Honda CB400F Goldie Will Leave You Genuinely Speechless With Its Custom Tracker Flair

Honda CB400F Goldie 10 photos
Photo: Innovative Motorsports
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Over the last decade or so, custom bike gatherings across the globe have experienced a remarkable surge in popularity. This is especially true in the United States, where events like The One Show, Mama Tried, and The Handbuilt Show have become staples in the calendar. They bring regular aficionados and professional builders under the same roof, tightly clustered within a few short months of one another.
For devoted custom motorcycle fans, this packed schedule offers a wealth of two-wheeled eye candy to drool over. It does, however, present quite a challenge for builders: how to distinguish oneself in an increasingly crowded landscape with great projects at every step. Yet, amidst the huge selection of impressive bikes out there, some will always manage to stand head and shoulders above the rest.

One such specimen (aka Goldie) can be seen in the photo gallery above – a rad Honda CB400F unveiled at Mama Tried back in 2018. It is the work of Shawn Smith, who runs Innovative Motosports (IM) over in Ankeny, Iowa and is never afraid to push boundaries. While Shawn's day job has to do with the tech industry, you will regularly see him indulging in custom projects afterhours, operating as a one-man venture.

The striking CB400F we’re about to look at used to be in terrible shape prior to his makeover, as the previous owner left it cooking under the Arizona sun for an extended period. Undeterred by its neglected state, Shawn sought to give it a new chance at life with visual cues taken from Kaz Yoshima’s legendary CB400 race bikes. With meticulous attention to detail, the solo mastermind at IM created something that would make Yoshima-san proud.

First things first, the 1975-model Honda CB400F was placed on the workbench and completely dismantled. Then, Shawn got the ball rolling with an extensive rebuild of its inline-four powerplant, which saw it bored out to 466cc. The engine gained a Stage Two ported head, as well, while its valve springs have been replaced with Kibblewhite items.

Honda CB400F Goldie
Photo: Innovative Motorsports
A lightened crankshaft and fresh connecting rods are also present, along with an aftermarket cam from Webco. For a potent spark, the four-cylinder mill was fitted with a Dynatek ignition system and modern coils, while a premium oil cooler keeps temperatures in check during spirited rides. Oh, and of course, the overhaul wouldn’t be complete without some new breathing equipment, so that was Shawn’s next port of call.

He revised the original carbs before topping them off with K&N air filters, and ditched the stock exhaust in favor of a four-into-one Outex substitute. The man’s handiwork went a lot further than the powertrain department, though, taking the motorcycle’s chassis and appearance to new heights. For tighter proportions at the back, he shortened the subframe and had the swingarm replaced altogether.

The boxy alloy alternative was sourced from Framecrafters, gaining a pair of adjustable shock mounts prior to installation. As for the shock absorbers themselves, they’re top-shelf Racetech G3 modules featuring piggyback reservoirs and adjustable preload. These bad boys are sure to bring the classic CB’s handling dynamics into the 21st century, but the front suspension hasn’t been left unchanged, either. Modern internals from Racetech now live inside the factory forks.

Honda CB400F Goldie
Photo: Innovative Motorsports
Down in the unsprung sector, we come across a pair of Excel rims connected to Buchanan’s stainless-steel spokes and wrapped in Avon Roadrider tires. Improved front-end stopping power is the product of a drilled EBC rotor, accompanied by a braided brake line and a Brembo master cylinder. Moreover, Goldie features a large selection of billet aluminum items made from scratch, including replacement engine mounts and a fresh lower triple clamp.

A lot has changed about the cockpit area, where the central component is now a GPS-enabled Speedhut dial from Cognito Moto. It’s placed right above a bespoke tracker-style number board and flanked by Woodcraft clip-ons, which are in turn equipped with ASV control levers and Domino grips. Down low near the front brake caliper, you’ll see a small, yellow-tinted LED projector acting as the headlamp.

Carbon fiber fenders make an appearance at both ends, while Goldie’s subframe is topped with a stylish fiberglass tail section. Shawn got in touch with Dane Utech for the saddle upholstery, ordering a neat solo seat wrapped in a mixture of genuine leather and Alcantara. Electrical upgrades comprise a Rick’s regulator/rectifier and a refurbished stator, as well as a Speedcell lithium-ion battery.

Last but not least, the bike’s color scheme is a tasteful mixture of black, white, and gold, seamlessly executed in-house by Innovative Motorsports. However, the experts over at Painthuffer were tasked with applying that delicious gold metal flake finish on the frame. When all was said and done, Shawn was left with a breathtaking one-off weighing just 270 pounds (122 kg) on a full stomach, which is insanely light even for a motorcycle of this size.
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About the author: Silvian Secara
Silvian Secara profile photo

A bit of an artist himself, Silvian sees two- and four-wheeled machines as a form of art, especially restomods and custom rides. Oh, and if you come across a cafe racer article on our website, it’s most likely his doing.
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