We reported on Ivan Mushev’s first build back in September of last year.
Clearly the success of the Honda Hornet ‘Sekekama’, inspired him to dig deeper into the well of inspiration fed by the Banska river which flows through his hometown of Kyustendil in the far west of Bulgaria.
The German owner of Ivan’s first production proved to be very happy with his purchase, as he came back with a follow up order. Again the donor vehicle is a Honda.
This time a 1981 Nighthawk had its wings trimmed by the builder and his team. The bike was brought to Ivan by his friends from KKK Bikes in nearby Sofia.
The parameters set for this build were a modern look with slight classic motifs. But overall it had to have a “sporty look” Ivan explains.
He continues: “The number two figure on the tank clearly refers to this bike being our second project. The ‘GT’ was added to further underline the sport heritage.
We are big fans of the GT2 sports cars and their specific line / edges in the middle. The figure 2 itself reflects that source of inspiration. We also combined the tires with this one – the Pirelli GT2.”
The project was a commission build forcing the team to stay within the restrictions of budget. All in all the task was achieved at a level just below the € 9.000 mark.
Ivan was invited to display the Honda at the May 2020 Bike Shed show in London, but with the current Corona crisis hitting the world it unfortunately looks unlikely the event will take place on that date.
Most of the work was done inhouse by Ivan and his two team mates Svetoslav Kostadinov and Vasil Pinev. For specialist tasks such as upholstering the seats Ivan is supported by the craftsmen of CrazyCust and MG Design.
Turning the Nighthawk into this head turning caféracer meant a considerable amount of changes needed to be made to satisfy Ivan’s thirst for style. The forks in the front were replaced by a set coming from a 2009 Yamaha FZ1 with a new set of edged discs, the swingarm was once attached to a Honda VFR 750, whereas the riders kidneys are now kept in place by a Honda Hornet shock absorber.
With the nice clean and open look of the middle and rear section of the bike, a new position for the battery had to be found.
When you don’t want to make things easy on yourself you just take a Honda CB 750F gas tank and get it fitted with a false bottom. No, not for smuggling purposes but a new position to house the battery.
The tank was dissected, cut up and heavily modified to fit in line with the new tail end of the Honda. It came out of the operation room looking years younger but still reminiscent of those beautiful 60’s and 70’s racing shapes.
Extra! Extra! Seat all about it!
Talking about taking design seriously; the tail end was cut no less than three times before the Bulgarians were finally satisfied with the way it came out. And it sure did!
To offer the owner of the Honda a luxurious position, the rider has a choice between two seats. There is a black and red alcantara version produced by MG Design, while CrazyCust were commissioned to produce a black leather version suited for slightly more comfortable cruising.
According to Ivan it is very easy to switch between seats dependent on the mood of the rider.
The Honda engine was given a solid overhaul before it was remounted in the repainted gloss black frame. With a date of birth in the early eighties it was in need of some serious upgrading of inner parts and the outside was painted black to match the overall design.
Added for improved breathing and to up the performance, a set of filters in tasteful black and red were added.
Inhaling is one thing, but without exhaling nothing much happens.
The team opted for a 4 in one system, but mounted double silencers. The combination of the filters and the exhaust system gives the typical warm, sporty and aggressive Honda four cylinder sound.
Whatever the build, it is the colour which is a dominating factor in the overall look of a bike. This time the team decided to experiment with a matte finish mixed with some Mobihel green pear mixed into it and double golden stripes running over the tank an rear cowl.
Last but certainly not least we note the aforementioned back end of the Honda. This piece of art was fully created in house and took hours and hours of shaping and fitting to finally make it to the newly installed subframe, which is also custom made by Ivan’s team.
Like Ivan himself the owner of the Honda is also very keen on quality.
Proof of this are the Sato racing rear sets, the Vortex clip-ons, some exquisite Rizoma accessories and a headlight by Wrangler.
We are not so sure we like the headlight covers and the absence of a decent front fender, but these are very minor points which hardly affect the total score of points the Bulgarians have amassed in this second coming.
The Bikebrewers team has visited Bulgaria before.
Next time we will surely include a visit to the Kyustendil based crew and hopefully get some miles on their #3 build!
-complete engine overhaul
-new subframe – (custom made)
-rear cowl – (custom made)
-swingarm – Honda VFR 750
-monoshock – Honda Hornet
-Front forks – 2009 Yamaha FZ1
-dashboard – (custom made)
-Clip-ons – Vortex
-Rear sets – Sato Racing
-4:1 exhaust + 2 silencers (custom made)
-alcantara seat – MG Design
-Leather seat – CrazyCust
-Special paint – Mobihel finish by Borislav Angelov
Original donor vehicle (1981 Honda Nighthawk)