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Brenton Newton’s Honda CT110 Bobber

Posted on January 13, 2013 by Andrew in Bobber. 33 comments

Any of us that have tried to build a custom bike for ourselves will know the pleasure and the pain that it can bring. For all the cool beers at the end of a day where you just sit back and smile and the progress, there’s an equal number of days where you think to yourself, ‘is this really the best used of my heard-earned?’ As the bills roll in and the unexpected speeding tickets, surprise tax bills, and other infuriating expenses mount, the chances of finishing the bike look more and more like a pipe dream. But what if you removed money from the equation almost entirely? What if you just used whatever came to hand and trusted your instincts and ingenuity over your wallet? What if? This if. Behold the coolest, cheapest and definitely the most unusual Honda CT110 we’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting.

Seat and tank from BSA. Engine from Briggs & Stratton

Here’s the catchily-named Brenton Newton, the bike’s builder. “I built it for roughly $1200 using many random bits I have been hoarding for some time. A 1993 CT110 postie donor bike was purchased for $300 with the unused bits sold off to cover the costs of the bike. The wheels and front end are off the postie, but with the forks I have lowered them 40mm. The postie roller was jigged up on the work bench and cut up leaving just the headstock, so the rake and trail are the same as the postie.”


“The engine side cover is custom made from
a jaguar hub cap and some sheet metal.”


“The frame is a one off by me, using only the Honda headstock and rear axle plates. The engine is a 305cc 8hp Briggs and Stratton ‘flathead’ engine as used in a pump or other industrial application. This was picked up off ebay for a hunge (that’s Aussie for $100 – Andrew). The engine side cover is custom made from a Jaguar hub cap and some sheet metal. The round button above the louvre is the kill switch. The cylinder head ‘spikes’ were turned up my me. The carby is of unknown origins but it’s a 28mm mikuni flatside, which I had bought years ago for another bike. It was surprisingly jetted very nicely for the Briggs engine, and the rubber boot bolted straight up to the original manifold… gotta have some luck occasionally!”

“The exhaust is hand made from scrap exhaust bends I had lying around, then heat wrapped. The engine has been fitted with a alternator and flywheel off an electric start version, so I can run my headlight and taillight. The gearbox used to be a Lifan 125cc pit bike engine. I removed the top end and drilled out the counterweights on the crank to even things up. A blanking plate was constructed to block the hole where the cylinder used to be and the flywheel was sacrificed to modify into a drive hub for the 50mm belt drive. Machining the pulleys to suit the engine and gearbox from blanks was one of the more time consuming parts of the build. The belt drive guard is hand built from cheap and cheerful flat steel.”

“The tank and seat are BSA Bantam items, and the patina on the tank was retained and clear coated. The headlight bucket is a modified CT110 unit with the speedo section shaved and smoothed. This was then given a patina then cleared. The rear fender is a modified CT110 front fender and was treated the same, ditto with the headlight ears. The bars are YZ80D items with the cross bar removed. The levers and throttle are repro Triumph.”

“The pegs belonged to a CX500 and the forward controls and linkages were hand made. Most of the bike has been clear coated with KBS diamond finish, after the surface was given a distressed look. All small parts were tumbled in a drum full of gravel to achieve this. Most of the parts for this bike were just stuff I had lying around from other builds, and bikes I have had over the years. Likewise most of the frame and other parts were knocked up from all those awkward off cuts of steel from other projects.”

Brenton is hoping that his patented in-bike sausage holder really takes off

“For something made out of what’s basically scrap,
I’m pleased to say it rides really well.”


“For something made out of what’s basically scrap, I’m pleased to say it rides really well. It’s unlike anything else I’ve ridden, with all that flywheel weight it’s definitely all about short shifting and using the torque of the engine, as it doesn’t feel comfortable at higher revs. Thus I have put the tallest gearing I could find on it at 17/35. This was project was completed over the last 12 months in my parents shed, using basic tools and a MIG welder. I had bought a lathe around the same time as embarking on this project so it was a good opportunity to learn how to use it!”

Posties, angry about what Brenton had done to their favourite bike, summoned a terrible storm

  • Lewn

    Wow, Briggs and Stratton! Very impressive engineering wise, and a great way to recycle cool junk. As a bike it would make a really fun reliable farm bike or something. Worthy and very interesting, even if an 8hp hard-tail single isn’t exactly my dream ride.

    • It could have a sidecar that doubles as a grass catcher.

  • kevin__fullerton

    Cool bike, nice work!

  • RHC

    BRAVO! Simple, direct, light, low on cost, high on ingenuity.

