Honda CB750 Chopper!
Chopping a CB750:
Between 1969 and 2003 Honda manufactured one of the most popular motorcycles of all time, the cb750. This particular model has also become an extremely popular bike for chopping.
Although this particular motorcycle was one of the more popular bikes to chop, there were other Honda's that fit the bill as well. Notably the XS650 and XS400. But the CB750 has some unique features and a special place in history, which makes it one of my all time favorite project bikes...
There were many different versions of the CB750. All of them are great bikes to chop. But the cb750 Amen Savior has a cult following for chopping and bobbing. Why this is exactly is hard to say. Maybe because it is a plunger style frame. A plunger frame is a simple, softail frame (versus a hardtail). But the springs are slightly hidden which still gives it a hardtail look.
Some say the Amen Savior frame came from the phrase, 'save your ass' (because a softail is softer on your behind).,
The Honda cb750 is the model that started the sport bike rage. It was the first real 'Superbike', and has a place in the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame as the first of the superbikes.
Plunger Amen Savior Frame Construction.
Defining A Chopper and Bobber:
For the non-motorcycle enthusiasts among us, a 'chopper' is a motorcycle modified by the user from the basic frame and made into a spectacular super charged 'chopper'. The 'chopper' is lighter, faster and aerodynamic than the off the shelf motorcycle.
The name chopper and the term chopping come from the practice of 'chopping' off any parts that are not essential to the souped up bike.
The reason that the Honda cd750 and the other 750 models were the motorcycles of choice for choppers, as opposed to the Harley Davidson for instance, is due to how light weight and fast they were right off the sales floor. In addition to the popularity of the 750 models for choppers, the Honda 350, 450 and 500 were also used for chopping.
So what made the cd750 and the rest of the 750 family so much more popular and attractive to choppers than any other makes or models? We have already established that the Honda cycles in general were much faster, more aerodynamic and lighter than the Indian or Harley cycles were. What were the other factors that made this make and model so popular?
Why The CB750 Is A Good Chopper Project:
The Honda CB750 is a good chopper or bobber project for any builder, whether you're doing from home or in a shop because you can find a complete bike for very little money compared to a Harley or even a Triumph.
You can chop or bob just about any bike, but the reason a CB750 is a good project bike is because it was a massive hit for many years when it came out in the sixties. It was the first 'super bike', and the engine and frame were excellent. Not to mention the price for a new bike was easily affordable.
As a result they sold tens of thousands of them. In addition, they CB was such a huge success that they still make some parts for it and you can buy the new. This is unusual for an older bike that is out of production.
But just because it's affordable doesn't mean that it's a cheap bike. It's well built. The engine is an inline 4 cylinder (which is not as desirable as a vtwin for a chopper or bobber), but it's the next best thing for many builders. This engine is a workhorse, and it's got a lot of torque and displacement, and it lasts forever if you take care of it. You'll be very happy with this engine.
CB750 Guides on Amazon:
More CB750 Features Builders Like:
This picture is of a stock CB750 before it's chopped or bobbed...
The CB750 has several features that were unique to the bike and desirable for many bikers and bike builders. Two of these features was the the front disc brakes and the transverse straight 4 overhead camshaft engine, as described above...
The top speed was 120 mph (190km/h), and it was a good ride. For a bike in this time it had smart and helpful instrumentation and great brake performance that was 'fade-free'.
There were a few other characteristics that were appealing to the choppers as well, including the electric starter, the duel mirrors, the kill switch and the ease of valve maintenance.
When it comes to chopping a CB750, or any bike for that matter, there's a few basics that bike builders begin with. But the smaller finer custom work is up to the builder because you can be a simple as you want in terms of chopping and bobbing, or you can get really sophisticated and create a show bike.
But when you think of chopping or bobbing a bike, you will begin with the frame and front end. If you want a chopper you are going to simply extend the forks for that chopper look, or you will both extend the forks and stretch out the frame for a really hard core old school chopper look.
If you want a bobber, you usually will not stretch the frame or extend the forks (but some builders do for different types of looks). All you will do is strip it down by taking of any parts that are not totally necessary, take the front fender off, and cut the back fender (otherwise known as 'bobbing').
Those are the grass roots basics of taking a CB750 and chopping it or bobbing it.
The Front End:
The customized CB750 pictured here is a home built bike with hydraulic forks.
When you work with the front end of a bile you need to take into consideration the rake & trail. It is crucial to the safety and performance of you bike.
In addition you need to take into consideration the shape and size of the handlebars, and the wheel size. All of these things will affect your ride and the comfort of the ride as well as the way it looks.
You will want to look at various front ends to find one you want as this piece makes all the difference in how your chopper looks. You can choose among different types of front ends such as the a hydraulic, girder, or springer front end. My personal preference is a springer front end for both a chopper or bobber.
How your bike rides is affected by your choice of front end type.
The next factor to look at are the wheels. The front end and the wheels are the most expensive parts in your chopper project, besides the engine of course (but your engine is free if you bought a good old cb750, right?)
So know your budget before you tackle these two pieces. Just add a fatter tire to the rear end and the front end is up to you! It is the front wheels and tires that really matter.
You can do just about anything you want as long as it fits your front fork extensions and is street legal. The larger you make the diameter of the front wheels the better the chopper is going to track. However if you make it too big you sacrifice the chopper looks. Trial and error is good here as long as you don't spend money on wheels and tires you can't get back.
Next look at the hubs, struts, headlights, cables molding and paint. These are all areas in which you can personalize the look and feel of your Honda cd750 chopper.
As you know by now, you can customize, chop, and bob any CB750 into a really nice ride. The bike pictured here is an old shchool hot rod style bobber. The main features that make this a bobber are the bobbed rear fender, the stripped down and dirty look, and the front end has been slightly stretched, which is common when bobbing a motorcycle.
But notice the wheels. The front and rear tires are very similar in size. This is a definitive bobber look. Choppers have a totally different look when it comes to wheels. The traditional old school chopper look is to have a small front wheel, and a larger or 'fat' rear wheel.
In addition, this builder put 'drag bars' on his bike which really give it a hot rod look. But many builders prefer ape hangers. See the picture below for a bobber with ape hanger handle bars and you'll know what I mean...
Ape Hanger Handlbars On A Bobber
These bikes were customized and chopped by home builders. See what these guys accomplished and maybe it will inspire you to do the same...