Honda CBX1000 Kyoto Is a Superb Restomod Flaunting Neo-Retro Looks and Tons of Upgrades

Honda CBX1000 Kyoto 23 photos
Photo: Tiago Almeida
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Tiago Goncalves and Luis Costa are best-known for their fully-fledged custom builds, operating as Unik Motorcycles out of Lisbon, Portugal. They won’t shy away from the occasional restomod project, though, and that’s exactly what we’ll be looking at today. Dubbed Kyoto, the bike shown below is a delightful mixture of neo-retro looks, historical significance, and pure six-cylinder thrills.
Its overall aesthetic remains very close to stock, so we immediately recognized it to be a Honda CBX1000 from the early eighties. More specifically, it is a 1982 touring model tweaked and modernized in all the right places, but still retaining the iconic angular bodywork that came from the factory. Unik’s client got his hands on the CBX a few years back, intrigued by its mighty inline-six powerplant and the sublime soundtrack that came with it.

Eventually, he decided to give the classic Honda a nice bit of custom flavor without having it modified beyond recognition, which is how the idea of a restomod arose. You can still tell that the finished machine is a CBX from a mile away, but it now looks genuinely timeless. The Unik treatment wasn’t just about the cosmetic side of things, though, as Luis and Tiago also went to town with the performance upgrades.

Let’s go ahead and see what was done to the classic Japanese sport-tourer, starting with the mods performed up north. Although the motorcycle’s unmistakable front fairing is still present, the guys had it trimmed in various places to reduce visual mass. They replaced the original windshield with a tinted item, while also installing a bright aftermarket LED headlamp.

One may find a new fender lower down, and the standard forks got swapped with the inverted units of a 1994 Kawasaki ZX-9R. In addition, the same Kawi gave away its Nissin front and rear brake calipers, all of which were paired with fresh drilled rotors. Unik tightened up the CBX1000’s proportions out back, as well, first by shortening the subframe and then trimming the factory tail section.

Honda CBX1000 Kyoto
Photo: Tiago Almeida
In similar fashion, the stock taillight was also retained and downsized to bring about a sportier look. We notice a compact license plate holder sitting underneath, complete with small yet bright LED turn signals. Up top, Tiago and his teammate installed a stylish two-up saddle wrapped in brown leather, perfectly complementing the lines of the fuel tank and tail. Unlike most of the bodywork, the OEM swingarm and wheels didn’t make the cut.

The former was discarded in favor of a Triumph Street Triple’s repurposed item, but this conversion was obviously no plug-and-play affair. Once they finally made it work, our protagonists turned their attention to footwear department. A pair of 17-inch tubeless wheels were sourced from Kineo’s catalog, and their rims got cloaked in grippy Michelin rubber on both ends.

Unik made some big changes in the cockpit, too, replacing the stock instrumentation with a digital Motoscope Pro dial from Motogadget. There are clip-on handlebars a bit further back, sporting Rebel Moto switchgear, glassless bar-end mirrors, and black rubber grips. All the electronics got rewired through a Motogadget controller, and any unsightly wiring got tucked well out of sight. Now, let’s have a look at the engine-related work.

Honda CBX1000 Kyoto
Photo: Tiago Almeida
After treating the six-cylinder powerplant to a complete refurbishment inside out, the Unik duo retuned the carbs and had them topped with K&N air filters. On the exhaust side of the equation, we come across a neat six-into-one setup supplied by Delkevic, terminating a cylindrical muffler down on the right-hand side. The bike’s gearbox received a comprehensive rebuild, too, and it now makes use of shorter gear ratios.

Various engine covers got polished to a mirror finish, while the main block was enveloped in a stealthy layer of matte-black. The glossy, dark green colorway covering the bodywork has an interesting and somewhat unexpected origin, as it was taken from Ferrari’s color palette. To be more exact, Tiago and Luis had recently fallen in love with the Verde Pino Metallizato hue worn by a 1963 Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta Lusso.

Deciding that it would be an excellent fit for Kyoto and its brown leather seat, they pasted it all over its angular attire along with silver accents and gold pinstripes. Retro Honda logos are present on each side of the fuel tank, fitting right in with the rest of the livery. Once the paintwork had been applied, this gorgeous CBX1000 restomod was ready to hit the roads in all its glory.

It's pretty remarkable to see how fit it now looks for the modern era, even with the vast majority of its stock bodywork remaining in place. The motorcycle’s owner made a very wise decision when commissioning this build to Unik, because the Portuguese shop spared no expense to make it come together as nicely as it did. Modifying a CBX irreversibly may be seen as sacrilegious by some, but we’re actually not mad at all in this particular instance.
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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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