  • A ruddy little scratchy bike that is simple and fun. Creative yet not over the top. It generally seems comfortable and functional and clearly not intended for overly enthusiastic riding. Clean without being prissy, the rustic finish inspires a visceral response. Having never ridden it, I can still imagine the feel, sound, and smell.

  • Now&Zen

    On one hand I don’t much care for the unfinished looks . On the other I admire the creativity, resourcefulness and cojones it took to build it .So overall I’ll call it ‘ interesting ‘ and leave it at that .

  • waincat

    I had considered building a bike in this way about a year ago but gave up, but I think I might give it another go after seeing this. I love the B&S engine with that big flywheel. Looks like a Royal Enfield diesel conversion, though smaller and a lot cooler.

  • blackbird

    Love your work!

  • revdub

    I’m in love with that tank!

  • What a cool little bike. Using a Lifan motor for the gearbox was brilliant – giving me all sorts of ideas. This reminds me of the old Bantams and Hummers that we rode as kids – or before that the lawnmower engined pedal bikes we would cobble together just because we didn’t know we couldn’t.

  • Cleon

    Damn, cool!
    That engine looks so sweet in there.

  • Brenton Newton

    I’d like to thank my brother James for his time and efforts in photographing the bike for me! He did a fantastic job, it’s much appriciated!

    • revdub

      The photography is great!! Suits the bike perfectly.

      • nathas909

        Yeh the photography is brilliant. Really gives the bike a life of its own. Nice change from the ordinary white backdrop

    • Now&Zen

      Might I ever so humbly suggest Mr Newton that a bit of time polishing and sanding along with a few cans of properly applied spray paint would instantly elevate your creation from interesting to one damn fine bike …. at the very least ? Just a suggestion mind you 😉

      • Brenton Newton

        The thought had crossed my mind, however the patina on the tank really appealed to me, so I made everything to suit. My initial plan was to build a straight out rat bike, however, It’s development took a slightly more polished route. There is so much depth in the clear coated patina (that may no be apparent to those looking at the photos) that its quite captivating to stare at, and i think that painting a solid colour might loose some of this interest.

        • Micheal J Calhoun

          its the unrelenting suprise of the paint that helps take this to the level of unique that this bike is. I love the patina and the overall design.


  • Paco

    Thanks for not buying your way out Brenton because it’s in tackling the problems that some of the most stunning and ingenious work takes place.

  • BJ

    I was lucky enough to see this little piece of ingenuity take place over the last 12 months. For Brenton to have invisiged this from what was left of that old postie bike just blows me away. Even they way he acheived the distressed look of the bike was something that most people would never ever think of. Clearly someone with a lot of talent. Well done mate, looks sensational. I cannot wait to take it for a ride next time I am up 😉

  • arnold

    Thanks, this is the the type of project I like the best. The is always a glimmer of unique creativity to be found despite the black clouds (as photographed above). So it gets what, 2 or 3 years to the tank of gas with steady riding?

    • Brenton Newton

      With only a few laps of the court under its belt I couldn’t tell you, however that flat side carby might decrease its economy somewhat!

  • John Morris

    Brilliant job there Brenton, great ideal with the engine. Keep up the gppd work,

  • Heretic

    Don’t touch the paint on the tank…in your tank photo I see a rider with a girl looking over his shoulder with the headlight in front of them and a blue sky with gray clouds behind them!!!

    • Mike Cambareri

      I was going to make a snide comment about your need to lay off certain mind-altering substances, but I’ll be damned, I see it too…

  • Awesome bike.
    I “get” it! Don’t paint it whatever you do.
    Does the kick starter on the gearbox start the motor?

    • Brenton Newton

      Yeah it does, longevity might prove to be an issue though as its a bloody heavy kick to spin that engine!

  • Well done. In these budget builds one thing gets overlooked. The money invested in the tools on hand. Yes that cost is amortized over time but for folks who don’t have a lathe, a welder on hand and other tools these costs to replicate this bike go significantly higher. Like the bike, looks is very cool.

  • itsmefool

    I don’t want to like this bike, but I can’t help myself…anything powered with a Briggs & Stratton (which has cut many a blade of grass in the good, old U.S. of A.) has got my vote!

  • absolutely love the paint. very interesting engine setup too…very creative!

  • Siza rok

    Great work ! it gives me hope that I one day might be able to build something of a similar style (this is setting bar very high mind you)

  • I can’t help but compare this to the Icon-Triumph build (about 16 posts forward) with my hat being tipped towards your dystopian vision.

  • Johnny Palooka

    super cool & I’m getting a postie customised shortly & your bike is the pic I’ve sent requesting the same