Four Cylinders Bobber
HONDA CB550 BOBBERby Andrew Clark • Auburn • California • USA
Andrew picked this CB550 up as a running project from his homie G.West. He's always loved cars and motorcycles, but G.West is really the reason he started building bikes. Also Andrew's homie enlightened him to the #bratstyle, and most of his builds reflected this awesome genre!
Over the years the bike evolved. Multiple versions of stock tanks with everything from bare metal to super chunky metallic flake. Bars changed from moto style, to wide and low and finally the mini-apes here. The bike was rigid with struts. Andrew uses this bike to commute daily and the stock frame made the perfect spot to hang a saddlebag from… so he never did a ‘traditional’ rigid rear end. The build style of Andrew is less-is-more, smooth and clean. The engine was always strong, never was rebuilt, but it was well taken care of. The bike was jetted on a dyno (one of the perks of working in the industry at the time!!!) for the open carbs and obviously wide-open exhaust. It ran great, super crisp!
The final build you see here was a complete delete of anything not needed to make the bike function at its purist. Frame was sanded completely; holes welded up and seemed smoothed, then repainted satin black. The starter was deleted all together. Wire harness was stripped and remade with only the necessary wires.
The front end was from a Honda CB350. Narrower and with a drum brake, it really made the bike look the way Andrew wanted it too. The bars were made by his mate Brian Hall to his specs and then he hand polished them along with the upper triple tree, thanks to the use of Scotty Scott’s polishing wheel! Scotty also was the source for the aftermarket headlight.
The tank is from a Harley-Davidson SX250 dirt bike. The shape is awesome! The rear fender is actually a Harley-Davidson V-Rod front fender. Andrew loved the way he could ‘blind’ mount it behind the seat with its stock fork brace. Without the need for fender struts it helped clean up the rear of the bike. Lane of Shipwreck did the gorgeous pearl baby blue paint with white lace panels and purple pinstriping. Pictures just do not capture how awesome this paint job truly is!
Andrew made the seat pan and Steve at Roseville Auto Upholstery covered it. The seat was minimalistic, yet super comfortable for long rides. Other bits on the bike included NOS brake and throttle cables, AVON rubber, brand new 2” over fork legs, fresh seals and electronic ignition. The taillight I made from a ‘50s roadside safety light.
This bike is comfortable, quick and a ton of fun! Never thought twice about kicking it over and heading out for any adventure no matter the destination… or lack of one!