Steel Bent Customs are better known for their uncompromisingly naked, stripped-back, brat-style and cafe racer customs, with super-slim seats and empty subframes that fill the comments boxes with questions about where the batteries are hidden and how long you can ride the bike before your backside gives up. Paint schemes are usually, gloss black, matt black, or maybe dark grey. In comparison this 1973 CB350 four with a rigid rear-end and decorative patterned paint looks like a major departure, but this SBC build is still clean and simple without any frills - however, she didn't start out so clean. This is how the Honda looked when Michael Mundy and the guys found her in Gibsonton, Forida. "We love the rigid frame designs, and we've had a smaller 350 bobber build on our list." Michael went on to tell us that while they appreciate the popularity of the cafe custom scene they also want to build bikes that will bring the same relevance and buzz to rigid bobbers. The bike was stripped and the frame was chopped at both ends, right down the frame tubes to the engine mounts. Everything else was thrown away. The new rear end was a pre-built unit made for an xs650 by Cycle One which they grafted on. "The back bone needed about two inches to give us a more level look as we didn't want the appearance of a chopper. We found new rims, new stainless steel spokes, and a front drum off a CL350". The bike was rewired to run as kick-start only but retains a small battery to keep things running on an even voltage, and this is tucked in to the small oil tin in the subframe. "We had the frame powder coated gloss black, polished all the aluminum engine cases, and gave Mo Colors carte blanch on the paint scheme." And then there's that exhaust: "The exhaust was something I was just toying around with, and really had no intention of using on the build, but after time it became something greater than I expected." "We wrapped the stainless steel & added some small baffles to give her some back pressure & she has an incredible low growl. The pipes clear your leg fairly well, at stops you feel the heat a bit..." "...But they are something we haven't seen before and we feel if we're not doing something different, we aren't doing something right. We like her, and if everyone did, we wouldn't." It's great to see something different coming out of the Steel Bent Customs workshop, and this is certainly a bike that stands out from the crowd, building a bridge between the cafe/brat and bobber worlds. See more from Steel Bent Customs here on The Bike Shed, or on the SBC Website. Posted by Dutch@TheBikeShed.cc
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