1979 Honda CB650
An Architect's Eye
Earlier this year I got an email from award winning, Dallas architect Joshua Nimmo asking if we had an opening for a build. I was surprised and excited to get a request from someone that heard about GT-Moto the original, old-fashioned way by 'word of mouth' rather than through social media!
It was perfect timing because we had another guy bail out on a build (while forgetting to let us know), so we were happy to get started on it so quickly. Now this was a first for us, working with someone we had never met. We were worried that he would be turned off by the fact that we still build these bikes in our small, congested two-car garage.
But it was quite the opposite! He was very humble and had a pretty good vision for his bike. Since he is an architect, I was a bit nervous, because he (an artist) is able to visually see what he wanted, and if I didn't deliver then I felt like I would fail. But nope! Because he is an artist, he understands the concept of 'doing what you do best!' He gave me some ideas on the kind of style he liked, a color palette, and the make/model of the bike he wanted it to be based on. Then he let us run with it.
After a few meetings, we found a 1979 Honda CB650 and began the tear down process. The tail section of the frame, taillight, foot pegs, rear brake mount, rear pegs, and suspension mounting points were modified to make it an inch taller in the rear with the new Hagon shocks.
He knew from the start that he wanted spoked wheels. We found a CB750 for $60 and we knew we could it make work. After taking the wheels apart and restoring the hubs and rims, we replaced the rotted old spokes with Buchanan's stainless steel spokes and nipples and installed a new rotor and brake assembly.
We used the forks from the CB750 and replaced the top triple tree clamp with a CNC aluminum top mount, as well as the handle bars (both by Bullet customs in Canada). We found an aftermarket headlight listed under the Harley Sportsters section of eBay (eBay is my best friend FYI), along with the switches, a headlight mount, and bar end mirrors.
The tank came off my old Honda CB550 (Frank!). We modified it with a stainless steel screw-on gas cap and tabs to fit the frame. We fabricated a tab on the frame to hold the rubber mount that we originally saw on Loryn's KZ440.
The tank was painted with a Mercedes Charcoal Metallic, and we added an aviation satin black stripe down the middle that will hold up to any gas spillage.
It's always fun when we get to use the tail light to test out different designs. We want our bikes to be as safe as possible, which means lighting those babies up so that idiot drivers who are texting can definitely see you brake! The whole back end is wrapped with very bright LED's finished off with a mesh.
The speedo and tach were replaced with a MotoGadget Electronic Mini Dash. The mode button, neutral switch, and oil light are mounted on a tab at the top of the tank. Front turn signals are the gorgeous fork tube LED's from Dime City Cycles and the rear signals are integrated in the lower LED brake light.
For the first time, we have added storage to one of our bikes! Not only was the frame custom fabricated to hold rear leather bags that match the custom seat (stitched by New Church Moto) but we also added some extra turn signals below the bags to wrap everything up nicely. This is a build I have been wanting to do and we couldn't have found a best customer ever for it. It was such a pleasure working with such an amazing artist!