Chopper Dave from Backstreet Racers in New Mexico clearly has a few more spanners up his sleeve than just imperial chopper-shaped ones, as this lovely little Honda 550 Four clearly shows.
Here’s how she started out – a very clean bike, weighed down with chrome and lights with lenses like dinner plates:
Despite being called Chopper Dave, Backstreet Racers actually specialise in Cafe Racers. Honda CeeBee are his most common build but Dave will happily strip-down and cafe-custom anything including Guzzis, Triumphs, Nortons, BSAs, Yammie XS650s etc.
Yellow lenses seem to be the way to go these days. Reminds me of driving in Europe back in the 1970s, having carefully painted the lights with yellow dye.
“It all started in 1965 I was 4 years old. My Dad sat me on the gas tank of a ’61 panhead nd I knew right away I had to ride. Dad got me my first bike in 1967 when I was 6 years old. It was a Honda 90 cub, and I road the tires off that bike and never crashed it. I started working on bikes in 1978, working on rice and building up old Harleys, then I moved to Atlanta in 2001 and started building bare-bones hard tail choppers, and to cut long story short I am now building cafes…”
The original headlight is retained but an offroad stone guard gives a meaner look, while a pair of small sized clocks neaten up the front end. Ace bars give a head-down, arse-up clip-on feel but retain the stop yoke’s risers.
The engine breathes more freely into the Kerker pipes, while the tin license plate wraps neatly around the rear sprocket – as only American plates can – as us Europeans look on enviously.
The end result is simply a clean, sleek cafe racer that begs to be ridden. Biking at it’s basic best.