Hot Rod Shop Honda CB750

In For a Penny: The Hot Rod Shop Honda CB750 cafe racer

Jeremy Bumpus owns ‘The Hot Rod Shop’ in Corinth, Mississippi, and co-hosts Motortrend’s CarFix series. Alongside fellow host Bryan Fuller of Fuller Moto, they demonstrate how their workshops build amazing vehicles for their clients. Along with a busy shooting schedule at any one time, there are around 20 builds on the go at The Hot Rod Shop. It’s fair to say Jeremy doesn’t get much time to put toward personal projects. Over the past 2 years though, he’s managed to piece together the motorcycle he’s wanted to build for some time, a ’72 CB750 Honda cafe racer.

“I had been itching to build another bike for myself for some time but just couldn’t work it into the schedule, but once I decided to do it I spent nights and weekends working on the bike,” Jeremy explains. “This bike was no different than any other project we do, getting started with a vision in mind and a plan locked in is the hardest part for me. Just like any project, this started with a rough sketch. Then I sent the sketch to my friend Daniel Maffett and he made a rendering for me.”


Jeremy had his heart set on a CB750 donor from the very beginning, and as it turned out he didn’t have to look far to find one.

“Next door to my shop is a Honda dealership that specializes in old CBs.” he says. “I went over and told the owner my plan. He took me out to his storage building where there were countless CBs holed up. He told me to pick one. For some reason, this one grabbed my attention so I rolled it back to my shop.”

Hot Rod Shop Honda CB750

Jeremy started the ball rolling with a custom-made steel fuel tank based on the design of a vintage fiberglass one he had sitting on a shelf. Since he’s a metal worker by trade, the fuel tank was also an opportunity to showcase his skills. The finished product set the tone for the build with sleek lines similar to the vintage and an increased size to suit the CB’s proportions.

After completing the tank, attention was redirected to the frame. “Like any cafe racer bike I wanted to clean up the triangle in the frame but I didn’t like the sharp angles of the CB chassis. So I rolled new tubing and built a new frame except for the neck and down tube,” says Jeremy.

Complementing the new frame is a whole new suspension setup. Using conversion parts from the Cognito Moto catalog, the front end received a set of Yamaha R1 forks and Cognito billet triple clamps. In the rear is a CBR F2 swingarm with a unique dual shock system. “After putting one shock on and realizing we needed more spring rate, we added another shock and I fell in love with that, so that was a happy accident during the build,” he says.

Hot Rod Shop Honda CB750

Plans often change tack during a custom build. Being an expert builder doesn’t remove any chance of it happening, and Jeremy wouldn’t refuse an opportunity to do something better.

“After the frame was finished I built the seat cowl out of aluminum and integrated the bike’s oil tank into the design,” he says. “However around the time I finished the cowl, I came across Outsiders Motorcycles Sump Thing.”

The Sump Thing is a unique product for Honda SOHC 750 F and K series engines. It is designed to convert them from a dry sump system to a wet one using an extension plate that lowers the oil pan. As a fan of CBs and recognizing how much of an improvement this is to the engine design, Jeremy couldn’t resist fitting one to his CB. After installing the Sump Thing he repurposed his custom cowl by housing electrical components within it.

Hot Rod Shop Honda CB750

Big power gains were never one of Jeremy’s goals with this project so aside from a rebuild and refresh the only changes were to the intake and exhaust systems. The inline four now wears a quartet of CR carbs which inhale through a Cognito Moto air filter box.  At the noisy end sits a custom 4-into-2 exhaust system with wrapped headers and stainless megaphone-style cans.

Hot Rod Shop Honda CB750

During the build, Jeremy also opted for a few modern improvements to spec up his CB. The inventory includes electrical components from the Motogadget catalog, spoked wheels, a projector LED headlamp and rear sets from Cognito Moto, and a plush new saddle covered in APEX leather. The finishing touch came in the form of a custom LED tail light that uses reflections to create an infinity effect. But all those upgrades pale in comparison to the bike’s striking new appearance.

“We nicknamed the bike Penny during the teardown after finding a few pennies under the seat. So I chose to go with a copper/gold color scheme,” Jeremy recalls. “I custom-mixed two colors from BASF to get the result you see here. I also used pennies as washers under the ARP bolts.”

Unsurprisingly Jeremy’s CB750 cafe racer turned countless heads at the recent Handbuilt Show in Austin, Texas. Hopefully, it won’t be too long before he gets another chance to build a personal project because this one is sublime.


Photography by Alex Sellers Media

  Hot Rod Shop Honda CB750