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Micah Vince’s ’74 Honda CB 360


Posted on June 22nd, by Andrew in Brat, Classic. 81 comments

I have dreams for this humble little blog, I tell you. Big dreams. An mega corporation, we’d be. A campus with garages, paint shops, powders coaters, chrome platers and all the associated processes you’d need to make a great bike. And a test track – actually multiple test tracks. And a real English cafe with a large section of simulated 1950s London rind road and a free duke box with all the relevant rock ‘n’ roll racing hits on it. An office staffed by an army of literate bike freaks. Yes yes, I know. Most bike riders can’t read – but this is a dream after all. They’d be churning out cool bike posts for the blog every other minute. Thousands of posts a day. And each and every bike would be the coolest thing you’d ever seen. The blog would be so cool, you’d get a headache just reading it. Until that day arrives, all I have to keep the home fires burning is this. A piece from a guest writer, Dave Mucci on his mate Micah’s hella good CB 360 – all sent to us by photographer Patrick Daly. God – I feel just like a manager. I wonder if they’d mind me shout at them about some unimportant misplaced comma?

I met Micah Vince a while back in my college days at Detroit. We were both into Volkswagens at the time and got to talking shop. Micah has been a VW head since he was able to drive, having owned and modified five of them to date. “I’d always been intrigued by motorcycles, but never thought I’d own one,” he laughed. A lonely 1974 CB360 sitting in a friend’s shed would change all that.

“I saw the bike and asked him how much it would cost for me to take it home with me. He half-jokingly said “$300,” and I not so jokingly said, ‘deal!’  I couldn’t pass it up.”

Micah was raised in the northern suburbs of Detroit. He previously worked at a metal fab shop for 3 years, where he learned many trades. He currently works as a facilities and maintenance tech at the College for Creative Studies in Detroit, and has been doing so for the past 3 years.

Here’s Micah on the build. “I couldn’t have done this project without the CCS shop and all the equipment we have there. Most of the fab work went on in the facilities shop at CCS, where I work during the day. I’d stay late at night or come in on the weekends and do some welding and grinding. We have a sandblaster that could fit in a love seat which allowed me to blast my frame and wheels before paint.”

 

“The motor was re-ringed, received new gaskets,
and was reassembled in a hotel room”

 

“The motor was re-ringed, received new gaskets, and was reassembled in a hotel room. My buddy Jeff Schmidt was in town from Brooklyn. He has rebuilt many an old Honda motor, so we decided to do all the work down at the DoubleTree hotel on Lafayette in Detroit. I’ll never forget the look on the woman’s face at the front desk when we rolled an assembled motorcycle engine out on the luggage cart.

The final assembly of the bike, and making of the wiring harness, happened in my living room. It was February, and I don’t have heat in my garage, so I decided to do it inside. Thankfully I have awesome roommates who are understanding. It was really a nice way to do it, actually. When it was done, we just rolled it down the front steps and away I went.”

Micah’s inspiration for the seat came from the aesthetic of weathered Brooks saddles. He set out to build it by hand, first mocking it up with a piece of Masonite. Using a plasma cutter, he traced the shape in steel and sent it through a roller until he was happy with the contour. A buddy of mine cut me a piece of the thickest cow ass he had, and I used copper rivets to attach it to the seat pan.

I’ve personally sat in this seat and can attest to the butt-hugging perfection and comfort you wouldn’t expect from it’s minimal appearance.

Putting to use all those years of fabrication training, Micah set out to build some custom bars using chopped off stock handles and the clamps from a donor lower triple tree. He also extended the swing arm out an additional 5 inches. The new length required him to extend the drum brake holder and actuator rod and swap the rear suspension out for some stiffer units off a CB550. The WWII first aid box houses his battery and the stock ignition was mounted to the side.

When asked if he would ever sell it he noted, “I’ve asked myself that, and to be honest I’m not sure I know. On one hand, I think if someone came along and was interested enough to offer me something outrageous for it, I would. On the other hand, it’s my first bike and my first build, so it would be kind of cool to hang on to it for a while.”

Ahhh. Too easy! I’m going to have to do that again. Again, thanks to Dave Mucci from motomucci.com for the story and Patrick Daly from patrickdalyphotos.com for the pictures. And a big pat on the back to Dave, who just won best Best Custom Bobber at the Chicago Tone Up Rockers Versus Mods show. Congrats, man – you sure earned it.





  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Leston-Cochran/1000740339 Leston Cochran

    rear frame loops left like that will forever look unfinished and unprofessional IMO

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1302855933 Dave Hargreaves

    There’s a fair amount to like about this one.. Except the seat/tail section. Looks unfinished/forgotten. Not a good look. If one is after this style of bike, please do *something* with the rear-end/shock attachments. This just looks poorly planned/executed. Nice work otherwise, just has that “ran out of money” look and feel.

