Victor's CB900 'Lady Mirror'
By Ross Sharp - 02 Feb 17
Rescuing vehicles from abandonment and offering them a new lease of life is a truly rewarding process. Despite the lack of economic logic in converting a ferrous pile of scrap into a shining work of art, people from all corners of the globe seem to go weak at the knees for a vehicle with weeds growing through it. Victor Esnaola from General Alvear near Buenos Aires, Argentina, is just like us. His buddy had spotted a 1981 Honda CB900f languishing on an equine stud and opened negotiations with the owner. Two years later and Victor is enjoying a steel stallion of his dreams. Victor was very clear on the planned design, wanting to incorporate classic racing and board track influences, sketching his ideas before engaging the services of Kustom Garage, near Cordoba. This was to be a hands-on build, Victor carrying out some of the work himself in their workshop and enlisting Serantes Custom Art for mechanical duties. Pablo from Senates Custom Art gave the tired CB engine a full overhaul, prepped and painted the cases, rebuilt the carbs and readied it for the next 35 years of service. Victor was keen to upcycle and reclaim parts where possible rather than lean on eBay's bounty of generic cheapness. Making the most of the various metals' natural beauty made the paintwork decision easier, there wouldn't be any. Victor brushed, polished, blasted and stripped all the metallic surfaces to achieve a subtle yet classy finish. Knurled foot controls, switches, lever mounts, various fasteners and an antique drawer handle used for the fuel tank access panel are brass, a nod to the vintage racers that inspired the build.
The rest of the mechanicals are obviously as new, spongey forks and seized brakes requiring a rebuild but the wiring harness was perished on the outside and corroded on the inside so a streamlined replacement was made. The original cast wheels are now on a shelf, replaced by wires. The note ubiquitous pairing of powder coated black rims and stainless spokes look great here, as they do on most bikes, but the step forward to Shinko E270 tyres a welcome change from the sea of Firestones.
Victor is particularly proud of the seat, his own handiwork that apparently tested his patience. He fits a number 14 to all his bikes, here the brass numerals sit within a laurel emblem, lifted from a Ford Fairline.
And the name? Well the finish on the fuel tank led Victor to Mirrored Lady, a plaque on the swingarm now confirming the moniker Lady Mirror. My Spanish is terrible and until the robot inside Google Translate gets a bit better deciphering workshop goings-on in far away lands we'll have to settle for this brief description of works, but thankfully there's a video of the process below.
In the meantime give Victor a follow on Instagram