More often than not, the raddest custom motorcycles out there are built by people with many years of experience behind them. However, a relatively new builder will sometimes come along and knock things straight out of the ballpark, making a large impact right from their very first builds. Although they’re few and far between, we’ll always be thrilled to talk about such instances here at autoevolution.
We don’t know much about Sir Manno’s background or prior experience with motorcycles, but what we can say for sure is that his attention to detail is spot-on. You will find two projects in Mile Zero Racers’ portfolio at this time, both looking superb and sharing many design cues which may later become a part of the builder’s signature style. Oh, and the commonalities don’t end there, mind you.
The builds were both based on classic Honda CB models and their stories are very much intertwined, so let’s see how it all started. First, Thomas bought a CB750 and began customizing it around two years ago, but he needed a temporary fix for his riding habits while the said transformation was taking place. Being a motorcycle aficionado himself, his brother decided to step in with a solution.
He scored a neat CB450 and had it gifted to Thomas right away – a kind deed that would be fully repaid further down the road. When the first project was out of the way, MZR’s mastermind proceeded to do his thing on the smaller CB, as well. The end goal was to hand it back to his brother on his 30th birthday, and no expense would be spared during the customization process.
First things first, Thomas took the retro Honda apart and gave its parallel-twin engine a once-over. As the powerplant was looking nice and fresh on the inside, he simply pieced it back together with fresh gaskets while performing an external clean-up. Some intake and exhaust mods were also on the menu, with the former comprising a pair of mesh-covered velocity stacks to replace the stock airbox.
At the opposite end of the combustion cycle, we’re greeted by handmade stainless-steel pipework terminating in small reverse megaphone silencers. The plumbing is partially enshrouded in a bespoke belly pan manufactured from scratch, just like the setup found on Mile Zero Racers’ CB750. As for the rest of the bodywork, it is a tasteful mixture of custom-built and repurposed equipment.
We come across a Honda CB200’s fuel tank center-stage, cleverly adapted to sit on the CB450 frame like it was always meant to be there. A bit further back, there is a solo seat wrapped in standard black leather and suede, but the upholstery continues making its way forward to form a very stylish tank strap. Right behind the saddle lies a carbon fiber tail section with cafe racer vibes.
It has also been fabricated in-house by Thomas Manno’s capable hands, showcasing his proficiency with more than just one material. You’ll notice a thin LED taillight embedded at the back, and all this equipment is perched on a heavily revised subframe. Aftermarket turn signals are attached to the tubing on the flanks, completing the rear-end lighting package without cluttering things up in that area.
The last bit of bodywork we need to mention is a slim front fender, secured in place with bespoke brackets and accompanied by a full suite of LED lighting goodies higher up. MZR really went to town with the suspension mods, converting the motorcycle’s twin-shock rear setup to a monoshock arrangement. Some extensive tweaking of the swingarm was required in the process, but the project’s author made it work seamlessly in the end.
At the front, he made use of a new wheel hub and billet aluminum triple clamps to install a Suzuki GSX-R’s inverted forks. The same Gixxer donated its front Tokico calipers and drilled brake discs, as well, while the factory CB hoops got swapped with Wrap 9 alternatives. In the cockpit, Mile Zero’s racers/p/C1-MZSVx9mP/?img_index=1 “>classy cafe racer bears a single aftermarket dial and clip-on handlebars mounted nice and high.
Stealthy switches, underslung bar-end mirrors, and plain rubber grips adorn the clip-ons, all supplied by a Rochester-based outfit called The Motoworks. After a complete rewire, it came time for Thomas to take care of the paint job before wrapping things up and calling it a day. He laid a glossy coat of burgundy onto the fuel tank, belly pan, and front fender, topping it off with white pinstripes all throughout the upper bodywork.
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