1978 Honda CB750 Nox Dominae

This bike Nox Dominae is my first cafe/restomod. The name loosely translates to “lady of the night” in Latin and it is aptly named. I spent many hours burning the midnight oil in preparations for this mistress to see the road. I picked up the bike from a buddy in North Carolina running with a title. It looked decrepit. Someone before tried to make a cafe out of it but failed pretty miserably and then left it outside for a few years.

Nox is a 1978 cb750k. Omar Portigliatti, a good friend of mine, played a pivotal role in getting this bike designed and finished.  He is an Italian jeweler by trade, and a one-of-a-kind craftsman. We had a vision to do a quick cafe, flip the bike and move on. As we dug deeper though we started to get crazier with our ideas and soon enough our budget grew with our designs. The overall theme we wanted for the bike was modern, clean, and simple. We started with a thorough strip of all the parts and repainted the frame, swingarm, triple tree, and small black brackets. Next we replaced the essentials like bearings, spokes, and rubber bits. We chopped the front fender to a shorter but still useful length. We cut and welded on some tubing on the rear frame to support the seat cowl just right, utilizing 90 degree angles at the rear (checking for shock/tire clearance of course). We upgraded the loose original shocks to RFY air shocks for a more firm and tighter ride. We got rid of the clunky OEM headlight bucket and picked up an early year cb750 one for a more round classic look. One of our favorite touches is the Truck Lite LED headlight. When looking directly at the bike it gives it an extra sinister yet modern feel. We wanted to go with a simple small speedometer only, so we fabbed up a tach plug on my friend’s lathe. We trimmed up the top triple tree cutting off the original gauge mounts, and drilled through the top to put the choke cable into the tree itself, cleaning up the whole look. We also satin polished the triple top, as well as the forks, carb tops and bottoms, and just about every single piece of aluminum on the bike. It was part of our “modern/clean” look and I am very happy with the outcome.

The engine was low mileage (12k) and did not need to be messed with so we left it alone. It did however need soda blasting, and a repaint. We tried to achieve maximum contrast with satin polish and black paint, with just a hint of gold on the the cam chain adjuster and breather cover. We also painted the rotor backing gold and the oil hoses too to match the shocks. I sourced a clear points cover from a guy on the sohc4 forum and added some gold screws to really tie in our color scheme. At night you can see the points lighting up with ignition. We used a cycle-x 4-2-1 race exhaust and it has an incredible tone to it. we left the stock airbox for properly tuned airflow and we left the sidecovers for practicality. Under the left sidecover is a custom battery box that has space for a large tool kit roll.

The wiring is 100% custom. I did by hand point to point. We utilize a multi fusebox so each section of the bike (ie headlight, taillight, ignition, horn) has it’s own dedicated circuit. This, along with some relays for the LED switches are on an electronics tray under the rear cowl. Yes I did say a horn, something most cafe racers would never have. We stuck a Nautilus airhorn under the cowl and it comes to life if you need it. Our favorite part by far though is our starting circuit. We have a keyless ignition button on the headlight bucket. It is an led locking push button. The other half features an LED starter button recessed into an aluminum triple tree stem nut. The wiring runs through the neck stem and connects to the rest of the wiring very discreetly. We wired up some LEDs in the headlight bucket for our “idiot lights”. Minimal hand controls are used: killswitch on the right and 3-way (headlight) plus horn on the left.

The seat was done by a local upholsterer and he did a fantastic job creating the vision I had in my head. We loved the tuck and roll design, but wanted an edge to it, and a little bump at the front to smooth the line from the tank to the back. We always wanted to make sure the bike “flowed” from one end to the other, giving the eyes plenty to feast on once they focused. One of our favorite mods was creating our own gas lid latch. It still utilizes the twisting spring motion to unlock but there is no need for a useless “key” since the lid was not keyed anyway. The Kitchen Moto Custom logo lives in there, courtesy of Omar.

The paint is Pepper Grey Metallic, the paint code from Elanor from Gone in 60 Seconds. I did all the paint myself in house. I wanted the striping to reflect a racing touch. The overall theme was modern, so I added a circuit board type pinstripe pattern to the headlight bucket and front fender. I want the bike to appear new as its coming toward you, and fade into the vintage cb750 that we know and love as she screams by. We used honda dream badges on the tank to give it a modern minimal look while still nodding to Honda’s past. This leaves me with the last thing to describe: the details.

It is said that the Devil is in the details and that is absolutely true. Omar is a jeweler, and hand engraved MANY parts of the bike including fork ears, carb tops, carb bottoms, brake and clutch levers, gas cap, gas lid latch, handlebar clamps, and even the master link clip. I might be leaving out a few but there are so many small touches it takes awhile to look it over. We wanted to make sure, however, that the details of the bike did not overshadow it as a whole, and look like a circus. I am pleased with the end result. The bike is an absolute monster and sounds like one too.

Comments are closed.