We’ve done quite a few Honda Cub conversions over the years. A lot of you have probably seen them, we got known for them for a moment and yeah, we’re pretty damn good at them.
When Nicco approached us to do a complete build on a 1979 Honda C-100 he’d come across, we knew straight off the bat that we didn’t want to go back over old ground. We needed a fresh direction. Bali streets are now littered with pretty people on Honda C-70’s heading from their yoga classes to their coworking spaces.
Let’s talk about the elephant in the room up front. The donor bike. Perhaps the best thing we can say about it, other than being one of the rarer C-100’s, it had a full set of papers. Those two made it something of a unicorn to find these days.
Mechanically speaking, this was a ground up rebuild. Nothing left untouched.
In the past, we’ve put our Cub’s on a hefty visual diet. The removal of the leg shield and other optically bulky items are ditched in favour of showing off the svelte lines of the underlying frame. But everyone’s now done that. So, we went in the complete opposite direction this time.
After taking a long hard look at the leg shields of vintage Vespa’s and Lambretta’s from the 70s to 90s and seeing how they feature so prudently on them, we chose to celebrate this direction of form. Plastic wouldn’t cut it, instead we chose the less pliable plate aluminium from which to fabricate them.
Painstakingly, Dylan, Arwin & Koko went through a slew of iterations, none of which were quite right, until they hit that shape that worked. A silhouette reminiscent of an Italian heritage rather than the bikes original Asian birthright.
This beautiful bit of metal folding set the bar extremely high on the handmade parts side of the build, leading us to follow through with a slew of other details. Where to start, lighting, often left until last to conceive, was for a change, something we knew what we wanted. Tight and bright at night and shiny front and back. Small is essential, given the stature of the bike. A five and a half inch Daymaker LED headlight would light the way, that just left us to look around for a suitable housing. Sorted when we sourced one of those little stainless steel buckets you see as auxiliaries of Harley’s. We found nothing we liked for stopping lights, leading Koko to take a rod of billet ally and perfectly turned it on the lathe to create a bespoke piece. Arwin was left with the task to coax a new set of side panels out of some more ally plate.
We delved into the logo archive and came up with some handmade metal Deus badges for front and sides. Turned and knurled billet aluminium foot pegs had little acid etched logos added to their ends. It’s not exactly a triple tree on these bikes but the plate that marries the risers to the forks was another inspired piece of fabrication.
Single seater wasn’t right for a couple, but the super long original wasn’t either. A little metal rearranging and a new seat pan that we shod in a light brown suede was produced. Cherry on top, a back facing stitched Deus logo.
The engine was pulled down to the big bits, we had to refresh all the innards; the clutch, bearings, rockers, gears, nuts, bolts, washers, gaskets and such and so forth. For added good measure we did a re-bore of the cylinder before dropping a new oversized piston in. We also popped on a new slide carb to keep it well fed. On the output side of the engine, a wonderful looking straight stainless pea shooter made it sound mighty fine.
The rear brakes were new old stock and we added a disk to the front and a reservoir on the stainless bars originally meant for a Yamaha RXZ. Posh mini switches for operations. Stainless laced spoked TK Rims shod in classic tread, IRC SP1 tire’s support the whole shebang.
With everything buckled down tight, we came to the paint job. A grey hair creating exercise if ever there was one. Inspired by the British racing greens, we agonized on how dark a green we could go before black came to town. We nailed it. There’s so much Aluminium bodywork it would have been a crime to cover everything, instead we left polished accents of it across the whole build. A crystal clear over the top and a small dollop of pearlescent made everything nice and shiny for the world to see.