Presentation: The Honda CB Seven Fifty conversion from Louis

Presentation: Honda conversion by Louis

The Honda CB Seven Fifty conversion from Louis

In-house catalog conversions have a long tradition at Detlev Louis. But never before has work been done in Hamburg as materially as for the 2011 tome. A live report from the epicenter of the angle grinder inferno.

A Honda CB Seven-Fifty has very convincing qualities. This is impressively confirmed by over 16,000 copies of the great-granddaughter of the legendary CB 750 from 1969 registered with the Federal Motor Transport Authority. But in contrast to this, the seven-fifty cannot score at all in the disciplines of metal erotic or passion – often the lot of an almost perfect All-rounders. So it is not surprising that there are practically no modifications to be found when searching for images on the Internet. A front spoiler is brave.

S.summer 2010: The technology buyers sit together with the screwdriver crew at the Louis headquarters in Hamburg. The topic is the motorcycle conversions for the 2011 catalog, which should give customers suggestions for using the accessories offered. This time, the decision-making dialog is short in Hanseatic style: "Cafe racers are hip." "Everything has been done umpteen times." "Not all." "Like right now?" "Seven Fifty." "How many are there??" "Plenty!"

Accordingly, the supply on the used market is just as plentiful, so a willing victim is quickly found. Year of construction 1994, run just over 40,000 kilometers, remarkably well cared for, last price 1,800 euros. When the seller notices that he has just sold his CB to a member of the Louis screwdriver crew, he asks, confused: "What do you intend to do with it?" "I’d rather not tell you", replies his counterpart, knowing full well that the Flex (correct: angle grinder) should be used vehemently in this conversion.

While one part of the screwdriver crew starts stripping the bike, the other part creates the target on the computer. "If it works like this, it’ll be really delicious", so the unanimous comment on the draft. But now the dark side of democracy strikes mercilessly. When it comes to the details, the ideas often drift completely apart: "It has to be in matte black." "Nonsense, that should be polished!" "We just leave that out." The fate of omission is ultimately shared by a considerable number of series parts, which are either deleted without replacement or replaced by more delicate ones.


Find the difference: the Louis screwdriver crew has slightly alienated the original (above).

The most obvious change is the almost completely exposed frame triangle with the dimensions of a standard baby flap. Only the battery is enthroned in a massive holder, the material of which, like that of all other holders and covers, comes from the company’s own scrap metal container.

The one-man hump (originally intended for a Yamaha SR 500) now houses a large part of the electrical system. A good piece of the rear frame has to be amputated for its assembly. So that there is no rude awakening due to this change to the chassis, the execution is discussed beforehand with the local TÜV employee you trust – a very hot tip for everyone who has something like this in mind with their bike. The same applies, by the way, to the power air filters standing naked in the wind: Here, too, there are tolerances in the tolerance of the authorized inspectors. And that should be determined in advance.

Main stands are something for chain care wimps, the disruptive component including its mount on the frame is therefore taken out of service. Abundant losses have also been recorded at the front: the flower box cockpit and almost all of its neighbors are no longer allowed to ride. Mini-instruments and control lamps mounted in the upper fork bridge now form the information center. Unfortunately, the lower handlebar mounts and the standard triple clamp are cast in one piece, which looks extremely silly when using handlebar stubs (the alternative approach of making a currywurst holder out of them has been discarded). Instead of equalizing these knobs, the Louis screwdrivers decided on a completely new bridge.

But how does the seven and fifty drive now and above all: How does the engine react to the changed lung and rectum area? It is precisely because of the power air filters that the usual warnings and warnings predicted endless coordination work. But just like displacement, there is no substitute for experience. And that’s how Louis screwdriver veteran Detlef has "Hours" Studemann changed the carburetor set-up based on experience.


Inspector surprise: Most of the conversion parts have a TÜV certificate or an ABE. And the rest falls under "Discretion".

First attempt to start. Stude concentrated on the bike, the rest of the screwdriver crew and the Mahner-Warner Club (including "Never ever"-Grin) around it. After less than three crankshaft revolutions, it roars from the matt black Megacone four-in-one, all four pots are unmistakably running. Choke out and carefully increasing gas shocks – no coughing, no hanging, nothing. The engine looks like it’s the first time it’s using its second nostril.

This judgment does not change after the first test drive, from which the student returns with a fierce grin. The screwdriver crew is five, the other club has had urgent things to do in its offices for a long time. For the time being, it remains unclear whether the changed engine set-up might have left one or the other horsepower at peak performance by the wayside. This is not subjective, but even if it does, what the heck? Driving a Cafe Racer means celebrating passionately swinging rock ‘n‘ roll with Brigitte Bardot; Headbanging to Metallicas "Seek and Destroy" has its charm elsewhere.

Driving with Brigitte – pardon me – the Seven-Fifty is now more assembled and light-footed than in series production, despite the unchanged chassis. That is not really surprising because of the opulent lack of parts. The rest is like the original, except for the sitting position and the dry feedback from the one-man hump.

The list of all new components used reads like a “who’s who” of the accessories industry: LSL, moto-detail, Lucas, Gimbel and others. If you own a CB Seven-Fifty and a Flex and want to know exactly, just take a look at the 2011 Louis catalog. If you don’t own a CB Seven-Fifty or a Flex, you can of course use any other bike and a hacksaw to create such an appetizing Cafe Racer. Brigitte Bardot’s father was called Louis by the way . . .

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