TurboTim's CX650 Turbo Cafe Racer 30 July 15

I am TurboTim and I built this Café Racer bike as a project for Unique Bike. It is based on scrap parts from a Honda CX650 Turbo combined with the front end of an old Kawasaki ZZR.The original Honda CX650 Turbo was a design project for Honda in the early 1980’s. (see picture of the original CXT650l) I would like to make it completely clear I did not butcher an original classic CX Turbo to make this build. I have built many Café Racers and ¼ mile drag bikes, based on the Honda CX650 Turbo, but this is probably the lightest and most 'out of the box' road bike build so far.

The engine with the turbo unit and fuel injection unit was literally pulled out of a skip (dumpster) full of scrap metal on its way to the smelter. Fortunately it was spotted and taken out and sold to me via eBay. The frame was from my stock of old CXT parts, the original bike was taken off the road in 1995, as a fire damaged bike, and used for spares.

When I visit custom bike shows I see an increasing number of “Bike Art Café Racers” which often are nice to look at but really should not be called “Café Racers”. Donor bikes like Triumph 200cc Tiger Cubs and even some 50cc mopeds are used but in my opinion Café Racers have firstly be able to obtain at least 100mph (a ton), and be faster accelerating and higher top speed than the original donor bike.

Some of the special parts used in this build

  • Red Max Speed Shop supplied the tank and seat and dummy oil tank, many thanks to them for their support.
  • Rear passenger foot pegs are moved forward a bit and a new aftermarket rear brake master cylinder with an internal reservoir is fitted.
  • An aftermarket dump valve is fitted to eliminate “Turbo-Lag” , this can be switched off for town riding.
  • The Turbo air intake I sourced a dirt bike filter to replace the Honda original foam one.
  • The left side swinging arm is fitted with one of the original TURBO sign plates form an original Honda muffler.
  • The handlebar fairing is something I had in stock since I re-built the race bike it was fitted to in 1999.
  • The state of the art “Angel Eye” LED headlight unit has proved to be very good on the road. The angel eye is very noticeable in daylight, more so than a dipped main beam.
  • The stainless exhaust was home made as includes a baffle to reduce the noise to an acceptable level (might need a flame suppressor - Ed).
  • Finally the leather tank strap belt is a becoming a bit of a signature on my café racer builds.

This bike is for road use as well as ¼ mile drag racing as you can see later on in the pictures. To comply with AUC rules in the UK you have to have a special catch tank for the engine breather, to avoid oil on the track.

I am very pleased with the outcome of this Unique Bike Project Build, and the bike has been very well received at the events I have taken it to so far. The bike was only completed in mid-June and has been raced at the NSA meet at Weston Zoyland ¼ Mile Sprint meet, attended the Ace Café “Ton up Sunday” at Brooklands, attended the Tuesday bike meet at Poole Quay, Dorset, and more recently visited the Ace Café London on Sunday 12 July. Finally I raced in the UK with the National Association of Supertwins at Shakespeare County Raceway on the 18th and 19th July.

I hope you enjoy the pictures of the finished bike as much as I enjoyed building and riding it. This bike is now being shipped to Florida, I dropped it off at the shippers on Tuesday 21st July. The plan is for the bike to be in Tampa for early September and will be taken to various bike shows in the USA including Barber Vintage Show in October, AIMExpo in October in Orlando, and hopefully at the Ace Café Orlando opening.

This build will be serialised as the Project Bike Build for “Unique Bike, so watch out for the build articles on Unique Bike during Q4 of 2015.

TurboTim (Unique Bike UK Correspondent and Bike Builder)


Alan Goodsell , 30 July 15