CB550 the Mono Chrome Caff bike

Well, the weekend is here and I dunno whats going on with the world, but here, the Pandemic, then Fires and this morning a 4.6 Earthquake, jeez it will test you at times thats for sure. But I thought I would show a Little CB550 I put together for a Customer and he still rides it, a fun Brat machine for sure.



This was a fun machine and even with square Firestone tires aboard, it rode really well and always had a smile on my face as I blapped around town on a test run etc.

A lot of time was spent taking bits off and leaving them off, getting back to as bare bones as legally possible and give this little 550 a new life and look.

Many people asked me about the gas tank, asking how much it was to Chrome it etc, they looked amazed when I told them that its a stock tank with the paint removed and I simply hand sanded and polished the fuel tank, then Clear Coated it to try and keep that Chrome look.


I rebuilt the stock forks with New springs and I also added 4 stainless Washers to set the Pre-Load and give this machine a little harder ride than a stock version, I polished the lower Stanchions and then fitted New seals, and added a Chrome Dust Cap to finish the lowers off a little better.

As you can see, I stripped the Black paint off the upper tree and polished that to a mirror finish, I added my New handle Bar Holders as well as my Chrome Classic Clubman 7/8 Bars, there are no control switches on the bars to clean the look up, and of course, One of my 2.5 Speedometer gauges with trip counter for that Old School appearance.

The speedometer is housed on my own Aluminum Bracket that I cut from 6061 and polished, and the whole bike is put together with Aircraft grade Stainless Allen head bolts at a Cost of a minimum $2.00 Each!

I used a 5-3/4 Chrome Harley headlight and even though the speedo cable has a C bend in it, I have managed to route it to work smoothly and was super stoked to see the speedometer ran true all the time I rode it, I of course Fully triple Chromed the Lower tree as thats steel, new fork tubes 2 inches under with New upper Fork caps.

I used stock 2.15 Rims but used a rear as a front, coated them Black and laced with stainless spokes and of course, the Customer insisted on a set of Firestones for that Olden day look and yes, they track like crazy on the freeway but heck, thats half the fun of it right?

My 4 into 1 system makes this machine bark and gives her the get up and go something of this nature really does require, this is by no means a timid machine.

I have sold close to 2000 of these systems all over the world and continue to reach New customers all the time as well as having repeat orders from many Motorcycle establishments.

The Rims are Powder Coated a Gloss Black, then the Hubs are hand polished with New bearings etc, the rims have New stainless spokes and this is a good color concept for this type of build.

I made up a stainless one piece stainless high pressure aircraft quality front brake line, rebuilt the front caliper as well as take all the factory anodizing off and polished to a chrome finish.

A tough looking machine with a monochrome finish, this gets a lot of attention, this bike had been to many shops over the years and they had no luck getting the bike to run, let alone look cool, this runs hard and strong and I am glad that the customer still has it.

There are many that have tried to make their machine look like this one, thats very cool to see, as it means I did this right and to see hybrids of this Motorcycle always puts a great big smile on my face.

The carbs are all rebuilt, syncronized and have a polished set of Steel Dragon velocity stacks on them, 2 are shorter, to allow for the down sweep of the frame.

Hidden Dry cell battery and Kick only, but this fires up right away first kick, running irridium plugs and new Factory coils, I hope that you liked this build and maybe have inspired you to get back in the garage at this difficult time in everyone’s lives, and have some fun and mechanic therapy, creating your very own. “Covid Racer”

If you need this exhaust, its on my website and available in Raw steel, or cerakote colors. Thanks for looking.





Steve Carpenter

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