MATT DONALDSON’S HONDA CB450
Six years ago Matt Donaldson imported a knackered 1973 Honda CB450 from the USA because he saw the custom potential of the high-revving, short-stroke engined bike: ‘I parts he fancied from the USA he realised he’d need some expert help and he naturally gravitated to Cli Sealey whose Howard Street Motors thought I can have a go at that, even though I knew it’d be a steep learning curve.’ But aer stripping it down and starting to source the repair shop is next door to where Matt runs his family’s building business in Stroud. Cli cut o the rear subframe, made the seat pan and exhaust system, cut ‘n’ shut the rear fender and generally fabricated what Matt needed. Matt chose 16in Soail Sportster wheels and sourced an original CB450 ‘Black Bomber’ 2LS drum brake from the USA to replace the ’73 version’s single disc, and dropped the forks slightly to improve the handling. But the major undertaking was the tank, a Benjie’s Café Racer item from New Jersey, USA which had to be cut in two to sit neatly over the spine frame and then owed into the seat, itself Morretti beautifully in nearby rendered Newent. by Other details include the chunky Shinko white stripe tyres, the enameled ’bars with their white inset grips and the ancient Ford Model A (that’s a car) rear light. Paintworks in Gloucester executed the understated paintwork. And good it looks too. ‘It’s still a CB450, but with a bit of a twist,’ says Matt. He also commutes on it, just about every day of the week.
‘The major undertaking was the tank which had to be cut in two to sit neatly over the spine frame’