Self-Made: Peter Rowland’s Honda CB450 avenue tracker


Honda CB450 street tracker by Peter Rowland
Most individuals stare at their telephones once they’re bored—or activate the TV and stare at their telephones whereas their favourite present performs within the background. Fortunate for us, Peter Rowland takes a distinct strategy to killing time. Every time he will get bored, he simply goes out to his shed and fires up the lathe.

In truth, judging by this 1971 Honda CB450 turned avenue tracker, fabrication is greater than only a wet day pastime of Peter’s. We’re satisfied it’s the solely factor he does when he isn’t consuming or sleeping, as a result of we’ve misplaced monitor of the sheer variety of elements he created from scratch for this construct.

Honda CB450 street tracker by Peter Rowland
For those who’re acquainted with Peter’s earlier work (like this Yamaha RD350 grime tracker), you’ll know that the person loves a problem. His tasks typically begin with donor bikes within the roughest states of neglect. Consider it or not, the shiny purple Honda you see right here began out as a pair of crusty junkyard specials; one which was donated totally free, and one which price simply $210.

The project was easy. Peter’s brother, John (an ex-dirt tracker), requested him for a traditional flat tracker that he may tackle the road. His best construct solely had two necessities: passenger pegs, and a seat lengthy sufficient to take his girlfriend out on rides.

Honda CB450 street tracker by Peter Rowland
Between his two donor CB450s, Rowland had a salvageable motor and a stable body, however not a lot else price saving. The place most builders would see a misplaced trigger, Rowland noticed a chief alternative to kill time within the storage.

You’ll discover a couple of of the standard scratch-built suspects on this candy little avenue tracker. The complete exhaust system is handmade, as is the battery field and the mounts for the headlight and speedometer. However among the issues Rowland selected to construct from scratch are wholly sudden.

Honda CB450 street tracker by Peter Rowland
A great instance can be the CB450’s hand controls. The matching clutch and brake levers that Peter machined are a pleasant contact, however he didn’t simply make the levers. He additionally made the adjustment {hardware} from scratch, proper right down to the knurling on the barrel adjusters.

How concerning the CB’s new swingarm? As a result of Peter sharpened up the body’s steering head to a tidy 25 levels, he needed to fabricate an extended swingarm to stretch out the bike’s wheelbase. Constructing a square-section swingarm from scratch is not any imply feat, however Peter additionally fabricated all his personal {hardware} for the rear wheel adjusters, and the rear axle.

Honda CB450 street tracker by Peter Rowland
We’d even be remiss if we didn’t spotlight our private favourite handmade half from the construct—the CB450’s factors cowl. By copying the OEM cowl’s dimensions into an AutoCAD system, Peter was capable of drum up a recent copy, with a twist. The outer cowl on his model’s been changed by a transparent Perspex disk—so you may watch the ignition do its “arcin’ and sparkin’,” as Peter would say.

In every single place you look, from the aluminum triple bushes to the foot controls, you’ll discover a custom-made half. So the extra apparent query is whether or not there’s something Peter didn’t construct himself. There may be—however nothing’s been fitted with out no less than some fettling.

Honda CB450 street tracker by Peter Rowland
Take the entrance forks, which got here from a first-gen Yamaha R6 donor. Peter realized that they’d been bent in a earlier life, so he machined himself a {custom} jig to straighten them out by hand.

Peter laced the 19” wheels up himself, utilizing Excel-made Yamaha YZ250 hubs, and Solar rims and chrome steel spokes from Buchanan’s. The entrance brake caliper and grasp cylinder are from a Yamaha WR250, however Peter needed to machine a bracket to make them work with the R6 rotor, which in flip wanted to be tailored to match the YZ hub. The Hel Efficiency brake strains are off-the-shelf, no less than.

Honda CB450 street tracker by Peter Rowland
The tank was a donor as nicely (it got here from the unique junk yard CB), but it surely was as tough as the remainder of the bike. Peter in the end ended up chopping it into 4 items, chopping about 40 mm out of the center for a slimmer profile, and hammering out all of the dents himself. He additionally fabricated a brand new tunnel, a threaded tank bung and his personal gasoline cap.

The one main half that didn’t come out of Peter’s workshop was the flat monitor racing-style seat. However the Honda’s body was modified to accommodate it (and de-tabbed elsewhere). Miscellaneous bolt-ons embody new Ikon shocks, the handlebars and grips, and an Acewell speedo.

Honda CB450 street tracker by Peter Rowland
Naturally, Peter rebuilt the engine too. It now runs with outsized high-compression pistons, and upgraded Mikuni carbs hooked up to custom-made consumption manifolds. All of the paintwork, from the tank and tail proper right down to the blacked-out exhaust, was accomplished in-house too.

There’s no denying that Peter’s CB450 is a masterclass in self-sufficient {custom} bike constructing. Anybody prepared to make their very own nuts from scratch deserves our utmost respect—particularly once they’re this spectacular.

Photographs by Andy Baker

Honda CB450 street tracker by Peter Rowland


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