1966 Honda CB 450

This Honda CB 450 is one motorcycle among 4 that came to Nepal in 1966 for escorting government officials. it was later sold to the public. one of my friends started working on this bike but couldn’t finish it. This bike “Junie” is dedicated to him.

I don’t consider myself a bike builder or a mechanic, but building my own bike makes me happier than anything in this world. In Nepal it’s still not that easy to ride a custom built motorcycle because it’s illegal to modify motorcycles. most of the old bikes don’t have their taxes paid, which makes it hard to ride daily through all the traffic police check points.

Sometimes we have to do what makes us happy. I started work on this Honda CB 450 thinking I’d make it as stock as possible and try to make it my every day bike. 

I started the engine re-building process thinking since its a Japanese bike, I probably won’t have to do much work. I ended up restoring almost everything because the engine had water inside for a few years and rusted most of the parts. I ordered most of the parts from eBay and Dime City. While i was waiting on parts to arrive in Kathmandu, I decided this bike is not going to be an every day bike here in Kathmandu. 

I cut the rear frame, made a loop and welded it. I painted the frame to dark grey. The fork pipe came from a SR 400 and fit into the CB 450 bottom fork to complete the front suspension. I lowered it 3 inches. The rear shocks came from Dime City. I installed Ducati Monster 696 handle bars, my favorite, with Biltwell grips and levers and perch from Dime City. The headlight came from a local car spare parts shop here in Kathmandu. I used an old VW ignition switch as an ignition key making the handle bar clean without a switch. The brake light came from K-speed. I installed a rear set and made a bracket to fit in to CB 450.

The seat is wood that was used as a holy chair during all kinds of religious ceremonies in Nepal. I sourced Canadian maple wood which is used to make skate boards, glued it together, sanded it off and weather proofed the wood to form the seat and battery box. 

The tank is hand painted with different colors and sanded down. The tank and the Honda logo feature hand painted typography by a local Kathmandu artist, Ujala Shrestha. The tires are Firestone ANS military and the rims are fitted with original CB 450 hubs. 

The exhaust is handmade to fit in the original header pipes. The carburetors are Mikuni race. The bike runs so sweet. It runs exactly as planned, but because of its looks and kathmandu’s crazy laws, it’s almost impossible to ride around town. 

Photography by Lena Nikitina.