“Ruby Red” CB750 Cafe Racer by Kott Motorcycles
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Last week I featured a custom CB750 by Gary Nelson. Had a number of people ask for more info or a build thread so I emailed Gary and asked him for more info. Here is Gary’s response…
I grew up in Southern California. Started riding dirt bikes at about 8 years old. All my early bikes came from cast out scrap others gave up on. I always wanted a new bike like everyone else was riding but was never able to get the funds together. Came close when I turned 16 and the white Yamaha dual sport 125 was hitting the dealers, but got turned down for the loan. Finally in 1974 I got approved for a loan of $969.00 to buy a new ‘74 Honda Elsinore. Unfortunately the job I had at that time required me to work weekends (actually 7 days a week) On Wednesday nights in Corona Ca, they would run flattrack and TT races. I changed the tires on my Elsinore and went there every Wed, brought home many trophies, I still have a lot of them.
Later in ‘74 I convinced my boss to let me have the weekend off. I got my Elsinore to Barstow Ca. and raced in the last official Barstow to Vegas desert race. I will always say, I was leading 30 miles to go when my bike broke a piston (all I really know is I could not see any bikes ahead) that turned out to be my final race. The folks that helped me do the race by letting me and my bike ride in the back of their truck went on home when I did not show up at the finish. So just like in the movie, On Any Sunday, I was stranded in the desert. I did not burn my bike up but I did spend the night on the ground. When I finally got some help and a lift home, my boss stopped giving me weekends off. He did however, loan me his Kawasaki H1 to ride to work and home only. I called that bike “my Rocket” and usually went home the long way.
I always drooled over the SOHC 750’s but was never able to actually own one or even ride one. Career and family put my riding on hold for about 35 years. When EBay started, I began buying new old Stock and used Elsinore parts and now I have an almost complete, new, 1974 CR 125M Elsinore and a “Barn fresh” one as well.
Over a year ago I bought a 1976 SOHC 750, I was so happy to finally own one but I was so disappointed in how terrible it ran and how difficult it was to tune. I went to work to fix everything and ended up spending over a year getting it the way I wanted it.
I did not know anything about build threads or forums when I was building this bike, I just went out in my garage after dinner in the evenings and stared at my Elsinore’s and what was left of the SOHC 750 (usually had a beer can in one hand). In the process, I found a H1 gas tank and started getting a plan together. I took pictures with my cell phone along the way and I’ll ask my kid to put them on a website he is starting. GaryNelsonRacing.com.
I own lots of bikes now, too many to list, most I customized in one way or another. Where I live now in North Carolina I can be on the Blue Ridge Parkway in an hour or the Tail of the Dragon in 2 hours. I enjoy riding those roads and going to local bike nights at Quaker Steak and Lube (about 2 miles away) I have put over 30,000 miles on my ZX14 and really enjoy it but riding in the dirt is my passion, always will be. Currently, I am building a GL1100 making it into a Bultaco Astro theme. AstroWing. Those pictures are on the NGW club forum under “cut, weld, grind, ride, repeat”
Have lots of bikes, need one more.
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My three favorite bikes of all time. ‘74 Honda Elsinore, SOHC CB 750 and H1 Kawasaki. I hope you see a little of each in my ‘76 CR 750 Nelsonore.
Thanks, Gary Nelson
I do Gary, but I wonder if everyone else does?
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“Notlob” recently won February Bike of the Month on the Do The Ton Forum. Build thread here
Notlob is happy to use the Cafe Racer Dreams CB750 (below) as a template.
He says “Hopefully CRD wont be offended by my blattent plaggerising and consider that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.” (sic)
What do you reckon, CRD would be flattered surely?
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I love Cafe Racers with fairings.
Found this great CB750 on Ruleshaker Facebook page. I’m guessing it’s one of their builds.
This one goes in the inspiration folder…
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Ratty Honda CB750 Street Tracker by Doinker
More pics on 8negro
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Honda CB750 Cafe Racer with an amazing amount of fabrication gone into it. To really appreciate this build go to the builders website.
Thanks for the tip Inazuma Cafe
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