When Tony Prust from Analog Motorcycles in Gurnee, Illinois saw this old Honda CL175 on the side of the road he was thinking it would make a great bike for his wife. If she wasn’t interested, he’d turn it into a vintage race bike. Either way, he knew this was a sweet little diamond in the rough.
Three months later Tony presents us with “Little Patina” and lets us in on the challenges he dealt with in the restoration.
“This may seem funny but one of the hardest things, besides finding engine parts, was re-mounting the scrambler pipes. The exhaust wraps are a royal pain to apply without damaging them.”
With regard to custom fabrication, you'll notice the obvious seat change. It’s a custom seat, pan wrapped in real leather with a matching belt on the tank. ("It's just for looks", he notes.) The tank was stripped to raw metal and was in solid shape minus a few nicks and dings here and there; he left them for the natural look he was going for. His goal was give it a slight European flair by keeping some of the weathering and natural patina the bike had developed from sitting.
The tank and the bobbed fenders were given a coat of powder-coat chrome. He likes contrastingt spoke nipples and rims, so he powder-coated the nipples black.
Custom air intakes from the vacuum tubes were mounted to aftermarket pod filters. He then cleaned up the wiring and changed to a small sealed battery in a custom made battery box. Check out the headlight - it was made from an old camping lantern found at an antique mall. The engine got a top end refresh as well.
Tony talks about his motivation, “It's all a labor of love for me. When I do a build it's always on my mind; when I'm in the shop, out and about or researching parts online at night. I'd love for it to be more profitable than it is but I'm a realist. Vintage bikes, bobbers and cafe racers are my passion and it looks like cafe racers are soon to be the new chopper.”
After all that, what does his wife think of it? “Well, she wants something newer for her first bike so I'll sell it come spring.”
We say keep your woman happy Tony, but great job on a beauty of a bike!
We'll be sure to keep you posted on the next creation rolling out of this Illinois shop, but in the meantime, check out our friends at Analog Motorcycles.