400/4 ➞ 200/2: Two-Stroke Mashup from Colin Davies…
Launched in 1974, the Honda CB400F was one of many sweetest little machines of the Seventies. Whereas it didn’t have the outright energy of bigger siblings just like the CB750, the café racer styling and class of the small-bore engine lent it cult following that continues to today.
Nonetheless, for riders like 64-year-old Colin Davies of the UK, there’s nothing fairly as nostalgic as these early days of two-stroking on bikes like his Yamaha FS1 and RD250. A number of years in the past, Colin did a gentle customized construct on his ’82 CBX550, turning again the clock for a extra retro look. However the siren music of a two-stroke was calling:
“On the identical time I acquired a legit naked bare Honda CB400/4 body, which obtained me to considering…I wished a little bit of ringadingding in my life…paying homage to the RD days of my youth. Venture Suzonda was born.”
The earlier proprietor had stripped the Honda 400/4 all the way down to the naked body, then left it exterior for ~15 years. Colin determined the skeletal Honda ought to be resurrected, which gave him a wild concept. To fulfill his hankering for a two-stroker, he’d match the outdated 400/4 body with a Suzuki 200/2 engine!
“I took it ahead by discovering a Suzuki SB200 engine on a budget. I later upgraded to a GT200 engine to have electrical begin, 5-speed gearbox, and 22mm carbs. All rebuilt with contemporary crank seals/bearings and so forth.”
Surprisingly, the engine mounts weren’t too far off from the Honda body. With the highest rear in, customized brackets had been fabbed to mount the engine within the body.
“Contemplating the body accommodated an inline 400, the 200 twin sits properly and appears about proper.”
So far as aesthetics, Colin had a imprecise imaginative and prescient of a competition-inspired flat tracker look, and let that concept paved the way. Highlights embrace a Stihl-gray body, Honda CB200 tank, Suzuki GSX1100 alloy swingarm, and six-spoke alloy wheels (powder-coated sign white), forks, and brakes courtesy of a 90s Honda NSR125.
Colin sketched out the tank design and despatched it off to Christian Arapu, who created the decals, and a saddle and tank pad upholstered in a beautiful blue suede matches the Suzuki GSX triple blue/sign white colorway.
“Turned out my trimmer works for Williams F1 and had an offcut of their blue, which suited completely.”
The consequence is among the loveliest little road people who smoke we’ve seen — a light-weight, agile, and certifiably distinctive machine that’s positive to spark curiosity, images, and dialog wherever it goes. Says Colin:
“I wished a comp-inspired highway bike that was easy, light-weight, and a blast to journey. No want for large heavy 1000cc+ engines, turbos, or closely modified… It’s enjoyable, light-weight, nippy, and nimble. Using place is cozy and it’s a pleasure to journey all the way down to Costa.”
There’s a ton of time, thought, fabrication, and element behind this construct. Under, Colin provides us the nitty-gritty particulars on how he fleshed that naked Honda body into the Suzonda WTF200/2 you see right here. The attractive images are because of Thom Airs Media.
Venture Suzonda: Builder Interview
• Please inform us a bit about your self, your historical past with bikes, and your workshop.
Hello, I’m Colin Davies, 64 years outdated, owned my first FS1E at 16 after which an RD250C for a few years. Bought into modified vehicles over time, however household/mortgages/youngsters took priority till the mid 90s once I acquired my ‘82 Honda CBX550. I turned again the fashion clock by 10 years on that delicate customized construct in 2015/16.
On the identical time I acquired a legit naked bare Honda CB400/4 body, which obtained me to considering…I wished a little bit of ringadingding in my life…paying homage to the RD days of my youth. Venture Suzonda was born. (I additionally run a modiied ‘71 VW Beetle.)
• What’s the make, mannequin, and yr of the donor bike?
A 1977 Honda CB400/4 donated the bare body. Nothing on it, because it had been stripped by the earlier proprietor round 2000 and left exterior. I came upon the reg quantity from the body numbers and determined it wanted to reside once more, simply needed to determine what/how?
• Why was this bike constructed?
Private: I had hankered after a 2-smoker for a while, however the 400/4 body gave me a wild concept. Impressed by my comparatively profitable Honda backdate, I took it ahead by discovering a Suzuki SB200 engine on a budget. I later upgraded to a GT200 engine to have electrical begin, 5-speed gearbox, and 22mm carbs. All rebuilt with contemporary crank seals/bearings and so forth.
• What was the design idea and what inluenced the construct?
I solely had a imprecise concept of favor, however fancied a flat-tracker fashion and the 200 engine within the 400 body appeared to lend itself to the picture I had in my head.
I wished a comp-inspired highway bike that was easy, light-weight, and a blast to journey. No want for large heavy 1000cc+ engines, turbos, or closely modified.
• What customized work was finished to the bike?
Beginning with a unadorned body and never wanting to cut it up, aside from the seat mount/lock brackets, I spent numerous time simply it. Engine supplied in, and the CBX tank mounted together with forks/bars and swingarm scored from an area motorbike swapmeet began the ball rolling. Because it took form I noticed the potential of it really coming collectively.
The body is painted in Stihl gray as I wished the comp look and black frames are so finished IMO. Thoughts you I don’t like pink or blue or multi-coloured frames both haha!
Six-spoke alloy wheels and a cheapo eBay seat gave me the preliminary look I used to be after. A shout out on a biker group noticed me personal a CB200 tank…particularly bought as I liked the fashion and form. Issue within the lip cap and stainless twin styling strips and that accomplished “the look.”
