By Gareth Charlton - 26 Apr 14
Bob Ranew is a self confessed day dreamer, but his fantasies do not simply drift off into the ether, he captures them in metal, Bob is a serial shed builder. He caught the custom bug early when he recruited Classified Moto to create him one of their stellar builds, but not content with the joy he took from the work of the Professionals, Bob chose to dirty his own creative hands. Bob's first appearance on The Bike Shed was with his home brewed Kz 650. Next he exhibited his advancing skill set with his CB750. Now he has finished this lovely Honda CB550, its story comes chock full of advice, warning and inspiration for aspiring shed builders. After reading an article extolling the virtues of Honda's soft overlooked middleweight CB Bob smelled a project. When a down on his luck mate needed of a cheap ride coincided with a good looking 78' CB55o appearing on Craigslist for $775 the build was on. Excited at the prospect Bob headed straight out to buy the bike, "Three things I learned from this build. 1. Never buy a bike in the dark.' A dimly lit barn concealed plenty of the old CB's woes, and she ran with little provocation. Bob handed over the readies. "2. Just because it cranks and “runs” doesn’t mean no work required." This second revelation came to Bob when he had the bike back in the bright light of day. The first indication all was not as it seemed was the Choke cable that was held open by a stack of thirteen zip ties. The prophetic unlucky number... The bike struggled to life then raced at idle, the exhaust was full of holes, the clutch lever held on with duct tape, the tank secured by further zip ties, the battery precariously wedged against the frame using the awol rubber tank mounts, the badges were held on with silicone caulk, the list went on. Bob, crest fallen, discovered what the night had concealed "This thing is a POS." "I found a used set of exhausts and had a mechanic look at the bike. Things missing, bolted on backwards, amazing it would even crank. Meanwhile, my buddy drops off the face of the planet. Still don’t know where that guy is." Which brings us to the last of Bobs lessons learned "3. Friends will let you down." Over-invested but undeterred Bob pushed on. He rendered a photoshop mock up as a guideline and set about chopping and de-tagging the frame, after reshaping the seat Bob had the outline of his mock up and started on the visuals. "I decided to try my hand at painting. I continued the black from the seat across the bottom of the tank. I added a simple Copper stripe to add a pop of color and then decided on a clean white as the overall color. I kept the side covers but wanted to jazz them up a bit with new graphics pulling in the new color scheme." The beautiful vintage palette also features the chosen name of Bob's bike building enterprise, Redeemed Cycles. Redeemed indeed. 'With just some simple mods and paint I think she turned out quit nice." Understates the man himself. We couldn't agree more, classic elegance and proportions given the paint design they deserve. "I made a ton of mistakes along the way, but in the end, Im very happy my buddy disappeared and I was forced to build this thing." Highly likely that if the wandering friend ever stumbles across these images of his abandoned build he will strongly regret that disappearing act. Bob can I be your friend please?