Constructed to Experience: Skog Moto ’74 Honda CB550 CR


Dave Skogerson is a nostalgist. He believes that the bikes made by as we speak’s producers have numbed the expertise of driving, and we couldn’t agree extra. Whereas some expertise like ABS and traction management have enormously improved security, we may simply do with out cruise management, selectable driving modes and Bluetooth connectivity. Dave’s approach of tackling the difficulty is to stay to the classics; like his newest venture bike, a Honda CB550 cafe racer.

“I’ve been constructing {custom} vehicles and bikes since I may drive,” says Dave. “I simply have a factor for classic machines… easy and unapologetic.”

Dave’s CB550 cafe racer began out as the essential restoration of an ageing and forgotten motorbike. Being a {custom} junkie issues quickly snowballed and the restoration was a tasteful customisation. “I attempted to create the quintessential Café Racer. Easy but efficient. Unassuming but will get the job performed. Nothing that doesn’t must be there. Dependable and naturally… constructed to experience!” he says.

Fashions from Honda’s early CB collection have grow to be synonymous with cafe racer tradition. An early mannequin CB750 in cafe trim continues to be thought-about by many to be the epitome of a Japanese cafe racer. However by comparability, changing a CB550 may lead to an all-around higher end result.

Skog Moto Honda CB550 cafe racer

Whereas the CB550 lacks a number of the CB750s energy (50hp vs 68hp), it makes up for it in different methods. For starters, the 550 weighs virtually 50 kilos lower than the 750. The drop in weight and an improved body design translate to extra agile dealing with. The 550 additionally makes use of a wet-sump lubrication system versus the 750s dry setup. There’s no actual efficiency profit between the two, however whenever you’re constructing a restaurant racer the moist design dispenses with the necessity for a separate oil tank which provides you extra choices relating to relocating electrics. Effectively conscious of those advantages, Dave did his utmost to benefit from them throughout this construct.

Skog Moto Honda CB550 cafe racer

To make up for the 550’s energy deficiency, Dave’s CB has undergone some engine work. Internally the top of the inline-four has been ported and polished and any worn elements changed with OEM gear. The majority of the extra energy, nevertheless, is the results of fueling, consumption and exhaust upgrades. On the consumption, the rebuilt and re-jetted carbs breathe freely by a set of chrome velocity stacks. On the exhaust finish, a MotoGP Werks set of stainless 4-into-1 derestrict issues whereas a Yoshi race reproduction silencer permits the engine to actually sing. And in accordance with Dave, all this work has paid off. “This factor feels like a 600 and pulls to 9000 RPM in each gear!” And at last, to deal with the extra energy, he’s added a Barnett clutch package which ensures easy steadfast shifts.

Changing the wiring on a bike that’s over 40 years previous is a no brainer and Dave hasn’t neglected the very fact. His bike is now operating a custom-made harness. Energy comes through a light-weight Shorai lithium battery whereas the spark is provided by a Dyna Coils Dyna Ignition system. To handle {the electrical} methods all the pieces is attached to a Motogadget m.Unit ECU.

To step up the dealing with, Dave has additionally given the CB550’s suspension and brakes an overhaul. Adjustments to the entrance finish embody the set up of Hagon race springs and a few shortening of the fork tubes to degree out the stance. The traditional rear shocks are Hagon objects too and Dave’s complemented the modifications with tapered steering head bearings and bronze swingarm bushings. The inventory wheels have additionally been rebuilt utilizing new bearings, spokes and contemporary Continental ContiGo! rubber. Rounding issues out are a couple of enhancements to the brake system. A Nissin grasp cylinder now manages the entrance brakes and the disc has been cross-drilled. A stainless brake line completes the front-end setup whereas the rear drum merely acquired a rebuild. The result’s a experience that in accordance with Dave is “Steady on the straights. Effectively composed within the corners. And has driving geometry that can maintain you snug for hours.”

Skog Moto Honda CB550 cafe racer

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To realize the look he was after, Dave retained the inventory 550 gasoline tank, however most all the pieces else went within the scrap bin. In line with his cafe racer theme the bike now wears a Bedlam Werks aluminium wasps tail rear finish and seat pan, and the seat has been {custom} upholstered. To cut back issues to the naked minimal each the entrance and rear fenders have been eliminated, together with the facet panels, airbox and the bike’s chunky manufacturing facility lighting. The brand new lighting association makes use of a 5 3/4 inch incandescent headlight, tiny Motogadget m.Blaze pin flip alerts entrance and rear and a cat’s eye type aftermarket tail lamp.

Skog Moto Honda CB550 cafe racer

Dave’s, “Nothing that doesn’t must be there” method to this construct resulted in him shedding weight from wherever attainable. Through the tear down the body was detabbed to dispense with any redundant fixtures. The highest clamp swapped for a light-weight aluminium various and the chunky gauge meeting with aftermarket dials. Woodcraft clip-ons take the place of the metal bars and so they put on Avon grips and new switchgear. To finish the weight-saving modifications and the cafe racer driving place he’s match Tarozzi alloy rear set footpegs.

When it got here to picking a color for this CB550 Dave caught with a traditional black-on-black scheme. The traditional Honda winged tank decals, brown leather-based seat and gold chain full this CB’s timeless beauty. Because of Dave’s work with Honda it’s straightforward to see why traditional rides like this can by no means exit of fashion.

Skog Moto Honda CB550 cafe racer