Honda CB750 'Hot Rod Alice' Is Absolutely Mind-Boggling in So Many Ways

Hot Rod Alice 9 photos
Photo: Patrick Farrell
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Craig Marleau has been an avid motorcycle aficionado for as long as he can remember, but his passion really took off at the tender age of nine. That’s when he was gifted his very first bike by his father, initially without the knowledge or consent of Mrs. Marleau. It was a humble Baja minibike to help him learn the ropes, and Craig gradually moved on to bigger machines as the years went by.
He started getting involved in motocross racing when he was a bit older, before taking a full-time job at a car restoration shop. While working there, he had the opportunity to tinker with all manner of exotic European classics, hailing from premier automakers such as Ferrari, Porsche, or Aston Martin, among others. Craig’s love of motorcycling never died down, though, ultimately making him establish his own custom bike firm.

Kick Start Garage (KSG) was thus founded in northern California, and the rest is history. The mesmerizing one-off we’re about to look at was built back in 2018, with a 1973-model Honda CB750 Four acting as the project’s basis. Now dubbed Hot Rod Alice, it is something of a visual throwback to the first professional build completed by Craig many years prior.

With more than a decade between the two undertakings, the newer one is clearly a lot more intriguing in just about every way. Interestingly enough, Sir Marleau kicked things off with the motorcycle’s rubber, souring a vintage-style Shinko tire for its rear wheel. The sidewalls are adorned with white stripes, which is what made this particular product the perfect choice for Craig’s needs.

We notice a Firestone Deluxe Champion at the opposite end, and both wheels have been cloaked in a layer of satin-black powder coating. For plentiful stopping power up north, Hot Rod Alice received a floating aftermarket disc and a sturdy two-piston caliper, both hailing from Beringer’s catalog. You’ll spot handmade aluminum fork sleeves a bit higher up, giving the CB750’s front-end suspension a much beefier appearance.

Honda CB750 Hot Rod Alice
Photo: Patrick Farrell
In addition, KSG also fitted an LED headlight in between the tubes, while sourcing a new top clamp from DC Motive. Craig fabricated a pair of clip-on handlebars from scratch, then he added white Biltwell grips, Motone switches, and a Beringer master cylinder. The clip-ons are complemented by CNC-machined Tarozzi rearsets low down on the flanks, with custom linkages that wear small drive chains for visual effect.

Rear-end suspension duties are now assigned to adjustable aftermarket shock absorbers with piggyback reservoirs. Look closely, and you’ll see a boxy oil tank doing double duty as an inner fender, so as to prevent road debris from going where it shouldn’t. However, the real party takes place up top. As part of the KSG treatment, the old-school UJM saw its subframe shortened, looped, and fitted with an LED lighting strip out back.

The tubing supports a cafe racer tail unit above its rearmost portion, as well as a breathtaking custom saddle a little further ahead. White leather upholstery and diamond pattern stitching match the seat up to the Biltwell grips visually, while the generous padding ensures comfort for the rider. The whole shebang was fabricated in-house by Craig’s capable hands, rounding out the creature’s ergonomic package in style.

Honda CB750 Hot Rod Alice
Photo: Patrick Farrell
All the electronics have been rewired through a Motogadget controller, which is neatly stashed right below the saddle. Kick Start Garage installed a fresh charging system, too, along with a lithium-ion battery and a Dynatek electronic ignition module. For the next step, Craig turned his full attention to the CB750’s inline-four powerplant, as it needed some TLC after more than four decades of faithful service.

Not content with simply having it refurbished, he also bored it out to 836cc in order to extract some additional grunt. The Keihin carbs have been rejetted and capped off with high-grade air filters, while the factory exhaust was deleted in favor of a four-into-one substitute developed by Steve Carpy. Wrinkle black paint partially covers the engine, and there is a Mooneyes oil pressure gauge fitted on the right.

With all the major changes taken care of, the last piece of the puzzle involved finding an appropriate color scheme for Hot Rod Alice. After some careful consideration, Craig went with a stunning mixture of white and blue for the bodywork – a perfect match for the grips and seat upholstery. On the other hand, bits like the rims, frame, and suspension hardware were all painted black.

KSG’s mastermind could finally sit back and call it a day once the paint job was complete, admiring the fruit of his labor in all its glory. Even in a world full of custom CB750s, this particular gem will have absolutely no problem standing out from the crowd! It is honestly one of the raddest specimens of its kind, with upgraded performance to complement the sexy look.
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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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