Custom: Godffrey’s 1978 Honda CB550

Dailies, Galleries -


For all the times you’ve stabbed yourself in the eyes watching yet another mustachioed wanker bent over in a race tuck going 35mph on a beater UMJ with clubmans and yanked baffles, this 1978 Honda CB550 café racer built to order by Godffrey’s Garage is your respite. Dual through-the-frame shocks with piggyback reservoirs, hydraulic clutch, a handmade alloy tank, seat and swept back megaphones, drilled rotors and more custom fabricated parts than I care to list. Yes, you can probably buy a new supersport at full sticker for what this bike cost to build, but so what.

Dubbed “Café Overkill” by Godffrey’s Garage builder Jeff Stephen, the CB550 was built with a mind towards function without going too crazy and cosmetic restraint. Accents include the bright red frame and smartly finished flat black and red finishes on the sides of the alloy tank, or smaller highlights such as the drilled rear brake linkage. Thankfully, performance mods like upside down forks, chunky triple trees, cast wheels or a boxy aluminum swing-arm aren’t bothered which means the bike still feels like a really classy old CB550.

  • Case

    Love this bike super hard. Beautiful, rebuilt with performance in mind. Is that a steering damper? Was mildly disappointed not to see a kick start. Even so, it’s my favorite rebuild I’ve seen in a while.

  • Mark D

    That is a beautiful bike. Very tasteful. CB550s have such gorgeous proportions. The best part is that awesome tank badge, and the upswept exhaust. It also looks like the thing will actually stop, which I can say from personal experience is NOT the strong point of stock 70s Hondas. The rear suspension is trick, too.

  • T Diver

    That bike is nasty! I have always been partial to street bikes (my club would bust my balls if I rode up on that) but a beautiful bike is a beautiful bike. Is that a steering damper??? Beyond my budget but sick.

  • nola

    Is there some sort of strange psychosexual explanation for getting a chubby when looking at that motorcycle?

    As Mr. Siler notes, the real beauty of this thing is her relative subtlety (yeah, even with that red frame). That bike is still unmistakably classic CB but with an almost exponentially higher badass/cool factor…all done without destroying the character of the machine. Which is too often what happens when well-meaning but underfunded or immature folks put the old Hondas under the knife.

  • WoosterSauce

    I’d totally be that moustachioed wanker…

    If I could grow a moustache. :(

  • Rooster

    Very very nice bike.

    An exceptional build.

  • telekom

    Absolutely exquisite. I saw this a few weeks back on bikeexif and I’ve been thinking about it ever since. I hadn’t seen these other pics though so thanks HFL. Gorgeous detailing, very clever workmanship, classic style. I would park this thing in the living room and stare at it all night. And then when the sun came out… ride it all day. Beautiful.

  • tekamul

    This is a beautiful build, and I like 90% of the choices (I’m not diggin’ the reinforced plastic lines).
    By far the nicest touch…..KA-BLAM! beyond the redline

  • sidecar_freak

    It just looks so cool, and ridable.

  • Neil Fenton

    Thumbs up.

  • Godffery

    Thanks for all the comments. You can see more pix at :
    There are also some you-Tube vid’s up under the title Cafe Overkill.
    I run a little shop called Godffery’s garage it’s operated out of my home in Burlington WI. I’ve been at it full time now for about 10 years but have been building bikes most of my life.