“You dream it, we build it!” a strong slogan from Assen Zahariev’s garage in Sofia, Bulgaria. However, a bike this stunning out of a stock 80° longitudinal V-Twin we could not have dreamt up ourselves. Assen saw a golden opportunity in this rare motorcycle and let his inspiration flow freely.
We have previously featured many CX500 builds, but this is our first CX650 and we are rather excited to tell you all about it! The Honda CX650 with its 673cc is the big brother of the common CX500 models. Whereas the production numbers of the latter easily exceed 180,000, the CX650 in all its versions was limited to roughly 15,000 in total, worldwide. The CX models were loaded with innovative features. Electric-only starting, low-maintenance shaft drives were found on the occasional BMW motorcycle, as were the constant vacuum carburettors, but the liquid cooling and separated ignition system were rather unique. Even though the CX650 and the CX650E looked rather similar, this one looks nothing like it did when it rolled off the production line.
Specialising in BMW motorcycles, the Honda was a bit of a side step for Tossa R. When starting a new project, especially with a bike that is novel to us, most of us start with browsing the interweb and social media, scrolling through dozens of images of custom interpretations of a particular model for ideas and inspiration. Assen went the complete opposite direction and carefully steered clear of other people’s ideas influencing his build. He turned toward the bike and toward himself, and five months later, the result is an elegant yet sporty, urban cafe racer.
With the exception of the seat by Oldman Leathers and the paint by Picasso Motor, all the work was done in-house. Yamaha R6 triple clamps and forks were swapped in to improve the suspension and handling, as well as the stopping power provided by dual floating discs with radially mounted calipers. Combined with the centrally mounted rear shock with external reservoir the suspension is fully adjustable to the rider’s needs. Above the rear shock, tucked in neatly between the downtubes of the frame, are two high flow air filters, allowing the bike to breathe more freely, and together with the custom stainless steel exhaust they bring at least 65 horses out of the stable.
Shortening the exhaust and running it underneath the engine frees up the rear wheel, but removing the side covers and shortening the tail really shifts the visual weight forwards, giving it its sporty appearance. The moon discs in the rear wheel were added to keep the bike visually grounded and balanced. A newly fabricated bracket supports the seat and the custom tail and ensures a perfect optical line from the tail through the carburetors, cylinder heads, and exhaust headers to end in the front axle, emphasising that this bike is built to ride!
The lines of the bike are further accentuated by small bar-end mirrors, a low-profile gage, and clip-ons, streamlining its profile. Electronically, the bike is decked out with high end gauges and bar-end indicators by MotoGadget, and also the head and taillight have been replaced with LEDs to bring it into the 21st century and ensure visibility. This motorcycle does not need its lights to attract attention, though. We reckon parking it at a cafe in the city centre will draw ample attention from enthusiasts, passersby, and aspiring builders!
If this has tickled your fancy, reach out to Tossa R, these bikes are built to order, and there is room for only 8 more!
Photo Credits: Tossa R