Powder Monkees - Honda CB750

A few months back Kayla and I went to Milwaukee for the Mama Tried Motorcycle Show and met brothers Mike and Peter the night before the show. Mike and Peter make up Powder Monkees; a motorcycle and powder coat shop in Chicago. I've been following them on Instagram (@powdermonkees) since and have been really stoked on their recently completed CB750 build, Wabi Sabi. Peter was kind enough to send me some more information and pictures of the bike to share. 

So the story behind this bike is that we found it completely by accident. We were working on some other bikes when a guy who'd driven by and seen us just walked up the driveway and said, "Hey, you guys want another one?" We went to check it out and it was in pretty bad shape. Largely stored outside, it was covered in rust and completely stock, save for a few DIY repairs that actually did more damage than good to the bike. The thing that crossed my eye the most was the fact that the stock exhaust was completely intact (those are usually the first to rust out or be replaced), and the tank and side cover were dent free and still had the original badging.

But it started and ran ok and the price was right so we took it home. Right off the bat, we learned that it was only running on 3 cylinders, which was odd, because the compression on the other 3 was REALLY good. After a day of valve adjustments and head cleaning, we tried again and the 4th cylinder was firing like a pro. The motor turned out to be in exceptional shape with near-perfect compression, so it must have been kept up well because it needed almost no internal work except for some gaskets, seals, cleaning, adjustments, timing, cam tensioning, and new tappet covers and intake manifolds. After a few shakedown rides, we tore into the thing full speed.

It took no time to reduce it to just a bare frame, which was stripped, de-tabbed, and refinished in gloss black. The forks were rebuilt with fresh seals and internally lowered 2" then coated gloss black. The motor was stripped of all it's old finishes (there were a few), primed, and painted with a low-gloss black engine enamel, then resealed with a whole set of stainless steel allen-head bolts. The tank and side covers were stripped and painted matte black. The exhaust, which we decided to keep thanks to it's good condition and well-worn baffle-free sound, were coated in a matte black flame-proof enamel. The wheels were tested and trued and coated in semi-gloss black. The entire electrical system, down to the lights and handlebar controls is custom wired and waterproofed using whatever original components could be salvaged, which wasn't many. Since we were keeping and refinishing some original parts, we wanted to see what could be accomplished with the stock hinged seat pan. A local upholsterer crafted the seat onto the original pan using an ostrich leather that's UV-resistant/weatherproof.

Overall, the bike was designed to be a pretty even mix of vintage style with modern innovation. I wanted to please both the hardcore "stock-look" crowd as well as the rapidly growing (exploding) vintage cafe crowd. We're calling it the Wabi-Sabi, which is named after the japanese design aesthetic of paring things down to only essentials and celebrating the way things age gracefully (http://nobleharbor.com/tea/chado/WhatIsWabi-Sabi.htm) (http://www.amazon.com/Wabi-Sabi-Artists-Designers-Poets-Philosophers/dp/0981484603).

With it's monochromatic style and range of various coatings, this motorcycle is only going to get more beautiful with age as it patinas with it's new owner.

Powder Monkees

Powder Monkees

CB 750

Honda CB750

Powder Monkees

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