We found this oh-so-clean 1975 Honda CB550F cafe racer through Denton Moto Collective of Denton, Texas, who recently listed the bike as their #motoinspiration of the day. Nicknamed the “F-Bomb,” the bike was built by Sean Zeigler of Other Life Cycles.
Sean works in his advertising as his day-job, and he was a founding member of the scooter club Los Vespaderos before moonlighting as a custom motorcycle builder. Recently, Sean reached out with the full story on the transformation of this middleweight CB from basket-case to bomb-dropper.
F-Bomb CB550: In the Builder’s Words
(Words by Sean Zeigler of Other Life Cycles. Highlights by us.)
So about the bike. It started as a stock basket case with a stuck engine, almost rotted gas tank and rotted exhaust. Kinda looked like a goner.
I basically stripped it down to the frame and cases and started over. The engine got a new set of seals, rings and a cylinder hone, as well as a new ceramic coated 4-into-1 exhaust and Keihin CR special carbs (26mm).
The frame went on a diet and had everything lopped off that wasn’t needed. I upgraded the swing-arm bearings to a needle bearing set up from the guys at Dime City Cycles and welded in a rear hoop and a panel to protect the carburetor intakes. The stock badge was relocated onto that panel under the seat.
It got new suspension all the way around with springs and Gold valves and new springs from Racetech in the forks and some decent air assisted rear shocks. Also modified the frame so that the turn signals mounted under either side of the rear bump.
The body came next. I replace the tank with a stock 550 tank from 76. I made the form for the seat-pan and layed up the fiberglass with the frenched-in brake lights. Welded in mounting brackets for the seat and a panel in the rear hoop for the the battery which would go under the rear bump and the rectifier regulator that is mounted under the seat rear.
I then set to building a custom wiring harness with the Motogadget system and made a tray that fit into the frame under the seat to hold M-unit heart of the system. The bike got an RFID on/off under the seat and LED lighting all the way around. A custom seat pad was made here in Denton and the paint was done by a friend in the area as well.