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‘80 Honda CB750 – Ace Custom Shop

Posted on February 10, 2017 by Andrew in Café Racer. 18 comments

Written by Marlon Slack.

The lumbering, all-consuming beast that is cafe racer culture has stretched its tentacles all over the world. Nowhere is this more apparent than with today’s bike, a 1980 Honda CB750 produced by Ace Custom Shop in Colombia. Built by a small, three-man operation nestled in the hills of Bucaramanga, it’s easily the best thing to come out of Colombia that doesn’t need a credit card and a mirror to enjoy.

Ace Custom Shop is only new to the game, having been started by brothers Diego and Juan Sotomonte with their friend and mechanic Andrés Cabralas in 2013. And in the last three years they’ve been extraordinarily busy for such a small firm. They’ve made trackers and cafe racers out of Suzukis, Yamahas and Triumphs – all designed to battle the perilous roads and even more perilous drivers of South America.

This time around the team turned their attention to a stable of the bike scene, the classic Honda CB750 cafe racer. Arriving too late for the original wave of cafe racers in England, the CB has become a mainstay for builders in the last ten years, with people appreciating its reliability, smooth power delivery and coke-like (the other type) availability of parts and spares.

Looks great on the catwalk…

But Ace Custom Shop’s CB required more than a little freshen up to get running. With the bike arriving in the shop in pieces, the frame and split cases being only acquaintances in a shared wooden box. Surveying other custom CB’s on the market and the poor quality roads that snake through their city, Ace Custom decided to build a modernised cafe racer that could tackle their local roads with ease.

…but it’s no trailer queen.

To that end the suspension was beefed up, with a fork swap at the front and a monoshock conversion at the rear. Both parts come from a late-model Honda CB1000RR, including the monstrous twin discs up the pointy end. The front runs a 17″ hoop and a whopping 17″ 180 rear, giving the visual impression of a bike that definitely hasn’t skipped leg day.

“Ace Custom say it’s necessary along their local roads, which are more like a relief map of a spotty sixteen year old’s face”

While such a setup on the old air-cooled Honda is the bike building equivalent of firing a maverick missile at a camel, the guys from Ace Custom say it’s necessary along their local roads, which are more like a relief map of a spotty sixteen year old’s face than any respectable quality tarmac.

And the effort was worth it. “Thanks to the suspension upgrades, it handles our roads really well,” Diego says. “It feels a little heavy, but it’s very stable in the turns.” And the engine, which was cleaned, overhauled, fitted with a stubby 4-into-1 exhaust and a new Dynatek ignition, helps the CB haul ass as well.

In classic cafe racer form, everything that wasn’t needed on the bike was removed. Bar ends were fitted, clip-on bars and motogadget bar end indicators help slim everything down and get the bike looking as light and proportionate as a cafe should be. On top of the monoshock rear is a single saddle that has the company’s logo embossed into its black leather. A nice touch, that.

As good looking as this racer is, it’s definitely no show bike. And how do we know that? This old Honda is used as a commuter by one of their customers, being ridden through the mountains to a nearby city and back each day. You’ve got to admit, there’s nothing better than a custom moto that’s designed to ride.

[Ace Custom – Facebook – Instagram | Photos by Juan Sotomonte]

  • Really, really good! I like everything about this bike and the proportions are right on the money. Could somebody start a trend where guys that put this much effort and sweat into a build, also lengthen the side stand to match the height of the bike. It’s not that much work at all after building a subframe and swingarm.

  • aaron snyder

    The best job of managing the funky bit at the back of the 80’s cb tanks. The rest of the bike is great.

  • Greybeard1

    Oh…that IS a looker, isn’t it.
    As long as it works well they’ve got it done in spades.

    What Mule said about side stands…………..;o)

  • Neil_TonUp

    (muffled groans of ecstasy)

  • Duke Fan

    Is it just me or Sure seeing lots of awesome bikes built elsewhere. Are we not building as many customs as the builders in other countries?

  • Jim Roberts

    a nice little scoot except for that “basket of snakes” look the cables and wiring
    harness manage too achieve around the headlight

    • Jester the Clown

      That’s just what I thought.

  • guvnor67

    Fandabbydoozy! Really cool, excellent lines, looks classic, looks like It’s doin the ton standing still, like cafe racers are meant to. Brilliant.

  • the watcher

    “I’d like a cafe-racer please”,
    “Certainly, sir”,
    “Thanks very much”. This bike shows that if you just stick to the basics, the rest will look after itself, and there’ll be no need for philosophy, concept, or apology. Nice work lads!

    • Marlon

      Yep. The best things are the simplest. Back to basics here and designed to be ridden as well.

  • AB

    A very nice build. Looks ‘right’. A general note to the style – those skinny seats inside the frame rails don’t work for me and must be uncomfortable. There is nothing like a couple inches more to really make it feel good.

    • Marlon

      ‘There is nothing like a couple inches more to really make it feel good.’

      I’m going to quote you on that.

      • Bow chicka BOW WOW.

      • guvnor67

        I believe I detected a Freudian slip!

        • Greybeard1

          Not the size of the tool it’s the skill of the workman.

  • Fantome_NR

    Probably the best CB750 to my tastes that I have ever had the pleasure of seeing. Bravo.

  • Brant Collins

    What are the wire wheels from? I am trying to do the same to a CB900F

  • Flip Murphy

    inspiration for Frankenhonda, well written Marlon