Japan Meets Britain...

Vince Lupo

Ridden Not Trailered!
Here are a few shots of the latest incarnation of my 1966 Honda CB77 SuperHawk. The bike started out as a basically stock bike that had been little used for the past 30 years. The engine and transmission were rebuilt about 4000 miles ago, new valves, etc, port 'n' polish the head, painted, polished and powder coated, electronic ignition, Amal 626's, fancy coils, TOGA/Norman Hyde Gold Star mufflers, K&N filters behind the side covers, custom wheels (Akronts, stainless spokes, polished hubs with black painted centers, Dunlop K82's) with Bill Selby bacon cutters on the front (1960's items), custom front end, Hagon shocks, custom paint job with hand painted checkers on the tank and fenders, custom decals, pedestrian slicer from a pre-unit Triumph, and recently chromed footpeg assemblies (I'm sure I'm probably missing a bunch more!). This past July I rode out to Mid-Ohio for Vintage Motorcycle Days from my home near Baltimore, Maryland (originally from Toronto), and rode to the CVMG's Paris show in 2005 (about a 1250 mile round trip), so this puppy doesn't get trailered anywhere. It's super loud, and I've done the 'ton' with it -- with a recent gearing mod and the new K&N's it should be good for 110, and is surely ready to take on all those 500's out there.
 

Tim

Administrator
Staff member
Very very nice! I'm working on my own Jap/Brit hybrid. Mine is a Triton inspired Yamaha XS650. I'm sticking with Japanese carbs (Mikuni VM36's) though, but am also running Hagon's and a Lucas headlight bucket.

Gotta ask about two things - the stopwatch on the handlebar and the bacon slicers - where'd you score those? Wouldn't mind the same on my front wheel (running a stock Yamaha TLS front end).
 

Vince Lupo

Ridden Not Trailered!
The actual pocket watch itself is a 1943 Elgin GCT US Navy comparing watch with a 24 hour dial (size 16, or about 2" in diameter). That watch has now been substituted with a quartz movement watch -- all the vibration and bouncing just wreaks havoc on these mechanical movement watches, so the quartz one will actually last. The holder came from PJ Speedos on the Isle of Man. I tried to contact them via their website (www.pjspeedos.co.uk), but it seems that it's no longer in operation. It's a chromed split clamp that attaches to the handlebars, and then there's a round chrome saucer with a foam pad where the watch sits. There's four 'arms' made of spring steel that cradle the watch, and I've added a shortened steel pocket watch chain that wraps around the handlebars so the watch doesn't go flying out of the holder if you go over a big bump (only needed to have that happen once to learn that lesson!). I know that there are handlebar watched available new (Formotion), but I know, they don't have that 'vintage' look you're probably looking for. (BTW, all those ugly corroded handlebar mount bolts in the photo have been replaced ;D)

The bacon cutters/cooling rings were made by 'Bill Selby Products' and are actual 1960's items for the SuperHawk (try to find another pair!). Don't know if you're a reader of Classic Bike Magazine, but one of the editors, Brian Crichton, found them for me through a collector in England (it's too long a story so I won't bore you with all the details). I'd seen vintage photos of cafe bikes and noticed that several of them sported these rings, and thought they'd good for my 'art project'. As far as trying to find some for your bike, one option would be to look at the ones for the new Royal Enfields, offered in North America through Classic Motorworks in Faribault, Minnesota (www.enfieldmotorcycles.com). Their versions are called a 'polished wheel trims' ($100.00 pr.) and are similar to the ones that were offered for the 250 Continental GT back in the '60's. However, you would need to call them to see if the hole for the brake drum is big enough (or small enough) to fit around the hub of your wheel -- before I found mine, I checked with them and theirs were too small for my wheel (I think I needed 9" for mine). Plus, theirs attach by actually drilling into the hub (5 holes). Mine bolt into each other through the spokes, so if I wanted to remove them nothing will have been affected.

Another thing you could do would be to have a machine shop cut rings like this and drill holes to your liking (the holes on my rings have these scoops over them, so they probably couldn't do that). They are made of aluminum, so I wouldn't imagine that it's a big deal for them to make these things up. Probably best if they were laser cut, though I'm no expert. The nice thing about them is that they do not affect the ride at all -- nothing happens in a cross wind or anything like that. They were supposed to channel air into the hubs to cool the front brakes, but I'm sure they're more fashion than function.
 

locOleoN

Is that the best you got? OK.. now my TURN...
Hey Vince,

Very nice!!.. I love the bacon slicers!!...
How do those mount on the front anythow?... Does it mount to the hub or the spokes?...

Great Job!! ;D
 

Tim

Administrator
Staff member
locO leoN said:
Hey Vince,

Very nice!!.. I love the bacon slicers!!...
How do those mount on the front anythow?... Does it mount to the hub or the spokes?...

Great Job!! ;D
the answer is in the post, but i'm gonna make you look for it ;)
 

Vince Lupo

Ridden Not Trailered!
Thanks for the words of encouragement! The bacon cutters/cooling rings through-bolt from one ring to the other in between the spokes -- there are long spacers that go in between the spokes and there's a bolt on the outside of each ring that screws into these spacers. If I have a chance to take a closeup photo of this I will post it, though if look really closely at the front end detail shot you can see one through the spokes.

