The custom bike scene is still finding it's feet as we head further east into Central Europe, so it's great to see another builder coming out of Poland, with this gorgeous Honda CB550 cafe racer, decked out in red & white - which we assume pays homage to his home country's flag. Two years ago Piotrek, from Libiaz, was happily zipping around on a 600 Hornet when he stumbled across a website dedicated to the cafe racer. Up until then, like most of us, custom motorcycles had meant raked out front ends, rear tyres from juggernauts and a tonne of chrome. But the website opened his eyes to a whole new biking world, and immediately he started thinking about doing his own build. Piotrek is keen to point out that he is an amateur getting by with a poorly equipped garage, working alone, and planning everything in his head just before he falls asleep at night. The donor bike was an exhausted 1976 Honda CB 550 imported from the Netherlands. It was heavily corroded and had covered 90 thousand miles (gulp). So before the fun started, the bike needed some serious TLC from a professional mechanic. He set himself a strict three point brief . 1) Maximum weight reduction. 2) Simplification of form (removing or hiding anything unnecessary). 3) No compromises - everything had to be done right. So with a deep breath he started to strike sparks and cut metal, removing the excess weight. He then formed the shape of the seat using a bag of sand. He designed the shortened exhausts and made the battery compartment from stainless steel. Then came the hand-sewn seat, made from genuine leather of course (no compromises, remember?) The spokes were replaced and many parts were chromed, powder coated or replaced with new ones. The only complaint Piotrek has is that it took him two years to build, but that's mainly because the custom parts market is practically non-existent in Poland, so most things had to be imported from the USA or the Netherlands. The biggest technical challenges were connecting together the suspension, re-building the wheels, fitting the front brake caliper and synchronizing the engine to get the most from the cone air filters. Piotrek declares himself satisfied with the result, and so he should be. This is a beautifully simple CB550 with class and presence that you would expect to have come from a pro builder in LA, not from a first timer in his home garage in Poland. If you fancy owning a bike like this, you're in luck, as Piotrek is selling the CB to fund his next build which he already has brewing in his head. If he builds another bike half as nice as this one we'll be very happy to feature it on The Bike Shed. Thanks for sharing, Piotrek. You can find more pictures and info on Piotrek's Facebook page. Written & Posted by Ian@TheBikeShed
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