For most individuals, actuality TV is little greater than vicarious leisure. However for transplanted Irishman Paul Crozier, the Cafe Racer program on Velocity 5 years in the past turned pure inspiration. After seeing one specific episode, Crozier determined to craft a classic customized of his personal—after which impressively adopted by way of.
In his first effort at bike constructing, all Crozier needed initially was to improve a basic Japanese bike with modern elements that may permit enthusiastic trackday use. This imaginative and prescient later advanced to imbue the bike with a full LCR Honda racing theme, since Crozier had gotten to know staff proprietor Lucio Cecchinello personally.
The bike began life as a 1976 Honda CB550 4, to which Crozier added a 2009 Suzuki GSX-R600 entrance finish fitted with RhinoMoto crash sliders. Curt Winter at BTR Moto carried out body mods to wash up appearances and in addition added a rear body loop and brackets for customized rearset controls. Cognito Moto turned out a billet entrance hub, and becoming 17-inch black Excel rims let the bike settle for trendy Avon 3D Extremely Sport rubber, one hundred twenty/60ZR entrance and one hundred fifty/60ZR rear.
The swingarm retains its unique size, however BTR Moto triangulated it with metal tubing, just like the early AMA Superbikes’ flex repair. After being launched to Öhlins suspension importer Dan Kyle, Crozier had a pair of Öhlins shocks for a twin-shock Kawasaki streetbike lengthened 10mm to match the experience peak of the GSX-R fork.
“To provide his construct some muscle, Crozier had the engine cylinders bored.”
Honda CB500 and CB550s from the ’70s are candy-operating bikes however not highly effective in inventory type. To offer his construct some muscle, Crozier had the engine cylinders bored 3mm to realize 605cc, had the crankshaft lightened by three.seventy five kilos and balanced, added a light road cam, ported the top, and fitted 26mm Keihin CR carbs. An open four-into-1 MotoGP type stainless-metal exhaust was specifically fabricated by BTR Moto. It contains a laser-reduce exhaust display and carries the distinctive Arrow emblem plate, identical to the LCR bikes. He additionally changed the inventory ignition with an optically triggered system by C5 Ignitions. “Magnetic pickups are an enchancment over the previous factors methods however can nonetheless be off by 5 to 7 levels,” Crozier says. “Optical ignitions are a lot nearer—1 to three levels.”
The gasoline tank is a late Nineteen Sixties Wards Mojave 360 metal unit—now thought-about one of many hottest tanks for retro-bike builders—for which Crozier’s father-in-regulation, O’Neal Durgin, created an identical seat base and tailsection in fiberglass. The tail holds the battery and electronics, giving an additional-clear look to the center part of the bike, which initially housed an airbox, battery, and electronics.
Fenders and headlight stays have been fabricated in aluminum by BTR Moto, gracefully patterned after the tank and tailsection. For some additional bling, Crozier added numerous Rizoma elements, together with a clutch lever, entrance grasp cylinder, reservoir, and brake lever with racing guard, throttle and handgrips, flip alerts and bar-finish mirrors, and swingarm spools.
The pièce de résistance is the LCR-patterned paint job by Owaga Designs, white with the identical array of sponsor logos because the MotoGP bikes put on…plus CBR1000RR badges on the fuel tank. “Though the construct took years, some extent got here once I needed to decide a shade scheme,” Crozier explains. “I assumed, ‘LCR has been very type to me through the years; why don’t I attempt to construct a motorcycle honoring the group and its sponsors Arrow, Rizoma, and Öhlins?’ That’s the way it advanced.”
As for the distinctive “LCRCAFE” California license plate, Crozier ordered that shortly after beginning the venture. Though he didn’t join it on the time, the plate options the abbreviation “CAL” (for California) in a single nook. This was met by a moderately startled Cal Crutchlow when Crozier took the bike to the Circuit of the Americas (COTA) MotoGP spherical in Texas in 2016, its coming-out social gathering.
“Cal sat for pictures on the bike in full leathers,” Crozier grins. “He was freaking out. He stated, ‘My identify is on the plate! Is that this a actual license plate?’”
Whereas displaying the bike to the LCR Group, Crozier acquired a shock. “Lucio was impressed and requested if it might begin up,” he explains. “It was completed solely every week earlier than COTA, and I used to be a nervous wreck as a result of we had wired the bike however by no means fired it. I stored considering, ‘Did I get the firing order proper?’ I stated, ‘It’s wired however there’s no fuel or oil in it.’ So we crammed it with Castrol and pump fuel and engaged the rear-wheel starter from Crutchlow’s racebike!”
Thankfully, the Honda began instantly (with the LCR and Repsol groups and even Marc Marquez’s dad wanting on), its engine wailing via the open collector simply as Crozier had dreamed about 4 years prior. And in a cheerful numerical coincidence, each the 4-cylinder machine and Crozier turned forty years previous final yr, which was additionally the twentieth anniversary of the LCR Group. That’s an incredible outcome for a primary construct and a fair higher redemption for an previous CB550 4.