Return of the Cafe Racers - MotoHangar CB550 Cafe Racer

MotoHangar CB550 Cafe Racer

As you can imagine I spend a lot of time staring at photos of custom motorcycles. I don't know if it's because of my past life as a graphic designer or because I have some sort of OCD, but to me a balanced build wins over a clean build any day. Not…




As you can imagine I spend a lot of time staring at photos of custom motorcycles. I don’t know if it’s because of my past life as a graphic designer or because I have some sort of OCD, but to me a balanced build wins over a clean build any day. Not to say that this bike isn’t clean, because it is. It’s just that it’s got the kind of visual symmetry and beautifully balanced lines that manage to hold my gaze that little bit longer. The bike is a Honda CB550 and the builder is MotoHangar in Northern Virginia.

The balance that I love so much about this build comes from a mix of simplicity and good proportions. As with most of the builds I feature the bike has been stripped of many of it’s non-essential components and gadgetry (although some may argue dials and indicators are essential). Ugly clutter has been relocated out of sight and space has been freed up by removing the restrictive and bulky air cleaner system. Then adjustments to the frame and suspension have leveled out the bikes stance making its bodywork parallel and slightly closer to the road.

The ’77 Honda MH550J CB550 was built for Moto Hangar customer Sean who was undoubtedly pleased with the outcome. Custom fabricated components include the one off tail end and saddle, the muffler (and it’s internal baffling) and the custom battery box tucked away under the swingarm. The headlight is a vintage fog lamp converted to take a H4 bulb, mounted with custom made brackets that position it snug between the lowered front end. Clip on bars, braided steel lines and leather wrapped grips dress up the front end and all the wiring has been tucked awayunder the tail hump.

For more marvels of perfectly balanced brilliance be sure to check out the Moto Hangar website.

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