Black Mamba. A 1973 Honda CB550

Rarely a custom Honda has looked so good to me. It’s the work of Hookie Co, a Germany-based motorcycle builder specializing in building Cafe and Street Racers. Their philosophy? The best when you can apply it. Work slow, steady with a sharp eye for beautiful details…

The Black Mamba is a minimal 1973 Honda CB550 whose look is a pure definition of motorcycle minimalism, the intentional promotion of the most valuable parts and the removal of everything that distracts us from them. Only the parts that are useful or beautiful: a fully rebuilt motor, a shortened frame, a lowered front and rear suspension, a custom fairing, clip-on bars, simple electronics, etc (see tech sheet below)

Donor Bike: 1973 Honda CB550
Frame: Cleaned and with rear frame loop
Custom Fairing
Gas tank modified with pop-up filler cap and Motogadget Motoscope tiny
Electronics under seat
Battery under seat cowl
Exhaust: Spark Performance
Front Suspension: 0.5″ lowered
Rear Suspension: lowered
Tires/Wheels: Front. 19 x 3.25 Bridgestone Battlax BT45F. Rear. 18 x 4.00 Bridgestone Battlax BT45R
Brakes: Rear rebuilt drum brake. Front disc brake
Antigravity 8-Cell Battery, Motogadget RFID-Keyless System, Motogadget M.Blaze Disc Signals, Motone Switches
Kustom Tech Clutch Lever
Biltwell Grips

15 Responses to “Black Mamba. A 1973 Honda CB550”

  1. 1 Iron Horse Jun 23rd, 2017 at 8:28 am

    Good looking little scooter. Kudos to the builders.

  2. 2 hj Jun 23rd, 2017 at 9:01 am

    Take that for a ride any day.

  3. 3 HDrider Jun 23rd, 2017 at 10:13 am

    The problem is it’s still a Honda.

  4. 4 highrpm Jun 23rd, 2017 at 10:21 am


  5. 5 Fzzzz Jun 23rd, 2017 at 10:28 am

    Good looking bike. Really good looking bike. Something you can actually ride too.

  6. 6 Dante's 9th Jun 23rd, 2017 at 10:29 am

    ” The problem is it’s still a Honda ”

    So if I’m understanding you correctly you have a problem with the fact that its reliable , doesn’t leak oil like a civ , keeps all its cylinders straight and round along with a much higher level of customer service and satisfaction than your bike of choice ? Thats , interesting .

    As for the bike itself . Other than the trendy ‘ open space ‘ under the saddle she’s a beauty

  7. 7 Furly Jun 24th, 2017 at 7:39 am

    Dante, sieve, not civ. At least in the U.S. Maybe in Japan it is spelled your way. And as for that open space under the seat: it’s a perfect place to put an aquarium to showcase a goldfish, or in this case, a Black Molly.

  8. 8 Hdrider Jun 24th, 2017 at 9:44 am

    Honda’s are like fat women. They are both fun until someone sees you with them.

  9. 9 bigalyts Jun 24th, 2017 at 11:04 am

    If you want a Weed Wacker, Lawnmower, Pressure Cleaner, Generator, Outboard, why not put your money on a Honda, certain a Motorcycle is no exception to the rule of dependability, eh!

  10. 10 Easygear Jun 24th, 2017 at 1:22 pm


    (i`m riding HD since `85, but that Honda is sweet. It would appeal to me even more with double the cubes)

  11. 11 Dicky Lee Jun 24th, 2017 at 3:43 pm

    Time to watch Mad Max again if you like these 70s/80s retro style bikes.
    The problem of what to put in that enormous hole where the battery and airbox used to live still remains. A Monster SUPERCHARGER perhaps?

  12. 12 Biggles Jun 24th, 2017 at 7:29 pm

    Great looking bike, very well done. Would love to ride and be seen on it.

  13. 13 JohnnySpeed Jun 25th, 2017 at 7:21 am

    What happened to just loving motorcycles? I love harleys and have owned a bunch, but anyone who just rides harleys is missing out and limiting themselves for no logical reason.

  14. 14 Easygear Jun 26th, 2017 at 3:04 am

    Johnny Speed – i think absolutely same. Couldn`t get myself to ride another brand though, but in 2007 i got a Buell XB – so at least technically i lifted that limit….

    Dicky Lee – i watch MadMax when it happens in TV, but in fact me and a friend we looked MadMax pt.I in the eighties on Video so often that i can`t count – because of the car and the Kawa`s….

  15. 15 Batterycap Jun 26th, 2017 at 11:21 am

    In answer to “what happened to people loving motorcycles?”, there has long been a a characteristic among many motorcyclists to express strong disapproval on anything they don’t like owned or approved of by other motorcyclists. It is I think the main reason motorcyclists get their collective rear ends handed to them in legislative bodies all over the country.

    This phenomena is not limited to motorcyclists, but does showcase its self strongly in the loosely called motorcyclists community.

    Once you accept the fact that this is the way it is and will always be, you can find more than a few laughs in watching bobber people hate on cafe racer people, people that don’t use a trailer (yet) hating on those that do, etc.

    Back in the 70’s, I had a Honda 500, and a 550. They produced a great sound once you drilled a few holes on the exhaust plug. The 750 sound was classic. Now, I have a couple of carbureted Evo’s available to let folks hear what a bike sounds like without a computer trying to duplicate the sound.

    To really stir things up, what’s with all the oil pump failures on the Milwaukee Eight?

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Cyril Huze