Halwade's '72 Honda CB450


This little street tracker I built with parts and help from friends turned a couple heads when I took it on its maiden voyage at the Biltwell Bash in the spring of 2009. That glory stomp was short-lived, however, as fuel and electrical woes have plagued my green machine since day one. After commissioning Tony Dunn at Classic Cycles in Orange, CA, to install an electronic ignition and tune the twin Mikuni carbs, my '72 CB450 lived to breathe another day.

After a couple thrilling assaults on mountain roads in SoCal, my CB's original battery proved woefully underpowered for its new electronic ignition. By that time, however, another project had landed in my lap, so I parked the finnicky Honda. That was in the fall of 2009. Since then, editors at several chopper rags have flattered me by asking for photos and backstory on my hand-built dust collector. Even I have principles, however, so I told them the Street Tracker wasn't worthy of a feature until I could find the day to build a new, larger battery tray and install a fresh juice box. Well, as anyone who's followed the never-ending saga of my SpartanKiller project can tell you, there are many who believed that day would never come.



This fall trumpets in the two-year mark on my SpartanKiller project, and the first anniversary of the Street Tracker's last ride. To celebrate my complete worthlessness, I did what any shiftless grease monkey might do: I bought a running Hinckley Triumph chopper from Wayne at Acme. I don't deserve and can scarcely afford such a sweet British custom, but I've loved modern Triumphs since Billdozer rode his Bonneville the long way through Mexico on EDR III in 2008. When Bill sold his Bonne to Kyle at Lowbrow, I secretly promised myself to get another Triumph in our collective stable.

Last month during yet another speedbump on the SpartanKiller's lengthy journey, I finally made the time to build a larger battery box for my CB450. The bigger battery is more than sufficient to give my dominutive but high-strung twin some spark, but of course the floats on the Mikunis are so gummed up the bike still didn't run. After fussing with the fuel system a bit, my Street Tracker finally did sputter to life the week before Halloween. Not with enough gumption to haul my lazy ass across the parking lot, mind you, but enough to convince me my little Honda was finally ready for its 15 minutes of fame.

Of course, there's still plenty of work to be done. However, given the state of my other dumb motorcycles, this is the bike I vow to finish before the David Mann Chopper Fest in Ventura next December.

Finally, I can officially thank all the friends who helped me get my Street Tracker on two wheels. Rob Warren is an old buddy who works with Kim Boyle at BCM, and it was he who donated the original basket case. Kutty Noteboom did the dirty work on the CB750 swingarm I grafted to the frame. Alex Cordone was the mastermind behind the complex original wiring. Thanks to Uncle Bitchin' for the fiberglass work and '70s CR250 Elsinore paint. And last but not least, thanks to Duane Ballard for crafting the Evel Knievel-inspired snap-on seat.


Frame: 1972 Honda CB450, original subframe chopped and narrowed to fit GP Glassworks pillion; miscellaneous other tweaks and mods to accommodate various custom crap (fuel tank mount, under-seat diode and electrical tray mounting tabs, etc.) The mid-'70s CB750 swingarm was narrowed 1.5" perpendicular to the pivot to fit between the swingarm mounts on the CB450 frame

Engine: 1972 race-prepped CB450 twin; electric starter removed and case blanked at mounting point; crazy fire-breathing cam and "cross-cut" tranny gears of unknown origin; full motor and transmission assembled from best scraps and parts available by Dennis Trudelle of Hemet, CA

Fork: '99 H-D Sportster; shortened 3.5", CB450 steer tube lengthened and grafted to the bored, trimmed and polished lower tree

Front wheel: 40-spoke 19" x 3.25" Sun shoulderless alloy rim, black powdercoated; laced to H-D Narrowglide hub with stainless-steel Buchannan's spokes. The front hub disk flange and caliper mounts on right fork slider were each shaved 2mm to provide 4mm total additional clearance between the fork leg and the aftermarket brake rotor. This was necessary because I mistakenly built the front wheel with a Narrowglide—not a Sportster—front hub. Without the shaving described, the brake rotor would have rubbed the fork leg

Rear wheel: 36-spoke 18" x 3.5" Sun shoulderless alloy rim; black powdercoated 1975 Honda CR250 Elsinore disk brake hub with drilled and Scotchbrited backing plate

Tires: Dunlop DOT-approved dirt track knobbies; 110/90-19 front/130/90-18 rear

Carbs: Twin Mikuni round slide carbs, 24mm (or are they 26mm? I can never remember) with cheesy Uni Foam filters

Bodywork: Generic dirt track tank seat/fender pillion combo from GP Glassworks of Montana (or is it Idaho? It's been so long I don't remember)

Handlebars and controls: 7/8" chrome-plated steel generic dirt track bars; Universal MX billet alloy clutch lever; front brake master cylinder off a Banshee ATV; minibike headlight/kill switch button

Foot controls: eBay dirt bike pegs grafted onto stock CB450 brackets; stock CB450 brake lever modified/customized to actuate the cable-driven rear CR250 drum hub

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Commented on 11-11-2011 At 05:55 am

handsome machine - albeit green. you get what you paint for.

another color may chase those gremlins. i kid.

with love,

Commented on 11-11-2011 At 08:30 am

It's Ailve... IT"S ALIVE!!!

Commented on 11-11-2011 At 08:42 am

That bike came out awesome. Looks fun to ride... Clean out those carbs! It takes 10 minutes!

Commented on 11-11-2011 At 09:35 am

you gotta admit, that's a good lookin scoot..

Commented on 11-11-2011 At 11:16 am

Hope its ready next February so I can take it for a spin, lets jump it on the Elsinore MX track! I will bring my elbow pads hahaha.
Looks good Mcgoo, do some cleaning before taking pictures next time....

Commented on 11-11-2011 At 12:45 pm

I remember the build thread over at "the place that shall remain nameless." I am glad things are looking up on this bike, it was one of my favorite builds. Classy and attainable.

Commented on 11-11-2011 At 03:32 pm

Sweet ride!

Commented on 11-12-2011 At 09:42 pm

I remember seeing a few photos somewhere, was it I think that's how I ended up knowing about this site before it went public. I always wondered what happened to that sweet bike. I've got a Honda Ascot I rode for years sitting out back. Makes me want to clean out the carbs and dump a battery in it!

Commented on 11-13-2011 At 03:18 pm

made in japan... but fixed and made to look good in the states!

stoked to see a jap twin on the "cover"! thanks!

Commented on 11-13-2011 At 07:55 pm

Very nice!

Commented on 11-14-2011 At 06:17 pm

very kool for a jap!!

Commented on 11-16-2011 At 11:41 am

Tough looking bike.

Commented on 11-22-2011 At 08:56 am

Very nice, now I really wish we wouldn't have sold the CMX450.

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