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Honda CB750F “Freddie Spencer” Replica

In 1981,  “Fast Freddie” Spencer competed in the AMA Superbike Championship series for Honda aboard a modified Honda CB750F Super Sport finishing in 2nd place in the Championship behind Eddie Lawson on his Kawasaki. This article describes one man’s dream of building a replica of this bike.

Freddie Spencer on his Honda CB750F Super Sport at Daytona 1982

Freddie Spencer on his Honda CB750F Super Sport at Daytona 1982

This clip is from Daytona 1982 (Freddie, number 19, is approaching old turn number 5 from 1 minute 59 seconds into this recording):

Freddie’s 1982 bike currently resides in Honda’s Collection Hall in Japan.

Freddie Spencer's Honda CB750F Super Sport - 1982 AMA Superbike

Freddie Spencer’s Honda CB750F Super Sport – 1982 AMA Superbike

Why build a Honda CB750F Super Sport “Freddie Spencer” replica?

Steve Smith of South Devon Classics was always a huge fan of the AMA Superbike Championships and this, along with his experience racing a “sit up and beg” Suzuki GS1000 at Club level in the early ’80s, was his inspiration when he decided to build a replica of one of those mighty machines.

From humble beginnings

Having hatched his plan, Steve set about buying a Honda CB750F Super Sport on which to base his replica. Steve found his donor bike, a 1982 model in pretty poor condition, and bought it but, not having the time to start the project immediately, he stored it until he could do the job justice.

Donor bike partially stripped down

Donor bike partially stripped down

As you might expect, Steve began by stripping the bike down to it’s component parts keeping only the frame, engine, seat, tank and side panels. Everything else was sold in order to raise funds for the project.

Steve’s original plan was to build a replica as near to original specification as possible. However, since the original bikes were “specials” built by renowned tuner Mike Velasco in 1980-82 to compete in the AMA Superbike Championship series and original Honda race parts are as rare as hen’s teeth, a rethink was required. After a great deal of research and head-scratching, Steve came up with a revised plan that would achieve the look albeit using some more modern components where dictated by necessity.

Engine & electrics

Steve completely stripped and rebuilt the engine and added a headstock-mounted oil-cooler, Dynatec programmable ignition system, period Mikuni 33mm Smoothbore carburettors and a Vance & Hines exhaust system which he plans to modify to replicate the original megaphone design. The bike has a minimal wiring loom which Steve made himself. The engine was painted in two-pack satin black.

The engine, finished in satin black and equipped with Mikuni 33mm Smoothbores

The engine, finished in satin black and equipped with Mikuni 33mm Smoothbores

Chassis, suspension & bodywork

Steve’s research identified that the frame should be modified with extra bracing and gussets behind the engine mounts.

Frame modifications

Frame modifications

The wheels, brakes and box-section swing-arm are from a 1998 Honda Fireblade RR-W, the swing-arm having undergone some serious surgery to convert it to a twin-shock design.

Rear swingarm from Honda Fireblade modified for twin shocks

Rear swingarm from Honda Fireblade modified for twin shocks

The front suspension (forks and yokes) were donated by a 1997 Yamaha YZF1000R Thunderace and were coupled with the original Honda CB750F stem. Steve had to fashion bespoke handlebar clamps as the YZF top yoke has no handlebar provision.

Bespoke handlebar clamps

Bespoke handlebar clamps

The brake and gear levers were CNC-milled by a mate but Steve machined the toe-pegs, footrests, gear and brake linkages, and spacers for the wheels and swing-arm himself.

Foot rest and brake pedal assembly

Foot rest and brake pedal assembly

Foot rest and gear lever assembly

Foot rest and gear lever assembly

During the build, Steve was working as a college lecturer and all of the painting, including the engine, was done by one of Steve’s students for use in their course portfolio (a body of work used to assess their ability).

The instruments are original Honda CB750F but the speedometer has been replaced by an oil pressure gauge (see picture below).

Special tools

For the specialist tasks undertaken during this project, Steve made good use of a Clark model maker’s lathe and a MIG welder.

Recognition

Steve takes the bike to classic events all year round and at Donington Park in August 2015 he was lucky enough to meet Freddie Spencer who autographed the bike’s tank for him.

Freddie Spencer signed the tank at Donington Park

Freddie Spencer signed the tank at Donington Park

Honda CB750F Freddie Spencer Replica

Close up of tank and handlebars

Close up of tank

What are you waiting for?

If you would like to see the fruits of your labours on this site, submit your details and we’ll be in touch.

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