They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, so Pedro & Co at Cafe Racer Dreams, you have just been given a huge compliment by Steve Hampson in the UK, as he has built his own CRD replica. None of us are under the illusion that the cafe/custom/brat scene is dominated by originality and most builds refer to other people's work, so here on The Bike Shed we have no problem with Steve taking the CRD style into his own garage and building something for himself, and better still, he's done a superb job. Here's the story in his own words. Having first seen the CRD bikes over 18 months ago, I had to have one. The basic simplicity of the bikes is what drew me to them and the relatively cheap cost of the donor bikes. I did an engineering apprenticeship 35 years ago and 10 years engineering so I had some basic skills although a little rusty, having only restored a couple of 70s bikes and spannered on my own bikes over the years. Having got hold of a cb750 in late 2011 I realised my first mistake, I bought an FA model rather than a KZ or KZ. So I had the rear disc brake instead of a drum and the longer tank. Fortunately parts do turn up relatively cheaply for these old hondas if you wait around long enough - which was a blessing. I got the bike running after replacing the pulsar coils and had a few rides to ensure there were no hidden mechanical gremlins in the motor. Parts I required to start the build were sourced mainly from ebay and David Silver. Once I had the KZ rear wheel I started the strip down and frame mods in December 2011 getting the wheels powder coated and fitting the coker diamonds so I could ensure I got the stance I wanted without compromising frame geometry. I ended up raising the rear shocks 40mm with handmade riser and lowering the front forks internally 40mm. Sounds quite a lot but bike rides sweet and does not fall into slow speed corners. Over the course of 2012 I fabricated mounts, brackets and parts for the seat pan, tank, fenders, indicator mounts, head light, speedometer. Licence plate. The bar clamps were from a cb550 shaped to match the cb750 lower clamp, the rear brake light switch was hidden behind the footrest hanger and a new torque arm was made with a fabricated bracket now located on the underside of the swing arm. A shorai battery was located in a custom battery box in a convenient gap at the back of the tank. A zx9r clutch perch and lever were rather than the clunky originals, early fireblade throttle housing was used as the original throttle housing and associated switches were not required. A Suzuki TS250 left hand bar switch set was used as it controls both light on/off high/low horn and high beam flash. The bars are Renthal super low’s, headlight and grips are from kickstarter in Germany and the rear tail light an ebay item. Rear Shocks are Hagon units and the Speedo is Danmoto. The frame, swing arm and wheels I had powder coated, all other parts on the bike I powder coated myself using a hobby powder coating gun. The engine case and cylinders were painted techcote satin black. A friend painted the tank and designed the logo. The leather for the seat came from ebay and was stitched together by a lad local to me. The engine has had a top end overhaul and is still on standard bores which showed hardly any wear at all, they just needed a light hone to remove glazing. I fitted new rings as I managed to get a set for £20, valves were lapped and shimmed. Cam chain and pensioners again showed little signs of wear so were reused. I spent hours trawling through www.cb110f.net for info on tuning and mods. So I ended up using cbr600 coils and a newer type fused solenoid to improve ignition reliability. As I was using Pod filters it became apparent from the wealth of info on the site that the stock keihin carbs could not be made to run properly with pod filters. So a set of 1993 GSXR750wn carbs were sourced. I gave then a thorough ultrasonic cleaning and replace all seals and o rings. I had to enlarge the air pilot jet to 1.5mm fro 1.3mm. Otherwise the carbs are stock as on the gsxr. All this happened throughout 2012 as and when time and money allowed, it was completed in November 2012 when it got its MOT and road tax and so far I have done around 150 miles on her. The pics on this page are just a handful, taken, trimmed and graded from three pages of images on Steve's Flickr account and it's only there that you get a real sense of the work that's gone into this build. I'm sure Pedro & the CRD crew would be very impressed - and pleased that Steve liked their work & style enough to build such a faithful homage. It's stunning.
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