Sofi’s CB550

Posted by on Jan 4, 2013 in Shed Builds | 21 Comments

Sofi Tsingo is a Ducati Certified Tech and works for Jeff Nash at AMS Ducati Dallas, and this is her CB550 Cafe Racer, clearly designed with performance and handling in mind – as well as proper cafe racer looks – so we wanted to know more.

I don’t really know how to talk about myself without mentioning my Dad. It’s his fault im not a girly girl
He started off my duct taping me to the gas tank of his very rare 70’s BMW (1 out of 3 in the world) while I was still in diapers.  He owned a very respected aircraft repair shop in Addison TX, this is where I grew up, messing with all his employees’ tools and playing in the cock pits of these private planes. When we were not at his work, he was always creating art, building hot rods, restoring old cars.

When I was 10, he stuck me on my first dirt bike. Turned 16 and got a street bike before I even got a car. Age 18 he put me on the race track with my Ducati 996.

In 2009 I became a Ducati Certified Tech and now work with one of the best dealers for Jeff Nash at AMS Ducati Dallas. This is the same year my Dad started to build a BEAUTIFUL Triton and he was the one who inspired me to build my own bike.

The donor for this build is a trusty 1977 Honda CB550, but there’s been a huge amount done to the bike beyond the usual cafe racer cosmetics. The engine has been rebuilt with carbs breathing thru custom velocity stacks, running dynatech ignition and wrapped headers connecting to a stubby exhaust, but the really good stuff includes running a chunky GSXR 750 upside down front end. Excel rims are laced to a Harley hub and using the Suzuki sports bike’s calipers, shimmed to clear the spokes and biting down on CBR600RR rotors. Twin Hagon shocks work the rear of the bike in parallel in a pretty unusual setup that mimics an internal monoshock layout, while the stock CB brakes take care of controlling the rear.

The tank is a Benelli and the seat and tail section have been custom made to fit the modified rear subframe, all painted in a lovely metallic blue. The headlamp is from a Harley and of course there’s loads more we could mention. The inset rear lamp reminds us of the indestructible robot in The Day The Earth Stood Still.

You can get away with mounting plates like this in the US (sometimes). We assume that LED strip is the brake light?

The bike looks fantastic, and has a spec to suggest it handles as good as it looks. Great work Sofi.

Pic 1, Credit to Brandon LaJoie. Check out his work HERE

Black & Whites were taken by Lou Goodrum

21 Comments

  1. Shelley Johnson
    04/01/2013

    Sofi, you are an incredible woman and a role model for all of us! Don’t ever stop!

    Reply
  2. Sven
    05/01/2013

    Great work Sofi !
    The whole build looks so amazing, enjoy riding that beauty !

    Picture 1 by the way is the best !
    Because in the upper-left corner you can see the ass of one of the greatest Ducatis ever build ! =)

    Cheers Sven

    Reply
  3. TimBob
    07/01/2013

    Sofi,

    Real class here!

    We see too many bikes just thrown together. This, I suggest, is a true display of making the image you have in your head work on paper, not as straight forward as most think…

    Honestly…..great work!

    Cheers Tim.

    Reply
  4. Paul
    09/01/2013

    My new favourite bike…

    Reply
  5. Kyle
    09/01/2013

    Nice plate choice! Can you believe it was available??? I have “CAFE” on my Sport1000 for only a couple of years now. Thumbs up!

    Reply
  6. Colin Westworth
    09/01/2013

    A very nice transformation and still a very popular model, Love it.

    Reply
  7. Godffery
    09/01/2013

    Well… I guess I should be flattered:
    http://www.vinmoto.org/gallery/v/VinMoto-Garage/album03/Godfferys-Garage-123/Cafe+Overkill/

    ; ]

    Godffery’s Garage
    http://tinyurl.com/yfrw4fc
    Burlington WI. 53105

    Reply
  8. Diggler
    09/01/2013

    Just dreamy girl…..would look just sweet over here on uk roads…your just perfick

    Reply
  9. Oskar
    09/01/2013

    This bike looks amazing!

    What is the rear tyre? and what size is it?

    Reply
  10. choo
    09/01/2013

    Unreal job wow! Iron and Air—the brake light is frenched in the rear seat cowl—I suppose the light over the plate is just that.

    Reply
  11. Noel Lyle-Stirling
    09/01/2013

    American cafe racers are very different from the old brit bikes. Thats not to say that they are any better or worse.
    Form what I’ve seen, you guys and girls in America really know how to wield wrenches .
    Of course, over here, ( The U K ),with our rubbish weather, we need front and rear mud guards .I believe you call ‘em fenders
    I likr the style of this one though

    Reply
  12. Martin
    10/01/2013

    The ultimate – a stunning bike , only eclipsed by her own beauty ………..amazing :)

    Reply
  13. Simon (London Uk)
    27/01/2013

    Stunning bike and stylish finish , paint job. How long did it take to build? If you don’t mind me asking how much would another cost to build ????

    Si. – London , UK

    Reply
    • Dutch
      28/01/2013

      Hi Simon, Glad you appreciate Sofi’s stunning bike. Asking how much a semi-home-built custom cost to build is a bit like asking how long is a piece of string, (especially as Sofi probably had some pro help as she works in a Ducati dealership). It depends whether you just count the cost of the donor bike plus the parts (second hand parts like the GSXR front end are not fixed prices), or whether you factor-in hundreds of hours of personal time & labour and add that on too.
      If you’re asking how much a bike like this would cost as a commission build from pro shop then that’s another story. If you went to a shop near London, like Spirit of the Seventies in Kent, and had them build you a bike like this, you’d probably need over ten grand in your back pocket, but build one yourself in your own garage and it might take 6 months but cost you half.
      Meanwhile if Sofi ever got around to adding up the cost of her bike and wants to share on here, I’m sure she’ll respond personally.

      Reply
  14. marark
    05/03/2013

    build thread possibly? my fav cb of all time!

    Reply
  15. Larry kahn
    09/03/2013

    Sofi, ever consider making a few hundred thousand clones of yourself? Mankind would be most appreciative.

    Reply
  16. GUY THOMPSON
    23/03/2013

    NICE BIKE, BEING AN OLD ROCKER FROM THE 60S IN THE UK CAN SEE WHERE YOU ARE COMING FROM , AS A PERSONAL THOUGHT I ALWAYS FEEL THE TANK AND SEAT SHOULD LOOK THE SAME HEIGHT

    Reply
  17. Pip Davidson
    15/11/2013

    nice work , stunning looking bike

    Reply
  18. Kyle
    08/12/2013

    Hi Love the Bike! Especially the dual rear suspension! I have a 78 CB550 & just wondered what you did to make the GSXR Fork work? Did you mill down the neck to fit the top stock bearing. What would my other options be? Thanx!

    Reply

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