The link between a custom bike and someone living the outlaw lifestyle has been there since day dot. Most of those early days, easy riders were dealing with the trauma of war and the Great Depression, and to this day, many a two-wheeled machine is as much about transport as it is a rolling recovery session. This little chopper was built for that exact purpose, a small slice of custom motorcycle fun, to literally ride along the road to redemption. The team at Sydney’s Sabotage Motorcycles knew just the man who was going to be in need of such a bike, and with his parole date nearing and a show just weeks away, they spun the spanners on this 1974 Honda CB125 to deliver a chopper that’s ready to give one young man a new lease on life.
Yes, you read that right. The customer Andy and Giles have built this bike for is currently inside a big house, with a tough start to life that for now has lost him his liberty. “By the time he was 12, Yeyo was involved in the world of crime and class-A drugs. Now 25, he’s serving a sentence in an undisclosed offenders’ institution for possession with intent to supply drugs. During the height of his short but lucrative empire, Yeyo had taste, a taste for craftsmanship and swag, particularly shown in his collection of motorcycles,” Andy tells us.
Their idea was to do what they do best, build one incredible custom machine, and present it to Yeyo as a surprise upon his release. The donor bike itself was actually picked up by the guys all the way back in 2016 and came with a spare engine, which they used as the power plant for their incredible Douglas Board Tracker. But over the years, other than fitting up a 19-inch front wheel, the bike had sat still, but now its moment had arrived. “It was time. But time was something we didn’t have a lot of – we had just 5 weeks from pulling the bike down off the shelf (literally, as it was stored up above the emergency door of our workshop), to rolling it into Throttle Roll.”
Having stripped the little CB back to just a bare frame, there were some immediate challenges to overcome, one being the fact the previous owner had hacked off the tail end. To create the chopper vibe, the shocks are ditched and in their place, the back is made rigid with a set of solid struts. The rest of the frame is beautifully cleaned up and detabbed, and the extra effort really shows. Now to fill the hole in the tail, “Our solution was a hand-made aluminium seat, with a bit of a ‘Crazy Frank’ style to it. Just to throw in some more chopper accents.”
The high-rise back of the seat gives a touch of the King and Queen look, and it’s neatly topped with a white vinyl seat that nails the vintage aesthetic. Behind the aluminium throne, the boys knew the light they wanted to use on this build, and pull the brake lever on hard and anyone following too close behind you will see the ‘f@#k’ red lens light up! To add some Americana to the party, the front headlight is a spotlight taken from a Ford F100 desert racer. The cables running to this and all of the electrics are cloth-wrapped, and the devil in these little details is first class.
To get the big picture looking perfect, the rear fender has a really nice flare to it, and the custom mount is a brilliant touch for a bike built in such a speedy fashion. But what really makes the bike pop is the incredible paint job and that stand-out colour. “Schockblau Mittel blue from the Molotov premium graffiti paint. The tank design was hand-painted by our mate Pablo Colombi – an artist, signwriter, and graphic designer.” There is a matching open-face helmet to go along with the ride, and all of that metal polishing across the bike is the perfect companion to the dynamic hue.
To ensure the engine had the same level of quality finish, it would need some work, as the guys tell us it had lived hard over the years. “This little CB125, while mostly all complete, had been thrashed around a bit in its former life, so the engine was fully disassembled, vapour blasted, polished and reassembled with all fresh bearings, gaskets, seals, piston rings, and so on.”
Even the little Keihin carb has been given a full makeover, and a velocity stack helps her raw. But the real tunes come bellowing out of the handmade stainless header pipe which vents via a set of twin mufflers the boys had picked up from a swap meet years back.
To give that big-wheeled front end the sort of clean look the rest of the bike rolls with meant stripping down the forks, rebuilding them and then slotting the lowers into the lathe to remove any tabs. “We used an internal throttle, and simple British style levers to keep the stainless steel handlebars as trim as possible. Our favourite Vans grips in a vibrant red tops them off.” The moon disc for the rear not only looks cool but really fits the vibe, and the bike is literally wrapped up with a set of old-school Avon tires.
The team made it to the Throttle Roll show to put on an excellent display, and now the wait is on for Yeyo to walk free and roll down the Sydney streets like a reformed smooth criminal, on his own Sabotage custom chopper.