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Discussion Starter #1
And now, for something completely different.

I was looking for a bike that would be solely a coffee shop cruiser. No long trips, certainly no bad weather and something prettier than normal.

I started down the Ducati route, to the point of calling a few people and making a few trips. I had an 860GT and an 851 in my past, but neither was more reliable than a $25 Rolex. But I thought I would look .... because I'm a moron. A 900SS or 900 CR would have fit the pretty bill. But none that I would want could be found.

I then moved to 999R territory. Certainly spendier, but I thought I'd take a stab. You know those people that you talk to and have an immediate bad feeling about? My misfortune was to come across them in this search. So moving on and keeping my mind open I continued.

Despite looking at the Italian stuff, I wanted something fairly reliable. Nothing is worse than looking at a pretty bike waiting for parts as it sit in the garage. Or worse, on the side of the road.

I find an ad for this bike on Craigslist. It had been there a month before disappearing. The fellow had built it as a tribute to the RC-162, a bike he loved in his youth. Built on a Honda CB 350/4 chassis, it had the right amount of pretty and reliability to satisfy me. The ad disappeared before I decided to respond. I just remember 2 key phrases, Holtworks fuel tank and David Swarbrick exhaust.

Holtworks and Swarbrick are small UK builders. Tony Holt builds alloy fuel tanks and David Swarbrick builds exhausts, both of them manufacturing by hand. I emailed both to try to find the seller. All I knew was that he lived on the Sunshine Coast and built the bike in the last 2-3 years. Both agreed to search their records, what a great pair of craftsman!

Before they were able to find the builder, I found an old ad for the bike in a far corner of the interweb. I contacted the builder and had an immediate, good feeling about this guy. He had just completed the bike in August and blew his knee out a week after. A retired mechanical engineer, he wasn't going to heal anytime soon and enjoyed the build more than he enjoys riding.

We agree on a price and the Mrs and I make our way over the following week.

Waiting for the evening ferry to Gibsons, home of the Beachcombers ..... if you're really old!





The next morning, farther up the coast ......

 

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Loading the wee bike ....... it was a time consuming chore as the builder was fussing and helping. No pressure at all on my part! This was the first time the bike had been outside in 3 years.




On the way home ...... under that tarp you'll find dry cleaner plastic film, and under that you'll find an old Ducati indoor motorcycle cover. I was keeping that thing as dry and unmarked as possible.




More to follow after dinner .......
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Unloading a bike by yourself in -5 C weather after a 14 hrs day, tons of fun. Add in a lifted pickup, it's even more fun.

My biggest surprise was yet to come.

Like every rider, I have always wanted to store my bike(s) inside, where I can look at them. After being happily married for 28 years to a wonderful woman who is an amazing decorator; this was never an option.

However, after seeing this little jewel, she asks me "I suppose this means it will be kept inside?" After being happily married for 28 years to a wonderful woman, I jumped on that statement like a fat kid on a french fry.

So, fuel tank empty, carbs drained, here she sits; ready for next year when the roads are dry, the weather warm and the road calls.




 

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That's a set of forks off a CB400. I have already looked at getting them upgraded internally.




Monza style fuel cap on top of the Holtworks tank. The old style Honda decals are under clearcoat.




The rider's view.




Close up of the rear tank securement.




Bird's eye view.

 

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I'm extremely jealous. I love that thing. The final touch of perfection would be the matched fairing, but it's extremely cool right now. Tell me, is the fuel tank aluminium or glass fibre? If the latter, be very aware of it's ultimate destruction if E10 gasoline gets near it.

I've been collecting parts for a while now, to do this sort of thing to a CBX. Your new machine has re-inspired me.
 

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The twin leading shoe front brake is off a 1973 Suzuki Water Buffalo. Mondo stoppies on demand ........ well, maybe not.

Both wheels are freshly laced to high shoulder alloy rims.





Close up of the front lever and brake cables. BTW, unloading from the lifted truck mentioned earlier? It was a hoot trying to modulate new shoes running backwards as the bike rolled down the ramps. But all these meta bits look cooler than anything, in my opinion anyway!



Sexy rear end. That rear light has a clear panel that lights the plate as well.
Mmmmmm, more drum, more spokes and more alloy rims!



 

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Discussion Starter #7
The engine didn't require much more than a little bit of top end work. It starts and runs like a top.




Pod air filters on rebuilt carbs, yes please!




Tres clean as the french say.



 

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Discussion Starter #8
New old stock switchgear.

The top triple was milled by a guy inToronto.






There is some fine tuning and shake down things left to do. He was concerned about selling it to someone who thought it was going to ready to go. It took some persuasion in the end. Nothing major though, all easily done small projects.

There is a lithium battery and horn under the tailpiece in custom made, powder coated brackets. A Rick's Electric has upgraded the charging system. There is a new fabricated a new, high quality wiring harness and freshly drawn schematic for it.

He didn't like the lines of the tailpiece so he cut a pie shape out of it to narrow the front end.

That Holtworks tank was ordered in September of 2014 and was delivered in November of 2015. The Swarbrick exhaust arrived a little quicker. Tarozzi rearsets sourced from God knows where.


I make no claims to having anything to do with this build. The fellow who did managed a terrific job. I happened to be in the right place at the right time ...... with the right price. I totally lucked out.

