Salty Speed Co's CB400
By Anthony van Someren - 04 Nov 13
Having come to everyone's attention with his first shed built bike, a CB250 Brat Tracker, Matt Hipsley seems to have found his groove with these small capacity Japanese customs. He followed-up his debut build with a CB100 under the Salty Speed Co brand, and this is his third bike, a Honda CB400 cafe/brat. Salty Speed Co is a small garage-based setup in Wollongong, New South Wales, which is around an hour south of Sydney, and is run after hours by Matt Hipsley, a 25 year old civil engineer, with assistance from graphic designer Sam Connelly. The owner of this CB400F, Brent, was originally looking to purchase our first build, a CB250 Brat Tracker that was up for sale at the time. The bike was going to be a serious upgrade from his Piaggio scooter. Unfortunately he was beaten to it by an eager young miner from Far Northern Queensland where the CB250 now resides, tearing up the red dirt roads of Mt Isa. Instead of heading back to eBay to hunt for another finished custom, Brent commissioned Salty to build him a CB400F into the bike you see here. After a few weeks of hunting for a suitable donor bike Brent dropped of a nice looking 1977 Honda CB400F to our workshop in Wollongong (on the NSW South Coast). The bike was a neat stock example that had undergone a few cosmetic updates in its time, but needed a bit of fine-tuning, especially to achieve something that fit more into our style here at Salty. First up was to get the right stance by fitting some fat Firestone Deluxe Champion's, 4.00 on the front and 4.50 on the rear. A rear hoop and custom battery box were fabricated, also relocating the ignition and starter button under the seat. The frame was also cleaned up removing any redundant brackets and tabs. Original fenders have been shortened, with the front being mounted on custom alloy brackets to suit the larger rolling diameter. The headlight is a Bates 5.75" with Daytona indicators and Dime City Cycles taillight. The cockpit has been significantly cleaned up with a Dime City Customs mini speedo, mini switches, billet clips-ons, billet upper triple tree and Posh grips. The billet triple tree also assisted with the stance by dropping the front end 1 inch. The seat is a custom unit that consists of a sheet metal pan and neoprene rubber, trimmed in light brown leather, which breaks up the black on black theme. The engine is internally stock, however has been re-jetted and tuned to suit the K&N pod filters and Mac 4-into-1 black ceramic coated exhaust system. The tank, fenders and wheels have been sprayed in satin black by Dutchy's Motorcycle Spray Art, and the engine was given a coat of high temp gloss black with brush finished covers. The bike will be Brent's daily commuter, so keep an eye out for it on the streets of Sydney. Follow Salty Speed Co here on their Bike Shed Page or Instagram, Facebook and their Website.