A special that’s almost as easy to use as the original bike

The loom in progress. Apologies for the fabulous Jag in the background. There are dozens of them in the workshop

The same loom with its outer covering of Certoplast tape and PVC sleeve

Theresa’s Honda CBX550

For a project, a CBX550 is a tricky place to start. This early 1980s sportsbike came with Honda’s reviled inboard disc brake – so if you don’t fancy that you have to replace not only the brake but the wheels and forks. But Theresa and husband Rob had sorted all that out with custom wire wheels, a big disc, and a pair of brand new 35mm Ceriani forks. The bike was also dripping with evidence of skilled lathe work, particularly the grab handles and side panel mounts.

It’s what you would call a sensible special: easily visible indicators, a big headlight, a near-standard exhaust and a reasonable riding position. Tail light is LED, the Honda clocks have been replaced by a Koso speedo/tacho, and ignition and charging has been left as original. They’d also chosen a Domino throttle, which works nicely but uses up valuable handlebar space, and so obliged them to find narrow switch clusters. They couldn’t find any high quality ones, and nor could I, so they settled for universal unbranded items.

Joining it all up was easy because everything electrical was already beautifully mounted. One of Theresa and Rob’s final jobs is to restyle the seat and build a rear mudguard to protect the new four-way fuse box.

Narrow switch cluster fits but the red kill switch is for CDI ignitions (the CBX has battery ignition), and the grey kill switch below is labelled the wrong way round!

Space under the tank is quite tight, so I used the bullet connectors which the left switch cluster came with, rather than fitting a block cionnector

Koso dashes are always good, as long as you take the time to set them up

Months later, Rob sent this pic of the bike in its final form, with 400/4 paint