I’m very excited to say that today’s bike comes from the home of Tacos and Tequila which is, of course, Mexico. This is the first Mexican built (Guadalajara to be geographically precise) custom motorcycle to grace the pages of ROCR. Its builder, Ricardo Meade of Catrina Motorcycles and it’s his own Honda CB750 based cocktail of Cafe Racer and Tracker style.
“Two years ago, after looking at some cool bikes on the internet I decided to build one for me and at the same time start a small custom bike company. I bought a ’71 Honda CL350 and 8 months later I had Catrina #1. While I was working on the CL, the guy that sold me the bike, offered me a ’74 CB750 with a non-running engine. I bought it but had no money or time to start working on it so it sat collecting dust. One day a guy came to the shop to see my bike (#1). He liked the style and decided he wanted me to transform the CB750 into Catrina #2 for him. He agreed to let me make all the design decisions and I gave him a number (having no idea how much money and time was needed).”
“Since I’m not a mechanic a friend helped me with the engine rebuild and the wiring. We rebuilt the engine using as many new Japanese components as possible, as well as all the wiring and coils. The carbs were also rebuilt to get them running like new and a new chain and sprockets were added. Instead of using the original rectifier and regulator we updated with a combined regulator-rectifier and changed the ignition to a Dynatec electronic ignition. We also sliced off the mufflers leaving a straight exhaust and mounted high flow air filters to the carb inlets.”
“I then stripped the frame completely and shaved as much off as possible. I started by removing the centre stand then cut the rear end of the frame and did some angle modifications to the seat support. The forks and rims are from an ’82 CB750 with the double disk brake in the front and some fresh brake pads and custom spacers to get the right fit. The triple tree is from a Honda Interceptor which we machined to make it fit properly and changed the bearings out for tapered roller bearings. The clip-ons are from a first-generation Yamaha R6, the headlight is from an ’84 Honda Shadow, and the indicator lights are from a’ 92 Kawasaki ZX7. The controls are the originals but they were disassembled, cleaned and restored before being sent to the powder coater.
I fabricated many of the parts by hand. The new battery box, regulator base, the seat pan is also made from scratch and I used the foam from another motorcycle seat to carve the new one. The grill on the headlight is made from aluminium that I found laying around in the shop. The left side cover grill was made from a stainless steel grill and shaped by a hammer. On the right side to protect from burns I made a grill to cover the oil tank using also materials that were in the shop. The bracket for the headlight was made from aluminium in a CNC router and the stoplight bracket was made from the original rear fender. “
“Every nut and bolt was cleaned. All the engine bolts are now stainless steel and some were even sent to be chrome plated. Most of the removable parts, the frame and rims were powder coated and the engine was painted with VHT engine enamel. The orange gas and oil tanks were finished using a matte clear to remove the gloss. I tried to mix a bit of the Tracker look with the Cafe Racer style. So I guess you’d call it a “CafeTracker”. I wanted an aggressive look but with a clean, refined style. The bike was orange when I bought it so I kept some of its original character adding black using simple lines and graphics.
I like to pay a lot of attention to details that I think are important to get the final result. Small things like the handlebars grips that have a touch of orange, and the orange stitching on the seat. The front brake and clutch levers were shortened just a bit to get the proportions right. It took me 14 months to finish the bike (due to some mechanical problems and some trial and error) and the entire budget went on parts. In the end, I made no money but learned a lot. In the end, the CB750 CafeTracker is a good looking beast and its sound matches its appearance. It sounds like a Ferrari, run like new, has tight suspension and brakes and is a unique and eye-catching fun ride.”
The Honda CB750 is often referred to as the original Universal Japanese Motorcycle. This is shortened to UJM, as most motorcycle enthusiasts like you, dear reader, are probably aware. First released in…