  • http://www.facebook.com/PicklesAndCream Ben Robinson

    Maybe the unfinished ran out of money look feel you’re talking about is the all being intentional outcome the builder wanted.

  • Mike Cambareri

    Say what you will about the Maxi-pad seat, the lack of fenders, the Firestones, the pipe wrap, etc… There may be a number of touches that aren’t particularly functional or seem to just be following the current trends, there are certainly some things that I would have done differently (perhaps a simple loop to take care of the unfinished look of the frame in the rear…), but when you just sit back and look at the whole bike, it seems like it would be the kind of ride to leave you grinning like an idiot all day. This thing just looks like fun. I’m profoundly jealous, and admire the DIY work. I’d love to hop on.

  • David Cassar

    my bum hurts just looking at that seat.

  • Steel Bent Customs

    We at Steel Bent Customs think she looks awesome! Great build story too.

    • 6th St. Customs.

      6th St. Customs seconds that notion. Keep up the good work!

      • emeglasson

        Spin Cycle Industries Agrees. Very cool first build. Definitely keep it!

  • GuitarSlinger

    OK . I’ll bite . WTF ..IS .. the seat ? Cause if its that slab of cardboard on the back this bike was designed according to the principals of the Spanish Inquisition.

    Overall ? Fair . More half baked than truly finished no matter what the genre

    Another thing I’m getting bored of : along with the ‘Brat ‘ and the ‘ Loaf of Bread Saddle ‘ thing . Half assed efforts pretending to be customs . Remind me never to have dinner at this guys house ;-)

    • http://www.pipeburn.com Andrew@Pipeburn

      Makes me think of Paul’s leather seat on the “Cojones” Harley…

      http://www.pipeburn.com/home/2011/9/7/blown-40-harley-davidson-side-valve-cojones.html

      Comparing the two, I prefer his, as it has a better profile and doesn’t look so “through the rollers,” if you get my drift…

      • Davidabl2

        Yeah, but at first glance it looks like there’s NO seat at all on this one….
        Playing Devil’s advocate here, how about a Lycette seat

    • The Dude

      You may as well give up, GuitarSlinger. You’re trying to change the minds of a bunch of guys who have no idea what they’re looking at. And, for the guys at Steel Bent Customs, 6th St. Customs and Spin Cycle Industries, you have a lot to learn.
      As much as I love this site, and “some” of the bikes I’ve seen here, I’m starting to wonder if Andrew really knows whats what. Tell me, Andrew, what is it about this bike that you feel is special? Tell us, without any of the fluff of the story of how the bike came about, what you see in this bike.

      • david blankenhorn

        Bars/clipons spectacular..pizza-slice seat I dunno…lack of some vestigial barrier between butt & rear tire makes my man-parts want to try to retract back into my body.Out of harm’s way.

  • JimmyR14

    I love it! How much more can you leave off?? Fab. Now if we allow function to play a part I would add fenders, and that’s all. I have ridden my bike without fenders and it’s not as much fun. But damn – it looks amazing and looks like a heap of fun. And it looks way better than 99% of the new bikes being sold today. Cool bike!

    FWIW I have found that a seat doesn’t need padding to be comfy. My Corbin seat has hardly any padding at all but is shaped so well it doesn’t need it.

  • 2rivers

    Like the design, don’t like the unfinished details and I think I would have tried to clean-up and polish a bit more.

    Lots of haters on these comments. Lets see your builds…

  • BigPeeWee

    This style has lost it’s shine. No effort, no engineering, no talent for innovation. Seems like just sum mo internet pack filler. Time for a trend change. People that build this style will hopefully move on to tats and body piercings and leave the customizing to peoples with imagination. Next pleese.

  • bobx

    bikes rad. saw it in chicago at mvr. would like to see what everyone else thats hatin on it is building.

  • http://www.facebook.com/alex.andrade.16121471 Alex Andrade

    This bike is sick. The builder is quite talented and I love the handle bars. I like everything from the pipewrap to the tires. Built by friends with stories to tell for years….
    If you wrench, ride or just admire that’s awesome, but to comment negatively when their bike is in the spotlight is…. well “dick”. I’d like to see guitarslinger lay a straight weld, assemble an entire bike, make a custom harness, bleed brakes, mount tires, lace/ true a wheel, design and build a seat (comfortable or not). Oh yeah he’s too busy picking apart bikes he couldn’t build himself. Go play with your guitar in the corner. to each their own. C.o.C FTW

  • revdub

    I really like the style. If it were mine, there are a few things I’d change; I think the front dropped a little would help the look, I would add some mufflers, and the white tank might look better in a dark brown, in my opinion. Still a sick looking bike. The stretch actually works for this bike. Have a blast riding!

