I have always loved the Honda cb750’s Dustin Kott turns out, and in my naivety for my second build I thought, “I could do that”.
I couldn’t afford a SOHC so eventually came across a basket case DOHC with a bent sub frame and a mess of an engine with no electrics.
So blessed with optimism and ignorance, I opened the can of worms and dived straight in.
Whilst going through my old vinyl collection I came across the Bat out of Hell album and the memories of drunken teenage parties and the heady scent of girls and cheap cider and those first innocent fumbling disasters and successes came flooding back. The bike on that album cover, looked like a four cylinder, could it be a cb ?
that was my inspiration.
Although the bike was complete the rear shocks both pointed to the left at a jaunty angle, so other than the swing arm everything behind the tank had to go which gave me a blank canvas, a good start.
I threw caution to the wind, cut the hubs out of the Comstar wheels and along with all my spare cash, sent them off to CRK to have new rims and stainless spokes fitted, so I could fit the widest tyres the swing arm and forks would allow. They did a great job. I’ve always had a thing for white walls and despite not being on the album cover bike I reckoned they would look good, so on went some Avon Cobra AV72s.
I then turned my attention to the engine, which I should of thrown in the scrap bin, but hind sight is a wonderful thing. So rebored to 823cc out of necessity rather than choice and Wiseco pistons installed. Nearly every bearing and every seal replaced, cams re ground, valves re cut and new valves and springs fitted, thanks to Sam at SPR racing in Nottingham Gearbox rebuilt. Carburetors re built twice, thrown away and a second set bought rebuilt and a Dynojet stage 3 kit installed with K and N filters.
Thanks to Revival Cycles tech talks I had come to know the Motogadget electrical gear, and so the rewire was no where near as stressful as the engine. Based around their amazing M unit I also installed their keyless ignition, handlebar switch gear and motoscope digital speedo. Most of the electrics are housed in the splash guard box behind the pod filters, with the lithium battery.
To build the tank, I dusted off my 30 year unused gas welding skills, learnt the rudiments of panel beating and set to work to make an elongated polished aluminium tank. My second attempt was far from perfect, and I was all set to make another but my friends and particularly my son, persuaded me not to. They seem to like it as it is, ‘it suits the age of the rest of the bike’.
By now the bike was not looking anything like the Meatloaf bike and the build was headed off in it’s own direction, and a classic cafe racer was appearing from out of the cloud of polishing dust.
So on when some clip on bars and constructed some rear sets from bits found online.
The braking system was rebuilt with new lines from Hel. The exhaust is from Delkevic and the muffler from Kone Engineering, and she sounds as good as I had hoped, just like a Kott bike.
The seat and leather work is all done by my daughter, who is a shoemaker and had only done a seat for me once before, on my first build.
My son and I were able to test ride her for the 1st time, 2 weeks ago. Thanks to the Dynojet kit the carbs/pods issues that seem to plaque these DOHC builds don’t seem too bad, so a balance on a dyno and a carb sync should hopefully iron out the gremlins.
I have loved building this bike, and was able to finish and test her and give her to my son the day before he left for quarantine. Next week he is off to Afghanistan for a 6 month tour of duty.
Stay safe Jake, she’ll be waiting for you when you get back.