Honda CB500 Four Morphs Into A Custom Masterpiece With A Modern Twist

Honda CB500 Four 12 photos
Photo: Duke Motorcycles
Honda CB500 FourHonda CB500 FourHonda CB500 FourHonda CB500 FourHonda CB500 FourHonda CB500 FourHonda CB500 FourHonda CB500 FourHonda CB500 FourHonda CB500 FourHonda CB500 Four
Except for that saddle, everything you see here is the work of a single man, which is quite simply mind-boggling.
During the ‘70s, Honda’s CB500 Four was one hell of a two-wheeled machine, packing a four-stroke SOHC inline-four with eight valves and a respectable displacement of 498 cc. The air-cooled beast summoned up to 48 hp at 9,000 rpm, while 33 pound-feet (45 Nm) of twisting force was produced at around 7,500 rpm.

A five-speed transmission handed the engine’s oomph over to the rear 18-inch wheels by means of a chain final drive. The bike’s front end was supported by a pair of telescopic forks, while rear suspension duties were taken care of by dual hydraulic shock absorbers and a double-sided swingarm. Stopping power came from a single brake rotor and a one-piston caliper up front, coupled with a drum module on the other end.

Needless to say, the CB500 Four might just prove to be a competent donor for a tasty custom brew nowadays. A talented moto artist named Lionel Duke seems to share that opinion. The Frenchman owns a tiny workshop (known as Duke Motorcycles) in Tourrettes Sur Loup, France, and the result of his painstaking efforts on this CB500 is testament to his remarkable abilities.

For starters, you will find a Ducati’s front and rear suspension units replacing the original items, namely a bulky single-sided swingarm and a top-grade monoshock as well as a muscular fork kit that keeps things looking fierce. Additionally, a couple of rear-mounted foot pegs help achieve a tougher riding stance. To be quite frank, the level of meticulous craftsmanship that went into this project is absolutely amazing.

However, the most notable part of this whole ordeal must be that glorious monocoque bodywork. Duke went about fabricating a bespoke gas tank, a fresh seat pan and one classy tail section, all as one item. The aftermarket wizard installed a hydraulic clutch, a set of custom stainless-steel exhaust pipes, and a Motogadget gauge to keep the cockpit clutter-free.

Last but not least, the experts over at NMB Design were tasked with upholstering a handsome saddle featuring quilted stitching. To top it all off, the entire structure was enveloped in a graceful white base, joined by golden accents and pinstripes.

This, ladies and gents, is what we’d call a fine display of custom might.
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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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