Nothing beats a quick early morning blast through the hills above my house. The air is fresh, the sun is usually shining and I don’t have to share the road with many other motorized vehicles. I do have to share it with bicycles though—and I’m always amazed by how many people choose pedals over a throttle.
however, this honda cb450 cafe racer was designed for someone who likes both. It is the seventh bike ordered from Bruno Costa, from Cafeina Custom in Brazil. and is affectionately known as the “white shark” thanks to its slim, pearly white monocoque.
Reading: Cl450 cafe racer
“The owner is a cycling enthusiast who wanted a low and narrow motorcycle for short, fun rides around the Gaucho Highlands’ curvy roads,” says Bruno. “Mixing a classic café racer with modern touches, we built it narrow to highlight the engine and make it look bigger.”
With the project brief completed, Bruno selected a 1987 Honda CB450 TR as the donor bike. A stock CB450 would make a great ride, but it doesn’t set the world on fire in terms of styling. Bruno and his client felt the same, so there is now very little of the original bike left.
The first thing to go were the snowflake-style cast wheels. In their place are the five-spoke alloy units from a later model Honda, which also lent its front fork assembly. Finished in dark grey and wrapped in fresh Pirelli rubber, the new hoops look decidedly more modern.
The custom front fender is made of steel and does double duty as a fork brace. The striking, almost neo-retro design pairs nicely with the LED headlight, donated by a Harley V-Rod. it is bolted to the front end via a custom bracket.
Higher up, Bruno installed a custom top yoke with integrated LED warning lights, and a mount for a Motogadget Motoscope Mini speedometer. Clip-on handlebars, new grips, push button switches and bar-end turn signals and mirrors were also fitted. To keep the cockpit clean, all the wiring was routed internally through the bars.
Next up was the single piece tank, seat and tail unit. Bruno describes it as the most challenging part of the build, and it’s easy to see why. Starting with an aftermarket fuel tank, he fabricated a steel seat pan and tail bump, then seamlessly blended everything together.
The seat is upholstered in alcantara, and while it looks slim, it’s luxurious compared to the bike seats you’re used to. At the rear is an integrated LED taillight, shining from behind a louvered canopy. the custom aluminum gas cap and laser cut brushed steel logos on the tank are stylish touches.
Custom bodywork is difficult to get right but Bruno has nailed it, along with the new rear subframe that supports it. The bike got a full rewire too, but since space was limited, Bruno had to get clever.
Everything is packed in a tray under the seat, which can be accessed without removing the bodywork. a small lithium-ion battery is tucked under the swingarm.
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The Honda’s engine was refreshed and got a new coat of paint to match the wheels. The pod filters and custom two-into-two stainless steel exhaust free a few extra horses from the 450.
Aluminum rear sets were installed for a bold standing position, and Bruno made an aluminum license plate holder to round out the bodywork.
The end result is a lean café racer with perfect proportions. The weight reduction and tweaked powertrain surely benefits the torquey twin, but it’s the aesthetics that make this a winner.
if there was a motorcycle equivalent to the yellow jersey, bruno would be wearing it.
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