We’ve seen plenty of shed-built bikes but … apartment-built? Yes, it’s possible—as Simon Radomski shows with this adorable Honda S90.
He picked the bike up on Craigslist for $220. “The guy had too many other projects,” he says, “and needed to get rid of this one. It was rough, but mostly complete.”
At the time, Simon was living with his wife in a dorm apartment at Auburn University. She took some convincing but, somewhat incredibly, agreed to let him work on the bike indoors.
“I used the bathroom and bathtub for all my parts cleaning, sanding, and polishing,” he explains. “The living room was for tearing down the bike and making small parts.”
The S90’s engine was a little worse for wear, so Simon pulled it apart. He replaced all the gaskets, bearings and seals, as well as the piston and rings. The cylinder was honed and polished.
Simon then swapped the stock carb for a 2004 Honda CRF80 unit, equipping it with a foam air filter. “I used a wide band O2 sensor to tune the carb, and got it running pretty well,” he says. “It usually starts on the first or second kick.”
The wheels were rebuilt with fresh bearings and brake shoes, and updated rubber. Simon used a bicycle truing stand to balance them and repainted the rims and hubs, polishing the hub centers for maximum heat dissipation. The forks and rear shocks were overhauled too.
Simon made most of the S90’s parts himself: like the LED turn signals, tail light and license plate light. He also fabricated brackets for the license plate, speedo and headlight—which is a 90mm LED unit from a transit bus.
During the rewire Simon converted the S90 from 6v to 12v. There’s a new battery cover with a voltage gauge, a new front brake switch, and even a USB charging port.
For the exhaust, Simon bent and welded a new stainless steel header, and used two stainless steel water bottles to build a silencer. The stock fenders were trimmed and reshaped. A Harley-Davidson Road King mirror was adapted to fit the S90’s handlebars, and the switchgear is from a newer model Honda.
During the rebuild, Simon dipped any rusted components in rust remover. All the painted aluminum was stripped and polished, while selected bits and pieces (including the spokes) were parkerized.
The paint color he chose is a 1960s Ford Reef Aqua; he shot it himself over an epoxy primer. The tank emblems are also his handiwork.
Brown leather accents finish off the build: a custom seat, kneepads on the tank, grips and passenger foot pegs.
It was all going swimmingly until the chain exploded on the first test ride. So the budget was stretched to include a new chain, new sprockets, and new cabling throughout.
“It tops out at about 58mph according to my phone GPS, and only weighs 185lbs wet,” he reports. “So it’s a lot of fun to throw into a corner.”
The project took Simon about a year and less than $1,500 to finish, but he’s pleased with the results. We’re betting Mrs. Radomski is pleased to get her bathroom back too.