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1978 Honda CB550K3 Cafe Racer
(Featured on 26th November 2011)

Make: Honda
Model: CB550K3
Year: 1978

Sellers original description:

Completely customised and rebuilt 1978 Honda CB550K3 Cafe Racer.

Featured on a Cafe Racer/Custom bike website with full write up.

The bike has been extensively remodelled from the original bike.

The base bike is a Honda CB550K3, however the frame has had all surplus brackets removed and a Cafe Racer seat loop has been attached.

The engine has been completely rebuilt with new O-rings, gaskets and new cam chain and has only had approximately 100 (one hundred) miles put on it since that time. So not even run in properly yet.

The carbs have been cleaned and rebuilt with new jets installed (new main, needle and slow jets) also the main jet has been upgraded from a 98 to 110 size to make the bike run smoothly with the velocity stacks, new inlet rubbers have also been installed.

The carbs have also been synced to ensure they are running well together.

The oil and oil filter were changed about 50 miles ago and using Morris Oils semi-synthetic (which is a top quality oil).

The great thing about these CB550's are that they have a wet clutch, so no messy, bulky, out of place oil tank to worry about, which again cleans the bike's look.

The petrol tank is from a 1974 Honda CB500 Twin to replicate the Cafe Racer tanks of the past with their knee dents, the tank has also been cleaned and sealed with POR-15 so no leaks or rust.

The seat unit is from Von-Zeti and is upholstered in orange vinyl, although very easy to recover in another colour if orange isn't your thing.

The front mudguard is the original Honda item that has been chopped and modified for a sleek Cafe look.

The brakes are all new (except for the disc), new caliper internals, new rear drum shoes and new disc pads.

It has also had the master cylinder rebuilt and the front brake line is a braided Goodrich.

The rear brake has also been converted to cable pull instead of rod to enable better rear brake modulation.

The rims are the original Honda items but have been powdercoated gloss black and rebuilt using stainless spokes and nipples.

New tyres have been fitted front and rear which have no wear on at all.

The battery is brand new and the wiring loom has been extended and upgraded and all the electrics including a the new battery are located in the seat unit to clean up the look of the bike.

A modern sportbike regulator/rectifier has been spliced into the charging system to enable a Halogen bulb to be used in the headlight but the battery will not run flat.

The headlight is a CEV Tipo 105 unit which has an integrated mini speedometer which really cleans up the front end.

The 'idiot' lights have been modified to fit in the top yoke and are now LED's. The points are also brand new.

The bike has classic clip on handlebars with the original Honda left and right bar switch units which means that all of the electrics work including the electric start, which really makes things easier when using the bike in the real world.

The indicators are mini bullet items to slim the look of the bike down but retain normal road functions.

The exhaust is a one off 4-2 design, using original Honda downtubes from a CB550 and then these meet in a CB650 4-2 collector and exiting through classic tulip tailpipes.

As this bike is a pre-82 it has no noise level restrictions when it comes to MOT time and general riding, therefore it really sounds mean and pretty much like a classic race bike, basically awesome sounding.

The bike has had within the last week new sprockets and chain so no need to worry about them for quite a while.

It is fitted with classic rearsets that have lots of adjustment for foot position.

All of the cables are new also (clutch cable, pull/push throttle cables and choke).

It has also had new suspension fitted recently.

So as you see this is a very nice bike that has been lovingly restored and customised.  

It gets so many looks from passers by and I get stopped by pedestrians, motorcyclists and drivers all the time to ask me about the bike. So if you want to be different and look damn cool this is the bike for you.

This bike also recently placed 2nd on the Cafe Racer websites Bike of the Month, I know 2nd probably doesn't sound that great but it only lost out on 1st by 9 votes and this is on a website that has bikes from all over the world many from professional bike builders.

If any of you watched the Cafe Racer TV show on cable/satellite then you will see many of the builders from that show on

The best thing is this, road tax is £56 per year and my insurance fully comprehensive is a grand total of £60, yes you read that correctly £60!!!


1978 honda cb550k3 cafe racer 1

1978 honda cb550k3 cafe racer 2

1978 honda cb550k3 cafe racer 3

1978 honda cb550k3 cafe racer engine bay

1978 honda cb550k3 cafe racer handlebars speedometer

1978 honda cb550k3 cafe racer before custom restoration

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