The most extraordinary thing about this build isn’t the bike itself—a humble Honda CB160—but the story behind it. Because the ‘Rusty Rocket’ was constructed almost entirely out of spare parts, collected over a year. Owner Scott Elder visited local vintage racers in Portland, Oregon, and dug through their ‘cast away’ piles in the corners, sheds, and backyards, finding a fender here, and a headlight there. There are a few exceptions such as the pipe, intake manifolds, and leatherwork, but almost everything else was borrowed or stolen—or ceremoniously traded for beer. A daily cafe racer built, literally, on a coffee-cup budget.
According to Scott, “This project took me to at least 17 private parts collections, suggesting that this bike was built from the ashes of at least 21 ‘retired’ machines. I’m not sure if this is simply the ultimate in ‘freecycling’, or a tragic indictment of my cheapskate nature!”
The bike came together at Poor Bastard Cycleworks. “The man behind it conjured the pipe out of thin air and a quick sketch I made on a napkin,” says Scott. At New Church Moto, they laughed but didn’t kick Scott out when he showed up looking for someone to help create a “strap-on chin pillow.” I’m glad Scott persevered—it’s certainly paid off. [Thanks to Matthew Sanders for the tip.]