The Honda CX500. Remember when these first exploded onto the custom scene? The Wrenchmonkees stunning effort over four years ago was one of the first to blow our collective minds and in the time since both Pro and Shed builders have created ever more lust worthy machines from the humble CX. But for Pedro Caçote it was not the custom efforts of others that piqued his love of the transverse twin but a childhood memory of images seen in a magazine at his grandmother’s house.
“That was the first time I ever saw a racer, and that was a cx 500. I do not remember the name of that magazine, but it was a goal that I could fulfil today.”
Lucky kid, the only magazines I remember kicking around my gran’s house were about gardening…
Now a 25 year old P.E teacher Pedro had finally gathered the skill, time and money to realise that childhood vision and build his own CX. He describes the lure of freedom felt when the wind touches your face as you ride as the tonic that propelled him through many a dark night spannering in his shed.
“I have this feeling since I started riding my Casal Boss II (a Portuguese motorcycle very popular in the 80’s for youg people) and it never stopped. The cafe racer became my culture because of its values and the bikes composition: the lived art, that part of us that we leave in every project.”
Pedro sourced a 1984 donor CX in very poor condition, fire damage had even added a good carbon crust to most of the machine, but spending his formative years in the garage tinkering with his father’s bikes had given Pedro the confidence to tackle the mess.
Pedro stripped out the air box and tidied the frame before the engine and carbs received a thorough service, new K&N filters and a refreshing coat of paint. Next he set to work beefing up the Honda running gear. The forks were consigned to the scrap pile and with the help of the guys at Custom Made 74 some box fresh items from a 2007 GSXR 1000 were installed in their place. Adaptations were made to the swing arm and transmission to run the rear brake from a Kawasaki ZX9 and the new 18′ wheel. The same ZX9 also donated it’s front brake to haul back the matching 18′ hoop up front. The Firestone Deluxe tyres are no doubt the only limiting factor for stopping this CX on a sixpence.
With a solid runner Pedro turned his attention to the cockpit. A Motogadget clock was fitted into the bespoke top yoke leaving plenty of space for the mobile phone bracket in the standard dash location. New clip ons, Biltwell thruster grips, levers from a CBR 1000RR, a headlight from a Lamborghini tractor and a rear from a Ktm crosser complete the wide ranging collection of parts.
The seat was made from the ground up with a new base topped in dense foam and plush brown leather, it wraps neatly around the custom rear mudguard while complementing the classic black and white palette of the Correia Painted tank.
Pedro had such a good time building his CX and the strength of reaction has been so positive that along the way his solo build has morphed into a brand, named Wrench ‘n’ Wheels, through which he intends to expand his motorcycle endeavours. Like many before him, Pedro was inspired by the wanderlust spirit and harmonica melodies of short film “It’s Better in the Wind” . He took the quote below to heart and has set about infusing his start up with the same ideology and pleasure.
“When we started this project, our goal was to start something new, out of our comfort zone, that would make us understand where would we go in life… And a simple machine like a bike can take you out of you comfort zone and make you focus on what matters the most, ending up finding out something about yourself.”
Teaming up with the likeminded friends he has made through the build process Pedro is confident that Wrench ‘n’ Wheels will become a “dream factory” building café racer style bikes. “We already have two projects on the way: a Kawazaki z650 and a Yamaha XS400 and we believe that there is more work coming our way…”
With only three CX builds making it onto the Bike Shed so far this year it is fantastic to be reminded just how well the old faithful Honda can scrub up, Pedro’s dream CX is a knock out from every angle. We have no doubt that if those next builds maintain the standards he has set with this machine he will see Wrench ‘n’ Wheels thrive, and Portugal shall have yet another builder to add to its stellar roster.