At last year's Oil Stained Brain exhibition we wanted something for everyone and thankfully that's exactly what our Aussie custom motorcycle builders gave us. An ecclectic mix of Cafe Racers, Bobbers, Brats, Choppers and trackers filled our gallery space, but there was one custom bike that somehow managed to stand out from the rest and it also happened to be the smallest. Andy Copeland's Honda CT110 "Express Post" Postie bike may not have been the most functional build but despite it's small size it left one hell of an impression. Since the show his Postie has been featured on Pipeburn and many other custom moto blogs so I decided it was a good time to share the photos from our exclusive Oil Stained Brain shoot of the 'Express Post'.
Andy who is a Architectural Draftsperson by trade, built Express Post to compete in an annual event organised by a group of close mates called the Rusty Kustoms Build Off. With an incredibly tight budget and no knowledge of bike building Andy set about creating the bike with no idea of exactly how it was going to turn out but with only 4 shorts weeks before the event he had his work cut out for him.
After discarding the Honda's steel pressed frame and several unwanted components all that remained was the engine, front forks, 2 wheels, swing arm and a pair of shocks. Andy then devised an interesting method for creating the bikes new frame which he had designed as a 3d model. The CT110 parts were propped in position and using cardboard from "countless" cereal packets which he suspended from the garage roof by string, he mocked up the bikes new frame. From his cardboard spider web he then cut wooden templates that he was able to attach the parts and make further refinements. Finally when he was happy with how it was looking he cut each of the pieces from a thick sheet of aluminum. With all the pieces cut, prepped and drilled the whole bike was put together in only 30 minutes!
"At slow speeds, legs drag along like training wheels due to the un-functional rake, but with a full twist of throttle it tucks nicely into a straight line - chin on the front wheel and your bum inches away from being sucked into the back tyre, it gets your heart pumping!"
With 2 days left to the race Andy visited local hardware stores in search of something to function as a fuel tank. As the bike was only required to complete one lap of a 1.7km track for the Rusty Kustom Build Off mileage was never a concern, so when Andy discovered some large diameter copper piping in the plumbing section he knew he was on to something. Two large lengths were purchased along with enough small diameter pipe to make the fuel lines and he constructed the fuel system which is mounted inside the aluminum plate frame. Final fuel capacity came in at 90mls (3 ounces), just enough to complete two laps and a celebratory burn out. Since the show Andy has sold the bike on and is now concentrating on a Yamaha XS650 which we hope will be just as unique as this bike.
The Honda CT110 earned it's name as a 'Postie' in Australia due to it's use by the Australian postal service. This fact has also allowed the CT110 to lay claim to being one of Australia's top selling motorcycles of all time. While they may not be the best base for a Cafe Racer project the CT110 is a cheap and versatile base for a custom build, check out the bikes from another Melbourne builder Post Modern Cycles for some great examples.
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