As a final detail (for 2007 that is) I just replaced the old tank badges with a beautiful set from the Netherlands -- they are made using this wax mold process and are identical to the originals, done in plastic and with UV inhibitors added so they won't warp and crack like the originals tend to do. The originals are going in the vault....



Shot from the Baltimore to Paris trip in 2005.
 

locOleoN

Is that the best you got? OK.. now my TURN...
Hey Vince,
Im wondering why you went with Amal carbs.. Is there any benefit, (other than looking cool), to have those brit carbs on the bike.
I understand that the internal sliders on those carbs tend to warp and get distorded, and causes air leaks and therefore fucking up the idle and making them difficult to balance and adjust.

Ive just recently rebuilt my Amal carbs for my Commando and had to replace the sliders.
 

Vince Lupo

Ridden Not Trailered!
Sorry for the delay in replying. The reason I went with Amals is partly due to the fact that my 40+ year old Keihins were worn out, and a simple rebuild kit wouldn't do the trick. Plus, simply replacing them with another set of 40+ year old Keihins (unless they were NOS) wouldn't have put me any further ahead. Mikunis would not work either, because the VM26's are not meant to be bolted directly to the engine (trust me, I tried it), and with the stock tank and petcock configuration of the SuperHawk the carbs could not be moved back from the engine (bolting those carbs to the engine does not allow the gas enough room to atomise). So, these Amal 626's bolt perfectly onto the SuperHawk, and work beautifully right out of the box. The slides wear as a result of snapping the throttle -- better to roll it on with these puppies. Plus, the slides are made of the same metal as the bodies. This can be remedied by either replacing the slides with brass or ceramic coated slides -- not the chrome ones, as the chroming process that Amal uses causes the slides to be brittle, and then you could be in for a whole other mess of trouble if they happen to break. Lund Machine out in Washington state does resleeving of the Amals for about $100.00 each, and then you don't have any more troubles (or so I understand). But, I've also heard of guys who have Tridents with the original Amals and have never had any troubles. Classic Bike Magazine did a thing a few months back that mentioned Amals only lasting about 8,000 miles before the slides go, but for some riders 8,000 miles could mean 15 years of service! Other folks who know these carbs far more intimately than I say that they last much more than 8,000 miles, but the first signs of their wearing is the erratic idle. Mind you, even with the erratic idle you could probably still run them for another 10 years. They are (in my opinion) just a good reliable carb whose design has been around for 41 years, but of course, unlike the SuperHawk's Keihins, you can buy them brand new.

The other reason for the Amals is to keep with the 'Japan Meets Britain' motif. Of course, if I decide somewhere down the line to do a 'Japan Meets Italy' thing, then maybe Dellortos are next?

Hope all of this helps.....
 

sclay115

New Member
That bike is gorgeous, I keep opening this thread even after I read it to look at the pictures. Top notch man, top notch.

Steve
 

Vince Lupo

Ridden Not Trailered!
Well jeez, thanks very much for all the kind words.

It has, however, turned out to be possibly the most expensive SuperHawk in the world (at least in terms of money spent, that is!), and I know I'll never get my money out of it, but I have no intention of ever selling this 'art project'. I have made a few minor changes since the last photos -- new clutch with 6 plates, new 2 1/2 slides instead of the 3's that were in the carbs, the rear torque arm was painted gloss black, and I took the 'Ton Up Boy' and the coffee cup off the visor, and have replaced them with a metal Honda wing (we'll see how that looks). My mechanic told me that with the new clutch he wheelied the bike a few days ago! I'm picking it up in a few days, so I'll post a new photo, and see what folks think about that 'wing' on the visor.

Thanks Again!
 

Vince Lupo

Ridden Not Trailered!
Okay, opinions needed here. I just picked up he bike today and of course it runs like a champ -- pulls hard from the whole range, and it's nice to now be able to snick it into neutral at a standstill without having to rock the bike back and forth. The only question mark I have is regarding the 'wing' on the headlamp visor. I can't tell whether it 'works' or not, but if it doesn't work it's simply a case of replacing the visor, which is a $ 7.00 part and no big deal.

So, any thoughts out there regarding this latest addition? Is there now too much going on with the front of the bike? Does it need to go or does it blend with the rest of what's going on?

Many thanks!
 

Tim

Administrator
Staff member
It makes for a bit of a busy front end. If you weren't running a pedestrian slicer on the fender already, it might have worked on the front end of the fender like on an Indian.

Where did you get the wing anyhow - pretty neat little piece. I'd like to see it without the visor at all - I think that would look perfect. That's a gorgeous little headlight - it doesn't need all the fancy trim parts.
 

Vince Lupo

Ridden Not Trailered!
I got the wing from eBay (Apex Cycles), and it came with a visor that was meant for a CA95 or something small like that. I bought it thinking it would fit my 305 Dream, but the headlight shape is different. So, I just held onto it in the hopes that I'd be able to do something with it someday. As I say, I was curious to see what the wing would look like on the SuperHawk, so now I know!

Hmm, without the visor at all you say. Haven't seen the bike without the visor for quite a while.....maybe that might be the way to go.

Thanks!
 
Top Bottom