The “Daichi CB900F” from Japan’s Team CB’s…
Introduced in 1979, the Honda CB900F was a 95-hp DOHC roadster based on the company’s European Endurance Championship racer, thus the “Bol d’Or” (Golden Bowl) name the model carried in some markets — a nod to the famed 24-hour French motorcycle endurance race of the same name.
Since the introduction of the Kawasaki Z1, there had been something of a four-cylinder DOHC arms race among the Japanese Big Four, as each sought to reign supreme in the superbike wars. The CB900F, drawing from the dominant DOHC Honda RCB1000 endurance racer and RS1000 that followed, aimed for the top of the heap.
“For the period, the CB900, with 95bhp and fine handling on tap, could be viewed as an almost perfect machine. Where others wallowed, the Honda tracked true, when the bigger bikes pushed the brakes to the limit the CB simply stopped. It really is like chalk and cheese when comparing the bikes of 1979 alongside each other, with the Honda having been through finishing school while the rest bunked off and had their manners left unkempt.” –Classic Motorbikes
Unfortunately, the CB900F was aimed mainly at the European market, and we only received it for a short-time stateside, as Honda didn’t want to distract from the mighty CBX1000:
“The Honda CB900F Super Sport, available here in 1981 and 1982, and only reluctantly as Honda was pushing its inline six-cylinder CBX1000 as its halo motorcycle. The CB900F slotted itself into the under-a-liter class created in part by the KZ900.” –Hemmings
In 1983, the 1062cc Honda CB1100F arrived with a stiffer frame, revised geometry, and a box-section swingarm, but the age of the air/oil-cooled superbikes was drawing to a close. Soon, liquid-cooled machines with aluminum frames would move to the tip of the superbike spear.
What’s to do if you miss the character, aesthetics, and relative simplicity of these old air/oil-cooled dino-bikes, but also want a machine that can corner, brake, and boogie like a more modern bike? A restomod is your answer: a vintage superbike with updated suspension, brakes, wheels, rubber, and other bits.
While the best-known name in restomods is Japan’s own AC Sanctuary — a workshop whose no-expense-spared RCM (Radical Custom Manufacture) specials are simply to die for — the country is full of other workshops turning out resto-modded superbikes.
This CB900F comes from Team CB’s, who specialize in the repair, restoration, and customization of Honda’s CB series. Known as the “Daichi CB900F” or the “Nitron Special,” it was built for a Tokyo-based owner who regularly hits the track on his modern CBR1000RR.
The front forks have been swapped for a modern inverted set with a 17-inch wheel and Brembo brakes, while an Over Racing Projects swingarm allows for a 200-series rear tire. The bodywork is carbon fiber (!!) with Vankish Kustoms paint, and the bike is decked out with goodies from Nitron Racing, TKFactory, and fabricator Takashi Inoue. Though the side covers may say CB750F, we’re assured the bike is a 900.
“What I am particularly proud of is the outstanding balance. Although it is an old bike, it looks like a modern bike and everything is in order.”
Below, we talk to Masaharu for the full story on the build.
Honda CB900F Restomod: Builder Interview
• What’s the make, model, and year of the bike?
Honda CB900F, 1983.
• Why was this bike built?
Made to bring an old bike back to life.
• What was the design concept and what influenced the build?
It’s plain yet looks flashy. I was conscious of such things — it was the owner’s idea.
• What custom work was done to the bike?
The major change was to change the front fork from upright to inverted. The rear swing arm uses an aftermarket product so that a 200 size tire can fit. Also, the exterior is all carbon. Mufflers, rear sets, customizing as much as we can.
• Does the bike have a nickname?
Daichi CB900F, or the “Nitron Special.”
• Can you tell us what it’s like to ride?
Very exciting. But now I need to reinforce the frame. Fixing the frame would make for a nicer, more radical ride.
• Was there anything done during this build that you are particularly proud of?
What I am particularly proud of is the outstanding balance. Although it is an old bike, it looks like a modern bike and everything is in order.