This One-Off Honda CX650 Cafe Racer Is as Far From Its Stock Incarnation as You Can Get

Honda CX650 Cafe Racer 14 photos
Photo: Andrea Caredda via Pipeburn
Honda CX650 Cafe RacerHonda CX650 Cafe RacerHonda CX650 Cafe RacerHonda CX650 Cafe RacerHonda CX650 Cafe RacerHonda CX650 Cafe RacerHonda CX650 Cafe RacerHonda CX650 Cafe RacerHonda CX650 Cafe RacerHonda CX650 Cafe RacerHonda CX650 Cafe RacerHonda CX650 Cafe RacerHonda CX650 Cafe Racer
Given its breathtaking scenery, warm climate, and twisty roads, the beautiful Mediterranean island of Sardinia is what you would call a rider’s paradise. Massimiliano Satta goes about his daily business in Cagliari, running M-CafeGarage and getting involved in the local motorcycling community as much as he can. Most of the time, you will either find him on the racetrack at Autodromo di Mores or wrenching away in his workshop.
The custom bike pictured above is one of Massimiliano’s latest creations, and it was once a stock Honda CX650 which hadn’t been started for around two decades. It belongs to a guy named Nicola, who sought to revive the old CX with an extensive cafe racer treatment. He got in touch with Signor Satta and pitched his ideas, then the donor made its way to M-CafeGarage so the real fun could begin.

Despite the extended time spent in storage, the motorcycle’s overall condition was much neater than you might expect. This meant that Massimiliano could focus mostly on the cosmetic side of things, while also performing some intricate structural mods to bring Honda’s cruiser onto cafe territory. Clearly, that was a lot easier said than done, but the project’s author pulled it off spectacularly.

With the CX650 in his shop and fully dismantled, he deleted all the original bodywork before turning his attention to the frame. Then, the bike’s headstock was heavily revised to achieve the desired posture at the front, and the framework mods continued toward the rear end. Massimiliano used sheet metal to reinforce the chassis while completely changing its appearance, but he took the stock subframe out of the equation altogether.

In its stead, our protagonist installed a svelte handmade alternative that’s been fabricated from scratch. The metal plate encasing its underside acts as a rear fender of sorts, and suspension duties in that area are now taken care of by a single YSS shock absorber. Up north, we find the triple clamps and inverted forks of a CBR1000RR, which was kind enough to donate its beefy front brakes, as well.

Honda CX650 Cafe Racer
Photo: Andrea Caredda via Pipeburn
There is a handsome, unpainted fender sitting in between the CBR forks, secured on custom brackets nice and close to the tire. A fresh pair of 17-inch wheels can be seen in the unsprung sector, with the front unit hailing from a BMW R nineT. Both rims are linked to stainless-steel spokes and hugged by Dunlop SportSmart TT rubber for plentiful grip.

Once the chassis-related mods were out of the way, Massimiliano tackled the motorcycle’s main bodywork. He retrofitted a CX500’s fuel tank center-stage, making all the necessary adjustments for it to look like it was always meant to be there. On the other hand, the new cafe racer tail section is a bespoke fiberglass part made in-house, featuring a clever lifting mechanism to provide easy access to an under-seat electronics tray.

As for the two-piece solo seat, it’s been put together with high-grade blue leather upholstery by Luca of LR Leather. We spot a rectangular LED taillight embedded into the rearmost portion of the tail, while an unobtrusive license plate bracket can be found lower down. It carries aftermarket turn signals on each side, and the whole rear-end setup looks incredibly tidy from every angle.

Honda CX650 Cafe Racer
Photo: Andrea Caredda via Pipeburn
Things are no less intriguing at the front, where we see a custom-built headlight nacelle surrounding LED componentry. A little further back in the cockpit area, the CX650 is equipped with a digital Motogadget dial and clip-on handlebars. These new clip-ons wear Accossato control levers, bar-end turn signals, and blue leather grips matching the seat upholstery. In addition, plain aftermarket switchgear also makes an appearance.

Although Massimiliano hasn’t fiddled with the V-twin engine too much, he did treat it to an invigorating refurbishment and some fresh breathing equipment. Air makes its way in via higher-spec carbs installed during the overhaul, while the exhaust gases are routed through stainless-steel MAD pipework. The plumbing runs into a tiny pair of reverse megaphone mufflers, fitted on each side of the custom subframe.

For the paintwork, the mastermind at M-CafeGarage took inspiration from old-school HRC livery. He came up with an elegant red, white, and blue color scheme, with the latter hue being the one used most extensively. Retro Honda logos can be spotted on the gas tank, and various bits were finished in black to direct your attention to what truly matters. Finally, Massimiliano finished off the bike’s ergonomics with CNC-machined rearsets.

We can definitely picture this mouth-watering cafe racer going fast on the twisties in Sardinia, all while turning heads and giving Nicola the time of his life. Maestro Satta never fails to deliver a fantastic build, but we’d say he really outdid himself this time around! As complex as the transformation process might’ve been, every minute of painstaking labor was time well spent given how the end result turned out.
If you liked the article, please follow us:  Google News icon Google News Youtube Instagram
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.
Full profile


Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories