1971 Honda CB 500
The Building of Speed that began in the 1950-‘60s found mass appeal in the 1970s. Accessible, affordable, reliable bikes from Japan became the tool of ’round-town racers.
The inline four cylinder engine, pioneered by Honda in the 1969 CB750, was quickly expanded to include a half-dozen displacements. It became the engine design of choice for all the Japanese manufacturers, and remains as such today.
Built by Bridge City Cycles, the CB500 here draws its inspiration from the performance of its predecessors. And adds a bit of “primary art” paint. A leaky carburetor led to a complete rebuild with a “nickelette” frame, hot camshaft, and Hagon suspension along the way. The bike has been with owner Anthony-Michel Mautemps from the very beginning. Mautemps, a Newsweek photographer turned long-haul trucker turned motorcycle mechanic, documents portions of the build in his photographic series: “As it is; life as a vintage motorcycle.”