CB650Z “Black Bastard” June 15, 2015 – Posted in: Bikes

Full-custom build for Sander. This bike is also featured on the BikeShed;


This bike is a 1981 CB650z and they’ve given it the uncontroversial nickname, Black Bastard. They found the donor in the Dutch version of Craigslist; ‘Marktplaats’. It came from a guy who had wanted to do his own build, but divorce got in the way of his finances (don’t get me started) and the bike had to go before he even got a spanner to it. Bert did send him pics of the finished build, but it seems he was too gutted to reply. The new owner is based in Amsterdam and wanted a bike that would be “rough & tough”, “Mad-Max in a three-piece suit, clean AND raw in a single bike”. They also needed it to be bomb-proof as the bike was to be kept outside. Garages in Amsterdam are over €300 a month.

The bike was stripped to the bare frame, de-lugged, chopped and looped at the back. The rear fender is actually welded in, as is the battery tray, and tubes that hold the turn-signals. The front end got a brake upgrade with a 320mm rotor, and the carbs were re-jetted to accommodate the free-flowing air filters and new exhaust system. The wheels are from a CB500, which need spacers to sort. All the electrics were re-wired and now run a Motobatt 9ah Glassmatt. Bert prides himself on his electrics, and loves to take the chaotic spaghetti found in most bikes and reduce them to the bare minimum.

The lights are all new, and all LED except for the headlamp, plus new bars, grips, seat, tyres, etc, and every bolt from M4 to M10 is now stainless steel. We always ask our builders if they made any mistakes along the way, and Bert did admit to throwing away the 2 into 1 headers before decided he needed to use them after all. Doh. Unique features include the Outsiders logo CNCd into the filler cap, and those turn-signals.

If you’re thinking of trawling the streets of Amsterdam to pinch this bike, the bad new is that Bert has fitted a secret anti-theft mechanism, which we could tell you all about, but that wouldn’t be smart, considering how many people read the Bike Shed every day! And no, it’s not matt black paint on a dark night.

The bike “rides like a tracker, not too fast or aggressive, but comfortable and predictable handling” – which is essential on the complex Streets of Amsterdam, which range from tiny cobbled canal-side streets to wide roads with lanes for bicycles, buses, cars and trams – all in a single stretch – and all tracing concentric circles around the myriad of canals and bridges.


Edit; This bike is bought back from Sander because he wanted something else. After a thourough check-up it’s now best friends with Matt high up in the UK.