I keep wondering how many talented people there are all around the world… Our enthusiastic nature and creative imagination along with the will to make and have something exclusive and enjoyable helps our dreams come true – the big and the little ones.
Daan Beugnies – the guy who rebuilt this Honda CX500Z into a café racer, lives in Meerbeke, Belgium. This is a true enthusiastic garage build done by a non-professional that turned out to be one great looking bike. Here is the story of El Bruto told by Daan.
Three years ago I bought Honda CX500Z ’79 from a guy who pretty much neglected his bike. I was already a lot into bikes and had mechanical experience with them, so going for it didn’t scare me. I bought it real cheap, but again, terribly neglected.
I just started building it (without a real vision though) and made a seat, installed clip-ons and all the rest. Then I looked at it and thought to myself: okay, this is not what I want. The looks weren’t appealing to me. The only thing that I liked was my idea of the paint scheme, compliant to the vintage racing suit that I got from my uncle from the 70’s and the engine.
I restarted my whole build. I re-welded a part of my rear frame. I home fabricated a fiberglass hump seat that perfectly followed the lines of the frame. I hand stitched and upholstered the seat myself, with some mother’s help of course 🙂
I fully rebuilt the engine, which was also a big priority. Cam chain, oil pump, valves, water pump, stator, gearbox – pretty much everything has been checked, measured and replaced if needed. I also painted the frame, the engine, replaced all engine and frame bolts with Allen head bolts.
I installed a short stiff front end from Yamaha FZR 400 RR which drastically improved handling. Then I installed rear shocks from a Yamaha XJR 1300, which increased handling even more. Then both got rebuilt completely with added shims to weight and now it rides like a dream.
I took it for a round trip in Slovenia and Italy last summer (about 2000 km) and a guy at the post office came to me yelling, “Bruto!!! Bruto!!!” I couldn’t understand anything because I don’t know the language. He kept staring at it and kept saying bruto, bruto, bruto. So then I named it El Bruto :)”
I hope Daan doesn’t stop with El Bruto and will continue building bikes. Any thoughts about the bike are welcome in the comments.