Ralph Millers “Every-man’s Budget” Honda CB650 Cafe


Whats up folks?

Really stoked to be able to show off my cafe racer build in such a great forum and enjoy seeing the show each week.  I have been around Harley’s my entire life and came to love riding a variety of models but fell in love with the performance of Buells. After customizing my Buell Cyclone I got hooked on performance bikes and definitely enjoyed the speed factor as well the nimble handling. With loving that style of bike I found my way towards cafe bikes and always thought about checking out the Honda 750’s for a killer city bike as I could find them a bit more on the cheap.

When I bought this 1979 Honda cb650 for about $350 on craigslist I had no intention of building a cafe bike at all. It was originally intended to be a trade off for a buddy of mine who was going to do some work for me, as he wanted a cheap bike to run around town with. Low and behold he didn’t help on the project and now I was stuck with a broken down bike. The bike wasn’t running and was bought as is, which turned out to be quite the issue down the road, as I found out it was wrecked. The left side of the frame was tweaked and the pipes were bent out of whack a bit. The major issue was of course the carburetors and once I saw how bad off they were I knew that to even get the bike running it was going to require major surgery. Knowing all these factors and just staring at it for hours on end, I hatched a plan to make a custom cafe styled bike that would be built on a tight budget and to make as many new parts as I could by hand.

I revamped the frame to allow for the gas tank to sit a bit more flat, created a new style of rear section out of sheet metal, made a new seat pan that locks the tank into place, found a perfect style of fairing taken from a Harley V-Rod and fabbed up numerous parts on the bike to make it distinctive and unique. Most of all though, I wanted to create a cool Cafe Bike that would be built on a shoestring budget and one that I could ride the piss out of. I accomplished both and I dig blasting this bike all around town as its fun as hell and can’t wait for the next build.

– Ralph Miller / Rusty Knuckles – http://rustyknuckles.blogspot.com/

*Be sure to checkout the exclusive Cafe Racer Tee’s that Ralph designed for Cafe Racer TV!  They’re like none-other!  Check them out by CLICKING HERE.