Tuscany, Italy-based father and son duo, Alberto and Luca Sereni recently converted a 1983 Honda CBX 550 into a rather tasteful, spunky cafe racer.
Honda’s old air-cooled inline-four motorcycles have always proved to be excellent donors for a wide variety of modifications. One of them found itself on the work floor of Firenze Motorcycles based out of Florence, the “Cradle of the Renaissance”. The location of Firenze Motorcycles is rather symbolic, as the shop churns out pretty radical custom motorbikes. A quick gaze at the garage’s site offers up images of tastefully redone Harley-Davidson bikes, but Alberto and his son Luca Sereni refuse to be typecast to one particular brand.
The 1983 Honda CBX 550 F2 that the duo recently refurbished and modified stands to prove Firenze Motorcycles’ versatility and artistic vision. The choice of bike is not by accident. Alberto Sereni’s passion for motorcycles began with the introduction to a Lambretta in the seventies, followed by a Honda CB 450 Twin. For the 1983 CBX 550, Luca and his father laid out several creative ideas that took the duo about six months to bring to life.
The most striking feature of the Honda is the bulbous fairing that emphasises the front and sets the tone for a classic racer motorcycle. Indeed, the bike gets clip-ons, a straight seat, and a racing cowl out back in line with its role. Luca decided to keep the four-into-two exhaust setup for the “Toto Green”, as the father-son duo like to call the bike. The seat cowl is handmade, and fits snugly over the frame. An LED taillamp neatly integrated into the cowl finishes off the rear.
The seat is upholstered in genuine vintage leather made by Florence’s “BF Tappezzerie”, and Firenze Motorcycles used original black rubber grips on the clip-on bars. The garage fitted the CBX F2 with a set of Motogadget m-Blaze Pin turn signals, arguably the smallest certified set of indicators in the market today. Finally, the CBX gets a monoshock from the Hornet 900 for a better suspension out back. The spoked rims are wrapped in Metzeler Classic Lazertec tyres, unarguably a fine choice of rubber.
As with any custom motorcycle, the execution of the paint scheme is a critical aspect of the entire modification process. One can use any color combination he wants on his motorcycle, but each bike gels really well with a specific set of colors. The livery of the Firenze CBX F2 is inspired from the racing colors of the Lotus 43 race car designed by Colin Chapman for the 1966 Grand Prix. To that end, the engine and exhausts are painted black and silver respectively. The body gets a rich forest green treatment, with the ‘Honda’ and ‘CBX’ decals finished in gold and red. Additionally, the subtle twin pinstriping that traces the contours of the fairing and the other body panels adds a striking contrast to the green shade. The yellow-tinted headlamp lens makes the bike uniquely stand out among a sea of bland modern motorcycles.
As a whole, the 1983 Honda CBX 550 F2 ‘Toto Green’ looks handsome, proportionate, and distinctly appealing thanks to its rich paint scheme, attention to detail, and the overall taut stance that Firenze Motorcycles got right. A job well done, we would say!