If you’ve been following Return of the Cafe Racers for a while you’ll have figured out I’m a fan of post apocalyptic celluloid, especially that which involves zombies. AMC’s ‘The Walking Dead’ is of course the perfect example of exactly that and what makes the show even more attractive to me is the addition of a character who rides custom motorcycles. I am of course referring to Daryl (Norman Reedus) the crossbow wielding bad boy who for the first few seasons of the show got around on a ratty old Triumph Chopper. Now in it’s fifth season The Walking Dead has seen Daryl acquire a new steed in the form of a custom Honda CB750 Nighthawk built in the real world by none other than Classified Moto. Classified Moto constructed 2 identical bikes for the show and in the following video by AMC you can hear about the project first hand from Norman and CM’s very own John Ryland.
In season 5 of The Walking Dead Daryl built his new motorcycle from a collection of parts he was generously given by another character in the show. To make sure the new motorcycle was in keeping with this John and the Classified Moto team created a bike (2 identical bikes) using a tasty cocktail of handpicked parts and adopted some clever tricks to give them an aged, post apocalyptic, been sitting unused while everyone was being eaten alive, appearance. Starting with the ’92 CB750 Nighthawk they added their signature gold, inverted fork front end from a Yamaha R6. Wrapped around the stock Honda rims is a pair of chunky Kenda ‘Big Block’ tires and rear suspension is taken care of by Progressive piggyback shocks. Custom alloy intakes and a modified, heat wrapped exhaust system offer more aesthetic benefits than performance and a Shorai lithium battery is tucked away out of sight with the rest of the bikes electrics.
To create an accurate post apocalyptic appearance the bikes raw XS650 tank and chopped fenders were treated with a rust look paint before being sealed with satin clear. Various engine parts were painted different colours to add to the “parts bin” look of the bike and everything was given a liberal coat of grime and a few knocks with blunt instruments to add to its end of the world patina. Finally to ensure Norman’s character would have suitable carry-on space the guys added a wax cotton bag in the space where the air box used to reside and clever crossbow rack on the rear end. Unfortunately so far in season 5 of The Walking Dead the bikes had very little on screen appearances, but I’m sure we’ll be seeing more of this beast in action soon!