Shaka Garage Silver Cruise
By James McCombe - 31 May 15
When the opening salvo of an email is thus: "Hello beautiful people, we are the children of Shaka Garage Bari - Italy" it makes you question if the New Wave movement is taking a deeper turn into the depths of the hippy-dippy '60s. The beards, open mindedness and community feeling are already present, and there's definitely value in not taking what we're doing too seriously. But whether this is another dawning of the age of Aquarius or just a beautiful mindset, there's lessons to be learned. Perhaps we'll give the prancing atop a hill dressed in tie-dye robes a miss for the time being though. A key difference of course lies in the method of transportation. Rather than sandling away at a set of pedals, our two wheel travel companion is preferable with a planet-ruining IC engine. It's just better, really. But with CB750 donors getting pricier by the minute, Shaka Garage took on an altogether more difficult transformation when a fully faired 1982 CBX750 was rolled into the workshop by a friend for a commissioned build. It's one of those bikes that's easy to miss how much work has gone into it at first glance, but transforming the fully faired CBX into a stripped down Brat took quite some doing. Initially daunted, the bike was completely disassembled in order to understand the form of the main frame and stance of the bike. With the style broadly decided upon, an initial design was sketched up and the guys began the rebuild. Key to the change in identity was swapping out the swoopy '80s tank for a more suitably '70s reservoir. Not a particularly simple swap, the CBX was different enough to require some serious modification to the tank tunnel and completely new mounting points. Left raw and ready, pinstripes were airbrushed by hand to add simple definition to the shape. New side panels were cut and bent from sheet metal, detailed with mesh and the same raw/lacquer finish the tank received. With the acres of rear plastic removed, the subframe needed smartening up. Shortened and detabbed, a rear hoop was bent up by hand before being welded and blended into the original Honda tubing. Topped with a mildly humped seat clad in fluted leather with contrast stitching the effect is simple and honest. To get the riding position as per the client's wishes Shaka fabricated some new aluminium clipons. mounted above the top yoke, the rider sits with a little forward bias but without too much weight on the wrists. Fairing removed, new instrumentation had to be sourced and the guys were keen to keep the Honda DNA. Thus rather than ordering the usual Chinese parts from ebay, they dug through their parts stash and found a period Honda speedo fit for the job. It's an ideal that was carried throughout the bike: if it couldn't be made then a part was sourced from another of Soichiro's finest. With much of the original appendages stripped from the bike, it was already reaping the benefits of lost weight. Refurbed suspension with new oil and springs suited for the client keep the Comstars on the tarmac. Some new grippy pads and braided hoses make the most the original brake setup. Mr Honds's R&D was well spent and does the job more than adequately for the style of riding requested. A clean, honest build, it's a significant transformation that takes the bike's appearance back a decade or so while reaping the benefits of technological advancement. As Shaka put it "a fine blend of harmonious forms and basic functionality". Be sure to keep an eye of their Website and Facebook page for the latest builds from the Children of Shaka!