avid Mandujano's 1976 Honda CB200
David Mandujano might just be the big brother we all wish we had. The 36-year-old Portland, Texas native spends his days creating custom automotive upholstery through his shop, DMD Kustoms, but when his little brother was heading off to college, he decided to build him a small displacement motorcycle to get around campus on.
Through Craigslist he found a man with a variety of bikes and that’s where he spotted the CB200. It had a new set of tires and was in fair condition overall. “I liked the bike because of the shape of the tank and it was the most complete bike that he had at his place,” Mandujano said.
When he got the bike back to his shop he called up his brother. Other than asking for a café racer style, he gave David full creative license and that’s when he decided to go with a “NightWing” look and build what he believed could have been a prototype in the 1970s. He was careful to choose only parts that would have been available in the period. What he thought was going to take him just a couple of months ended up taking two years.
“I started with the rear tail section by cutting off the seat lock tabs and all that was that attached to it. I shaped the rear tail section out of floral foam to get shape I liked. Then I transferred that to paper then to sheet metal. I shaped the sheet metal with simple hand tools and a planishing hammer. I had to do this a couple times because I’m not an expert at sheet metal shaping. One thing I tried to really focus on while making the rear section, was to tie it to the tank to make it look like it was one solid piece."
“I also made the rear sets brackets. I came up with the design and used several pieces of 3/16-in. aluminum to make the brackets. Not having a CNC machine or lathe or mill I made the brackets just with simple hand tools, drill, file, and jigsaw. It was a long process but I was very happy with the end result. The biggest compliment I get with the rear set brackets is people asking, ‘Who did you have machine those or where did you buy them?’
“Next I found a CL exhaust system on Craigslist. It was a steal but it was in Austin, three hours away. Once I got the muffler back to my shop I noticed it had a rattle so I split it open. Some of the baffles on the inside were rusted out or broken off. I rebuilt the muffler, hand making the rusted pieces out of sheet metal. I welded them on and then welded the other half back on. I also modified the back half of the muffler welding a stainless steel grill mesh and reshaping the back end."
“Since I couldn’t find a nice pair of headlight ears, I decided to rebuild those, too. I cut off the bottom third and then rolled some sheet metal to the exact dimensions of the tube. I welded the two pieces together then started on the arms that hold the headlight. The arms were made from flat stock and also large washers welded together to create a triangular shape. The one piece that I had to compromise a little – just for aesthetics and safety – was the headlight. Only because I wanted a very clean look in the front and didn't want to mount any signal lights on the outside. I bought a headlight with integrated turn signals but I had to use the stock ring and welded on the aftermarket ring of the headlight because the lens would not fit. I did however manage to retain the stock bucket. The end result is a stock looking headlight."
“The next modification was the frame itself. On the downtube I welded some flat stock to reinforce it. To give it some aesthetic appeal, I drilled small speed holes. I did the same thing to the bottom half of the tubes where the stock foot pegs had been."
Dime City salutes the independent builders whether you’re on build number one or 100.
(via Dime City Cycles)