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When we last caught up with the skilled craftsmen at JM Customs in Scotland, led by James Moir, they had just wrapped up an impressive V65 Moto Guzzi scrambler project. Little did they know that the customer who had commissioned that remarkable build was so captivated by their work that he decided to surprise his wife with a smaller, yet equally exceptional creation. Their canvas this time was a 1992 Honda CB450 DX, a stock bike from their inventory. The goal was to craft a stripped-down scrambler with a vintage military-inspired aesthetic, combining contemporary components with period-correct parts, in keeping with JM Customs' signature style.
The transformation began with the engine, a low-mileage powerhouse that underwent a comprehensive service before being disassembled and painted in a sleek matte black finish. The cylinder head's fins received a polished treatment for an added touch of style, and the carbs were carefully vapor blasted, rebuilt, re-jetted, and equipped with oval DNA filters. To enhance the bike's exhaust system, the team in Scotland modified the CB's original headers and replaced the stock muffler with an aftermarket megaphone, which was then wrapped in titanium heat shielding.
To safeguard the potent six-valve engine and the custom exhaust, JM Customs installed a set of unique steel crash bars, elegantly encompassing the headers. Furthermore, a bespoke Swiss-cheesed aluminum skid-plate was added to provide extra protection to the 43hp twin engine. James Moir explained their motivation behind this unique feature, "We haven't seen anyone do that with one of these bikes before, so we really wanted to create something different."
The stock, boxy fuel tank didn't align with the neo-retro, scrambler-style look JM Customs was aiming for. After exploring several options, they settled on a mid-'80s Honda CD125 tank that had seen better days. The tank was reconditioned and sealed, and the team then modified the mounting points and repositioned the petcock to avoid interference with the new pod filters.
Four mounts were machined into the frame just behind the seat to support a square luggage rack made of 1" tubing, which also held the vintage-style fender. A lightweight JMT Lithium-ion battery now resides in a custom box covered with a leather case. Most of the remaining electrical components, managed through an H-Box Module by Elektronic Box, were neatly tucked away in a one-off tray located directly under the seat.
The subframe was shortened just behind the rear shock mounts, and a custom aluminum seat base was installed. It was paired with a comfortable ribbed saddle, bearing the shop's logo laser-etched into the leather. This not only shortened the CB's length but also reportedly lowered its ride height by around four inches.
While the 450's factory forks remained in place, they underwent a thorough refurbishment, now featuring chrome sliders and powder-coated lower sections. Given that the stock rear suspension offered less than four inches of travel, JM Customs opted for a pair of Hagon units, which not only performed excellently but also complemented the bike's vintage aesthetics.
The original triple-disc brake setup received a similar treatment, with a strip-down and black powder-coating. The stock lines were replaced with upgraded HEL Performance components, and a bespoke short fender now closely hugged the front wheel.
The front-end received a square headlight with a painted shell and chrome brackets, perfectly matched by a pair of square chrome mirrors. Old-school grilled orange indicators adorned both the front and rear, while a small round "prism" taillight was positioned above an off-center vertical license plate bracket under the left rear shock.
The rider's quarters were redesigned with low-rise scrambler bars, vintage levers, semi-opaque brown gel grips, and top-notch Motogadget M-Button switchgear on both sides. The cockpit was enhanced with a Daytona Velona speedometer and a warning light bar directly below it. JM Customs also crafted a custom pull choke mounted to a drilled-out stock mount on the yoke that originally housed the CB's instrumentation.
The stock alloy wheels were meticulously powder-coated in gloss black, with the outer edges of the arms buffed to create a star pattern mirroring the design on the tank. The rims received a full overhaul, including the addition of new bearings and seals, and were then fitted with Heidenau K60 Scout tires.
This may not be the most massive or powerful scrambler out there, but that was never the objective of this project. As James Moir aptly puts it, "This bike is just a cool wee bike! It's a crazy transformation from the stock donor bike we started out with, and being able to take things we learn from our clients' heritage and family history and incorporate them into one of our motorcycles is just cool as hell."
#Moto #Bike #Custom #CB450 #Honda