  • Oldschoolmachinist

    It’s a nice looking bike, but the seat looks wrong in so many ways.

  • Cliff Overton

    I do like this bike, good eye for detail and a good frame colour choice too. I don’t mind the frame finished that way under the seat – although I can see an opportunity to install the blinkers in the frame end stubs, that might give the finished stub ends some purpose.

  • Mgmue mgmu

    Very cool. I like the seat, but agree with those that say the rear needs more finishing. Actually, so does the front – with the handlebars/triples – they could use a polishing just as the top of the triple received. Tank IMO would look better if the bottom was parallel to the ground & the rear opening was closed up where the seat would have met it in it’s former life. Not a fan of the duck bill on the headlight, but to each his own. Quite the talent brewing here & a fantastic first effort. Nice job.

  • ThatGuyYouKnow

    Same old shit

  • Oldroadie

    Duke box? Forget the commas, man…

    Nice bit of work, I’d like to take it for a spin.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Martin-Walker/592655243 Martin Walker

      And WTF is a “Rind Road”? ;-)

  • davmo

    The bike has some good things going on, especially for a first build. Have to agree that there are unfinished elements that detract from the finished product. Perhaps rust and corrosion are patina to some, too much and it says otherwise. The brake light wire wrapped around the swingarm. Zip- tie holding the tank in. The lack of fenders limit where this bike can actually be ridden. Some people posting on this site will never understand that the people you call “haters” are giving this builder exactly what he asked for: feedback. In art school it is called the “critique.” Everyone shows their work and receives opinions from folks of the same pursuit. It can be brutal or even petty, but the end result is you either improve or die. Maybe we should just give the builder a high-five and tell him he’s great, but that just sounds like a wank-off all the way around.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Tony-Stark/100003079960619 Tony Stark

      Excellent point, davmo. High five!

    • BenjaminMorgan

      Is there anything more pointless in the world than an art critic?? The only person a builder (or artist) should be catering for is themselves or their client, in the end, if the dude paying is happy with the outcome, anyone else’s opinion is superfluous.

      I would rather people stay true to whatever their gut tells them to build, be it unsafe or unsightly (to others), or cliché. Better that than listening to a self appointed committee of experts.

      • davmo

        If we were only talking about art, I would have to agree, however, when it comes to physics, a first time builder, and this one in particular could use some practical advice.

        • BenjaminMorgan

          Physics? On that point we will have to disagree, there is nothing dangerous about this bike if riden within its and it’s riders capabilities. Comfort is something that could fairly be questioned on this particular bike, but again if it’s not your ass on the saddle, and the owner is happy, who gives a shit?

          So you can call it practical advise, I’ll call it bunk.

          • davmo

            There is a reason we call them “donorcycles” in medicine. So if poorly engineered versions of one of the most inherentley dangerous modes of transportation are your fancy, please, by all means ride one. It is kidneys and corneas they are after, not brains.

          • BenjaminMorgan

            Medicine, physics, art, engineering… you truly are blessing us with your pearls of wisdom Mr Renaissance.
            Thousands of blokes managed to make it out of the 70’s riding ridiculous raked out choppers, surely far more compromised than this little machine.
            Id prefer to see my, soon to be licensed, little brother riding this bike, with all its warts, Than a brand new R6 or the like. Much less likely to be donating organs on this bike.

          • davmo

            Having read and re-read your posts, I have to bow to the superior wisdom they contain. You have bested me, and the “Mr Renaissance” comment cut me to the very soul (it’s true of course, I am just so terribly shy about it.) Your “King of the Internet” T shirt will be forthcoming in a week or two. Meanwhile, savor your victory. Well played, Benjamin, well played.

          • BenjaminMorgan

            Rad! I love free shirts. Thanks davmo.
            But just a reminder, we are BOTH ‘debating’ on a blog (we are old enough to know better, surely as pointless a pursuit as you could imagine), so maybe print up a shirt for yourself too.
            Out.

      • Davideokills

        As someone that went to art school and builds motorcycles I have always appreciated well thought critique. There is a big difference between an art critic and the comments of your peers. Any artist or builder that ignores entirely the advice of others with knowledge to share on a topic is likely to have a difficult time progressing.

        In regards to this build I find the strange clip ons very inventive and unique. Visually they are interesting and functionally they appear to not hinder the performance which in terms of an object intended for use is an important aspect.

