Lys Motorcycles builds a six-cylinder café racer…
For the 1979 model year, ten years after the introduction of the revolutionary CB750, Honda released another two-wheeled marvel of engineering, the CBX1000 Super Sport. The mighty CBX had six cylinders, six carbs, 24 valves, two overhead cams, and more than 100 horsepower at the crank.
While the six-cylinder machine would never be as fast or agile as some of the 1000cc inline-fours, it had a mystique all its own:
“We felt there was something exhilarating and exciting about the 6-cylinder CBX that was lacking in the 4-cylinder CB1000F… something in the CBX that could not be measured in numbers like speed and weight, (something that) made it a very sexy machine.” -Shoichiro Irimajiri, CBX designer, Cycle World
What’s more, many folks say the CBX had the best-sounding motorcycle engine in history — something akin to the howling fury of an F1 car at full song.
“The sound alone is worth the price of admission. It pastes a big dumb smile on my face every time I creep up on a long line of slower bikes, drop a gear (or two), and watch as the last two or three riders in the line turn their heads to see what the hell just made that sound.” –Mike Common, CBX owner
Back in 2021, we featured a Honda CBX1000 cafe racer from France’s Lys Motorcycles — a personal project for builder Dimitri, who got to work without the regular budgetary and stylistic constraints of a client build.
While the pandemic prevented Dimitri from taking that “Super 6” to all the shows he had in mind, it still attracted a ton of positive attention, including a new client who wanted a similar CBX build…with a couple of twists:
“The customer asked for a build like my first CBX but with a handlebar instead of clip-ons and two-person seat with cowl.”
As before, Dimitri started with a “Pro-Link” (monoshock) model to help him achieve the racy silhouette he envisioned. The bike is running a Triumph Speed Triple front end and Ducati 848 swingarm paired with lightweight wheels, 525 chain, and offset sprocket. A new subframe supports a bespoke rear shock mount, Ducati tail section, and custom ADC Sellerie saddle, and the bike is decked out with full LED lighting courtesy of Koso and Motogadget.
The rebuilt engine sports a billet intake, IRNOX Motors 6:1 custom header, and Spark silencer, and the livery and lettering was done completely without vinyl or decals — all paint. This CBX looks a treat, and Dimitri says it’s a hoot in the wild:
“Very fun because of the shorter wheelbase, light wheels, and the sound of the 6-in-1 :)”
Below, we talk to Dimitri for more details on this “Super 6” CBX café racer, with photos courtesy of his friend David.
Honda CBX1000 Café Racer: Builder Interview
• What’s the make, model, and year of the donor bike?
Honda CBX1000 Prolink, 1982.
• Why was this bike built?
• What was the design concept and what influenced the build?
The customer asked for a build like my first CBX but with a handlebar instead of clip-ons and two-person seat with cowl.
• What custom work was done to the bike?
- Triumph Speed Triple front end
- Ducati 848 rear end (needed a lot of work to the frame to fit)
- Offset sprocket
- 525 chain
- New subframe
- Custom seat
- Ducati rear cowl
- Engine overhauled
- Billet intake
- Custom 6-into-1 headers with Spark exhaust
- New wiring harness with Motogadget M unit, M lock, lithium battery
- Koso LED headlight, Motogadget turn signals and rear lights
- Koso speedometer
- Custom paint job, black and gold with custom “CBX Supersport”
Everything is paint, no stickers.
• Does the bike have a nickname?
• Any idea of horsepower, weight, and/or performance numbers?
At least 50kg lighter.
• Can you tell us what it’s like to ride this bike?
Very fun because of the shorter wheelbase, light wheels, and the sound of the 6-in-1 🙂
• Was there anything done during this build that you are particularly proud of?
The subframe and the lines of the shock mount.