A mean-green 750, built for an Air Force serviceman…
Many moons ago, we were thrilled to feature the first build from Ben Smith of Winston-Salem, North Carolina’s RacingSmith. The bike was a Honda CB750 tracker built to honor a veteran of the 1st Air Cavalry. The donor had not run in three decades, and the owner had ridden on the bike with his uncle as a kid! Ben transformed the non-runner into a fitting tribute for the men of the Air Cav, and the bike became one of the most popular builds we’d featured to date.
Fast forward a few years. After turning several more bikes out of his workshop in downtown Winston-Salem, Ben decided to focus more time to his family and their adventures together. He shuttered the shop’s doors, took a “real” job, and bought his childhood home on a farm. However, there was no way RacingSmith would remain dormant for long:
“Cars are a hobby/lifestyle that has and will always be a part of my life alongside of motorcycles. You can’t get either out of my blood, it’s like a sickness.”
Today, Ben is back in the garage, doing what he loves most — and he’s added services to the shop’s repertoire:
“After that was said and done I quit ‘working for the man’ and went back full time in our shop! So now I’m back in the garage, but we have been able to expand our services to include CNC Plasma and more!”
The owner of this CB750, Ashley, is an Air Force serviceman who wanted a build similar to RacingSmith’s first CB750 build. With a deployment coming, he dropped off the donor. Ben’s focus wasn’t on bikes at the time, but he couldn’t resist the project:
“I was actually between shops and not building bikes at the time; however, with him being a serviceman for this great nation, I HAD to make his dream come true!”
The result is a stunning successor of RacingSmith’s first build, echoing the past while pointing the way to the future. What’s more, it performs even better than expected off-tarmac:
“I have scrambled this bike all around my farm and it does really well. I wouldn’t have thought that it would be as poised as it is, but the gearing shines in the technical bits and things really get going when you open her up.”
Below, we get the full details of the build from Ben himself.
CB750 Scrambler: Builder Interview
• Please tell us a bit about yourself, your history with motorcycles, and your workshop.
RacingSmith’s inception goes back further than the brand itself. The idea and name has been around for a few years. It was spurred from a passion to go fast and take anything and everything to the limit. I have been around bikes and cars since I was old enough to make the effort. My parents weren’t really into them. There is no cool backstory about helping my Dad in the garage and him teaching me to wrench. I just always wanted to be on, or around them.
Cars are a hobby/lifestyle that has and will always be a part of my life alongside of motorcycles. You can’t get either out of my blood, it’s like a sickness. After years of riding, track days, burnouts, wheelies, rock crawling, drifting, muddin and every other imaginable dangerous practice, I gravitated to the vintage side of things. I picked up a ’79 XS750 and that’s when the bike side all came together…
I started in my garage like any other builder just for fun. It didn’t take long I realized the home garage wasn’t going to cut it anymore. So, as luck would have it I found a spot in downtown Winston Salem, NC.
Fast forward a few years and you will find the point where I dedicated more time to my family and our adventures. I closed the doors in downtown Winston, went out and found a “real” job, and bought my childhood home on a farm. After that was said and done I quit “working for the man” and went back full time in our shop! So now I’m back in the garage, but we have been able to expand our services to include CNC Plasma and more!
We are striving to bring product solutions to the market and continuing to create fun to ride bikes for clients all over the world!
• What’s the make, model, and year of the bike?
1972 Honda CB750.
• Why was this bike built? (Customer project, company promotion, personal, etc.)
Ashley contacted me a couple years ago wanting a bike similar to one I had built a few years ago. At the time he wasn’t ready but a deployment for the Air Force nudged him to drop off his CB750 and let me go to work! I was actually between shops and not building bikes at the time; however, with him being a serviceman for this great nation, I HAD to make his dream come true!!! He gave me full creative authority sans the paint color (which i dig anyhow).
• What was the design concept and what influenced the build?
A spinoff of the first bike I built, but to actually answer the question… Adventure bike meets scrambler I guess. Heck, man, I dunno, I just like cool things and ideas, haha.
• What custom work was done to the bike?
Bike was completely disassembled and all the fab work was done (shaving tabs and rear passenger peg supports all that stuff), then built back up. Motor was rebuilt and painted and powder-coated.
Murray’s Carbs Mikuni VM34 carb kit, digital ignition, custom wiring harness.
RacingSmith custom stainless steel exhaust.
As always, a wacky light set up (I rarely ever build a bike with a conventional headlight).
RacingSmith single gauge mount, integrated sleek buttons. high-mount fender, dual sport tires, olive drab with a clear coat.
• Does the bike have a nickname?
Owner named it “Brandy.”
• Can you tell us what it’s like to ride this bike?
I’ll be honest, she’s kinda a handful. Very, very fun bike to ride. I have scrambled this bike all around my farm and it does really well. I wouldn’t have thought that it would be as poised as it is, but the gearing shines in the technical bits and things really get going when you open her up. The road manners are straight up hooligan machine status. It roosts, jumps, wheelies and everything else it should do!
• Was there anything done during this build that you are particularly proud of?
I like the whole package, however the exhaust is probably my favorite. Well that and the fact that it was done all in-house by me. Nothing was subbed out.