After the success of the K0, thanks to Dick Mann’s efforts at the Daytona 200 on the Honda CR750 racebike, Honda released the K1 in 1970. Between 1970 and 1971 Honda rolled a staggering 77,000 K1s out of their factory to meet demand. Thanks to a lack of worthy competitors they had market share and took full advantage of it. he K1 varied little from the K0 aside from a new throttle cable setup (push/pull 2 cable configuration) and smaller side covers.
This ’71 Honda CB750 K1 cafe racer is currently available for purchase at New York’s ‘Northeast Sportscar‘. It is to me the embodiment of what a true cafe racer should be. Stripped of anything unnecessary, unashamedly raw and visceral and created for the sole purpose of good times on two wheels. At the heart of the build sits a re-tuned inline four built for speed and reliability. Not wanting to veer too far from the engines original configuration the carbs are original, cleaned and tuned to suit the increased airflow from the Lynx filter cages and their red Uni-filter innards.
Although it’s a mystery what internal modifications have been made we’d suspect an increase in capacity and compression due to the addition of an oil cooler and the externally mounted Cycle X oil filter. The electrics have also been suitably upgraded thanks to a Dyna S ignition conversion and spark comes via a Cycle X power arc coil. Managing the transfer of power to the rear wheel is an EBC clutch with performance springs, and the noise coming from the back bike can be attributed to a custom made 4-into-1 exhaust that’s been coated in sinister matte black.
Other performance improvements include rebuilt forks, drilled brake rotors and Avon rubber. Koni shocks keep the rear end in check while a steering damper ensures that the front end runs true. For a classic cafe racer riding position, clip-on bars have been perched on the fork legs and the top clamps been shaved clean. Dime City Cycles rear set footpegs position the rider’s feet accordingly and the dash has been reduced to a single speedometer.
After shortening, bracing and de-tabbing the frame it’s been fit with custom Dunstall style bodywork. The 2 filler, fibreglass fuel tank doubles as an oil tank thanks to some clever fabrication. Pillion passengers are a no go on the bike’s suede saddle and the duck bill tail sports a Lucas style, LED tail lamp. Up front sits a Hella 500 Black Magic head light and the whole bikes been rewired since 48-year-old electrics are anything but reliable.
Perhaps the most striking feature of the whole build is the CB’s battleship grey paint scheme. Splashes of red details pop against the grey like warning signs and the frames been clear coated to further enhance the CB’s raw aesthetic. On the Northeast Sportscar website, where you can find the K1 for sale, they’ve described the bike as a “badass cafe racer” which I think you will all agree is a fitting designation. P.O.A
This year marks the 48th anniversary of Honda’s legendary CB750. With its overhead camshaft, 5-speed transmission and one carb per cylinder, it was capable of achieving a top speed of over 120mph and could run a quarter mile pass of around 13 seconds. Its release marked a new era of motorcycle engineering and the CB750 is often credited with being the motorcycle that spawned the term ‘superbike’. The early SOHC K series CB750s started with the K0 designation and ran through to the 1978 K8 before the introduction of the DOHC F series.