Kevin Taveras’ 1974 Honda CB550
Kevin Taveras knew his friend was never going to finish the basket case project he hadn’t even started, so he told him to hit him up when he was tired of tripping over the boxes and frames woefully aging in the garage. A scant year later, Taveras traded three greenbacks for the pile of potential and loaded up the engine, frames (one was a roller), the many boxes of parts, and headed for his home turf. Two frames? Yep, one titled and one for fun.
Taveras, 29, is a machine operator at a battery factory in Winston-Salem, NC. His love of bikes started as a kid, when his father used to take him for rides. His mom didn’t like the idea of him riding on his own, so he bought his first sport bike outside of her purview; a risky move indeed. Eight years later and still riding, he’s owned other café racers, but the CB550 was his first ground up build.
Taveras says “Once I started working on it, my good friend Ben at Racing Smith helped me with the loop and monoshock setup since he has more knowledge about the CBs”. “I relied on him to help me through the headaches. Once the loop was done the bike came back to my garage where I sourced parts and worked on the nastiest carbs I have ever dealt with.”
Kevin wanted his bike to be different from the glut of CBs already on the road. That’s why he went with mono-shock rear suspension and a Kawasaki Ninja 500R front end. He relocated the oil filter and used a custom dented CB750 fuel tank cloaked in fabulous BMW Laguna Seca blue.
“I first started by shaving all the unnecessary tabs off the frame, cutting the whole back part of it to make the loop that would accommodate a Dime City Cycles brat seat, then built the mono-shock setup to work with a Yamaha R6 shock. After that it was time to get the front end rebuilt with new seals and heavier oil to dampen it a little bit better. I reverse mounted the front wheel to be able to use the Ninja 500 front brake instead of the little CB pancake. After some grinding and making a spacer it worked like a charm.”
Next, he fitted a pair of vortex 37mm clip-on’s, new throttle sleeve, cables and grips from DCC. Followed by a badly needed carb rebuild, and then got the carbs properly jetted and ready to return to duty.
Matthew at Spark Moto hooked him up with a custom wiring harness, Dyna S electronic ignition, Carpy’s exhaust and LED headlight and tail light. DCC provided the chain and sprockets and the levers came from that auction site. All wiring and electronics are quite fitted and are hidden under the seat.
“After that came the first start and I was a happy guy when this thing fired up the first time!” Good work Kevin, and congratulation on your beautiful blue CB being voted bike of the month.
DCC parts Used
- Dime City brat seat
- Carbs rebuild kit
- Chain and sprockets
- Control cables
- Throttle sleeve
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(via Dime City Cycles)