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‘81 Honda CB900F – 2 Wheels Miklos


Posted on June 12, 2015 by Andrew in Café Racer, Racer. 19 comments

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Written by Marlon Slack.

2 Wheels Miklos is a workshop based in Surrey, England who restore, sell and customize everything from leaky old Nortons to leaky new Harley Davidsons. And while some of their work is fairly traditional, with nut-and-bolt stock Japanese super sports and ailing British twins routinely bought back to life, this time around Miklos have wheeled out this curious 1981 CB900F Bol d’Or. Equal parts 80’s tailored cigarette sponsorship, 60’s roadside coffee and with just a hint of the Monster energy drink crowd thrown in, the old Honda has found a new lease on life as a bike designed to turn heads in the summer sun.

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Looks aside, the guys at Miklos wanted the bike to be low, tight and fast. And when hunting for horsepower out of an old bike, there’s far worse places to start than the Bol d’Or. While its predecessor, the CB750F, was an incredible performer for its time it was becoming outmatched in the late 70’s when paired against the blisteringly fast Kawasaki Z series. Honda sent their crack team of engineers back to the drawing board and they produced the CB900F. Featuring 90 brake horsepower of reliable, useable horsepower cradled in a frame that wouldn’t try and throw you down the road when you grabbed a fistful of brakes.

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In its day, the engine produced excellent mid-range performance paired with typical Japanese reliability so the modifications Miklos did were pretty straightforward. It was outfitted with a set of pod filters, the carburettors were jetted and Italian Marving 4-into-2 header pipes were fitted to mufflers fabricated in-house.

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But to get the bike low and tight, considerably more work was required. Öhlins piggyback suspension was fitted to the rear, while the front forks and both wheels were taken from a modern Triumph Trophy sport tourer. EBC contour wavy brakes were fitted with stainless steel lines that run up to a Brembo radial master cylinder – and if the braking setup is designed to haul the transcontinental Trophy to a stop, this Bol d’Or should be able to stand on its nose rather easily.

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The Harris clip-ons and a Norvil nose cone fitted by Miklos brings the rider closer to the café racer crouch than the original 900’s ‘sit up and beg’ riding position. At the rear the bike runs the distinctive Z1 ducktail seat finished in white, which when combined with the white fairing and guards gives the bike an air of cool 80’s track day special.

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However, the finish on the tank is much more ostentatious. Rather than doing some of the elaborate paint schemes seen on their other builds, the whole tank was stripped and chromed. That’s right – it’s not an aftermarket aluminium unit but the whole 20 litre fuel tank was given a mirror finish. And yes, they say it is as difficult to keep clean as you’d imagine.

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2 Wheels Miklos pride themselves on bikes that are reliable, built well and turn heads. And when you look through their website and come across their brass-bell-toting 1200cc WL replica Harley and baby blue chequered BMW R80 scrambler, you can see they’re doing a pretty good job at it.

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They’re a workshop with a lot of ambition, a wide appreciation for every kind of bike you can imagine and judging by some of their other builds, no small amount of humour. Watch this space.

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  • arnold

    Yup.

  • Looks like a blast to ride but leaves a lot to be desired in the looks dept. It looks like they just sat the tail section on top of the frame then called it a day which seems really lazy compared to the rest of the build. Maybe using the factory side panels and blending them into the tail section would have been a little easier on the eyes? They work so well with that factory tank it’s a shame that so many builders ditch them in favor of a big empty space. Also, should have shortened those forks instead of just shoving them up in the trees 3 inches. Just my thoughts.

    • Hardley T Whipsnade III

      I’d have to concur . The ( white ) body panels appear a bit disparate and kit like which when viewed against the other aspects and quality of the workmanship (which is excellent ) making those panels more than a bit disappointing . A so close but not quite in my opinion . The remaining question being ; Does it ? Haul ___ that is

      • Finn

        “… appear a bit disparate and kit like which when viewed against the other aspects and quality of the workmanship (which is excellent ) making those panels more than a bit disappointing .”

        And which when viewed thus through at an angle whence forth. SHUT UP

        • methamphetasaur

          ‘And which when viewed thus through at an angle whence forth.’

          What? Did you just grab a few words out of a hat and throw them at a table? Or just smash your forehead a few times on the keyboard? That whole sentence is a trainwreck.

          • Robert MacLeod

            Nothing flies over your head, you would catch it.

          • TH_Stokes

            I saw what you did there. Metaphor………

          • arnold

            I think Hardley is suggesting Bags, a Polizia graphic and a couple of DARE stickers.

  • John Wanninger

    “Hauls ass, I bet it does…. hmmmm???” -Yoda

  • think the white bits would look better black, the cheap version ohlins are crap, maxxi tyres look a bit naff and so does the usd front mudguard on rwu forks, the big no no is engine bars on a cafe racer, u crash u burn, keep it simple, if u see me sometime at boxhill or there about, feel free to rip my attempt apart

    • guvnor67

      Hearing ya on the crash bars (yuk), and white panels but overall I like it. Boxhill was always a hoot when i was a younger lad! Any idea where abouts in Surrey this workshop is?

      • just south of Guildford on the A3, should be at the Ace on 28th June if u go that way say hellohttp://www.ace-cafe-london.com/event_view.aspx?event_id=1512&date=28/06/2015%2000:00:00

        • guvnor67

          I wish, – I emigrated to Oz back in ’98. Used to live Richmond/ Twickenham way and was at either Boxhill or Brighton most weekends!

    • John Ferguson

      What do you mean by cheap version Ohlins? I have a CB750F which I was planning on putting Ohlins on and I don’t think they have too many 365mm eye to clevis options? I searched the Ohlins site and did notice the OH140’s on there were different to the ones pictured on here. What makes the ones on this bike different?

  • GarbanzoBean

    Me likes the wavy gravy brake rotors. It has to feel like I’m ripping down the road w/ a trio of skill saws attached. Those CB/F tanks sure look hard to fit in a build w/o side panels, it appears they did the best they could by making it disappear into the backround- clever.

  • EofA

    I think the tail section needs to be reworked. The rest of the bike looks great. Looks like one of those moments when you put so much time into the bike and then say, “Oh shit… what am I going to do with the tail section?!”

    Would have been nice to follow the lines of the front fairing to the tail.

    That being said I’d still ride the crap out of it as is. Better yet, I’ll go jump on my ’82 CB985F!!!

  • SoyBoySigh

    I’m diggin’ the whole aesthetic, though to be honest the running-gear mods he’s done here really don’t appeal to me. But the polished tank and the bubble fairing and the DOHC-4 the CB900F man, THAT stuff is awesome. I hope you’re all gonna dig my “CB900K0 Bol Bomber” it’s gotta be something like 10yrs in the making ha-ha, but I’m on a fixed income and I have problems with lifting & stuff. Even so, I’m trying to whip up one awesome 985 here…..