CB450 Distressed to Kill
By Anthony van Someren - 27 May 13
Simon is a bus driver in Canberra, Australia. Working split shifts allows him to work in his shed on his bikes in the middle of the day. A true Bike Shed, Shed-Builder! Each bike takes four to six months to build. He's a big fan of Honda twins from the 70s and has built around ten of them, from 175, 250, 350 and this 450. I guess you could call this one “farm fresh” since it came from Bill, a farmer in Casterton, Victoria, Australia. Another cheapish ebay find. This bike had a few maintenance issues before it was air-worthy, but it was complete enough. I got it going and flew around on it for 12 months before deciding it might be fun to go with a “Bomber” theme. Those in the know would remember the earlier 450's were known as “Black Bombers”...so the wartime livery on this DOHC Twin fits right in. Monday 12th December 2011 was D-Day for this particular low flying weapon as the bike was completely stripped and restoration began. The mighty 27 cubic inch twin engine was soda blasted and coated in silver heat paint and the fuselage was powder coated in battle tough metallic silver.. There's not a lot of fabrication on this one save for the chopped and modded front guard sporting the fighting insignia of Captain Soichiro and an old CB360 tailpiece. Also an inner splash guard was made from an old universal alloy front one, cut down and riveted back together. Wondering what the finish is on those guards? , its satin nickel, which looks very much like brushed stainless steel. John Watkins finished the pilots chair by cutting down the foam, then made a new cover from aircraft grade distressed grey vinyl, red stitching and black piping. Paint was done to Simon's specific instructions by Edwards Spray South "What? You want us to paint it then rub half of it off?" Yep, I mean, Roger. Using a combination of water transfers under the clear coat and custom vinyl decals by co pilot Craig Helmers at Choice signs. Benjie's Cafe racers sent out the custom front struts, I mean , fork tube covers after a few months, which then had to be further modified as the fork tubes are pulled through to allow clip on bars to sit over the top tree. The whole bike sits an inch lower than standard. Headlight is from a downed Yamaha TY 250 trials bike converted to 12 volts (picked up from a swap meet for $10) as the original one was never going to fit between the brackets (This was after it was painted to match the rest, so I had to take the little Yamaha bucket back to get matching paint too). The original rims and hubs were powder coated and laced with heavy duty stainless spokes and shod with everyone's favorite tyres 4.5 inches on the tail and a 3.5 inch on the front landing gear. Header pipes were black wrapped, and mufflers were from the spares supply inventory and coated in black ceramic heatproof coating. "I liked the outlets on these, reckon they look a bit like machine guns, don't you agree old chap?...” Lots of details abound on Simons latest build, some including brass bolt & nut covers by Alex Gibbs, a custom hand spun alloy gauge outer cover by Steve at JNT ( if you look closely the speedo face now reads Airspeed/Knots ) and plenty of time spent at the buffing wheel by Simon, had this bike ready to leave the hanger for its first mission 5 months later. Simon has a build log over at Hondatwins.com where you can see all the before, during and after pics, and he has a Facebook page too. Expect lots more wartime double entendres! Simon is currently doing a 750 four with an army theme. He's also done a cafe racer Suzuki T250 and an '81 900F Bol d'or which he sold to finance new projects. We hope to see more of his builds soon! Thanks for sharing fella.