Retro Honda Motorcycles Don’t Get Much Prettier Than This


From 1974 to 1978, Honda built the CB 550. It was a bike that true riders couldn’t get enough of, meaning a healthy amount were distributed to the U.S. market. But we doubt any of them looked as good from the factory as they do pictured right here.

Its owner, Canadian film and TV director Grant Harvey, calls it “Fade to Black.” It’s a fitting name for a bike that not-so-dramatically mixes vintage lines and classic styling, in a modern, sophisticated manner.


“I turn 50 this year,” he told Bike Exif. “ So my wife suggested I should treat myself with something fun.” After searching for the right shop to build the bike, Harvey fell in love with the design direction of Federal Moto, and decided the shop was the perfect place to build his perfect bike.

After five months in the shop, Fade to Black was delivered with exquisite attention to detail, and a healthy upgrade in performance. The motor was bored out to 572 cc, paired with a Dynoman Stage 1 Performance kit and forged pistons that boost the compression ratio from 9:1 to 10:1. To handle that newfound power, the standard CB front end was replaced with a modern, performance-oriented Yamaha R6.


The design remained simple, with ‘Tracker’ bars and ‘Whisky’ leather grips fitted by Bitwell, Inc. While the custom seats and V-shaped side bags were handcrafted by Clo’s General in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. The final result was a project that’s as stunning to look at as it likely is to ride.

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