The original Honda CB650 was released in 1979 as the updated version of the CB550 – engine sizes were creeping up across the model range and the new “mid-size” CB650 was just 100cc smaller than the mighty Honda CB750 of 10 years earlier.
In the ’60s and ’70s Honda liked to sell scrambler variants of their road- going models, the scramblers had “CL” model designations and the road-going bikes had a “CB”. Sadly, as the ’70s became the ’80s the practice was discontinued – which is a bit of a shame when you consider just how popular the scrambler genre would go on to become. The team at Thrive Motorcycles decided to put this oversight by Honda right, and build a Honda CL650 from a stock CB650 – a model that was never offered with a scrambler variant. Based out of Indonesia, Thrive Motorcycles have become one of the pre-eminent custom motorcycle garages in the world thanks to their extraordinary attention to detail and high-levels of build quality.
The project began when Anka, a local Honda collector and friend of the garage bought a CB650 and decided that because it wasn’t in stock condition anyway, he would get it built into his first custom. After dropping it off at Thrive, the team got to work with a full teardown. The decision to turn it into a modern CL-specification bike was made, and the original seat, tank, fenders, side covers and exhausts were removed and placed on the parts pile. The engine was repainted along with the modified frame, and a new set of 4-into-2 exhausts were fabricated in-house – requiring no small amount of welding.
A new fuel tank was fabricated from aluminium, as well as the fenders, and side covers, and a new set of lights were fitted front and back to keep the look as minimalist as possible. The completed bike uses the original wheels with a new set of chunkier tires, and it looks to be just about the perfect bike for the oftentimes uneven roads of South East Asia. If you’d like to see more from Thrive Motorcycles, you can click the link to visit their official website www.thrivemotorcycle.com/