He reached out to Jacek requesting a quintessential cafe racer build, with neo-retro looks and top-shelf running gear in abundance. The CB550 provided by Michal was far from pristine, though, as it had been the subject of some questionable customization practices under previous ownership. Despite this, the solo mastermind at Cardsharper managed to turn the UJM’s fate around big time, and the bike is now looking prettier than ever before.
It’s precisely the kind of work we’ve come to expect from Jacek – clean, well-proportioned, and teeming with tasteful touches wherever you look. As soon as he and Michal formed a common vision for what the classic CB was to become, the donor was swiftly dismantled and rid of the shoddy mods performed beforehand. With something resembling a blank canvas on his workbench, Sir Mulak wasted no time getting started.
First things first, he sought to bring the old Honda’s handling characteristics into the 21st century, and this meant saying goodbye to its stock suspension and brakes. Starting at the front end, you will now find a beefy pair of upside-down Showa forks, which were kindly donated by a modern Suzuki GSX-R. Jacek had them shortened by around an inch (25 mm) before installation, so as to keep the bike’s posture looking the way he wanted.
These bad boys were connected to the front wheel with a few clever tweaks, and a custom fender has been placed on stainless-steel brackets higher up. Bespoke mounting hardware was also used to fit an aftermarket LED headlight nice and close to the forks. The changes performed in the cockpit are no less enticing, our favorite being the way that an MMB-Messtechnik speedometer was embedded into the top clamp.
Aluminum clip-ons are present on the flanks, carrying Biltwell grips, underslung bar-end mirrors, and discreet switches, among other goodies. The electronics were all connected to a fresh wiring harness, but there was still a lot of structural work to be done at the rear. Jacek did away with the factory subframe in its entirety, fabricating and installing a tailor-made substitute in its stead.
Other cool additions found throughout Friday include a modern battery, CNC-machined rearsets, and an LED lighting strip for the rear end. In terms of powertrain upgrades, the CB550’s freshly refurbished inline-four gained a quartet of foam air filters over its rejetted carbs. The exhaust side of the equation deserves even more attention, because Cardsharper swapped the OEM plumbing with a handmade free-flowing setup.
Its headers run a four-into-one layout toward a compact muffler, which dwells just below the right foot peg. Last but definitely not least, a striking color scheme is what really makes the whole package come together, and this is where Michal came with a lot of practical input. He designed Friday’s livery back at his studio, employing a handsome collection of gold highlights over a black and grey base.
The fuel tank detailing and brake calipers were all done in gold, while various other parts have either been polished, galvanized, or powder-coated. Once the paint job was out of the way, Jacek Mulak could finally sit back and admire his creation in all its custom glory. This CB550 came a long way from the pitiful shape it was previously in, so we’ll bet Michal Cwiek’s keen graphic designer eyes were just as stoked with the final outcome.