Clockwork Motorcycles: The “Twenty2” CB 750
The Canadian outfit, Clockwork Motorcycles, have unveiled their latest CB 750, a dark horse, for sure. It’s sleek, it’s minimalist, it’s aggressive and of course, it’s black: exactly what the client ordered. When Samuel Guertin builds a motorcycle, he does it properly and exactly to the client’s specification.
Originally a helicopter engineer by trade, Samuel Guertin then turned his hand to bike building and while his portfolio only comprises of a handful of bikes at the moment, they’re all beautiful. This 1978 CB 750 is no exception in terms of engineering quality and minimalist stylings – my only problem is the flat black finish but it’s what the customer ordered and I’ll talk more about that later on; paintwork was the least of this mechanics worries when the donor CB arrived.
When it rolled into the garage, it was a complete non-runner, featuring more than a few hallmarks of dubious mechanics including a concrete screw holding the valve cover in place, lesser artisans would’ve turned their backs on the project but Guertin is a professional in every sense of the word and began re-building the abused CB from the ground up. After outsourcing a few bits to J-Precision, Guertin upgraded the engine to 836cc with a Wiseco big-bore kit, added SuperFlow valves, a performance camshaft and Beehive racing springs; he also gave the engine a treat with CR29 carbs and K&N filters. The CB was also rewired to house a Motogadget M-Unit control box and an electric start too.
Next, Guertin looked at the shape of the CB 750 and re-evaluated the chunky rear end adding a sleeker tailpiece and lopping off all of the unnecessaries. At the front, he swapped out the stock forks for a set of Suzuki GSX-R1000, using a custom fabricated triple tree and front hub from Cognito Moto; the rear shocks also got an upgrade with Hagon springs.
18” spoked wheels sit at the front and back and as you can see, the front wheel is also blessed with a dual disc braking system, courtesy of the Suzuki. Other modifications include the sexy hand stitched seat from Ginger (the master!) at New Church Moto with matching leather grips, kick starter and gear lever, a minimalist instrument cluster (seamlessly engineered into the triple tree) and LED lighting. Like many customs, it also features the ‘love it or hate it’ keyless ignition for all those gadget fan boys.
As for the finish, it’s all in black. The client wanted black and he got black. Sure, flat black has its merits but more often than not it seems like the last refuge of the unimaginative. Luckily, Clockwork Motorcycles were only following instructions and the execution is nicely done but this CB 750 could look so much better with something else covering it instead. At the end of the day, paint is paint – the important thing to look at in these pictures is the high standard of restoration and engineering that have gone into completing this mean looking machine. A little black paint isn’t enough to put me off admiring it.