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Honda CB750 ‘Mr Hyde’ by Classified Moto


Posted on January 14, 2015 by Scott in Café Racer. 21 comments

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Words by Martin Hodgson.

Custom motorcycles often leave an audience profoundly polarised, while some lavish praise others ridicule and scoff. It seems the further from sedate you go the more divided the opinion, but designers like Terblanche and Tamburini have shown that is not always true and great custom builders can do the same. Create amazing one off motorcycles that receive almost universal acclaim, are anything but bland and always show off that signature style that lets you know the brains behind the build. Enter John Ryland, Classified Moto and a Honda CB750 known as Mr Hyde.

I always eagerly anticipate a new build from the Richmond, Virginia based workshop and this 1992 Honda CB750 Nighthawk certainly doesn’t disappoint. Customer Jordan had seen a pre-Nighthawk CB750 build of Classifieds called the SuperStrada and wanted something in the same vein. The first thing that hits you in the eyes is the single sided swingarm and this is certainly no bolt on conversion. While the Ducati Multistrada swingarm remains stock the Honda frame required considerable fabrication and welding expertise from Seth and Danik to get the two working in harmony. The Showa shock originally fitted to the Ducati remains in place while just like SuperStrada the rear wheel is from a Ducati 1098.

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The front end is equally as accomplished and it’s rare to see a Classified build that doesn’t feature a variation of an USD fork, Mr Hyde is no exception. Donating its forks, lower clamp and front wheel is a late model Yamaha YZF-R6R that brings handling well and truly into the 21st century. Finishing the conversion is Classifieds very own billet aluminium upper triple clamp. With the R6 also kindly donating its controls the front of the bike was nearly complete. But never ones to dodge a challenge the decision was made to bring even the speedo into the 21st century, no dials here as an iPhone mount was carefully CNC’d and a GPS based speedo app takes care of the display. Adding function to the perfected form is a 12v accessory port to keep the iPhones battery at full charge.

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At this stage of the build Mr Hyde appears to be quite similar to the bike that inspired it, the SuperStrada. But Jordan had a request, occasionally he wanted to be able to ride his custom “two up”. So unlike the last CB750 build upholsterer Roy Baird shaped the rear of the seat to accommodate a second person and no metal fairing was added. What makes this addition to the build truly exceptional is the set of passenger pegs that sit below the swingarm; Want to ride solo and remove the sight of the second set of pegs? Easy, they’re removable!

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While many will automatically assume the fuel tank is simply a Classified Moto’s bare version of an earlier CB750 it is actually from a CB450T Hawk. Matched with the handmade seat, the tanks proportions work perfectly with the later model Honda, both merging at the halfway mark of the frame giving a visually satisfying balance to this urban brawler. It’s these touches that make John such an incredible designer and when the bike makes its growl from a sweet four-into-one stainless exhaust fabricated by Seth you can start to see why the Classified Moto team have taken the motorcycle world by storm and have celebrities knocking on their door.

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Now with the Honda in Jordan’s hands, the malevolent Mr Hyde is free to take to the Jersey jungle and do all the things so many of us wish we could do on a Classified Moto build; Hold it open and hang on!

[Photography by Adam Ewing]








  • lennard schuurmans

    are those rain tyres? they look great

    • UglyMotors

      These might be as well some Enduro ones – i went that way also with my CB 750 project mounting on my bike Conti trail attack – glorious!

    • Dunlop D616

      • lennard schuurmans

        Thanks!

        • You are welcome Leonard. They use this tire a lot on their builds.
          Also used on the rear of most stunt bikes. But rumour has it that Dunlop may discontinue the tire.

        • lennard schuurmans

          Dunlop’s info about the D616: “Innovative and aggressive tread pattern derived from wet-track road-racing tread design”
          Always thought raintyres have the best looking tread patterns and wondered why they did not use them for street tyres. Seems to me like Dunlop started to notice a lot of people used rain tyres on their customs and racers. Tyres are like the eyes of a motorcyle and make huge impact on the overall look. Firestones get a lot of hate but they have great proportions and tread patterns. The big tyre companies are starting to take notice the trends in the custom scene. Most custom builders choose a tyre tread that has simple symmetric lines and I think in the future we will see more tread patters like these.

  • Darkbrador

    Pretty slick design … the “rain” tires look good, even though there is no fender, so no riding in the rain 😉
    A few questions : no rearset despite the clip-ons on the fork ? That makes for a somewhat weird riding position. Also, the large USD tubes and clip-ons associated with the large CB tank reduces significantly the rotation of the front end ? (not criticizing, just asking as I have the same issues on my garage build now …)

    • Jordan

      Hey Man. There’s most definitely riding in the rain, just might wind up with some gravel and other “stuff” in your back pockets.

      Riding position… comfortable. With mid controls, no rear sets, there is less weight on your wrists. I cruise on the highway one-handed (do as I say, not as I do) with ease, just a slight lean forward. Coming off of a gsxr, this is quite nice.

      Large tubes, yes. Steering stop, no. Steering stabilizer, no. Significantly reduce front end rotation, no. Some dents in the tank from the clip ons and tight turns, yes. PROBLEM CORRECTED… adjust clip ons so they are “further spread”

      Good luck with your build. Add a steering stabilizer.

  • BoxerFanatic

    Interesting that they use a Ducati swing arm, when Honda donors provide VFR or NT650 ELF single sided swing arms, that might be a closer fit to the swing arm pivot in Honda frames.

  • thumpthump

    i pity the passenger tiptoeing on those pegs, desperately trying to avoid pipeburn.

    • battler britton

      yes…can’t understand!

    • Jordan

      My wife urges me to “STOP leaning so far”… no burns, few peg scrapes

  • Hammina

    Classified is getting lots of coverage. I like that I know who the builder is before reading anything, seriously. They have their own look but variety within it. I think this may be their best yet, not so vintage that performance parts and brightly painted shocks look out of place on the bike. And not so modern that it looks like all the other crap on the road. Nice stance, not too buff and stubby, I love the pipe paralleling that line in the subframe.

    • True story. One element doesn’t step on the glory of another. The overall canvas is a good mix of old and new.

    • Jordan

      It’s a visceral ride. Suspension plants the bike, yet frame torques under WOT. Too much fun. Dyno @ 74 hp

  • A classy job from Classified Moto. I like the way the tank joins with the custom side panels. A very clean “muscle bike”.

  • Bultaco Metralla

    Usually I find big Honda’s as interesting as a cold spaghetti sandwich but this is really good. A lovely clean build that reminds me of Phillipe Starck’s Aprilias.

    • Jordan

      Wind out gears longer, faster, harder.

  • nice engine and guess the colour is okay but rest of it is a just a load of expensive parts, design over purpose, not what cafe racers are all about, and the tyres are just stupid, are u going off road lol

    • Jordan

      Depends on the time of day

  • rein skugler

    Personally I prefer big twins. But I must admit, the Honda 750Four is such a classic. It lends itself to practically any type of build.