Funding the Future – Sp9ine Honda CB900
Over in Sydney Australia engineer and jack of all trades, Edi Buffon has applied his aptitude for all things mechanical to, you guessed it, motorcycles. Bitten by the bike bug in his early teens he’s been chopping and changing every two-wheeled machine he’s owned ever since. Looking back over the years he recalls a Ducati Pantah that received a custom SS styled overhaul and the ZXR1200 that became the catalyst for turning his past time passion into a part-time business.
One of Edi’s latest achievements is this 1981 Honda CB900 cafe racer. It’s one of two new builds to roll out of his newly established ‘Sp9ine’ workshop. With only 39sqm to work in he has barely enough room for two bikes along with all his tools, but judging by this build it’s more than enough to get the job done.
From the beginning, Edi’s CB900 cafe racer was being built to sell and fund the purchase of a lathe that would expand his workshops fabrication offering. That didn’t mean he cut any corners getting the bike looking exactly how he wanted though. After testing the bikes compression and giving it a good run he found the engine to be in great working order so he stripped away the tired old factory paint and applied a coat of hi-temp matte black.
Unwanted tabs on the frame were then cut away along with the stock sub frame and a few unsightly welds were meticulously smoothed out by hand. A new hoop was then bent up and welded in place along with new mounting points for some rear set footpegs and the kickstand relocated for a better stance. To partially fill the huge void left in the frame after the removal of the airbox, Edi also welded in struts with wire details before powder coating the whole lot silver. To house the battery he then fabricated a box using 16 gauge steel which was mounted between the tubes of the frame, just above the swingarm.
To add some detail to the bikes dated Comstar style rims, and to match its vented disc brakes, Edi drilled holes in the outer edge of the wheels. The drilled theme continued during the fabrication of the new rear brake stay, headlight bracket, chain guard and his “pedestrian slicer” styled front fender ornament. To shed some visual bulk from the Honda he then cut the sides off the fuel tank and removed a couple of inches of steel before closing it back up again.
The bikes power gains can be attributed to jet upgrades in the carbs and a 4-into-1 Delkevic exhaust system. To get the CB sitting and handling right the forks were rebuilt and lowered and a set of shorter shocks installed in the rear. Stopping power was also improved using a CBR600 rear master cylinder.
Powering the bike is a custom-made wiring harness running all LED lighting, aside from the headlight, and the wires have been kept out of sight by running them internally in the frame. While the black and silver paint on the bodywork was drying Edi completed the CB900s overhaul by polishing any of the bikes aged alloy components to a mirror finish.
So what was the second bike that he was working on I hear you ask. Stay tuned for more…
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