“Balfour” CL650-FOUR Scrambler – Thrive Motorcycles
This weekend we’ll be heading to Jogjakarta to take part in Indonesia’s biggest custom culture festival called Kustomfest. The custom motorcycle industry in Indonesia seems to be going from strength to strength, and a testament to this is the hundreds of quality builds on display at this years show. One of these bikes that will no doubt be a crowd pleaser at Kustomfest is this super clean ‘Honda CL650’ by the talented guys at Thrive Motorcycles based in Jakarta. Given the name “Balfour” this is a project that Thrive took on for a friend called Anka who happens to be a huge Honda enthusiast but his collection of Honda’s have all been restored to original condition and had never customized one – until now.
The project started last year when Anka dropped into the Thrive workshop and told them that he wanted to do a custom bike. He had just bought a 1980 Honda CB650-FOUR and the bike was in good condition but was already in a state that was not fully original so he decided it was a good donor to turn into his first custom. He also wanted this bike to be his daily rider and given the bad condition of a lot of the roads in Jakarta, they decided a scrambler style bike would tick all the boxes.
Thrive being big fans of Honda’s heritage looked back at their past scramblers, in particular the eye pleasing CL series. It made them wonder why the CL-Series stopped at the Honda CL450 – and why there are no scrambler series for the Honda CB-FOUR. “That question made our minds go wild imagining what it would be like if Honda released their CL-FOUR Scrambler Series” recalls Putra from Thrive. “Maybe it’s not going to be a real scrambler that you can use in the off-road track with a variety of obstacles but it might seem quite perfect to be an Urban Scrambler that can go hustling in the city.”
Thrive started the build like most, stripping the bike down to get a good look at the frame and work out the possibilities. Unfortunately, they found out pretty quickly that this bike was far from original and had messy welds everywhere. So Anka’s instinct to customize this bike turned out to be the right one. So they began to rework every join on the frame and replace the dislocated nuts. When they had the final look at the bikes design, they decided to cut the rear end a little bit.
They then got the aluminium sheet ready and got to work shaping a perfectly balanced new gas tank. They didn’t stop there either, they also made the front and rear fender, side box panel, skid plate, headlight cover, and the curved license plate bracket – they all look so good they could be straight out of the ‘Honda custom parts catalogue’.
Speaking of catalogues, Thrive have also started making a few products under their new brand labeled as T/H/R/V which specializes in custom parts. They thought this scrambler project would be the perfect build to showcase some of these products, like the understated flat seat, bar end turn signals, and the very subtle turn signals built into the rear frame. Moving to the suspension, they used 35mm Telescopic Suspension covered with 48’s Rubber Boots, and for the rear Anka gave them his Red Wing Hammerhead Suspension to be installed on the bike.
For the shoes, the bike wears it’s original wheels covered with a Ensign Trial Universal 19-400 at the front, and Pirelli MT43 18-400 for the rear. For the front lights, they added a double decker style headlamp using double H4 Bulb and surrounded them with an aluminium plate. They used aftermarket handlebars and Bitwell Kungfu Grips attached with Tomaselli dual throttle that went straight to the original carburettor which used a double K&N 2 on 1 air filter. Then they created the high mounted exhaust with the 4 in 2 combination covered with a custom heat shield.
The paint job for this project took inspiration from the classic Honda CL77 with the combination of red candy and silver, instead of painting it though they kept it raw with the original color from the aluminium with a brushed texture to give it a strong impression. After 1022 hours of blood, sweat and a few tears, Thrive were thrilled with the final result – and so they should be.
This Honda CB650 has truly been transformed by Thrive into a motorcycle that looks like it could have rolled out of the Honda factory as a CL650. And with all the factory scramblers being released these days, it wouldn’t be such a bad idea for Honda to actually manufacture a modern take on their classic CL scramblers.