The Suzuki GSX1100 alloy swingarm was narrowed on the pivot by 12mm total and my tame turner mate common a brand new stainless spindle. The swingarm was longer than inventory and gave it a purposeful look.
Wheels and finally a special set of entrance forks/brakes had been from a late 90s Honda NSR125, six-spoke alloys suited the modernised old-school flat tracker fashion I used to be after. I feel three-spoke alloys are so widespread/boring, however six-spoke alloys powdercoated in sign white hit the mark.
One level I’d prefer to make is that this construct was on a reasonably tight finances, and as I’m a hoarder of “issues that would are available in helpful,” sorted via my stuff to discover a pair of cut-down widespread rubber doorstops in white that served as ahead tank mounts.
The fork head taper bearings had been tailored to it the stem, together with the inventory NSR brake calipers/disc and speedo drive, and the entrance was coming collectively properly.
Bar adapters had been used to mount the handlebars onto the highest yoke. NSR clip-ons and a home made stainless cowl plate tidied up the yoke.
Entrance brakes use NSR grasp cylinder with braided traces. Rear brakes wanted some work so a torque bar was made out of M12 threading, sheathed in a thinwall tube with rose joint to swingarm connection and U bracket to/from the rear caliper.
Wheels had been merely spacered out to go well with the chain alignment and centering. The NSR makes use of an M17 axle, whereas the GSX swingarm is 19mm…once more, jaw spacers made it work.
The engine mounts largely lined up with the Honda body. The highest rear was a shoe in, and this allowed customized brackets to be made, selecting up on the three factors on the engine/body. Contemplating the body accommodated an inline 400, the 200 twin sits properly and appears about proper.
Exhausts needed to be growth pipes and a fortunate rating noticed me the completely happy proprietor of interval Microns, albeit for an RD350LC, however however a barrel/spigot modification noticed them sit good and look appropriate.
The rear exhaust mounts are male/feminine rose joints screwed collectively, like canine bones, and when totally articulated and tightened maintain the rear firmly, utilizing the Honda pillion footpeg mounts.
I sourced a flat tracker fashion fibreglass seat unit that labored for the match ‘n end, as I used to be seeking to obtain a straight line alongside the tank and seat. Given the form of the seat unit, I feel it’s as shut as I can get it.
The seat pad I fashioned from 2mm alloy sheet and 15mm yoga mat — sure closed-cell yoga mat, two layers glued collectively and formed earlier than my professional trimmer set to work. I wished one thing a little bit completely different, didn’t must be uber sensible, so selected blue suede. Turned out my trimmer works for Williams F1 and had an offcut of their blue, which suited completely.
The CB200 tank has a padded part working up the center, so we lined this in suede and continued the block sample onto the seat pad. I used half of an ear defender cup to kind a cave for the rear tank mount to it in, so the be part of was tight.
The unit sits on the Honda subframe bridge I lower from my CBX and is mounted in place by a single Zeus clip, mounted to a tophat bathtub help foot I salvaged.
Paint was all the time going to be Suzuki GSX triple blue/sign white to match the wheels, and the retro tank design was sketched out in MS Paint by me earlier than I despatched it to the decal man in Moldova.
He tidied the tough sketch and made good decals in Suzuki GSX double blue/white colors. Even the extra stickers had been chosen to match the colors. I’ve a factor about random stickers…so far as I’m involved, if you happen to don’t have the product on the bike don’t have the stickers both.
Sundry particulars are:
- Domino throttle mechanism
- ZZR600 modified footpegs
- Repro rear cantilever grasp cylinder
- Alloy 2T oil tank sitting in modified airfilter field.
- Relocated grasp ignition swap
- CD175 headlight cowl with inventory speedo and Keiko headlamp improve
- Minimize down CBX entrance guard, mounted on the NSR fork legs
- Micro LED indicators
- Modified/prolonged 50mm 400/4 sidestand with added kicker to overlook the Microns
- Rear brake lever is ZZR on customized mount
- Pegs are ZZR on CBX pillion brackets
- Shocks are 400mm commonplace chrome aftermarket items with customized spacers
- Rear mild is aftermarket twin spherical lamps tucked simply sufficient. The quantity plate kinds a small splash guard.
- Interior rear wheel guard is inventory 400/4
• Does the bike have a nickname?
“That bastard factor.”
• Any concept of horsepower, weight, and/or efficiency numbers?
Not but, though a inventory GT200 engine produces a mind-blowing 23hp and weighs dripping moist circa 135kgs. I’ve obtained bigger foremost jets and the Microns which could add just a few hp…who is aware of? I’d spend money on a rolling highway professional arrange?
• Are you able to inform us what it’s prefer to journey this bike?
It’s enjoyable, light-weight, nippy, and nimble. Using place is cozy and it’s a pleasure to journey all the way down to Costa.
• Was there something finished throughout this construct that you’re significantly pleased with?
I’d say the tank design and swingarm mods to it. I do love the suede seat/tank and that will get numerous compliments.
• Is there anybody you’d prefer to thank?
- My son Matthew for the electrics, getting it first began and continued help.
- Andy Harrop, my neighbour, who rebuilt the engine…twice, and for extra help and tech recommendation.
- Alex for the paint
- Dan for the powdercoating/blasting
- Wealthy’s Fabrications for the exhaust spigots and sidestand mods
- Thom Airs for the pictures (@thomairs)
- Wemoto for Suzuki components
- Shane Woods for the carb rebuild
- Buzz for extra tech recommendation
- Gez for the professional trimming
- Christian Arapu for the decals
- John @ Bikewise Abingdon for his enter and MOTs
- And, anybody who offered me something