Kingdom of Kicks is typical of the small, up-and-coming workshops that are lighting the fires under the European custom scene. It’s run by James Jordan, who started out building bikes in a small apartment—and now enjoys marginally larger premises in Hackney Wick, an east London district famed for its greyhound and speedway racing.
James creates understated, neatly finished machines ideal for buzzing around the city but perfectly capable of heading further afield—like this immaculate 1977 Honda CJ360T, beautifully shot by the photographer Sam Christmas. The Honda used to be a little rough around the edges, until the local police gave James very a good incentive to clean it up.
“I got pulled over by the cops for having a ‘rat bike,’” he explains. “I narrowly avoided having the bike seized as being ‘unsafe for the road’—for having a bare metal tank and no front fender!”
James got the hint and he’s now transformed the 360 into one of the cleanest small-capacity Hondas we’ve ever seen. It’s not a radical build, but it’s beautifully finished with just the right mix of period charm and custom upgrades.
James completely stripped and rebuilt the engine with new fasteners, gaskets and seals, and installed Mikuni VM32 carbs and a new clutch. He’s lowered the bike slightly too, fitting Hagon shocks at the back and chrome fork covers up front. The wheels are classic alloy valanced rims from Morad, hooked up to polished stock hubs.
There are small, thoughtful touches throughout, like the discreet switches on the bars and the concealed cabling routed through the bars and top yoke. Barons Speed Shop finessed the rear fender and tank, which now hides a cable-operated remote master cylinder. The simple but elegant exhaust system was created by flat-track masters Co-Built.
As with most builders, though, it’s not just about the bike: it’s the process and the culture too. “I’ve ridden the Honda from London to France to Spain, and all around southern England, two-up with my girlfriend,” says James. “And I learnt many new skills during this build, saw new landscapes and met great people who will be life-long friends.”
And that’s what it’s all about, isn’t it?