      • http://www.facebook.com/terri.jetton Terri Perrin Jetton

        Only a person who knows nothing about art would make such a statement.

        • BenjaminMorgan

          What is there to know about art more than knowing what you like and respecting the artists vision or ability (not always both)?

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Tony-Stark/100003079960619 Tony Stark

        Only a person who knows nothing about art criticism would make such a statement.

        Ironic really. You are on here giving your opinion, which we should all accept as truth(?), but the criticisms of others are somehow wrong.

        • BenjaminMorgan

          I feel so intellectuality inferior. Crying

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Tony-Stark/100003079960619 Tony Stark

            Here’s the deal, Benjy. Your referring to how a builder (as an artist) should stick to their “gut feeling” of what to build is the beginning of understanding art criticism. AC is a way of putting into words why or why not when it comes to creating art. You’re not intellectually (intellectuality?) inferior, you’re just speaking on a topic you don’t understand.

    • http://www.facebook.com/PicklesAndCream Ben Robinson

      Where’s yours?

      • davmo

        Don’t know if you are asking me or the @davideokills, but I will post a pic if that is what you want.

        • http://www.facebook.com/PicklesAndCream Ben Robinson

          Yeah. Lets “critique” it. From where I’m sitting this bike has some great style. A little bit cafe with some bobber and steampunk. Looks like it sat in a barn for 20 years and the kid gave it a bath. Lets see you pull that “look” off. Rough around the edges. Smooth up the middle. Would i want to ride that seat for more than half an hour? Probably not. Would the owner? I’d bet he rode it all last night and went to work with a couple icy hots for his back.

          • davmo

            You would be waiting some time for me to “pull off that look.” Rough around the edges, rat bike, steampunk, all “looks” that people are trying to various degrees of success. When done well, it rocks. Too often it appears to be a failed attempt. Nothing worse than a “style” without the substance to match. Having said that, not putting this bike int he “failed” category (read my first post.) Still trying to figure how to post pics with the Disqus system, but will give it a go. Type”dax” in the search function on this site to see my work. Don’t worry which one, it is the only dax here. Have a half dozen similar customs I can show you.

          • http://www.facebook.com/PicklesAndCream Ben Robinson

            I read everything you had to say. You talk as if a build is supposed to reach some level on a pedestal of absolute perfection based on preset guidelines. Just because you don’t like something about it does not make it wrong or failed. If you like shinny sparkly circus bikes with more HP than stock. Then thats what you like and thats what you build.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Tony-Stark/100003079960619 Tony Stark

            I like the glittery streamers hanging from the ends of the grips. And a basket with a plastic flower is nice to :)

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Tony-Stark/100003079960619 Tony Stark

          I’ll post a pic of mine as well. That is, I’ll have to post several pics since it happens to be pieces all over my garage at present.

        • Robert Alexander

          still waiting for your pics

          • davmo

            If you look a little further down, you will see I posted the link 3 months ago. Go to the search function and type “dax”. Here’s another one. Maybe you can tell me what model and year.

          • beerob81

            what a hideous turd

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Tony-Stark/100003079960619 Tony Stark

    I like it. I know there was some last minute, “hey, how about we do this to it?” going on. Some things are a little quirky, but not worth pointing out. Some things I’d do different (again, not necessary to point out.) I think it looks fun to zip around on.

  • Glenn

    I am surprised no one has pointed out the lack of a support between the top shock mounts. Unsafe at the very least and potentially lethal at worst.

    • cagivarider

      Neither nor. Completely uncritical.

      Apart from that the sadest bike I ever saw at Pipeburn –
      a perfect caricature of the wannabe custombike, with all
      well known hipsteresque aberrations…

      Brrrr!

      • glenn

        What a fucking stupid reply……

        Of course a compromised frame is unsafe! Combine that with an extended small tube swingarm with laid down shocks!

        Go round a corner…………forces are not all vertical…they are a combination of gravity, centrifugal and friction.

        A crap old Honda frame is poor at best….removing cross bracing is fucking dangerous.

        And comments from a a person that rides a pile of shit from a company that has has not produced a bike since 1998…………………………………………….

        • cagivarider

          Hi Glenn,

          the fact that you don’t like my pile of shit proves me wrong of course.

          This mod is obviously lethal, sorry, fucking lethal!!!!

          O.k. now?

          Fucking regards
          Sven

          • Glenn

            No worries Adolf

          • cagivarider

            Ohh Glenn, you’re such a naughty naughty boy …

          • Glenn

            Yep!

    • Robert Alexander

      Ive looked at the area pretty closely and judging by the frame and the area where they are mounted I doubt a support bar would be necessary. Looking at other pictures on the net of this bike and the owner (a hefty guy) i doubt it needs one.

