If someone put together a Venn diagram of the world’s motorcycle and car enthusiasts, there would be some serious overlap between the two worlds. In fact, some of our favorite builders, such as Bryan Fuller of Fuller Moto and Nigel Petrie of Engineered to Slide — just to name a couple — customize both motos and cars, and we’re big fans of car culture purveyors from Petrolicious to Grassroots Motorsports.
However, as the value of vintage cars seems to continue skyrocketing, we’re seeing more and more enthusiasts transition from four wheels to two. By and large, motorcycles are more affordable, more accessible, and require much less garage/shed/shop space — all of which, of course, makes it easier to rationalize having more of them 🙂
David Zobouyan is one such enthusiast, who got his start restoring and modifying Porsches. After selling his last build, a 911 SC (Super Carrera), he decided it was time for a change.
“I decided to drive and modify motorcycles the same way I used to with cars.”
For his first build, he wanted something cheap and easy to find, and ended up with a 1974 Honda CB125S. Introduced in 1973, the little 125cc Honda was an air-cooled single with an overhead camshaft, 9500 rpm redline, 5-speed transmission, and kickstart.
Given that this was his first build, David was more interested in testing the waters than building anything extreme or show-stopping. Still, he’s managed to build a fun, unique, and slightly quirky runabout that’s sure to turn heads wherever it goes. We especially love the creativity with the hardtail and suspended solo seat. Below, we get more details on this Honda 125 bobber / tracker custom!
Honda 125 Custom: Builder Interview
• Please tell us a bit about yourself, your history with motorcycles, and your workshop.
I began with Porsches, the 911. I totally rebuilt and updated an SC model that I sold because the time had come for a change. So I decided to drive and modify motorcycles the way I used to with cars.
I started with this 125 because it was cheap and easy to find. It was just to try — I built what I had in mind without aiming for something special for admiration or motorcycles shows. My workshop is my garage where I have most of the tools I need.
• What’s the make, model, and year of the bike?
The initial model is a 1974 Honda CBS1, k3 model, 125cc.
• Why was this bike built?
It was built just to see what I could do with a bike. That is why I began with a small one.
• What was the design concept and what influenced the build?
No influence, just a drawing came true, as minimal as possible. A 125cc doesn’t need more.
• What custom work was done to the bike?
The most important work is, of course, the frame. These bikes have a too-short rear suspension arm. Even a short-legged person is sitting above the rear wheel. So I rebuilt a fixed rear frame 3 inches longer and created an articulation for the seat with an HD shock absorber.
The engine, gearbox, fork, wheels, brakes. and electrical wire harness have been renewed.
• Does the bike have a nickname?
My bikes are only numbered. This one is #1.
• How would you classify this bike?
Rather a street tracker but with a hardtail.
• Was there anything done during this build that you are particularly proud of?
The hardtail frame with the solo seat. I am often asked about this particularity.