What’s old is new again. In Australia and New Zealand, the common Honda CT110 ‘Postie’ bike is a familiar sight and sound. Used in both countries by the local postal services, they’ve been buzzing along footpaths and dropping off mail for the best part of 30 years. In Australia, second-hand examples of the common Postie are a popular option for a cheap runabout, given their robust nature and ease of riding. A birthday gift to owner Sal, this particular 2003 Honda CT110 was enjoying farm life after its retirement from daily post delivery. $800 later and it was heading back to the Ellaspede shop in Brisbane for a new lease on custom life.
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.
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Pipeburn firsts? We’ve had a few in our time. A WWII Harley blown with Subaru supercharger. A twin pulsejet bobber. Even a murdered-out Chinese army bike. But never, NEVER, have we had anything like this. First and foremost, it has no seat. On any other day that would be enough to stop you in your tracks, until you realise that it has no tank, either. Or frame. Or instruments… hell, it barely has anything at all and looks like the bastard child of an unholy union between a drag bike and a giant’s Mecano kit. And we love it. Introducing Andy Copeland and his CT110 masterpiece, “Express Post”.
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Christmas, 1982. Piallaway Road, Currabubula, North Eastern New South Wales. It’s a warm Saturday afternoon and I’ve decided in all my 11 year-old wisdom that I’m going to ride a motorbike as fast as it will go on a deserted public road with a complete lack of skills, safety gear, licence or fear of death. As the bike tears through the summer air I soon realise that the wind blast means that I can’t keep my eyes open, but the speed I’m travelling at means I can’t shut them either. I settle on a eyes-wide-shut squint. They begin to water profusely, which not only decreases my already limited vision to something now resembling being underwater, but has the added effect of creating copious amounts of tears which are almost instantly blown back into the hair above my ears. Still I fight on until I realise that the bike has no more left to give. The roar of wind in my ears is deafening, but within seconds it dies away as I back off and roll to a stop in the middle of nowhere, grinning like an idiot in almost complete silence. Well, technically speaking I probably WAS an idiot – a phrase which would be repeated many times over the next hour by my angry parents. Thinking back, that was the exact point I fell in love with motorbikes. The bike I was on? The Honda CT 110 “Postie”.
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The humble Honda CT110 is one of the most reliable bikes on the planet, which is why Postman use them to deliver the mail down here in Australia. They are affectionately known as ‘postie bikes’ and have always had a cult following but we haven’t seen many customized, until now. A company in Melbourne called Postmodern Motorcycles are turning these air-cooled single cylinders into tasty little customs.
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