  • Russell Lowe

    Nice little bike, the white and the gold give it a “quiet toughness”. Those clipons are a great idea too … I just spent two days on the lathe, mill and welder making a set of clipons out of mild steel, not only would that have been faster, using the lower tree gives them an almost factory, but not, kind of look. Also great for people that don’t have access to the gear required to make that part from scratch … I find this kind of thing inspirational. And very cool.

  • rennie61

    The seat bothers me and the lack of fenders mean you couldn’t ride it in my part of the World (London). Also surely no muffler means it’s not road legal. But if you are a fan of the stripped-down aesthetic and there’s a lot of us about then it takes some beating. A lot of bikes on Pipeburn are minimal and that’s why we come here…..if you don’t like the look and don’t see it as real customisation could it be that you re in the wrong place?

  • arnold

    Some parts are well done, some parts are well finished, some parts are well……
    Most of us have tried to do everything ourselves with good and bad results.
    Depending on time and money and the quality standard I want to reach, some or all the work goes out the door to someone else.

  • Sonreir

    Another non-functional piece of art.

    “Vintage” tires that were chosen purely for looks and not performance. Stretched swingarm ruins the suspension geometry on what was already a pretty sketchy rear end. Chopped shorty exhaust kills power while increasing fuel consumption. Forward handlebars combined with stock foot controls means the bike’s no fun to ride more than ten miles. Unfiltered stacks means it’ll need to be re-ringed in 5000 miles and need new valve seats in 10,000. Lack of fender brace on 33mm forks is a pretty big no-no if you want stable corners. Finally, no turn signals or gauges just proves this bike was only made to look at.

    • Matthew

      What about the seat?

      • Sonreir

        I could go on, but I was already starting to get a little too “nit-picky”. While a seat is obviously necessary for function, it’s a little less important than the other aspects which I covered.

        • Matthew

          Haha, okay professor.

    • Sonreir

      It is a good-looking bike though. :D

    • http://twitter.com/xTobias0 XTOBIASo

      buy a bmw and leave this blog

  • Your all awesome

    There’s a difference between critiquing and being arseholes.
    Most of you guys fit into the latter category.
    Lighten up, give the guy a pat on the back and try to be polite if you have any contructive criticisms.

  • h8rs gon h8

    Nice build, nice style, seat looks scary..

    there are some nice critical comments on here

    then there alot of major keyboard jockeying i live in my parents basement and have a mini bike douchebags on here…. where are your bikes featured on the site? or just got a chapped ass from being jealous…

    regardless, i look forward to see what comes out of this guys garage next!

  • aaronbbrown

    Uhmm, could we agree to upgrade that seat to a Corban Gunfighter saddle? My rear end will thank you. :)

  • Amrak

    what size are those wheels / tyres?

  • Helimechanic

    Hey Micah i am building similar set up to your pipes and was wondering what jetting you have on your carbs? The bike is cool and forget what everyone else is saying, build it for yourself and enjoy riding it!

  • stoop kid

    why no dust seals on the forks?? guessing the 4.0’s were to wide in the front…

  • Ruben Gallego

    Anyone know what size tires those are?

  • http://www.facebook.com/adam.witherick Adam Nuggsy Witherick

    could someone please help, im trying to locate the air filter cups that lead into the carburetors, but i cant find them on the internet. i need them to fit a 1979 honda cb400.f. any help would be massively appreciated!! x

  • http://www.facebook.com/adam.witherick Adam Nuggsy Witherick

    can anyone help me find the air filters used for the carbs. really want some for my cb, but cant find them anywhere on the internet….

  • bimo saputra

    awesome

  • resonent frequency

    I like it….Its not “perfect” by “some” peoples “standards” (whatever the fuck that is these days)
    Whats cool is Its a nice minimalist build…I cant believe people get their panties in a twist about the rear cutoffs, really?.

    Yeah well maybe im “clueless too” becasue i admire more the rat rod styling instead of this homogenized stuff people tend to be trained to like.. All that OC choppers gaudy shit (still love those dysfunctional fucks) and did make some killer bikes at times…

    Yes this style is being done to death and along with bobbers and choppers ect but they still express peoples creative thing… So i can celebrate that…without the snark

  • Ian

    This bike is fresh! I read a few comments, they all sucked. I would be stoked if I came across this bike in the wild. It’s like a Rat Rod of bikes. Simple colors, minimalist design, hand crafted. This style makes me want to buy a bike; disruption style is great for the motorcycle game.

  • Jb23

    beautifully done, needs a rear mudguard though ….