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‘77 Honda CB750 – Gaige Redd


Posted on April 17, 2015 by Andrew in Café Racer. 34 comments

Written by Martin Hodgson

Gaige Redd wanted to build himself a café racer with ‘80s race car styling all using a Japanese bike from the Seventies – an idea that could go horribly wrong if it wasn’t designed and executed perfectly. But Gaige had a big advantage, he’s a designer by trade and he knew sticking resolutely to the brief would yield exactly the bike he desired. The finished product is a cracking Honda CB750 that tips its hat to the classic BMW race cars that flew the flag for M Sport.

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Not one to do things by halves, Gaige undertook a full frame-up restoration to ensure the ‘77 Honda was in better shape than when it left the Honda factory. This is not a bike built by bolting a few choice parts on. It was taken back to the bare frame; then every nut, bolt and part was disassembled and inspected before being rebuilt or replaced and painstakingly pieced together. Many unwanted parts would never find their way back onto the bike and those that did had to be perfect. The frame was detabbed and painted black, any exposed metal polished to a mirror finish and all fabricated parts redone till they were just right.

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With the CB series Honda’s sporting some of the best known fuel tanks in the custom scene, it was a bold move when Gaige decided to swap his out for a ‘76 Yamaha XS500 unit. But sticking to his design brief required more angular lines and that is exactly what the XS item offers. Gaige took his time getting the tank mounts just right before turning his attention to the unique and angular oil tank that many would believe is a battery box. The seat maintains the theme but refusing to waiver on the design, it took four goes to fibreglass it just right having used a cardboard mock-up and fibreboard mould.

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With the fabrication work done, it’s the paint work that really brings the BMW Motorsport look to life, the white is straight from the equally angular E30 M3 DTM race cars of the ‘80’s while the classic M Sport colours have been applied to the tank. Blue for BMW/Bavaria, Red for Texaco (a then partner of BMW Motorsport) and the BMW Blue Violet a symbol of the two companies hugely successful partnership. The stainless steel respoked rims also copped the Texaco red, looking resplendent as they work in unison with the fully rebuilt and white-painted front forks and the remote canister rear shocks with BMW white springs.

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The DTM cars of the Eighties were minimalist but precision perfect and Gaige made sure the running gear of the CB750 was exactly that. The engine is bored and fitted with new pistons, pins, rings and clips to give faultless operation. The rejetted carbs breathe through pod filters and the engine exhales its spent gases via a beautiful Yoshimura style 4-into-1 exhaust that is internally baffled along the way. Even the presentation of the engine is race car perfect, heavily polished valve and side covers, repainted barrel and block, even the speedo and tacho drives are immaculate.

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Having spent so much time ensuring the bike was rebuilt with new or perfectly reconditioned parts, Gaige wasn’t going to rely on a 40-year-old wiring loom; so the bike is completely rewired, the battery hidden in the tail-piece and all the components and connectors replaced with new items. The headlight is traditional but the tail light is anything but, a collection of tiny red LEDs warn followers the CB is slowing while carefully placed miniature LEDs in the frame and bar ends take care of the indicators.

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If the BMW of yesteryear had been looking for a bike to join their race cars in the pit paddock, Gaige’s custom café would have been perfectly suited. It’s built with German-like precision right down to the last bolt. It has the aggressive Bavarian look with the ‘in your face angles’ and the M Sport motif is a thoughtful tip of the cap to one of the best damn looking race cars of the era.








  • John Wanninger

    That screams 80’s all right… I love it! You could lick any portion of this bike, and it would only make your tongue cleaner…

    Also, is that the ignition in the bar end?! How rad is that?

    • And the post for the quickest ever comment on a post goes to…

    • “You could lick any portion of this bike, and it would only make your tongue cleaner…”. This makes a disturbing mental image but it describes the concept better than anything I could imagine on my own.

    • arnold

      Yup,
      Interesting attachment.
      It reminds me of the stupid anti tamper stuff on the Triumph.

