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1976 Honda CB550F by Recast Moto


Posted on February 18, 2016 by Scott in Brat. 30 comments

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Words by Ian Lee.

Ah those Northern European winters; bringer of sub zero temperatures, cabin fever, and now it seems, custom motorcycles. Coming out of Minsk in Belarus, this Brat tracker is the result of the Recast Moto collective finding a way to pass the time, rebuilding a crashed Honda UJM during the colder months to ensure the warmer months are not wasted. Taking a busted ass 1976 Honda CB550F Super sport, Matiz Lemark and the Recast Moto crew finished the build just in time for the snow to thaw, and to allow the gold paint job to compliment the gold of the first bit of Spring sun after the cold.

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Matiz picked up the bike through DK Motoren, a local dealer who specialises in importing classic motorcycles. In a sad state after an accident, haemorrhaging oil and enveloped in rust, the midsized CB was stripped back to it’s bare frame and the build process begun. Matiz is quite smitten with Blitz motorcycles, taking a liking to their styling of fat wheels, old school fuel tanks and mini switches. Using these in his build plan, the Recast Moto crew got to work giving the bike a style of its own, with a tip of the hat to the French bike builders that Matiz is quite a fan of.

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Aiming for a raw visual for the frame, the paint has been rubbed back and surface rust allowed to form, the whole lot varnished over to protect the finish. After relieving the bike of it’s factory seat, a flat tracker styled one was fashioned up, with the frame undergoing some slight modifications, such as moving the pillion pegs forward to suit the new shorter seat. An interesting mod on this bike is the use of 5cm thick oak plank, utilised as an airbox for the carbs, with rubber sleeves mounting the setup straight onto the intakes. Hugging the frame, the 4-1 exhaust ends just shy of the rear tire.

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Keeping the standard front forks, the headlight mounting ears have been tossed along with the factory headlight, a Miller headlight from Kombi now adorns the wrapped fork tubes. Both front and rear guards have been trimmed, hugging the Firestone rubber on stock rims. The big dorky meter cluster has been removed to improve the lines of the bike, a mini speedo is mounted off the side under the fuel tank, running a cable to the front hub. Keeping with the streamlined look, the mucho modified motorcycle now features a CB125F fuel tank.

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Inspired by Blitz, built by Recast Moto, and created in the most miserable time of the year, this Super Sport has culminated in a summery lightweight bike that would be a blast riding along with the sun on your face. Matiz Lamark knew what he wanted, and by using the build skills of the Recast Moto community, has created a machine that shows that cold Northern European winters can still create something bright and colourful.

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  • Alasdair Sykes

    I like it a lot. Always interested to see novel uses of wood in custom builds! I’m not usually a fan of brat-style bikes but this one works for me, right down to the gold block and carbs. One question – how do you keep the rear tyre from bottoming out through potholes etc.? Just really stiff shocks? I love the low look of the rear seat and ‘guard but can’t figure out it would work with a sprung rear.

    • I have a similar set up with my rear shocks but I’ve put spacers in so that it effectively locks the shocks.

      • Alasdair Sykes

        Cool – thanks. That approach can’t be too good for your spleen but no denying it is nice looking setup!

        • Yeh, one has to change ones riding style! Always looking out for dips and bumps but it does catch me out from time to time.

      • Holy exhaust pipes!

        • Blackbird

          Jihad!

  • revdub

    That wooden airbox is awesome. Overall, this is much cleaner and more well thought out than a Blitz build, in my opinion. I mean, the cables are tidy and not flying around everywhere and the tank has been treated to some paint and fits the bike. Definitely a cool build.

    • Pierre

      That airbox looks good, but can’t be good for airflow. Should have at least radiused that slot. Unless the intent was to be as restrictive as the OEM airbox.

      • revdub

        I was wondering the same thing. I honestly don’t know much about the carb setup on these bikes. I know there are times that a stock-like restriction might be best or easiest for tuning purposes. Definitely looks good though!

  • I really dig it. True brat style. Great stance. The paint scheme is great. Not a fan of the air box though. Seems like a novelty.

  • ,.

  • Dave Coetzee

    Beaut brat! I also like the 400 Four style, angled headers (or were the 550’s like this as well?)

    • JayJay

      Dave, some were supersports I think.

      • Dave Coetzee

        Thanks Jay Jay.My mistake – just got a pic sent to me by a friend that bought a new one back in ’76. It had the “swept across” look like this one. Pic not loading tho.

        • JayJay

          you don’t have to apologize Dave 🙂 , I have a friend who is a bit of a 550 specialist, otherwise I wouldn’t know either. Looks great, doesn’t it.

          • Dave Coetzee

            🙂 It sure does Jay Jay. Meanwhile back in Africa … at the other end of the glamour-bike spectrum, is my sub $1K, recently completed build … https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fw0wzkZ06vI
            (Seat currently in for re-upholstery.)

          • JayJay

            Nice work!

          • Dave Coetzee

            Thanks Jay Jay. Got my seat back from the trimmer today. Looks a lot better now.

  • Andy Rappold

    Love it…enough said..still wiping the drool from the keyboard!

  • jlgace

    Very nice attention to detail, and I particularly like the extra effort on the engine. Just looking at the seat/rear suspension combo is painful for me, but whatever. Not like I’m riding it.

  • Chris Trotman

    anyone know anything about where to find one of those headlights, cant seem to find ‘Kombi’ or any miller lights like that one?

    • Check yr email.

      • Chris Trotman

        Just checked, thanks mate, appreciate it! 🙂

        • Nick Surra

          Where did you find the light?

          • Chris Trotman

            haven’t heard yet buddy, Andrew has emailed Matiz and asked the question, that’s what I was thanking him for, If I hear anything I’ll let you know

          • Nick Surra

            Ah ok. Looks like an old rally flood light. I have seen them used before but thought someone might have come up with an interesting reproduction. If your looking for a shallow light, I did find a company that makes two filament bulbs that will fit into most of the new hella fixtures. Have used them on a couple projects.

          • Chris Trotman

            Youre exactly right, They are these

            http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/60S-NOS-MILLER-TUNGSTEN-IODINE-DRIVING-LIGHTS-XK150-MG-/200561410641

            Thanks to Andrew and Matiz for getting the info, cheers guys!

            Bit out of my headlamp budget but they do look good.
            Do you have the name of the company that does the bulbs?

          • Nick Surra

            http://m.ebay.com/itm/321424562230?_mwBanner=1

            They are for these Weekend Warrior giant RV vehicles. But They are an H3 bulb with two filaments and will fit in the Hella 500 Series Black Magic fixture.

          • Chris Trotman

            Nice one, cheers Nick!

  • Rory

    Looks great! How can I get the paint colors for what was used on this bike?