1979 Honda CB650 by Trillion Industries

01/09/2012 @ 5:36 pm, by Jensen Beeler20 COMMENTS

Here at Asphalt & Rubber, we don’t feature too many bikes that subscribe to the “modern-take on the retro look” hipster theory of motorcycling. Maybe it’s because we prefer to go fast rather than look cool, or maybe it’s because we don’t own any form fitting denim pants — honestly, it could go either way on that one. That being said, we know what we like, and more importantly when know what we like when we see it, and that pretty much sums up our thoughts on the 1979 Honda CB650 by Trillion Industries.

Beginning life in the mundane, the Honda CB is a crowd favorite with the retro-turned-hipster crowd for making modern takes on the café racer design aesthetic. Don’t get us wrong, we have seen plenty of café racers that we like, and the market segment enjoys a small but militant following of motorcycle enthusiasts. However, rarely does a Honda CB, no matter how much beauty school it has attended, floor you in your seat. This work by Derek Pauletto however, would be the exception to that statement.

Comprised of parts from all the major Japanese manufacturers, Pauletto has a few American bits and pieces on the Trillion Industries 1979 Honda CB650 for good measure as well. The front-end is off a Kawasaki sportbike, while the headlight is from a Harley-Davidson V-Rod. The frame, swingarm, and wheels have all been widened, and the Honda CB650 motor has been slightly tuned for a bit more pep-in-the-step.

However, what we think really crowns the work that Pauletto has put into his former commuter is the exhaust system. The happy marriage of four exhaust pipes making a short convergence into a single muffler, the work really shows off the creative thinking and skills found at Trillion Industries. Rated at 63hp stock, we doubt this ’79 CB 650 would blow our hair too far back when said literally, but metaphorical? Consider us wind-blasted.

Source: Pipeburn

  • Liked everything but the exhaust, it looks like a after thought

  • Andrey

    Cool bike but that exhaust is a mess. Why not conceal the sound attenuation inside some larger diameter pipes?
    Front end view looks like a modern superbike. Back end is the opposite but still cool.
    Just wish I had more time and money to play like many of these bikes here on EXIF!

  • max

    Exhaust is definitely interesting. I wouldn’t mind having something like that on my bike though, nothing wrong with something a bit different.

  • BBQdog

    Agree: nice except for the exhaust.

  • No, no, no. Wot the fuck. I suppose it’s ok if you like having your knees up near your balls and lying on the tank. And wot about the car muffler stuck on looking like they ran out of money for the pipes? And how about all the road grit blown up in your face when stopped, idling. But then again, I suppose the dicks who rode this would never be brave enough to wear an open face helmet ? !

  • Damo

    That thing might be reasonably quick. If the weight is down around 250 pounds and it has close to 70 horse, that is about the same power to weight ratio as a late 90’s super sport.

    Which is faster then I would want to go on a home-made bike.

  • Daniel Croft

    Great looking bike, I’d rock it for sure.

    If I had a project like this, I’d locate a Kawasaki H2 and start chopping. 750cc inline 2 stroke triple with modern suspension & brakes… mmmmmmm

  • John

    Nice looking bike, but the oversize rear tire and exhaust are just plain stupid.

  • jamesy

    Although the “look” was achieved (mostly, tank is way too long both aesthetically and ergonomically/dynamically) it was done at the cost of proper fore/aft balance needed in a machine capable of using that much front tire. Toshiro would’ve shat at the exhaust heat on his clutch housing, let alone leg. I do kinda like the can tho…
    Let me guess; the shifter’s on the left hand and throttle on the foot? ALL THAT WEIGHT on the rear=Rossi could not go fast on this machine! Not to mention the rear axel adjuster lock nut is not locking diddly at that end, but hey, we be coool!
    I like Dan Crofts idea, go for it Dan but get the motor further fwd than this!

  • Johndo

    I just love these projects. That said I love the headers but not the exhaust hanging on the side like that and tank could be just slightly shorter. Otherwise it looks like quite a fun ride. And the finish of the bike looks quite neat.

  • jamesy

    Good point Johndo, didnt give props to the build quality, it is nicely detailed! But in the real of “form follows function” it is a non-sequitur. I’d hate to try and tighten up a corner with all the weight on the back

  • Johndo

    I think these just need to be seen for what they are. Cool creative projects. They will never go after an R6, but will certainly have loads of personality and character :) If the tank was about 5″ shorter, and I had 5-6 bikes in my garage, I’d certainly appreciate this bike as one of them for a fun sunday ride. In fact I wish I had the knowledge and talent to build a project like this myself!

  • Westward

    I’m with “max” on this one, It is interesting & different. I could be wrong but, the fact that the pipes and the exhaust are at the front, doesn’t that mean there would be more weight in that area too. Besides, might be a new way to heat that front tire.

    I like it, as for the length of the tank, looking at the guy standing behind it in one of the pics, makes me think its just right. Not all of us are Motogp racer height. Pedrosa might struggle on it, but those aggressive cafe racer style handlebars should be enough for a guy like him to reach…

    I’ll take one…

  • mxs

    The position of the tank, seat and pegs is definitely weird. The knee angle will be …. strange. but I am sure that’s what the builder wanted. Strange and different bike to the army of cafe racer out there nowadays.

  • Sporty4Life

    “Real” motorcyclists truly appreciate ALL motorcycles, regardless of type, country of origin, or buildup, and this one is certain worthy of honorable mention. My mother taught me that “If you can’t say anything nice; don’t say anything at all.” She would say that a couple of you responders (you know who you are) should have your mouths washed out with (tire-mounting) soap. I very much appreciate our webmasters daily coverage and all the diversity that he includes! KUDOS!!!

  • MikeD

    Cool little thing to look at, maybe even ride…but definitively not something is would own or even pay for. Im too square for that…LMAO.
    Cafe RACERS don’t do it for me…unless we are talking about this one:


  • jamesy

    So, pardon me for asking for a mechanical device which we all use for SOOO much fun, to ride as good as it looks. You can get all kissy face with its creator, hey, fair enough, but to expect a toy being shown as a major lust item for enthusiasts to not get any criticism for its function is a bit naive. I think that was the attitude at General Motors right before they required massive subsidy from your tax dollars, ne ce pas?
    Not a hater at all. It is a far better accomplishment than any motorcycle I’ve made from scratch, which is none. But unless it comes with a major disclaimer that it is intended for use predominantly on its rear wheel (which will suit some of us for sure!) then it must be viewed for what it is AND is not. Great powder coat on the frame, truly bitchin set of forks, cobby welds on the pipes, etc.
    Thanks for your permission to keep it real.

  • Well then. Every one else’s comments seem far more polite than mine. I meant no disrepect to the builder(s). I just stated my opinion. But………I will agree with jamesy.

  • Garrett

    Wow, lots of negative comments from people who have most likely never attempted any project much less a custom one off cafe job. It stands head and shoulders above most of the garbage produced for so called reality shows. Yup, I like it, very very cool.

  • Soos


    Having owned/modded 6 ’79-81 cb650’s, I must say I am impressed with the look.

    And as for the tuning…. you can get a cb650 (stock262cc) up to 763cc with the right pistons.
    (yes I have done, this as well as several other cc variations.)
    :) being a machinist has it’s benefits.
    At 763cc it getsthats around 72hp AT the rear wheel.(roughly 79-80 flywheel HP)
    for a 30 yr. old bike amazing.

    Gotta say the exhaust… not my cup o tea, but not the worst I’ve seen.
    Great cb650 cafe setup though.