Matt Hipsley, 25 year old civil engineer teamed up with Sam Connelly, a graphic designer and launched their own small bike building business after the first successful and really talented build, based on Honda CB 250. The guys say, “CB250 brat tracker started out as a project between friends, and it generated a bit of interest online”. So, they put a brand behind it and soon got 2 other CB bikes to work with.
Solty Speed Co. workshop is located in Wollongong, NSW, Australia and is run by Matt and Sam that customize bikes after hours. They have built this Honda CB 400F for the guy named Brent. He was looking for an upgrade for his Piaggio scooter and initially wanted to buy their first CB250 bike. Unfortunately, that bike was sold to “an eager young miner from Far Northern Queensland”. But, as Brent was really intrigued by Solty’s work, instead of just buying another completed custom bike on eBay, he decided to stick with the guys and after a few weeks commissioned them with a donor.
Matt notes, “the [donor] 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”. CB 400f stock frame got cleaned up of all unnecessary brackets and tabs. The guys fabricated a rear hoop, a custom battery box and relocated ignition along with the starter button under the seat, which is based on a sheet metal pan and made of neoprene rubber, trimmed in light brown leather that contrasts with the black color scheme.
To get the right stance SSCo. choose fat Firestone Deluxe Champion’s (4.00 and 4.50) tires to fit the wheels with. Nice front and rear “brat” lines were also achieved by shortening both fenders (the front one was mounted on custom alloy brackets to suit the larger rolling diameter), highlighting these bulky wheels.
“The cockpit has been significantly cleaned up with a 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”. Even though the transformation didn’t touch the engine internals, externally it was high temp gloss black coated with the brush finished covers. The stock 400cc inline four engine has also been re-jetted and tuned to suit the K&N pod filters and Mac 4-into-1 black ceramic coated exhaust system. Fenders, fuel tank and rims were finished with satin black by Dutchy’s Motorcycle Spray Art.
Matt and Sam have been pretty busy in their garage working on several projects recently. So if you live in Sydney, there is a big chance you will stumble across this striking Honda CB400F or another bike, excellently designed and built by them.
Images provided by SSC