Lucid CB450

Story by Glenn Roberts// Photos by Dan Bannister Photography
May 1 2013

Lucid Kustoms began like so many other shops, as a hobby in a garage. Some hobbyists expand by continually building a larger customer base; some are content puttering away in the garage; while others simply fade away. Lucid has definitely surpassed hobby status.

Recently finding themselves out of space, Lucid Kustom founder Kevin Clarkson and his business partner, Jarid Fink, recently moved their business into larger digs. It isn’t much wonder they needed more space, with an unbelievable 29 bikes listed on their build board for this summer. Lucid specializes in one of the hottest trends in the modified bike scene these days – customizing small-displacement, vintage Japanese motorcycles into rigid-frame bobbers, cafés and brat-style bikes.

The first thing to strike me when I spotted the 1974 Honda CB450 on the floor of the Edmonton Motorcycle Show was the fit and finish of this bike, from the front axle to the taillight, and in particular, the copper accents against the exquisite, deep black paint that looks so three dimensional that you could reach right into it and grab a handful of vintage CB.

Keith Leong approached Kevin and Jarid about building a bike. He’s a city dweller, so it had to be nimble, but otherwise he didn’t really know what style he wanted. The three of them sat down to discuss it, and after a bit of conversation, Keith mentioned he likes the bikes he had seen a on a few episodes of Café Racer TV. The boys from Lucid began to narrow the style down to a café-style brat bike.
That was all Jarid and Kevin needed to begin the search for a vintage, small-displacement Japanese motorcycle in good shape as the base for the project.

Jarid went over every aspect of the build with Keith as it progressed, but because Keith travels a lot and enough trust had developed between the pair, Jarid was given carte blanche to finish the bike as he saw fit.

Keeping in mind that the era of the bike was part of the thought process behind the build. Jarid was confident that using the original tank – but modifying it with indents – would easily bridge the gap between the stock Honda CB450 and the café style they were aiming for. He enlisted the help of Tim Atkinson for the sheet-metal work. While Atkinson doesn’t work in the shop all the time, Jarid considers him one of the crew.

Jarid sketched out the tank logo on a napkin, wanting to keep some of the Honda heritage in the logo by way of the wings, but also wanted to capture a bit of what Lucid Kustoms is about.

The guys also considered that the copper accents suited the mid-seventies style, but would also go well with the lines of the bike, complementing the paint and the distressed, brown leather seat.

As it turns out, Keith didn’t see the completed product until this past January when he attended the Calgary Motorcycle Show, where he had to peer over the shoulders of others, as it always had a crowd around it.

In its first competitive showing, the little CB450 took top honours in its class at the Calgary World of Wheels.
One of the very cool items on Lucid’s agenda is starting up a rider community–based area in their new shop so that riders can rent a bike lift, tools and work bench and work on their own bikes, and if needed, ask the mechanics for advice or help. There are a few places in Canada that operate this way, but none in the Calgary area, according to Jarid.

As Jarid says, “Someone taught us once, so it’s time to teach others.”
I just hope that with all the work this young, busy shop has on the go, they’ll always find the time to pay it forward

Owner: Keith Leong
Make: Honda
Model: CB450
Builder: Lucid Kustoms Inc., Calgary, AB
Time to Build: 3 months
Name of Bike: Lucid CB450
Year: 1974
Builder: Honda
Displacement: 450 cc
Cases: Stock
Heads: Stock
Lower End: Stock
Carburetor: Mikuni
Air Cleaner: XM pods
Ignition: Pamco
Exhaust: Handmade pipes, copper-impregnated heat wrap
Year: 1974
Builder: Honda
Type: 5-speed
Case: Stock
Clutch: Stock
Primary Drive: Stock
Year: 1974
Builder: Honda
Type: Café racer
Rake: Stock
Shocks: Aftermarket stock replacements
Modifications: Rear hoop for seat and taillight, battery/electrical box, shaved frame tabs
Front End  
Year: 1974
Builder: Honda
Type: Stock
Triple Trees: Stock
Painting: Base and Clear Coat – Wood-En Cycle Paint; Calgary, AB
Airbrush – Dave Baxter, MonkeyShine Airbrushing; Calgary, AB
Powder Coating: Top Gun Coatings – Larry Carlson
Chroming: Calgary Plating; Copper electroplated covers
Restoration: Everything
Builder/Manufacturer: Honda
Tire Make and Size: Firestone 3.25-19
Builder/Manufacturer: Honda
Tire Make and Size: Firestone 3.50-18
Gas Tank: Tim Atkinson: Fabricated knee-dent ridges with quarter-inch rod welded to the tank, hammered in to create a concave effect
Fenders: Who needs them
Seat: Lucid custom-made pan, distressed brown cattle hide.
Handlebars: Clubman café bars
Headlight: Stock
Taillight: Custom LED
Foot Pegs: Joker Machine rearsets

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