Written by Tim Huber
While Honda’s CB750 has undeniably played a pivotal role in the rise of the modern custom motorcycle scene, it’s become increasingly difficult to think of cafe’d CBs as being anything other than played out. The hooped subframe, fender-delete, pipe-wrap, and clip-on formula has objectively become pretty cliche, though every once in a blue-moon we open our inbox to discover a truly special CB cafe racer, and that’s exactly what we’ve got here, from Austria’s National Custom Tech Motorcycles — better known simply as NCT.
The shop started with a 1978 Honda CB750F that they then proceeded to pull the engine from and tear down to the frame. The framework was de-tabbed, fitted with a new, upswept subframe, and then powder-coated in a matte black, along with the swing-arm. Before receiving the same matte black treatment, the engine was torn apart and given a thorough refresh. Adorned in custom points and stator covers, the Japanese four-banger now inhales through a quad-pod setup while spent fumes are now spit from a stunning hand-made four-into one exhaust system with blued headers and a slash-cut, GP-style Spark muffler capped off with a honeycombed cover.
Wanting to bring the CB’s performance prowess into the 21st century, National Tech tossed out the stocker’s suspension and replaced it with upgraded, modern items. Out back, there’s a pair of adjustable YSS shocks, while up front bumps are soaked up through an upside-down Showa fork slotted in one-off triples — all of which have been murdered-out, with the exception of the fork’s lowers. Next, the Honda’s original wheels were given a contemporary dual-disc brake arrangement with drilled rotors, Brembo calipers, and steel-braided lines, before the rims were also hit with a coat of black.
“The hardest part of the project was probably the front-end. Getting the disc brake setup to work with the bike’s original wheels was pretty tricky, but in the end we managed,” says NCT’s head honcho, David Widmann.
The stock fuel-cell remains in play, as do the original side-covers, though they’ve been slightly modified for the project. Resting atop the new subframe is a bespoke tail-section and seat-pan combo piece that follows the kicked-up contours of the new aft framework before jetting forward and feeding into the tank. A brown leather seat with a trio of horizontal notches and pairs of eyelets fits perfectly in the one-off tail with a lip riding up both the tank and at the back of the tail.
The CB’s electrical system was also given a major overhaul, with a one-off wiring loom now running through a Motogadget m-unit and drawing energy from an AGM battery stashed under the seat. Lighting elements are all new pieces, as well, with a pair of micro-LED pin indicators in the rear, bar-end signals up front, and a Koso Thunderbolt LED headlight guiding the way.
The cockpit has been heavily revised, with the rider’s quarters now rocking a set of LSL clip-ons, a CNC’d Rizoma reservoir, Brembo levers, a Tomalley Daytona throttle, and Motogadget grips, bar-end mirror, and switchgear. Motogadget also supplied the build’s Motoscope Mini instrumentation and idiot lights. There’s also a keyless ignition and alarm.
The Honda’s paint scheme is simple yet highly-calculated. The bike now wears a metallic coat of forest green complimented via red pin striping and turquoise Honda logos at the bottom of the tank. With the majority of the bike fully blacked-out, your eyes are naturally drawn to the new livery.
There’s a handful of additional odds and ends rounding out the build, as well. The left, rear-shocks mounting point on the swing-arm now serves as the anchor-point for the build’s one-off license plate hanger, and the bike’s spokes wheels were given a thorough polishing before the blacked-out rims were shod in Avon Roadrider rubber. And In lieu of a bum-stop, the bike sports a bespoke metal “NCT CB750F” plaque just behind the seat.
Dubbed the “Green Arrow,” this custom ’78 CB manages to breathe ample new life into a decidedly tired genre of build. The modern aesthetic tweaks, combined with the bolstered performance ultimately result in a total show-stopper of a build.
“The exhaust is just beautiful and pairs wonderfully with the new rear-end and the tank with it’s new color scheme looks amazing. We’re pretty thrilled with the end result which we’d describe as a sporty café racer,” David tells us. Based on the skill exhibited by this stellar cafe’d CB, we seriously can’t wait to see what the Austrian shop cooks up next.