A father/son Honda CB550 cafe racer build with custom monoshock conversion…
Honda’s four-cylinder middleweight, the CB550, is one of our favorite platforms for a cafe racer build. While the air-cooled SOHC engine doesn’t have the same punch as that of the CB750, the 550 Four is nearly 50 pounds lighter than its larger sibling. The combination of power, weight, and agility in the CB500 is simply hard to beat.
Enter Mattias Bunn and his father, Mike, who built this CB550 cafe racer in their home garage. This was Mattias’s first build. Whereas many young first-time builders content themselves with a brat seat and pipe wrap, Mattias and his father had the ambition and skills to carry this project much further. The monoshock conversion is their own design, milled by Mike himself, and the GSX-R750 fork conversion was completed with parts from one of our favorite shops, Cognito Moto — the hands-down leader in USD fork conversions on vintage bikes.
We can’t wait to see what this young builder and his father accomplish next!
Honda CB550 Cafe Racer: Builder Interview
• Please tell us a bit about yourself, your history with motorcycles, and your workshop.
My name is Mattias Bunn, my father, Mike, and I have been working on our bike for a few years. For me it is my first bike that I’ve worked on and I think it has been a good first project. We have been doing it on our own in our garage with our tools and some from my dads’ job at a hangar where he is allowed to use things if he has personal projects.
• What’s the make, model, and year of the bike?
The bike is a 1975 Honda CB550.
• Why was this bike built?
We built the bike as a personal project.
• What was the design concept and what influenced the build?
The design of the bike was based a lot off of other Cafe Racer builds but for much of the bike my dad and I found it necessary to adjust the lines of the frame and the seat and such.
• What custom work was done to the bike?
The seat frame was custom welded by my father, the single spring system was created by him and he milled the pieces for it himself.
We used a mod from Cognito Moto to fit a set of 1999 GSXR 750 front fork to the bike. We rebuilt much of the engine and had the carbs professionally adjusted.
• How would you classify this bike?
The bike is a Cafe Racer.
• Was there anything done during this build that you are particularly proud of?
Milling the rear spring system ourselves was very cool.
Very cool build. I’m doing a cb450 cafe myself. Hoping to be done next summer.