Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, as they say, but this beholder sees no beauty in most custom retros these days. Most of them just look plain weird … as if the customizer is trying too hard to be different in a sea of sameness. Nine times out of ten, my personal opinion is that older bikes that have been customized are either ugly or non-functional (uncomfortable ergos, for instance), or both.
Pictured here is a restored Honda CB 550F, largely left stock by Polish firm Red Hot Chili Customs. The stock model was sold by Honda here in the United States as the CB 550F Super Sport in the mid-1970s. It made a claimed 50 horsepower at 8,500 rpm with a claimed dry weight of 420 pounds.
There are subtle changes to the original design (a new pipe is an obvious one, as well as the instrument background color and tank paint design), but the bike remains largely faithful to its original design. A beauty, in my opinion.
Weigh in with your thoughts below. Do most customizers ruin stock retro bikes with weird designs?
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