Honda CB500 “Tribute” Is an Aptly Named Restomod Honoring the Good Old Days

Sit down with your beverage of choice and let this custom phenom soothe your nostalgia.
Honda CB500 “Tribute” 12 photos
Photo: Ton-Up Garage
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Portugal's Ton-Up Garage is one of those enterprises that won’t be taking any shortcuts when it comes to building a stunning machine. The workshop first saw the light of day back in 2010, when co-founders Pedro Oliveira and Daniel Cabral joined forces under one banner, creating what would go on to become one of the Iberian Peninsula's most reputed motorcycle customization meccas.

As such, their vision began to materialize in the city of Porto, where the duo still operates today. Over the years, the autoevolution pages were honored with the presence of numerous entities bred on Ton-Up's premises, including a flat tracker-style Kawasaki W650 and a Triumph Scrambler that goes by the name of “Crane,” to name but a couple.

However, a fair chunk of time has elapsed since we last visited their portfolio, so let’s dive in for a thorough examination of what these folks call the “Tribute” – a Honda CB500 Four restomod that redefines old-school cool. Now, anyone who’s well versed in moto lore will already know just how important the introduction of the CB lineup was to the industry.

Honda CB500 “Tribute”
Photo: Ton-Up Garage
When the CB750 made its debut back in 1969, it sparked a genuine revolution in the motorcycle realm. Not only was the four-banger extremely advanced compared to European machines, but it is also considered to be the first superbike that’s ever touched the tarmac. Sure enough, Honda’s competitors knew they had to raise the bar in order to keep up, so an age of unprecedented innovation started to unravel.

With that being said, the CB750’s 498cc sibling is no damn toy, either. Thus, we applaud the Ton-Up pros for retaining some of its quintessential characteristics, such as the unmistakable fuel tank and bulky side panels. To kick things off, they transplanted a 2002 MY Yamaha R1’s inverted forks and front brake discs onto the CB500. One of the rotors had been installed up front, while the other replaces the donor’s outdated rear drum module for good measure.

Honda CB500 “Tribute”
Photo: Ton-Up Garage
Next, the stock shoes were deleted in favor of 17-inch alternatives, with aluminum rims, stainless-steel spokes and Talon hubs. These sexy things are embraced by top-shelf Heidenau rubber that’s as gorgeous as it is grippy. With the footwear ticked off the list, it was time to create an assortment of custom bodywork goodies for a neater aesthetic, including a new front fender and a one-off tail, which hosts dual-function LED lighting items.

Rear suspension duties are now handled by a single shock absorber and a Yamaha FZR400R’s repurposed swingarm. After they’ve topped it all off with a fresh solo saddle, Daniel and Pedro went about refurbishing the bike’s four-cylinder powerplant inside out. Moreover, the engine received aftermarket pod filters and a bespoke four-into-four exhaust system that resembles the factory unit.

A 7-inch headlight can be seen taking pride of place up front, along with a pair of stealthy clip-ons, bar-end blinkers and a Chronoclassic gauge from Motogadget’s inventory. For a meaner riding posture, the handlebars are joined by rear-mounted foot pegs on the flanks. Lastly, the Portuguese specialists enveloped the Tribute in a handsome color scheme that draws inspiration from CB500’s original paintwork.
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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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