This post was written by James Fawcett of Slipstream Creations. When possible we like to bring you the story of a custom motorcycle in the words of the folks who built it, to cut out the middle man and give you unique insight into their methods and reasoning.
With Honda’s recent revival of small displacement retro favorites, the owner of this Honda CB125 found herself contemplating a new Honda Monkey to celebrate her own 40th birthday. A relatively short rider (standing 5’2 — with boots) without a whole lot of miles under her belt, there was a lot to like about the new fuel injected Monkey. After browsing all of the usual corners of the internet for moto inspiration, she came across some of our previous builds here at Slipstream Creations.
After a few emails and phone calls, we agreed that a factory Monkey would be nice, but it was missing that little bit of character and attitude that you get from a custom bike that was actually born back in the ’70s. We knew we could build her a bike that was appropriately sized without looking like a toy, and would be an absolute blast to ride.
The seat height and overall dimensions of the Monkey or Grom were a good starting point, and we agreed that the 1973 CB125 would be a great foundation. Having a complete motor and good frame on a shelf in storage, we dug into hashing out the overall vibe of the bike, the high-level aesthetic details, and some of the functional considerations for a smaller rider — lever reach, height, etc.
With an overall “city scrambler” theme, we went to work sourcing parts. To accommodate fat dual sport tires, we fitted a complete CB360T fork, complete with disk brake. We also lengthened and stiffened the stock swingarm to make room for an 18″ rim and large rear tire.
A custom subframe was also fabricated to clean up the lines of the bike and provide a comfortable seat height. Metal fabrication was rounded out with custom headlight and speedometer brackets, a custom battery tray, front and rear fenders and mounts, and a custom skid plate.
The bike’s original 6-volt electrical system was upgraded to 12-volts, and all of the lights were fitted with LED’s. Being kick-start only from the factory, we were able to utilize a small nickel metal hydride battery pack to power the lights when the charging system output dips during idle.
The original CB125 tank was cleaned up and prepared for a custom paint design. Some customers are happy to give us a whole lot of latitude when it comes to aesthetic decisions, and this customer put a lot of trust in us as well, but she definitely pushed me to consider some things that my initial instincts rejected. As always, it was a rewarding collaborative process, and I’m glad she pushed me to help see her vision come to life.
Everything to achieve this finished bike was completed in-house — design, metal fabrication, paint and powder coating, upholstery. We couldn’t be happier with the way it turned out.
Here’s a list of some of the things that were done for this build:
– Complete front fork and disk brake from CB360
– Custom subframe and extended swingarm
– Custom fabricated battery tray mounted under seat
– Custom seat pan and seat upholstery
– Custom fabricated skid plate
– Custom headlight and speedometer brackets
– Shortened front fender and custom fender mount
– Stainless steel cone muffler
– 18” wheels with oversized aluminum rims and dual sport tires
– 12v conversion with LED lighting
– Custom designed and painted tank graphics
– All of the little, big details
If you’d like to see more from Slipstream Creations you can click here to visit their website.
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Articles that Ben has written have been covered on CNN, Popular Mechanics, Smithsonian Magazine, Road & Track Magazine, the official Pinterest blog, the official eBay Motors blog, BuzzFeed, Autoweek Magazine, Wired Magazine, Autoblog, Gear Patrol, Jalopnik, The Verge, and many more.
Silodrome was founded by Ben back in 2010, in the years since the site has grown to become a world leader in the alternative and vintage motoring sector, with well over a million monthly readers from around the world and many hundreds of thousands of followers on social media.