“Like riding a fast tank that nobody can stop…”
Better known as the Nighthawk in some parts of the world, the 1990s Honda CB750F2 Seven Fifty was no longer the world-changing “original superbike” of its 1970s ancestor. The “Seven Fifty” had evolved into more of an air-cooled retro roadster, sporting twin rear shocks, conventional forks, and a 75-hp inline four engine. The bike was well reviewed as a capable cruiser and sport touring mount, but many riders and journalists noted it lacked the excitement and inspired spirit of its predecessor…
Enter Finland’s Mad Mike Custom, whose founder, originally from Lebanon, was born around motorbikes. About ten years ago, he started building bikes as a passion and hobby, which eventually became a business:
“Growing with passion and big imagination to make builds for people, I wanted to take it to another level. Most important to me is making the dream come true for the people.”
In this case, that client was a friend of his, bassist Jalle Verne of the Finnish rock band Reckless Love, for whom the finished build would be a complete surprise. Mike decided to take a different direction with the ’98 CB750 donor, eschewing the expected cafe-inspired build in favor of a burly street scrambler style, customizing and updating the bike to 2020: electronics, lights, tires, exhaust, bodywork, and more, nicknaming the bike “Bumblebee.” Then it was time for delivery to Jalle:
“I traveled 320km to another city to reveal the bike for him and he was just amazed at the outcome and couldn’t believe this was the same bike.”
Below, we get the full story on the build from Mike himself, as well as more shots from photographer Like2Capture.
“Bumblebee” CB Seven-Fifty: Builder Interview
• Please tell us a bit about yourself, your history with motorcycles, and your workshop.
I’m originally from Lebanon, living in Finland, and born around motorbikes. I started to build bikes as a hobby and a passion of mine over ten years ago. Growing with passion and big imagination to make builds for people, I wanted to take it to another level. Most important is to make the dream come true for the people.
• What’s the make, model, and year of the bike?
Honda CB750, 1998.
• Why was this bike built?
It was a custom project for a friend of mine, the bassist @jalleverne of a Finnish rock band @recklesslove.official, and the outcome of the bike was a total surprise for him. I traveled 320km to another city to reveal the bike for him and he was just amazed at the outcome and couldn’t believe this was the same bike.
• What custom work was done to the bike?
The frame have been shortened and made as one seat. The seat is custom and handmade by me. The seat and front fairing have custom LED lights. New speedometer, handlebar, new tyres, painting, engine check, new exhaust system, headlights, tail light and blinkers. Pretty much everything has been updated from 1998 to 2020.
• Does the bike have a nickname?
Can you tell us what it’s like to ride this bike?
Riding this bike is like you are riding a fast tank that nobody can stop.
• Was there anything done during this build that you are particularly proud of?
I’m proud of changing the look of the original Honda CB Seven-Fifty to something completely different than what other people think. I’m proud of the overall shape of the bike and in my imagination it’s not missing anything, it is complete. Especially how the lines of the bike match.