The Honda CBX1000 is undoubtedly one of the most iconic motorcycles of the 1980s. Despite looking like a dorky, boxy machine, it made all the right sounds that would instantly conjure up images of the early days of Formula1—a sound loved by racing aficionados, in particular. The CBX1000, in itself, wasn’t exactly a sporty machine. As such, it has become a favorite among custom bike builders who give a sporty spin to this very deserving motor.
One such builder comes to us all the way from The Land Down Under. Purpose Built Moto has quite an impressive repertoire of builds under its belt. Specializing in custom cafe racers, scramblers, trackers, bobbers—you name it—the folks at Purpose Built Moto are some truly talented craftsmen. One build in particular, and their most recent one at that, could quite possibly be the shop’s pièce de résistance. Starting life as a 1981 Honda CBX1000, Purpose Built’s custom creation has shed all the excess weight and morphed into a sleek, slender cafe racer that packs quite the punch.
To say that the bike has undergone a rework would be quite the understatement. For starters, Purpose Built Moto redesigned the bike’s suspension to accommodate larger tires. The front suspension has been sourced from a second generation Suzuki Hayabusa to provide superior damping, as well as the rigidity of a thick inverted front end. The swingarm, too, has been discarded and replaced with a unit sourced from a 2010 Aprilia RSV4. An Öhlins TTX rear shock absorber has been added to the mix to manage the bike’s heft.
The overall layout of the CBX was also changed, with Purpose Built Moto tweaking the bike’s ergonomics. As opposed to clip-ons normally found on cafe racer builds, the CBX makes use of a conventional handlebar, and slightly rear-set foot controls. This gives it similar ergonomics as that of modern-day naked streetfighters. As you can see, the bike now incorporates redesigned bodywork consisting of a bespoke fuel tank, a custom tail with an integrated LED taillight, and a round LED headlight. All these features give the bike a very retro-modern look—something similar to Honda’s Neo Sports Cafe design language we see today.
At the heart of this CBX1000, the stock 1,047cc inline six-cylinder engine has been retained. It does, however, receive a custom exhaust upgrade amplifying that glorious exhaust note. It also gets a set of six Keihin FCR carburetors with individual pod filters, giving the bike a badass custom aesthetic. The engine upgrades also produce a significant amount of power, with the bike now pumping out 100 ponies to the rear wheel. Overall, the bike lost a total of 50 kilograms in the transformation, so you can bet it rides just as good as it looks.