So here I sit. A comedy on the screen, gas fireplace keeping the chill off and a pretty little Honda off to the side. Best new bike day for me yet! It will be a long winter until the day I can roll it out and go for a ride.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
I'm extremely jealous. I love that thing. The final touch of perfection would be the matched fairing, but it's extremely cool right now. Tell me, is the fuel tank aluminium or glass fibre? If the latter, be very aware of it's ultimate destruction if E10 gasoline gets near it.

I've been collecting parts for a while now, to do this sort of thing to a CBX. Your new machine has re-inspired me.
When I first saw it, I knew I had to get it. It's odd, I've never had that feeling before. But then again, I knew this was a one off bike done to an outstanding level.

The tank is alloy, it's a thing of beauty. He warned me as well about ethanol laced fuel, due to the issues it would have with sitting in the carbs. It had Chevron 94 in it when I picked it up, great smelling stuff!

The paint on it and the tailpiece are flawless. This is the tank builder.
http://www.holtworks.co.uk/index.html

This is the exhaust builder.
http://www.swarbrick-racing.co.uk/
The builder had fabbed up dB killers. I removed them and the sound level is still non-attention getting levels.
Oooooooh ....an RC166 tribute? That would be awesome. With that CBX mill, it would be 6/4 replica!

There is an alloy RC162 fairing builder in the UK. Not cheap at about 1400 pounds sterling, but did I mention it was an RC161 replica alloy fairing? There is an absolutely mind numbing amount of parts available. Frames, drums .... everything. The only thing you need to locate is a really, really deep wallet.
 

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When I first saw it, I knew I had to get it. It's odd, I've never had that feeling before. But then again, I knew this was a one off bike done to an outstanding level.

The tank is alloy, it's a thing of beauty. He warned me as well about ethanol laced fuel, due to the issues it would have with sitting in the carbs. It had Chevron 94 in it when I picked it up, great smelling stuff!

The paint on it and the tailpiece are flawless. This is the tank builder.
http://www.holtworks.co.uk/index.html

This is the exhaust builder.
http://www.swarbrick-racing.co.uk/
The builder had fabbed up dB killers. I removed them and the sound level is still non-attention getting levels.
Oooooooh ....an RC166 tribute? That would be awesome. With that CBX mill, it would be 6/4 replica!

There is an alloy RC162 fairing builder in the UK. Not cheap at about 1400 pounds sterling, but did I mention it was an RC161 replica alloy fairing? There is an absolutely mind numbing amount of parts available. Frames, drums .... everything. The only thing you need to locate is a really, really deep wallet.


lovely stuff.


Another notable "ally" supplier! Even more dear!!

http://wilcoxmetal.com/
 

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Discussion Starter #12
lovely stuff. Another notable "ally" supplier! Even more dear!! http://wilcoxmetal.com/
He certainly has nice nice bits. Under "Other" there is a beautiful tank and tailpiece to to an SR500 ..... and there are a couple derivatives of those around for sale right now. Expensive, but hand built bits usually are worth it.*

Truly remarkable bike. Wow and congrats on an amazing once in a lifetime score! You are one fortunate guy.
I was lucky to find him, persistence paid off. And after meeting him, I feel I was lucky to have made his acquaintance as well. Truly a nice guy. * *


And I'm really lucky to have a wife that said the this was OK! I sit here this morning, cup of coffee in hand and watching the news with the wee Honda sitting off to the side. This picture is from last night, which I sent off to some buddies last night. One replied "The chick on TV doesn't look too happy about it!" *

 

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That thing is gorgeous. Having built a bike myself I look at things like turn signals, brackets, fasteners etc, and he built it up really nice. I kind of get the feeling it was expensive though
 

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Outstanding! I love that thing, congrats!!
 

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Sexiest bike I've seen posted on this or any other site. The 162 is the best sounding bike I've ever heard and one of my favorite's in the sex appeal as well - this gem ain't far off.

Really and truly jealous, but still mostly happy for you. Mostly....



:)
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I'll pass it on to him, YL. Thanks.
*
Sexiest bike I've seen posted on this or any other site. The 162 is the best sounding bike I've ever heard and one of my favorite's in the sex appeal as well - this gem ain't far off.

Really and truly jealous, but still mostly happy for you. Mostly....



:)
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
That thing is gorgeous. Having built a bike myself I look at things like turn signals, brackets, fasteners etc, and he built it up really nice. I kind of get the feeling it was expensive though
I noticed those details as well. Engine bolts have been replaced with internal hex heads, turn signals are metal, brackets have been smoothed and polished. I can't find any of the regular spots that shortcut shows up. I've told him if he is building another, call me when he wabts ti sell!

There are some fasteners I plan on replacing with things I find more visually attractive, but thats a personal choice. Cost was in the neighborhood of a really, really nice 900SS. It was one of the rare purchases I felt was fairly priced. *
 

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The builder had mailed me a DVD with pictures he took throughout the build. This was due to there being so many, he didn't want to break them up into dozens of emails.

I thought I would add them in to provide some background on what was done. Also, for those doing their own builds, maybe an idea or two on how to tackle a problem.

First of all, what he started with and what he wanted to accomplish.






Engine work:







 
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