“Maggie” — from basket case to garage-built beauty…
When steelworker and plumber Ron George received a basket case 1970 Honda CB350 Twin in a trade deal, he knew he had the perfect platform to build a custom bike for his wife — that way, she wouldn’t need to ride his all the time! Together, they decided to make the build happen.
Except for the seat, which was done by @plzbeseated, Ron did all of the work out of his two-car garage. The lines of this bike are dead solid perfect, and the level of small detail execution is staggering, including but not limited to scratch-built clip-ons with paperwork stash spots, the 304 stainless pie-cut exhaust, the 6061 aluminum brake straps, and much more.
Below, we get the full story on “Maggie” the Royal Plum CB!
Honda CB350 Twin Brat: Builder Interview
• Please tell us a bit about yourself, your history with motorcycles, and your workshop.
I’m a USW Steelworker and plumber from Northwest Indiana. 35 years old, married with a 17 year old son. I grew up around old school choppers and Harleys — I think that was the main seed planted in my head. I didn’t take a whole lot of interest in riding or building them though until my late 20’s. I work out of my 2 car garage at home, all metal fab, welding, machining, paint and powdercoating is done there.
• What’s the make, model, and year of the bike?
It’s a 1970 Honda CB350 Twin.
• Why was this bike built?
I received this as a major basket case in a trade deal and thought it would be perfect for my wife to ride (also so she wouldn’t need to ride mine all the time!). Her and I decided to make it happen.
• What was the design concept and what influenced the build?
The design concept is usually just what I see in my head when I look at a project, I never draw anything out. There are some small influences from early road race bikes in the frame changes I made. Also, just some small touches I like to do, that most people don’t notice.
• What custom work was done to the bike?
It was stripped bare, cut and the whole rear of the frame re-worked. I removed all of the stamped steel in the seating area and replaced with bent round tube tied in at the backbone, new shock mounts and extra bracing on the main down tube.
Made clip-on bars from scratch with paperwork stash spots inside both. Shaved top triple clamp with integrated compass. 304 stainless, trellis style headlight brackets.
2-1 304 stainless pie cuts exhaust all made by me along with the aluminum flanges.
Custom made 6061 aluminum brake straps front and rear.
Knurled aluminum foot pegs and custom mounts. All of the main wiring and battery is housed under the seat in an aluminum box.
Brand New Mikuni VM30 carbs and a Pamco electronic ignition. Custom paint on the tank in “Royal Plum” a 60’s GM color. Gloss black and wrinkle powdercoating.
To top it off, a custom made aluminum seat wrapped in black Austrian leather with a Vans waffle sole stitch pattern done by Dane (@plzbeseated).
• How would you classify this bike?
I would say most consider it a brat.
• Was there anything done during this build that you are particularly proud of?
I’m most proud that every part of the process (sans the seat) was done in my 2 car garage. There are a lot of small touches and details that make it one of a kind. Also that my wife was very much a part of the process.