In Jonny's own words:
The wife and I got Rodin, a golden retriever in 2007. That got me thinkin', how cool it would be to have a bike with a sidecar for my dog to ride in. Searching for sidecar rigs, I came across a Harley Springer Classic, no sidecar, but a great looking bike. Screw the dog, I need that bike. Bought it, and rode it around stock for awhile after pulling all the HD skull covers the previous owner put on everything... what is it with Harleys and scary skulls?
Really liking the bikes' looks, but still needing to make the bike "mine", I bought a stage IV kit on eBay and installed it. That engine is a complicated as a Briggs and Stratton lawnmower engine. Now my bike was fast, for a Harley-Davidson, but still looked stock. I still love riding the Harley, but the fuse of modifying had been lit, I need to build a whole new bike.
Now with it being my first build, I was looking to spend as little as possible, use something different and end up with a bike that when people ask, "you built that yourself?" and they really don't know. I've seen home built bikes that look...how do I say this...home built. The Internet is full of information and parts suppliers for CB750s. Came across a bike called the "Super Bobber" built by CycleX on my internet surfing. It was long and low, and unlike any 1970s looking Honda chopper I'd ever seen, so a CB750 it would be... to keep it clean, no clutch, it would be a CB750A HONDAMATIC.
I picked up a donor bike off of Craig's list in Tampa cheap and rode it down to St. Pete with gas leaking out of the carbs and stalling at stoplights. Got busy with the tear down. The first to go was the Vetter faring, man was that thing fugly. A Call to Cycle X for their "Boxer" frame, dual carburetors, and down-low-speedo, and I was committed to the build.
The original hubs were laced to new rims. The original forks were shaved, shortened 2" and polished up for a smooth look. The frame showed up to my front door, and it wasn't long before I had a roller. The gas tank is a Cole Foster. I had an oil tank to hold my battery and electrics (wet sump in the hondamatic) but it seemed sort of "fake", so off it went. Same with two rear fenders I bought on eBay, before settling on a blank I cut up myself. Lowbrow hooked me up with all the bungs to mount my fender and seat, a cool stainless seat hinge and seat springs, they also carry the model '33 tail light and chain tensioner I used. Thanks to Patty Perfect's borrowed stick welder, everything got tacked in place. Everyday was like Christmas as it seemed there were always boxes on the front porch to be opened. Our mailman, Joe, carried most of my bike to me one part at a time.
When the bike was almost done, I couldn't wait to ride it, so....a quick wiring job and a rattle can paint job and "Juan" the rat was on the road for two weeks. I had so much time in it by now, I had to finish it properly, so the bike came apart again, for powder and paint. I spent the time waiting to buff and paint the motor. With all my new shiny parts back in my Florida "hot ass summer in hell" garage, "Juan" came back together quite quickly. It had been almost one year after the trip to pick up the old sad looking 1976 CB750A with my VERY supportive wife, little Jennifer.
8000 miles later, I still love this bike. I could not have made it without Ken @ CycleX, you guys at Lowbrow Customs and Nate, a south St. Pete brother making some cool parts at Casket Factory Customs..there you happy now Nate? Oh yeah, the dog still rides in the car. Continue to Part II