The fashion world would lead you to believe that you should never wear black and navy blue together. And should you be bold enough to do so, then brown as a tertiary should be nowhere in sight.
When Danny set out to build a bike that would fit comfortably into the Vogue equivalent of the moto scene, he looked beyond the thick frame glasses, straight into fashion’s eyes and said… “Braaaaaaaap!”
Danny’s CB750 Cafe Racer
As a graphic designer, photographer and camera director of a New York news station, visual artistry is a topic of deep understanding for Danny. Something that is clearly visible in the form and composition of his CB750 build. Drawing inspiration from his Uncle’s love of motorcycles growing up, & specifics like the old Mercedes-Benz W123 (yellow headlights), Danny has worked a 42 year old old-timer, into a reliable daily ride that punctured theories of the fashion industry along the way.
Growing up in Colombia, as with most South American countries meant that riding at a young age was the norm. From the age of fourteen Danny was riding around his neighbourhood on his Uncle’s CB750, the first motorcycle he had access to.
This exploratory attitude gave way to his creative mind, riding local trails and mountain roads, taking photographs of his rides and friends with an old film camera strapped to the handlebar of his Uncle’s bike.
Six months after the love of a two-wheeled lifestyle had set in, a move to the US put the brakes on his riding and a full twenty years passed by before it took root again. With the memories of his Uncle’s CB influencing his re-entry to the moto world, the hunt was on for a Modern-Classic, something held true to the feel of the old 750, but had all of the luxuries of modern tech – a hunt that was abandoned quite quickly.
After testing, Bonnevilles, Thruxtons, and a few Royal Enfields, the quiet and comfortable ride of a new bike took too much away from the memories that were held so dear.
“The thing about the new is that the ride is very quiet, you don’t hear it, you don’t feel it.
You see, old motorcycles will always be that, old. They’re not meant to go fast, they want to be ridden.” – Danny Escobar
With compromise out of the window, Danny took to Gumtree and after months of searching managed to track down a well maintained CB750, just like the one from Columbia twenty years prior.
The dream didn’t last long though, continual breakdowns leaving him stranded forced the companions into the garage where a full re-wiring job laid rest to the reliability issues. Although he is the first to admit that the mechanics previously took a backseat to aesthetics, Danny took on the job himself with a full 12 months passing before the bike ran and looked the way he wanted.
Through the build, Danny rewired the bike from scratch upgraded the stock carbs to Keihin’s CR29, changed all the lights, including turn signals and painted the headlight yellow for that retro look. He replaced the headlight brackets, wanting something a bit beefier, and drilled holes to insert the turning signals.
The front and rear suspension was upgraded, dropping it almost 2 inches. The top & bottom triples were changed out, with fork boots being added in the process. The rims were cleverly sprayed with plasti-dip to have the option of removing later.
Castandsalvage reworked the 4-1 exhaust system attaching a shorty muffler that now sits right bellow the passenger pegs. Along with the new exhaust note, they created a custom battery box and hoop that was welded onto the frame.
Defying the fashion rules once more, brown was the colour of choice for seating fabrication. The 2up was designed and measured to fit the original mounts, and put together by Truong at texavina.com.
A chrome speedo was relocated to the left side to counterbalance the brake reservoir. Lastly, Avon & Firestone vintage tires were added to give the bike not only a true vintage touch, but to keep him from going too fast!
Photo: Kara Mia Escobar
“Once I was comfortable with the process, It was hard to leave it alone.There’s always something to improve on, in my case it’s purely aesthetic. I’m a designer by heart” – Danny Escobar
Photo: Lyla Escobar
Twenty years in the making, Danny now holds a stronger connection than most to the model that started his fascination with motorcycles. His CB runs as sweet as a nut and continues to bring a smile to his face with every twist of the throttle.
You can check in with Danny on his Instagram page to see more shots of the CB in action.