Remove Before Flight…
Today we’re thrilled to present a Honda GL650 cafe racer hailing from Lithuania.
The Honda GL650 Silver Wing was essentially a punched-out version of the GL500, a midsize touring bike based around the CX500 V-twin engine. Whereas the GL500 was a bit of a slow poke, given a wet weight of 550 pounds and only 495cc of engine displacement, the 1983 Honda GL650 offered 674cc and 60+ horsepower — good for quarter mile times of 13 seconds.
These Silver Wings, looking like miniaturized versions of the larger Gold Wing GL1100 of the time, were capable machines, but few would call them sexy or flickable or even fun. As Rider magazine said of the GL650:
“A very sensible motorcycle, this midsize touring bike, but perhaps too sensible for the American buyer.”
Enter Mantas Simanauskas of Lithuania, who built the Honda GL650 Silver Wing cafe racer you see here. Mantas is not very comfortable touting his own accomplishments, but we were able to coax some biographical details out of him.
Building custom bikes is his hobby, which he does in his evenings and free time. When he started building bikes four years ago, he didn’t even have a motorcycle license! He would have his friends come over to ride the machines he built and give him feedback on what he needed to change or improve. Once he started building, he never thought to stop. As he says:
I think the garage is in my blood 😉
Below, we get more details on the build.
Honda Silver Wing Cafe Racer: In the Builder’s Words
(Words by Mantas Simanauskas. Highlights by us.)
Hi, this is my one of cafe racer project. Base was a Honda GL650 DII (RC10). Wheels are from Husqvarna SM610. Now the rear wheel is wider, 160mm. Brakes are Brembo, also from Husqvarna SM610.
For wider wheel, I have to remade the rear swing arm and cardan. Custom made seat with fender. Front forks from Ducati Monster with ZX10R clip ons and Biltwell handgrips.
Radiator from VT250, because it is more sexy. Paint color from BMW M4 with white pearl stripes.
And of course I cleaned the carburetor and rebuilt with new membranes. Re-elected starter clutch with new springs and rollers. Motul oil for engine, Kroon oil for shaft, NGK spark plugs. Muffler from CBR600, great sound.