When you’re as good as suffolk’s Old Empire Motorcycles you don’t need to go hunting for work. Hell, their incredible history of customising classic motorcycles has customers practically begging them to create a bike. And that’s what’s happened with their latest creation, a 1976 Honda CB360…
When it comes to a custom builder’s inspiration, we thought we’d seen it all. Bikes inspired by Japanese swords, lightspeed spaceships and sociopath hit men? Been there, done that; as with most truly creative pursuits, inspiration can come from almost anywhere…
As the old cliché goes, “Restraint is the better part of beauty”. I prefer to think of it like this; there’s nothing more unattractive than someone who’s trying too hard. Be it popularity, personal appearance or 2-for-1 cocktails, the end result is usually always a disaster. Understanding this implicitly, Ironwood’s Arjan Van Den Boom (how cool is that name?) chose a subtle yet beautiful plan of attack when it came time to build this cool little ‘75 Honda CB360 tracker.
During our recent Melbourne sojourn to ride Triumph‘s new Bonneville, we caught up with Geoff and Luke from arguably Australia’s best custom bike magazine Tank Moto. After a few beers (OK – it was 8 beers) they told us they had a story we might like to share. We checked it out and were suitably impressed. So here’s Justin Holmes from Queensland’s Popbang Classics and his ridiculously cool ‘Hardache’ ‘74 Honda CB360 in his own words.
Custom bikes are a challenge that many of us have tried and failed. Whether it be a lack of time, money, skills or a combination of all three, there’s many more projects out there that get sold as spare parts than those that make it to the end. So imagine a project involving four different guys in four different US states that decided to build separate bits of a whole bike and then meet up to put it all together. In three days. At Barber Vintage Motorcycle Festival. Doomed to fail, you think? Think again.
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Written by Ian Lee.
Simple and aggressive. This was the build brief for today’s feature bike, a bare bones scrambler Honda CB360. Built by Brandon Nelson, who up until two years ago had no real interest in motorbikes, let alone custom ones, but this is definitely a kick ass start to his bike building portfolio. Starting with a non runner CB he picked up off the internet, Brandon has created his first frame off rebuild – and we think he has created a truly unique little stripped back and minimalist mono motorbike.
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Friday the 13th is considered an unlucky day in Western culture. There’s been horror movies made about the day and there’s even a name Friday the 13th phobias – it’s called friggatriskaidekaphobia. Seriously. Over the years, many bad things have happened on Friday the 13th. Most notability, it was the day the Olsen twins were born. Although some good things have happened on this infamous day as well. It was the day Brian Slater, the builder of this sweet little CB360, was born – hence the name ‘Lucky 13.’ “I’ve been working on motorcycles and building some low dollar choppers since about 2003 as a hobby,” says Brian. “I decided about 4 years ago to build a cafe racer/classic type of bike, and wanted something with a nicer finish.” So Brian went on a hunt for a donor bike for his latest project and was lucky enough not to just find one suitable bike, but three…
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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?
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Yes I’ll admit it, I have a serious soft spot for Honda CB360 cafe racers. To this day, one of my favorite bikes posted on Pipeburn was Peter Cabral’s CB360. So when Jeremy Pederson from Relic Kustoms sent me pics of his metal flake painted CB360, I just had to post it. Jeremy Pedersen is a talented young pinstriper from Austin, Minnesota who paints hot rods, helmets and motorcycles. “I started Relic Kustoms back in 2005-2006 mainly doing pinstriping,” says Jeremy. “Since then, I have gotten into more airbrushing, metal flake and kandy work. I also do graphic design and screen printing. My brother Nick does the majority of the metal work and custom upholstery”. So together, the Pedersen brothers form the perfect team when it comes to restoring motorbikes and cars, and here’s the evidence to prove it.
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This beautiful 1975 Honda CB360 was purchased by Canadian Peter Cabral for next to nothing about a year ago. Of course, you usually get what you pay for, and Peter got a vintage bike in vintage condition. It wasn’t running, the wiring was all damaged, it had a rusty tank and seized brakes. Although Peter has owned numerous bikes in the past, this is his first vintage custom project. Here’s what Peter told us about the build…