Today, we’re thrilled to present “Morrison” — the flagship bike of Denton Moto Collective, and the personal bike of our friend Fabian Campos.
The Denton Moto story began in the fall of 2015, when Fabian stopped at a gas station to make sure the trailer straps were tight on his CB160 vintage racer. Long-time bike builder and fellow moto nerd David Morales of Davmomoto was happening past and pulled over, having to learn more about the bike. Though the duo didn’t realize it at the time, Denton Moto was born.
“Morrison” is Fabian’s baby, a 1975 Honda CB500T that simply glows with passion and creative detail, using materials ranging from drum cymbals to olive wood to a Japanese metalworking technique known as shitame repousee. What’s more, this bike came off the assembly line in December 1974 — the same time that Fabian was born. Destiny!
“Morrison” was David Morales’s sixth build since leaving his day job. David has long been a metalworker, applying his skills to everything from hot rods to jewelry to vintage sports cars. When moving into his current home in 1995, he found a pair of 1969 Honda Z50A headlights left by the previous owner. As he says:
“They were like jewels to me, and took me back to my childhood, and the yearning I had for one of these very bikes.”
So began Davmomoto, under which name David builds custom bikes both big and small. Below, we give you the full details on the build.
Honda CB500 “Morrison”: Build Details
First, the bike was first brought back to running condition with a couple of new carb kits. Once it was established that the engine ran well, the bike started undergoing modifications.
The rear section of the frame was removed and a new loop put in its place along with some new crossmembers that also act as seat supports. The seat lock was taken from its place on the side of the frame and placed underneath the seat. This allows quick seat removal with the turn of a key to access the electronics underneath.
A custom seat pan and foam was made with a saddle cover by Denton native and renown leatherworker Clint Wilkinson. Some special brackets were made to hold the custom leather saddle in place.
The frame was de-tabbed. The rear foot peg muffler mount was removed and a set of mufflers were cut off of a CB550 set, and fitted to the headers using the clamps from the original stock mufflers. The original rear fender was used but was tucked up under the bike to give it a bobbed appearance. T
he original front fender stay was modified, and used to hold up the rear fender. It is mounted to the swingarm, keeping it riding just above the tire.
The mid-section of the front fender was chopped out, keeping the factory rolled edges on the ends. Race tech gold valve emulators were placed in the front forks along with a set of progressive springs, and tapered steering bearings in the steering stem to firm up the ride.
A Moto Gadget M–unit along with handlebar controls and an M – button controller were fitted to the bike along with a modern combination voltage regulator/rectifier.
Bronze from drum cymbals were used to make the bases for the front turn signal bases well as the license plate light cover.
Grips were turned from olive wood by Jon Carpenter from Madwoods.
The dog bone shaped yolk on the handlebar clamps was made using a technique called shitame repousee, where a thin sheet of brass is worked with small steel punches in a pan filled with a tar-like substance called pitch.
“TIO” was placed in memory of Fabian’s uncle who first introduced him to the thrill of motorcycles at a very young age.
Photography by Darren Smitherman and Melanie Little Gomez.