By Ross Sharp - 01 Jul 14
If you grew up in the countryside you'll know that bus stops, the wooden sort, are good things. You can have a cheeky smoke in one, keep dry in one, canoodle a young lady in one, drink cider in one and even get a lift to the bright lights from outside the front of one. As a yooff I did all of these things but one moment stands out. On a summers day many, many years ago behind a very fine bus stop my recently acquired but recalcitrant, single handlebared Honda MB5 sucked in and spat out the last dregs of white spirit and petrol mix (one of the bigger boys thought he was clever - he wasn't!). It bogged, popped and cleared then screamed a buzzing two-stroke howl for all the village to hear, and see. Elation and jubilation on the faces of my chums and smug, self-congratulation on mine as that day I was God, the creator of fun, the giver of speed. Apparently the real God had pitched up beforehand and made land and vegetation on day three of his new job, so thanks to him, we had a woodland to shred and cricket pitches to plough. If that was fun on a 50, imagine what Wez Jopson feels like with his 1981 Honda MB100 (HA 100 if you're foreign) packing twice the punch! Wez is a grown up with a wife, small people and a proper job at the family manufacturing firm in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. But he knows how to have fun so after hours heads to the shed to build bikes. This featherweight is his third build to date and so far so good from where we're sitting. In true shed-builder style, Wez rescued a heap of a machine from someones backyard after it suffered a 5 year hiatus from SA's fantastic roads. A blessing in disguise really as many rotten parts needed no excuse to be discarded which would eventually help achieve the stripped out look. The striking frame had unnecessary tabs ground off and the battery box removed before a visit to the powder coaters. With such a minimal set of tubes to work with, hiding wiring, albeit not much of it, was a tricky task. The battery lurks under the rear mudguard but as it doesn't have to do very much, was replaced with a smaller unit. Just when the random fuel tanks on customs phenomena is at fever pitch Wez decided from the outset to go old school and keep the oil injector set up rather than converting to pre-mix. Honda inadvertently made a pretty cool tank with both lube and juice sharing space, with the ignition in easy reach, helping to keep the cockpit tidy. The original instrument cluster was scrapped and replaced with a mini-speedo, wrapped in matt black vinyl. The reading of 200 metres suggests snapper Marc Sing Key got in there while everything was still box fresh. The headlight is from a CD200, with ignition and neutral lights grafted into the lamp bucket for further sleekness. Yellow glass, with fresh blue paint and lots of black, just works doesn't it. The engine was opened up and and found to be in really good order so the exterior received further attention instead with a trip to the bead blaster and powder coater. Attention to detail is everything and the polished cooling fins on the barrel are testament to that. All of the pipes, cables, fasteners and wiring had to be replaced along with a brand new carb and foam Uni-Filter, the result looking as if Marty McFly has transported us back to 1981, stunning! No wonder Wez's mate named the bike, The OCD. The exhaust was resurrected with high temp paint and some wrap. Wheels and spokes had the black powder treatment with oversized 3.00 x 18" trail tyres fitted for a slightly more aggressive look, and to maximise traction when cranked over on the BMX track. Forks were re-chromed and rebuilt but the rear shocks were too far gone so had to be replaced. The sloping frame tubes are uninterrupted by a front mudguard meaning lots of furious cleaning will be required. A vintage set of Enduro bars found in a scrap yard had the cross brace cut out before joining the black powder party. Biltwel Thruster grips match the seat pattern, there's that attention to detail again. The indicators are positioned high and wide, which come to think of it is probably the best place for all bikes. The rear fender was chopped & painted it to match the tank and a converted Harley Davidson turn signal now functions as the stop light. The original seat pan was shortened, trimmed and recovered it in retro-style diamond stitch. Wez wanted to build a small capacity fun machine that reignited childhood memories for him and those that saw it, thank you Wez you've done exactly that, with bells on! A TW200 might be coming next so we'll clear a space in The Shed for it later in the year.