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1973 Honda CB750 – Tyson Carver


Posted on September 7, 2015 by Andrew in Café Racer. 16 comments

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Written by Martin Hodgson.

We all find our way to motorcycles in different ways, for the vast bulk who throw their leg over the two wheeled contraptions it is purely about cheap transport and nothing more. But for the early customisers who had returned from the Second World War to today’s feature bike builder there was a therapeutic aspect to both the riding and the building of their creations. When Tyson lost his parents he needed to find his own form of therapy and picked up a nice Buell to take to the streets. But riding alone just wasn’t doing it, with ideas swirling in his head and wanting to experience the meditative state of spinning spanners he picked up a sweet running 1973 CB750 and his true motorcycle journey began.

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For a first time builder without the assistance of experienced veterans of the game around him Tyson made the smart decision to buy a bike with solid running gear. Knowing he had a great runner he took the bike to a friend’s garage where it could be torn down in anticipation of the addition of modern suspension and vastly improved aesthetics. Ripping apart a motorcycle is therapeutic in and of itself, but there is also a great deal of education in unpacking a functional machine and seeing just how all the components work. One thing that was clear to Tyson was 30 year old wiring wasn’t what he needed so the bike has been completely rewired for reliability and the frame de-tabbed for a tidy finish.

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Having cleaned up the frame and been inspired by builds from the likes of Cognito Moto, Tyson opted to scrap the standard front end and go for a GSXR set of forks and components. It’s a conversion that makes sense, when the CB came out it was the market leading sportsbike and for the period GSXR front ends are chosen from they too were winning bike of the year awards all over the world. USD forks allow for a lower ride while substantially improving the handling ability – not to mention looking cool as hell. They also offer a supreme upgrade in braking performance with their plate size twin discs being clamped by Tokico 4 piston calipers. Being a 1973 model Tyson’s CB750 comes standard with an edge welded swingarm that is strong but looks a little clunky, so in its place a tubular item from a CB550 has been given the job.

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It was in this guise that Tyson racked up over a 1000 miles in the course of just a few months, enjoying all the benefits of ripping up the streets on a bike you’ve built yourself. But with a vision for how his CB750 could look and having enjoyed the process of the initial build the bike was brought inside for a new makeover. Once again it was torn down to the bare frame, that’s the beauty of enjoying the build process and the therapeutic nature that comes with it, there is no fear in going the extra mile. With the bike in pieces the essentials were sent off for powder coat for a durable finish capable of withstanding plenty of hours on the roads without chipping away. The seat was then swapped over to an item that fitted the theme Tyson was going for, a beautiful leather piece from the guys at Tuffside.

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Enjoying the visual juxtaposition of the old and new Tyson left much of the engine the way it came to him when it was purchased. While the covers have been painted the barrels show their age and the life they’ve led on the streets and it’s this decision that hints at the Hot Rod Café Racer that was inside Tyson’s mind that would eventually become the finished item. The carbs feature some beautiful raw metal velocity stacks to improve air flow while the exhaust is a heat wrapped 4 into 1 system that finishes with a baffled straight pipe in a frame matching black finish. The wheel and tire choice is more than a little hot rod, relaced rims are wrapped in beefy rubber not only at the rear but equally sizeable chunks at the front.

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Arguably one of the best looking tanks to come out of Japan, the K3 item is now resplendent in silver with gold period Honda logos to match. Setting off the metal tones are white graphics on the tank with the rear hump of the seat now sporting a white with gold striped “73” logo. Just below the logo the frame has been cut to neaten up the rear end, allowing no overhang past the shock mounts, with the final choice being progressive sprung items featuring chrome springs.

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In the tradition of both café racers and Hot Rods the instruments are kept to a minimum for a clean and functional look, a small chrome speedo and even smaller tacho provide the vitals. While the triple tree mounted idiot lights sit on a prison made hand tooled leather piece. The single bucket headlight lights the way not only for the CB but the new journey in Tyson’s life.

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In the end it’s become more than just the therapy he needed after such a huge loss, motorcycles have become a lifelong passion for Tyson and having proven he can build a real beauty he’s now twisting the throttle so this Honda 750 can soak up the miles – 3000 to be exact and counting.

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  • guvnor67

    I’ve always said riding and mucking around with bikes is great therapy, even on a night like tonight, absolutely pissin down, and I never park her away wet, so a dry down n a bit of WD40 here and there …and always stand back after and go “Hell Yer!”. And HELL YER is exactly what I said when I clicked on to Pipeburn and saw this!!! What a fantastic bike, so much to like, great stance, love the seat and tail, great colours etc. The 1st photo pulled me in like a fly into an open bellmouth!! Nice, very very nice.

  • Jim Stuart

    Tyson, well done.

  • It’s amazing what a little tiny tail section does for the overall profile of a custom built. It actually takes some effort and thought which this bike has plenty of. Good job!!

  • Fast2Furious

    Needs just a little more pipe wrap…

  • John Wanninger

    Fantastic photographs

    • guvnor67

      YUP!!! And no gloomy studio shots trying to hide the details.

  • Great build, love all the color and product choices only gripe would be the size of the front tire. Looks like a blast to ride. Cheers!

  • Redwing3

    750 in engine block only… Keep it pure!

  • Awesome bike! I really like the colors and striping. Well done!

  • Ben

    Very tastefully done. I really like it.

  • knormal

    I just spotted that this bike is for sale! http://sanantonio.craigslist.org/mcy/5735930507.html

  • Josey Keith Browning

    how hard is a fork swap like that? lets say an r1 to a ft500 frame?

  • Daniël Van’t Hart

    I found a picture of this bike on
    google and i love this bik so much! So i start look for more info glad i found this site! Those colors the rims stance all looking stunning
    Hope i can find more about this bike and the builder. All info welcome!