By Ian Heartfield - 24 Feb 14
It's often said that bikes keep you young. It's not often said they keep you alive. But as far as Stephen Heath is concerned, that's exactly what this stunning CB750 classic racer rep has done. Stephen was forced to retire from his job as a motor engineer 18 months ago due to a serious illness. He has a genetic problem that has led to three heart attacks in a year following a quadruple heart by pass at the age of 40. The result of all this means that Stephen is now left with only one artery supplying blood to his heart and no further intervention is planned by the doctors. So when this last remaining artery closes, it's game over. Now that's what you call serious. But. Stephen says he doesn't like to dwell on his health. Instead he chooses to immerse himself in his bikes in order to take his mind off things and to 'preserve his sanity'. So we'll do the same. The bike itself has had the frame shortened and all the electrics sorted and hidden away under the seat hump. It has CB900 pneumatic forks which have been shortened by 40mm to get the ride height correct. The front hub is from a 1974 CB750 which has been fitted out with twin CB500t discs and CB900 callipers. The master cylinder is from a VFR750R which provides the optimum ratio for proper, decent braking. The rear hub remains original as does the drum brake. Both hubs are laced to Morad 'S' alloy rims with polished stainless double butted spokes. Rear sets and clip ons are both custom made, and the instrumentation is courtesy of a Koso dash. That classic, long, thin Honda fuel tank is a hand made alloy work of art, courtesy of Holtworks. The exhausts are also hand made, this time by Steve himself with a little help from a local bike engineer. The original Keihin CV carbs have been kept, albeit heavily modified and jetted to run on velocity stacks and the straight through exhausts. Despite looking, and presumably sounding like it belongs in the paddock at Mallory Park, this bike is actually road legal and has a proper MOT (not just daytime) as it has fully functional lights. How cool would it be to cruise into the centre of town at night on this bike? Having said he doesn't like to dwell on his health, we cannot write this story without telling this one. A week after having open heart surgery and spending time on a life support machine, Stephen split his chest wound open while 'heavy braking' on his CBR1000. Not wanting to get a bollocking from his other half (who had hidden the keys so that he couldn't go out), he super glued the wound back together in the bathroom. Yes you did read that correctly - super glued. Stephen has defied the odds and lived longer than the doctors thought he would. He is spending his precious time riding the CB, pretending to be Mike Hailwood, and working on two more builds - a BMW airhead and a V Max. What more can we say other than we can't wait to see how they both turn out. Stephen, your story and your bikes are an inspiration to all of us in the Bike Shed. We are extremely moved to be able to share your builds with all our readers. Please keep on defying the odds, building those new bikes, and riding them too! ...although you should maybe try to avoid any more superglue moments.