After our return from France in the beginning of October 2015 I spent some time to clean up my garage and reassemble my own Zephyr, so I returned to Honda CB750 Seven Fifty cafe-racer project only in the beginning of the November.
I wasn’t satisfied with my first attempt to design the bike, so I tried initially to work out something better with parts I‘ve already used. But all my efforts didn’t achieve the goal. There were a couple of bike foreshortenings I didn’t like. After few fruitless attempts to get satisfactory result I decided to change CB750 project completely. Here you may see one of the last views of Seven Fifty cafe-racer, let call it ver. 1.X design.
On this photo you also could admit new upper fork triple. The trick is I used Nighthawk 750 triple which is much more useful for cafe-racer project, it had better design than original one and also is completely compatible with Seven Fifty lower yoke.
I began new modelling stage from the tank. And this time I had the idea to use CX500 tank with its uncommon backward features. I may say that this idea was like a flash, but I used to have such a flashes after comprehensive turning of a question in my mind. I also quite good in parts selecting and searching, so I knew that CX tank will fit to the CB frame without modification or with minimal level of them and soon found CX tank on French ebay.
The tank arrived in the beginning of December 2015. Meanwhile, I also began producing my first Zephyr cafe kits for sale; and soon after that KZ650 project was started, as did production of another lot of Zephyr cafe kits, so I had a lot of work and a shortage of time. Even though I managed to continue the Seven Fifty cafe project . I thought out new design in my mind bit after bit, searched and collected parts, so in the beginning of March 2016 when I freed more time for Seven Fifty, I‘ve already had all components at hand.
The next significant change after the tank was the swingarm. The original one is ugly overlong and thin piece of iron, may be a victim of Honda cheapening politics. I like Kawasaki aluminium swingarms with eccentric chain tensioners so I chose familiar to me Zephyr 750 swingarm for my CB750 cafe-racer. It is, as I said, of aluminium so is lighter then stock steel one and shorter, thus will be better for handling. To use it and still have same chassis clearance you need 330mm rear shocks (original has 365mm from eye to eye). I didn’t chose shocks for this project yet, so I used CB400 shock bodies with temporary installed Zephyr 750 springs. Yet one design difference became front tire. I decided to use road 120/80-17 tire instead of initial 120/90-17 semi off-road one.
Modelling is a great thing when you want to hit your target right in the bull’s-eye so I used a sculpture clay for new tail and seat modelling and in couple of iterations got CB750 Seven Fifty cafe-racer design ver. 2.0. I also used paper tape to mark painting stripes and other stuff to pod air filters imitation (the idea of such their positioning jumped in my mind in last moment before photo shooting ) and redesigned project was ready for public presentation. Hope you like new design.