The music world is full of one-hit wonders that blew us away with their debut release and then slowly vanished amongst a following pile of stinkers. So it seems to me that you either want a follow-up as ground breaking as Nirvana’s Nevermind or go full punk rock and be like the Sex Pistols and just call it quits. Thankfully one of our scene’s most promising young talents has followed in the footsteps of the gods of grunge and is replacing the Seattle Sound with true Appalachian Artistry. Her name is Emmi Cupp and to follow on from her fantastic ’58 Triumph, Shop Girl has taken the two-wheeled simplicity that is the Honda CT90 and turned it into one stunning chopper, with an agent orange attitude to burn as bright as its star creator.
It’s been a few years since we caught up with Emmi following the massive success of her debut build “Aunt Tiny” that we featured back in September 2020. “I was pretty done with big projects for a while (note “for a while”). As it always seems to go, though, I got a hankerin’ to create something big again,” she explains. Which should come as no surprise, because not only did her first bike show she’s a natural talent, but working around her Dad’s shop to save money for parts must serve as an enormous inspiration. In case you don’t remember, Mr Cupp is the one and only Jeremy of LC Fabrications fame, one of the best bike builders on the planet.
But as Emmi told us, there was just one problem about commencing her second build, she didn’t have a bike! “For Christmas I had just gotten a Honda CT70 and absolutely loved it. I had no idea such a thing existed, and so it prompted me to do some personal research.” This had Emmi down the rabbit hole of Honda step-throughs and it was during this time she came across the world of CT90s.
Jeremy’s friend happened to have one and it was snapped up, but Emmi wasn’t keen, “I don’t have much experience, but to me, it didn’t handle well and was pretty uncomfortable (compared to the glorious CT70). It sat in the corner for a while until Pops basically told me if I wanted to build a bike, that was gonna be it.”
It was a wise piece of guidance from the master builder and the process of building a motorcycle from barely functioning scrap to a trick custom has literally been a huge part of Emmi’s education. After having a crappy time in middle school, Jeremy took her under his wing at the family business, and there at LC Fabrications, she has clearly thrived. School was now in session and the big change everyone will notice about the CT is the fact it no longer swings a set of puny little shocks on that small swingarm. Instead, it’s been given instant street cred with a full hardtail conversion, that looks as tough as nails.
With some further chassis modifications to the top tube, you get a stretched-out bobber look, with 30 degrees of rake, in a frame that is now 4 inches over. Clearly, this meant the stock forks would simply never work, so to get things rolling, the entire front end has been converted with parts from a Honda Rebel. The chromed out setup works perfectly with the new frame and the stance is set with the use of a 17in front rim and a 15in for the rear. The lines are further accentuated by wrapping those rims up in a skinny front tire and the widest rubber the little bike could handle out the back.
The body was next up and like everything that rolls out of LC Fabrications the metalwork is simply beautiful. But make no mistake, that gas tank is all Shop Girl, with the squared off lines perfectly suiting the laid down style of the engine layout and giving off some coffin tank vibes.
A set of neat tabs on the frame allows for the mounting of a custom Sissy bar, which also supports the rest of the arrow straight metal, and while there is no rear fender, the bodywork shapes to match the line of the back tyre. With the Sissy bar out for a fresh finish at DGM Chrome, Emmi was picking out paint from the catalogue of lil Daddy Roth.
What she’s laid down is a stunning mix of Tropi Cali with Agent Orange flake, which is matched up to some sweet graphics work on the tank to spell out the bike’s name, ‘Dreamsicle’. The only way to make the colour pop even more was to come up with a killer colour combo on the seat, and nothing will grab your attention like bright white.
Both the rider and pillion pad sit in style and Emmi matched her stitch work with a set of white grips from Vans x Cult. There are some sweet details to add to the style, with a set of Lowbrow Customs Mini Apes the perfect fit and the Emgo Aris headlight and LC Fab filler cap really capturing the old-school vibe.
Being a true biker at heart, Emmi made sure she has plenty power on board and a CT70-based stroker 125 not only looks the goods all polished up, but a new Keihin round slide carb ensures its got plenty of get up and go! It draws its air via a stunning custom air cleaner, before the single exhaust with custom twin slash-cut pipes brings the attitude at full noise.
To finish the build, the stock controls have been adapted to work on the all-new package and now she was ready to ride. “This bike was actually the first one I’ve bought, wrecked, and will ride on the road. I hope it lives on forever,” Emmi smiles. And with a licence soon to be in her hand and the Shop Girl brand now given a boost, the skies the limit for the lil rockstar of the custom bike world.