Honda CB550 - OZ by Ripple Rock Racers

Longtime friend of the shop Kemp Archibald of Ripple Rock Racers built the bike that was in our window in November. It has a lot of nice features and his classic exhausts he's been designing for the Honda CB's. Below are his words describing the build!

From Kemp: “OZ” build plan was to design a Brat styled Café Racer to combine the best of both cultures, the daily usability and brutal comfort of a minimalist Bobber with the modified performance aspects of a true Café Racer. OZ was to be versatile, something a guy and his girl could take to clubs for a Saturday night on the town or grab a couple of towels and head for the beach on a hot summer afternoon. We needed to make it comfortable yet stylish, simple and clean but with a performance heart.

The bike was completely striped and rebuilt from the ground up. The frame was de-tabbed, shortened at the back, smoothed, and mods were made to accommodate the electrics in a small tray. These changes allowed us to achieve a classic “see through” style. A little kick up hoop was added to tie in the rear frame rails and a small headlight mount was added to the bottom triple. I added a CB650 swingarm and back wheel to get a 2 inch longer wheelbase and to laydown the shocks for performance. The longer swingarm also allowed us to get the rear wheel hung out just a bit. We also a CB650 17” rear wheel and massive brake hub. The much wider wheel fits a 140 section tire for that rugged meaty stance. We fitted the bike with Avon Roadriders for excellent cornering grip. The front end was treated to progressive springs, our billet aluminum fork caps and cartridge emulators for superior road handling over stock. We also drilled the front disc for perfect symmetrical balance and better wet weather performance and added racing shocks. We changed to adjustable levers with a big master cylinder for strong, two fingered braking. We also built a billet aluminum top triple with our custom mini gauge mount and mini gauge speedo and tach. We used motogadget M unit, custom wiring, a 5 inch chromed LED and all new electrics. We added Renthal low rise bars for long distance comfort.

I custom designed a stainless steel 4-2- 2 exhaust system with Hindle. We fitted the system with 12” shorty reverse cone slash cut megaphones, also our design. This motorcycle now has a beautiful wail at peak revs!

Style was really important. We chose a distressed brown leather seat covering with an inlaid diamond pattern to augment the gloss Black and Black Pearl paint colors used on the gas tank. The tank was sculpted and hand formed using a late model CB550 base tank unit. The engine received a full rebuild and was painted with high temperature Black Pearl while the frame and wheels were powdercoated gloss Black both complement and contrast with each other. Late night prowling, apex clipping or sauntering along down a country lane, OZ was meant to be built for the dreamer in all of us, a bit of an Alice in Wonderland fantasy with a nasty snarl!
- Kemp Archibald