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‘71 Honda CB450 – Bas Rovers

Posted on March 16, 2015 by Andrew in Bobber. 26 comments

Featuring non-professional builders is something we don’t do nearly enough of here at the House of Burnt Pipes. There’s something incredibly honest about a guy toiling away in his freezing and/or boiling garage at all hours of the night. And for what? Greasy, skinned knuckles and a constantly empty wallet – that’s what. But there’s something else that can also emerge. Something wonderful. Something that art critics have called one of the purest forms of folk art ever created. So here’s Netherlandian Bas Rover’s own little folk art masterpiece, a hardtail Honda CB450 bobber.


“My name is Bas Rovers. I’m from the Netherlands and I am proud to say that I’m addicted to motorcycles. All sorts, shapes and sizes – I love working on them and building them almost as much as I do riding them. I am an amateur builder and this is my latest project. It took almost two years to complete, and it was worth every single second.”


Bas used the bike to race in the Classic Bike Championships in Belgium. He’d purchased the bike about 10 years previously in the Netherlands as a derelict street bike and built it up from there.


The running gear and frame were okay, but the rest was beyond repair. It didn’t matter though, as Bas bought it with the sole intention of taking it racing. He got stuck in and overhauled the engine, building it up as quite a nice little circuit screamer.


“I raced it for almost two seasons until a crash put me and the bike out of contention. Not wanting to return to racing, it was then stored in boxes for a couple of years until I decided to rebuild it for the road; to create a hardtail bobber but with a racer twist. So it was completely redone from the ground up. I also wanted it to have a hard-core, well-used feel to it.”


If Honda came looking for their bike back, they’d find that only part of the frame, the engine, front forks and rear hub are the original items. “Everything else is hand-built, modified, custom or sourced from other bikes and suppliers,” says Bas.


“The front brake is from a Suzuki GT750, the rims are Borranis and the clip-ons and levers are Cuppini items. The aluminium battery box and stainless steel exhaust were made by a friend, and I wired a new custom loom from scratch. The tank is a replica Sportster tank, painted and aged by another friend.”


“Maybe I’m a little too close to the project to be unbiased, but I think the end result looks pretty good,” gleams Bas. Don’t worry, you’re not the only one. Not by a long stretch.


  • Flathead

    I like the low seat / high neck / clip-on combo, but I looove the tight exhaust around the motor. Thumps up to the friend.

  • methamphetasaur

    Are the switches on the battery box the killswitch/ ignitiin switches?

    • Bas Rovers

      Yep, the ignition switch, light switch (high beam/low beam) and the horn switch.

      • guvnor67

        Bloody Brilliant!!!! Thought I’d found the guy to build my 79 Triumph til I read you’re in the Netherlands! 🙁 Fantastic machine sir!

      • methamphetasaur

        Havingthe horn somewhere thats not immediately accessible seems kinda silly. Is it just there for legality purposes, or do you think that will ever actually be used?

        • Bas Rovers

          It is indeed just to prevent any questions from the local friends in blue… Form over function, I agree!

  • Gedigedi

    Love these motors, we need more Honda CB’s on here. Bike looks great, especially the tank and pipes.

  • blackbird

    Beautiful work. I love the tank! It’s a really nice piece and balanced well with the bike. The switches incorporated into the battery box, Nice touch also. The quilted stitching of the seat ties with the visual pattern of the heat fins on the engine, riveting of the forward engine mound, chain and seat springs. It’s a nice detail that support the overall form.

  • arnold

    Like the motor, pipes and finishing effort.
    The rest I would pay to have taken away.

    • Bas Rovers

      The bike looked quite different when I raced it all those years ago. Full fairing, low exhausts, and normal rear suspension of course. You wouldn’t tell they are the same bike, really…

  • Spyker May

    There is so much FAKE around these days, eg if it is not the Discovery Channel’s fake megalodon shark, then it is Carmen Electra’s pair of… … boots – so another faux patina tank is just like Eggnog Latte in Portland.

    I am not going to wax lyrical as the author of the leading article did, but backyard-builds are such a posthumous hit-and-miss affair – the few flukes that do strike gold, is worth a feature out of principle alone.

    The most pleasing aspect re. this build, for me personally, is the character of the builder – viz obsessive and confident. No surprise then that he is not being trapped by the Flintstone-tires and Mummy-wrap-pipe fad – that would just be FAKE…

    • yabba dabba doo

      • Spyker May

        Bhwaaaaa, ha, ha, ha..!

        Tx for the well articulated response despite your hypotonia and underdeveloped motor skills…

      • Guest

        Bhwaaaaa, ha, ha, ha..!

        Tx for the well articulated response despite your hypotonia with underdeveloped motor skills…

  • MayDayMoto

    Heh. I’m building a cb450 with a gt750 front brake as well, but it won’t look anything like this…

  • Arne

    Hulde voor deze build Bas! Rij je mee met de DGR Amsterdam?

    • Bas Rovers

      Yep, sure looking into participating in the DGR in Amsterdam. Looks like fun!

  • Dogman

    Brings to mind King Crimson “21st Century Schizoid Man”…

  • Floating Disc

    This is fantastic, one of the best and most unique bikes I’ve seen. Different from the rest in a great way, not just for the sake of it. Amazing job!

  • That`s a nice bike. So Retro, So Stylish! Definitely, we need more Honda CB`s here.

  • Bultaco Metralla

    Fantastic effort. Love the look, the line and the craft. A CB450 was my first big bike and it tugs the heartstrings. That’s a really sweet exhaust shape that suits the style. And yes, hooray for another hardtail!

  • Everything looks right on this build. Wouldn’t change a thing.

  • Stijn Weijters

    you probably wont believe me but, my dad helped bas (a little bit) 🙂

    • Bas Rovers

      Yes Stijn, he sure did! You can be proud of him. Thanks Wim!

  • Jurgen

    Hello Bas Rover… Where can i find your adress??

  • Paul De Doncker

    Hi Bas , been a while since we’ve seen each other at the races . Didn’t know you have been building a cb450 bobber. Nice built , looks great!! regards Paul