The Honda RCB1000 dominated the FIM Endurance Cup (Coupe d’Endurance) scene of the late ’70s and early ’80s, composed of races like the Bol d’Or, 24 Hours of Le Mans, and Suzuka 8 Hours. The series was open to “improved” production motorcycles, and the RCB1000 was just that: a much-improved Honda CB750 Four, with a 941cc engine making 115 horsepower at 9500 rpm and a host of other modifications. Say our friends at Airtech Streamlining:
“Endurance racing was HUGE in Europe and the Honda RCB 1000 destroyed its competition when it arrived on the scene in 1976.”
Enter one of our favorite builders, the two-man French workshop of Le Motographe — composed of composed of Jerome (professional product designer) and Yvan (professional welder and metal shaper):
“Every of our bikes is made to ride, we never build “show bikes” ’cause for us a bike has to be efficient and useful.”
Recently, they partnered with French clothing brand Kulte (“Cult” in German), a fashion label that’s been in existence since 1998 and collaborated with Porsche for their 70th anniversary. Excited by motor sports, they decided to collaborate with Le Motographe for a new collection, including a custom bike.
The team started with a 1997 Honda CB750 (Nighthawk in some markets), building a custom inspired by the 24 Heures du Mans racers of the 80’s — most specifically, the Honda RCB1000. The result is the Honda “RKB750” — “K” for Kulte — which echoes the shape of the legendary RCB with colors derived from the French fashion label.
Below, we get the full story on this custom endurance machine.
Honda 750 RKB: Builder Interview
• Please tell us a bit about yourself, your history with motorcycles, and your workshop.
Le Motographe is a french workshop based in Montpellier (south of France), we build iconic bikes and parts.
Every of our bikes are made to ride, we never build “show bikes” ’cause for us a bike has to be efficient and useful.
The team is composed of Jerome (professional product designer) and Yvan (professional welder and metal shaper), both of us are riders passionate about bikes since childhood and we create using those years of different styles and influences.
We also build many parts by our own to sell them as custom parts — specially full exhaust systems, mufflers, aluminium fenders, foot pegs, etc…
All our projects are a surprise for the customer, who will never see the bike before it’s done. They need to trust our capacity to build a bike even better than what they expect. Obviously, we always have a long discussion about the bike before starting the project, based on the background and needs of the pilot to be able to create the perfect machine and then let’s go.
• What’s the make, model, and year of the bike?
The base of this project is a Honda CB Seven fifty 1997.
• Why was this bike built?
Kulte is a French clothing brand based close to our workshop which was born in 1998. After he did a partnership with Porsche for the 70th anniversary of the car’s brand, the manager of Kulte, influenced by mechanics sports, decided to make a new collection about it with us, to bring something more real and alive to that project, we decided to build a Kulte bike specially for it.
• What was the design concept and what influenced the build?
We decided that the best way to represent a French clothing brand called Kulte, is to build a bike looking like a cult era. That’s why we decided to base the concept on the famous races of 24 Heures du Mans during the 80’s, and more specifically, the Honda 1000 RCB.
The second important requirement for us was to give to that type of legendary bike design and colors looking like a Kulte & Le Motographe partnership. The base bike is a CB 750 from 1997, a simple bike, that we called it Honda 750 RKB (K for Kulte).
• What custom work was done to the bike?
First was a design work, searching to bring our own vision of that type of bike and using the original shapes of the famous Honda 1000 RCB. The paint job is a big part too using colors of the French clothing brand Kulte.
As usual, we are looking to produce usable motorcycles, that’s why the position of the pilot on the bike really needed to be adapted too.
Our favorite piece on this project is the 4-in-2 exhaust, designed and built in our workshop, which passes inside the swingarm to finish under the seat producing a really nice sound.