  • pony

    well, that’s f***ing magnificent.

  • arnold

    A Honda powered BMW is screaming sacrilege.
    much like a Chevrolet powered GT-40.

    Nice.

    My only comment worth spit would be that however cool those bar end blinkers look, they would not show to the rear beyond my big butt.

  • foiled again

    Clean as a whistle- reminds me a bit of an early-80s computer.

    Those RFY shocks worry me a bit- they can be made to operate well but the bottom mounts appear a tad skinny and they have been known to snap.

    I like this machine.

    • Good call. Commodore 64, anyone?

      • foiled again

        Its musical accompaniment must be ‘Computerwelt” by Kraftwerk.

  • can’t help thinking the person who can afford this type of build has limited vision and ability, who is gaige redd, did he have a wet dream and told someone to build it

    • Gaige Redd

      It was my wet dream and I built it myself 🙂

      • foiled again

        Tell us more.

      • everything because it is so much better than one of my builds, must try harder

    • been doing a bit more research

      if this is red gauge it is good to see a fat fooker riding a bike that is obviously too small for hin

      • Gaige Redd

        Thanks, I’ve actually pulled the engine again since this video to fix a gasket leak (wasn’t impressed with the gasket set from Cycle X) and repair a rocker arm, sounds even better now. Everyone loves seeing a fat guy on a bike right???

        • GarbanzoBean

          Thanks for throwing a video up there for us to look at. Get another with the tune on it doing a fat smokey tire smoker..Woo!

        • Sorry Gaige. Some of our guests are a little civilised that we’d like. Especially that fat fooker Ratty…

        • And beautiful view, too. Where is that, exactly?

          • arnold

            Ha! I could see your eyes light up at the property for sale just up the street.

          • Gaige Redd

            The rustic state of Utah.

      • Dougal McFarlane

        He’s the only one with enough padding on his backside to be able to ride the bike saddle for more than five minutes at a time without getting sore balls and chafing around the upper thighs.

  • methamphetasaur

    Yes. This one is a winner for sure.

  • The Ogre

    Honestly, it’s good work, and the details are fantastic – the builder really hit his target with this.
    But to me, it’s butt ugly taken as a whole.

  • Ted Dumais

    I love everything about this bike except the headlight. Can’t decide if it’s sticking to far out or it should be rectangular to match the rest of the bike. Minor detail though. Excellent work.

    • Gaige Redd

      I had some very grand plans for a custom headlight, but after more than 3 years my wife’s patience with the project was beginning to wear thin 😉

  • Deej

    I love it! Not something I’d ride myself, but the design is brilliant, great to see something different. Great to see a little vid too, very cool.

  • As someone who started riding motorycles in 1980, I approve of squareness.

  • DEEfenceman

    At first glance, it’s not a bad looking bike. The angular Yamaha XS500 tank is a great choice. The engine, carb pods and Yosh four into one are spot on, though perhaps red or yellow ignition wires might have been a better choice over black. The flow from the tank to the tail piece is well executed. On the other hand, the small chrome instruments scream British sixties. A single, slightly larger black instrument would have been awesome. And the awkward tail light LEDs belong on a vintage calculator, not on an attempt to evoke the eighties street scene. The flat back of the tail piece really demands a rectangular tail light. The trapezoid metal plate (For the ignition switch?) just above the right side air filter is a hastily conceived afterthought.

    Other nitpicks include the the stud end poking out of the top shock mount and the formerly chrome gas cap being painted white. If the cap was flush to the tank, or at least more unobtrusive, then I could see the monochromatic look. But it’s not, so chrome here is simply right.

    Unless you ride in southern California (And have your personal street sweeper lead the way.) a fenderless bike with no mirrors and pretty but low quality RFY(!) shocks is a bike that stays in the garage. All that work for a stay-at-home princess? Sorry girl, I’m just not into you.

    Having been a hard to please wanker about this bike, I will say that the execution is terrific and obviously a lot of work and money is represented here. Congrats on a fine effort.