Eastern Spirit Honda CB550: Redux!

Honda CB550 Cafe Racer

For Sale: Eastern Spirit’s first-ever custom motorcycle, rebuilt!

Sylwester Mateusiak of Eastern Spirit Garage — located 100 kilometers east of Warsaw — has been building custom bikes for nearly a decade, making quite a name for himself in Europe and across the world. A stable’s worth of his builds have been featured on Bike EXIF, and we’ve showcased his Yamaha XJ650/900 sleeper and “Rumble 400” Ducati, which was his first build of a non-Japanese, brand-new bike.

Honda CB550 Cafe Racer

Like many builders, Sylwester was interested in bikes and motors since childhood:

“My parents told me that as a toddler I used to dismantle toys in order to assemble them again later and make them better.”

Honda CB550 Cafe Racer

For the first seven years of business, Sylwester says he hardly ever left the garage:

“There was always something to do. All the money I earned, I invested back in the workshop.”

Honda CB550 Cafe Racer

Fortunately, all of that hard work and dedication paid dividends, as Eastern Spirit quickly became a well-known name in the customs world.

Honda CB550 Cafe Racer

Recently, Sylwester’s very first build — a 1977 Honda CB550 — found its way back into the garage.

“My first project sold to a client who, with a heavy heart, had to resell it. I saw it as an opportunity to give her some love now that I’m a little wiser and a lot more experienced.”

Novelists don’t get to revise their debut books; painters don’t get to retouch their early work; quarterbacks don’t get to replay their first championship games.  But in this case, a master craftsman had the opportunity to rebuild his first creation, employing everything he’d learned in the interim.

“I’ve decided to keep the original cafe racer form of the frame but I‘ve rebuilt it completely from scratch to give it the perfect shape and stability (perfectionism can be a nuisance). The shape hasn’t changed but it did certainly feel like building an entirely new motorcycle from scratch.”

Honda CB550 Cafe Racer

Below, Sylwester gives us the full details on this rebuilt CB550, along with more photos from Mateusz Stankiewicz.

Interested in owning this piece of Eastern Spirit history? It’s for sale! Contact Sylwester for more information!

Honda CB550 Cafe Racer: In the Builder’s Words…

Honda CB550 Cafe Racer

That’s where it all began, the very first build by Eastern Spirit released nearly a decade ago. Honda CB550, originally built in 1977. My first project sold to a client who, with a heavy heart, had to resell it. I saw it as an opportunity to give her some love now that I’m a little wiser and a lot more experienced.

I’ve decided to keep the original cafe racer form of the frame but I‘ve rebuilt it completely from scratch to give it the perfect shape and stability (perfectionism can be a nuisance). The shape hasn’t changed but it did certainly feel like building an entirely new motorcycle from scratch. All welds and brackets were reinforced, the beauty got a new coat of paint.

I’ve replaced front suspension with floating brake discs and better clamps for best possible function. I’ve also rebuilt the fuel tank with a new filler, built a steel plate tail coated with black paint, finished with gold and black-matte pinstripes.

For better function the bike got completely new wiring.

Honda CB550 Cafe Racer

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One Comment

  1. The 550 is probably my favorite Honda in line four, from the seventies & you have done a beautiful job. It says “classic cafe” from front to back. One sees a lot of attention to detail, which sets it apart from most. The one question I ask is: Why the exhaust wrap? I know it’s popular… I know it’s what people did back then. I just feel that exhaust wrap says “rat bike.” The rest of the bike has smooth, clean lines. Does the wrap add to this or detract from it?

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