Taking the long way around to get the job done is not always the chosen method for most fabricators, with time schedules and customer expectations usually ruling the decision making process and limiting how laborious a build can be. Takashi Nihira of Wedge Motorcycles is a custom builder from the suburbs of Tokyo that knows how to meet short deadlines while turning out over the top projects, and his 1981 Honda GL400 is as overly complex as they get.
With the customer of the build looking for a unique look in a cafe racer, Takashi coerced the commissioner away from the classic CB and into an exotic GL400 donor, not realizing the mini wing V-Twin was going to put up a much stronger fight than expected. To achieve the true cafe look the stock Comstar wheels had to be ditched in favor of a spoked set, requiring a quick swap of the front end from a Yamaha SR400, though the GL’s shaft drive proposed quite the challenge in sourcing a spoked rear hub. After cross referencing old Honda parts catalogs, Wedge acquired a GL1000 unit that mated perfectly to the drive gear, and added a disc brake in the rear for much improved clamping power. The chassis also saw a completely redesigned subframe and rear suspension system before being capped with handmade body panels and a fresh leather seat.