Our CB900 Bol D'or featured by Return of the Cafe Racers
Pictures by Manny Tamayo | words by Geoff Baldwin
"My hometown of Perth, Western Australia offers some of the best year-round riding weather on the planet. Unsurprisingly motorcycles are a common sight cruising the coastline or weaving through the countryside on weekends. It seems like the perfect environment for custom workshops to blossom. Unfortunately, a relatively small population has slowed the growth of the scene compared to other major Australian cities. That hasn’t stopped Dutch-born Marijn Kuijken aka ‘Billy’ and his partner Silvie from securing a spot in the Perth bike scene. Their Rogue Motorcycles workshop has been steadily gaining momentum since it opened its doors in 2014. Along with building a healthy portfolio of custom motorcycles, they now have a retail space offering parts and riding gear and a place to grab a coffee. After recently wrapping up his 3 latest builds we chatted with Billy about this bike, the Rogue hot-rodded Honda CB900 Bol d’Or."
How did your CB900 Bol d’Or project come about?
We started the project for Corey, a customer who came in with a very old and beaten up Honda CB900. He wanted a cafe racer. You know the drill: clip ons, long low looking bike, short fenders, etc. It was a cool bike to start with but she was in a pretty bad way. It took lots of work and $ to make something of it. We chopped the frame, added a custom seat pan and upholstery, new wiring and new lights. The brake callipers all needed overhauling and the fork seals were busted. The frame needed a repaint along with the tank and fork legs too. It was the usual cosmetic and general servicing work you do when fixing up an old bike.
The bike doesn’t look like a cafe racer now, what happened?
Once his CB900 Bol D’Or cafe racer was done things kept going wrong for Corey. The stator gave up on his first long ride, so that got replaced. The engine wasn’t as smooth as he was hoping so a top-end rebuild came next. Then the brakes couldn’t keep up with the new engine. With 2 much newer bikes in his possession (CBR1000rr and Ducati 1198) he decided to sell us the Bol d’Or so it became one of our shop bikes.
With the Hot Rod & Street Machine spectacular coming up we decided to make some changes to the bike and take her to the show. We had 4 weeks to get it done.
What work was required to get it to this stage?
At the time of this build, we were also modifying a 2010 Yamaha XJR1300. That project involved a front end swap to USD forks. So we had a very good set of XJR forks available. Changing the stock front end on the CB900 Bol D’Or meant changing the rear wheel to match. The 3-spoke mags are easy to acquire but by chance, we already had one laying around with the same diameter axle. This really sped up the rear end work. We got our machinist to make a bracket for a Harrison calliper and with some custom spacers, we had the rear sorted. Then to get the stance right the front end got lowered.
Rather than going for the obvious all-black theme we decided to make the wheels stand out and create a Hot Rod look. We went for vintage grey powder coat on the wheels before wrapping them in Shinko 777 white-walled rubber. Getting everything to look balanced was hard due to the shape of the CB900 Bol d’Or fuel tank and subframe. Both give the illusion that the bike is sitting too high at the front. Shane from Graphic Addiction in Wangara made us a set of decals the day before the show and he nailed it with the design! The decals also worked well at tricking your eye to get the lines of the bike balanced.
Rogue team member Nate figured the black pipe wrap needed to be white. So the night before the show he got himself covered in itchy fibreglass (That’s dedication!).
Along with everything Billy already mentioned their Hot-Rodded CB900 Bol d’Or wears an extensive list of new parts. The wiring is all new and is managed by a Motogadget M-unit. The M-unit is joined by Motogadget mini switches on the bars and a Motogadget Motoscope Pro dash. The lighting is all new too with discreet LED indicators all around, a modern halo headlight and retro brake light unit. Holding the XJR forks in place is a custom machined top clamp. The front-wheel wears a custom stainless front fender and the brakes were overhauled with braided lines. DNA performance filters feed the carbs, the muffler is a LE unit and Biltwell provided the grips and throttle assembly for the Tracker style bars. There’s also a lithium battery stashed under the swingarm. And the CNC footpegs sit 40mm lower than stock for a more relaxed ride.
At the Street Machine show, the hot-rodded Honda had no shortage of fans and soon someone else will have the opportunity to call it their own. Billy’s looking for his next workshop assignment so like many of his own projects it’ll be up for sale. There’s no denying the Honda CB900 Bol d’Or makes a great cafe racer, but this fresh take on the Japanese roadster suits us just fine too.