Most custom motorcycles have an interesting story behind them, but the tale behind this 1972 Honda CB350 is more interesting than most. I’m not being entirely impartial here, though—this bike was inspired by the often-heated comments on Bike EXIF. ‘The Brat’ was built by reader Rex Havoc and his friend Brad, who run a small custom workshop in Perth, Australia, called Garage Project Motorcycles. “I would send messages to Brad telling him to check out the latest bike on your site,” says Rex, “and then we would laugh at some of the comments. One day I’d had enough. So in the heat of the moment, I replied to someone and said, ‘show us your build or GTFO’. He emailed me and suggested I do the same, in equally colorful language.” So Rex bought a CB350 for $1,600 from eBay and got started.
Whenever he and Brad had to choose a part, a color or make a design decision, “We would ask ourselves ‘what would the commentators say on Bike EXIF?’.” Which explains the pipe wrap, the vintage-style Firestone tires, drum brakes and minimal suspension travel. Not to mention the velocity stacks, the straight-through exhaust, the flat seat with no bum stop, the asymmetrical tank paint and the “silly speedo design”.
On a more serious note, this CB350 suits its purpose very well. It’s designed for cruising around the roads of Perth, which are mostly flat, straight and well-surfaced. It’ll be ridden just a few times a month in good weather, and it doesn’t need a battery because it’s easy to kick start.
At the All Japanese Motorcycle Show in Perth, ‘The Brat’ picked up second place. I guess that’s proof that not everyone will hate this bike. Do you?