t escape unharmed either, with the CB’s wiring loom paired down to the essentials. “The entire bike has been rewired with a slim lead-acid battery, allowing for kickstart only.” Which is only fair, considering their name.

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What impresses me most about the Logan CB550K is the amount of work carried out by the guys themselves. Many new bike builders, and even established ones will gladly send away parts to older, hairier specialists for wheel building, metal repairs, and ambitious invoicing but KickMoto seem determined to try their hand at everything.

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“The tank was in rough shape, and this was our first serious attempt at tank repair and paint,” they say. “The amazing result surprised the hell out of us. As for the seat, this is only the third that we have made and it was sewn up on a household Singer sewing machine.” That’s some pretty great work for a company at such an early stage. Look at the perfect fit between the seat and the tank – I have a $500 aftermarket seat on my Bonneville that’s so far out of spec I worry I could lose a testicle in the gap when braking.

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Tucked up nicely underneath the rear of the seat is the tail light unit, which was also scratch built in-house. The bike also has a few nice features like the ignition tidily moved to the side of the frame and a speedo tucked away behind the headlight. I think that all the work involved produced a lean, beautifully proportioned motorcycle.

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It’s great to see a fledgling company like KickMoto make a really nice, bespoke machine right from the beginning, rather than slowly working their way through the usual aftermarket accessories before tackling anything more ambitious (also known as ‘the Nitroheads ducktail seat’ syndrome). The bike looks cohesive, distinctive and very rideable. With their attention to detail and their willingness to try their hand at paint, upholstery and metal fabrication – and with their new workshop – it’ll be worthwhile to keep an eye on what these guys get up to over the next few years.

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  • Luke

    Rear hoop makes this thing look like a bad ass hornet. Awesome way to start a Wednesday.

  • Great bike!

  • MS

    Great work on this. Neat and clean.

  • al gonz

    I’m in love

  • LK

    Great work, and not to take anything away from them who built it, but here’s a blast from the past…

    http://www.dotheton.com/forum/index.php?topic=1530.0

  • whytaylorwhy

    That’d be a fun bike to take up to Cape Breton. I dig the stubby exhaust. Did they fabricate that too?

  • yamahappy

    Very clean. I like the lighting. The only thing I’d change is to remove the exhaust wrap.

    • IanC

      I would have to add mudguards so I could ride it any day, hate exhaust wrap too

  • I like how they crept right up to a Firestone but didn’t give in. I’m not bashing Firestones, I’m just saying that they stopped at just the right spot. The look and feel of this machine has a rideable, bad-boy quality. If it were a dude, you’d share a pint with him but know you’d likely end up taking on a group of hoodlums in a fight as you’re leaving the pub.

  • Vaden

    NIce to see some Right Coast representation on Pipeburn.

  • revdub

    Wow. What a clean build. I love the entire rear section, especially with the integrated lights. The stance is spot-on and mean as well. Great work.

  • Brad

    Nice build! It stands without a kickstand too! Must be new technology.

  • cornishman2

    Great build. I love the attention to detail, the seat and subframe for example are beautiful. As has been said the pipe wrap would not be for me but that’s a small thing. Wonderful to see such work from a new team,well done indeed.

  • Dacron Aorta

    Handsome machine, exquisite proportions and perfect stance.
    Check out Grayson Perry if your after art, this machine’s got style. And it’s cool.
    Fast? Good Handling? Practical? Probably, but who cares, look at it!

  • I recently got back from Halifax and love that place, the people there are so creative and humble, and so down to earth it makes your teeth hurt. bummer there’s no picture of the top or left side of the bike but what i see i really really like. Can you remember this one for 2015’s bike of the year?

  • Smokey!!!

    The black on black is the sh*t. Very clean

  • grover

    Simple, clean, and functional with perfect stance. Homerun!

  • Juan Chava

    I made a bet with my friend, how much would you say this cost?

  • Biff

    Nice bike in a box beer budget build. I am on my third bike in a box build. My newest is a 1974 Suzuki T500. We maritimers are always up for a challenge.
    Doing everything you possibly can yourself is an old school maritime tradition that thrives to this day. Covering corrosion with powder coat is also quite popular here. Cheaper than buying new parts and it looks cool.
    A little crazy to not have fenders in this climate but that’s just my opinion.
    Good work boys, simple and functional.
    Where is your shop located?

    • bill smith

      You will love the T500, Did one about five years ago, Sold it two years ago and regret it deeply.

      • Biff

        I have wanted a Titan for quite a while so this will be a keeper. With any luck, I should be riding it in the spring. I have four other bike projects on the go right now so I will need to focus but, at the same time, there is nothing I would rather be doing. The life of a bike nut.

  • RoryR

    This is simply awesome!! I sold these guys the $300.00 collection of junk and what they did with it is amazing, creative and inspiring. Probably have to eventually get another one myself! To the owners of this site, however, have to say that the “living with French Canadians” comment is not cool – I live with one and she is the absolute bomb!

    • Daryl Stewart

      Ah ha ha. Rory, I hope you got our thank you email! If you haven’t, email me and we can set something up so you can drop by and see the bike!

  • David Hamelin

    Hey Marlon! French canadian here, please restrain from talking politics, you sound like a very challenged person. Nice editing job there Pipeburn! Kudos on bringing us such worldly news on motorcycles! Stay dim assholes!

    • Blake Proudfoot

      And you confirmed their suspicions, well done.

  • Looks very nice. Well done. May be uncomfortable, but looks awesome.

  • PeteNYC

    Well executed. Once you go for clip-ons, however, you must also go for rear-sets. Retaining the stock foot peg position is the only flaw in my opinion. It creates an awkward riding position. Designing rear-sets is one of the hardest parts of a custom build, that’s why so many people avoid them. If so, then go with low, standard handlebars instead. Just constructive input to an otherwise fantastic build!

  • Jon

    Excellent looking bike guys! and congrats on making the pipeburn feed! I happened to come upon the photo shoot that day and talk with the builders. …and I must say, there are a lot of really nice small details on this bike as well.
    Can’t wait to see the next one!
    Cheers

  • bikey mikey

    ” or having to live alongside French Canadians, they always seem to make the best of the difficult circumstance…”
    Really? And you come by this keen insight how ? I live in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
    I find your remark, deeply, offensive. My riding buddies, of French Canadian descent, are some of he most enthusiastic folks that I’m lucky enough to know.
    In the future, might I suggest that you keep your comments focused on the bikes….only.
    Mike C.

  • anyone know the diference between the cb550f and the cb550k?

  • esben

    Howard bug is te tires? By very Nice bike

  • esben

    Sorry, how big are the tires? Btw nice bike

  • French Canadian

    Any chances of having the tires sizes?

    Also that bike is terrific.

  • Paul Chenard

    I had the pleasure of sketching the Logan and another of Kick Moto’s creations at a Halifax motorbike show this past weekend … a real kick-ass beauty, the best of the show!

  • mark

    forgive me for being a newbie at such things, but where oh where does the oil tank, battery, and electronics from under the seat disappear to?