Hoxton Moto, based in East London, are self-described ‘new kids on the block’ with this 'HM02' CB550 Brat only their second build. Shaun Fenton and Andrew Hunt, the two guys behind Hoxton Moto, have backgrounds in broadcast TV. Shaun is a cameraman and editor responsible for, amongst commercials and pop-promos, the 1998 self-financed documentary about London motorcycle couriers Mad Dogs which was broadcast on ITV and the Discovery channel. Shaun and Andrew were bitten by the biking bug early: Andrew's dad has an eclectic collection of motorcycles which seeded his interest in early Ducatis; Shaun apprenticed at Ricardo engineering where rubbing shoulders with engineers and fellow bike enthusiasts got Shaun "hooked on the freedom and excitement of bikes." Hoxton Moto started life as a YouTube channel creating short programmes "for bikers by bikers" before succumbing to the lure of building their own bikes. Shaun's always been around bikes, doing maintenance and repairs, but 4 years ago at the Vintage Motorcycle 1000 Bikes event at Mallory Park he was inspired by the 1960s TT-winning Hondas to create Hoxton Moto's first build: a CB400/4-based race replica. "We've always had a passion for motorcycles, classic, modern and dirt. I'm torn between the garage and the need to produce TV, but I've recently made more time in the shed to build bikes and set up Hoxton Moto." This time, the inspiration for their second build started with the tyres: "after viewing many bikes on BSMC, one feature that stood out was the classic tyres". Firestone Deluxe Champion tyres were the first purchase to compliment the donor bike, a 1977 Honda CB550 K3 bought 'blind' off eBay which Shaun describes as "regrettable". On collection it became quickly apparent that the bike had been neglected over the years with oil leaks, odd wiring, and stripped threads 'repaired' with self-tapping screws (never a good sign!). "As I rolled it into the van I realised I'd made a major fuck-up and would have to strip the bike completely and sort the mechanical problems before any design ideas." Hoxton Moto set out to create a simple, stripped-back, no fuss, functional machine with a few standout features to make the bike distinctive. The engine was overhauled including repairing a cracked rocker cover, replacing a bent exhaust valve, a new cam chain, some minor porting, and a complete rewire involving a DynaTech electronic ignition and coils. The original Keihin PD carbs were retained with RAM air pods replacing the air box. The exhaust uses the original 4-into-1 downpipes with a Universal Megaphone Reverse Cone silencer found at an auto jumble: "the sound is noticeable and raw but the neighbours haven't complained yet." The guys stripped the rusted frame and chopped the rear end to support a custom Glen Moger "brat-ish" (comfortable) seat in black leather. The original rims and hubs were painted, re-laced with stainless spokes, and shod with those classic Firestones (4.00-19" up front, 4.50-18" at the rear). A Monza fuel cap was welded on to the original tank, which was painted a black, red and white colour scheme with "a hint of 70s Honda throwback." The distinctive rear light was salvaged from a BSA Bantam, complimented by a renovated 1940s Villiers headlight and a Veglia speedometer from a late '80s Ducati SS (which also supplied the mudguard) all held by custom HM brackets. "There's plenty of grunt in the 550cc engine, but the handling of the Firestone tyres takes some getting used to, especially committing into bends. '70s braking needs anticipation, but that’s the character of the ride." So, what next from Hoxton Moto? "We're considering building a smaller twin or single cylinder bike. Similar style, but with more mods and more unique features." You can see Shaun and Andrew's first build and other short films about bike reviews, workshop tips and custom builds at their YouTube channel, their website or Facebook page
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