Friday, April 12, 2013

DAILY INSPIRATION: Honda "DCB750" by Toby Grubb and Justin Lewis

1973 Honda CB750
Built by Toby Grubb and Justin Lewis of Instrument.
Photos by Toby Grubb

A commonality seen amongst garage builders, craftsmen, and weekend wrenchers is often their desire to escape technology. Time spent in the shop is a counter balance to time spent in front of a screen. It's about the unfulfilled daily desire to assemble something with your hands, dial in a torque spec, rejuvenate an old mechanism, and breathe life back into something that has been neglected and long forgotten. Then one day you can ride your creation off into the desert sun on an adventure outside of WiFi hotspots, with your copy of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance firmly fixed to the back of your seat with some twine.

Well, that's not Toby Grubb and Justin Lewis, members of the digital creative agency Instrument located in Portland, Oregon. In their desire to get some grease between their fingers they took technology with them and let it drive their wrench turning venture.

The duo pulled their inspiration from "the industrial lines of Jonathan Ive's MacPro G5." In some cases, quite literally. After peeling back the skin of multiple Apple devices the team set aside a perforated aluminum panel, a set of ports, a power button, and a release lever. These pieces would become one of the very innovative features of the build...but not the most innovative...

In line with Apple's clean and simple brand language, Toby and Justin set out to free the front end of it's clutter, yet without stripping it of it's functionality. They designed and programmed the Instrument Mobile Dashboard App which combines a digital speedometer, tachometer, odometer, and a GPS tracking system into a clean and highly visible readout that's displayed on your iPhone. The USB charging port make's sure you stay powered while the headphone jack allows you to take phone calls, listen to your favorite TRON soundtracks, or chat with SIRI if you get lonely on your adventure into the future.

Back to the tangible goods - Ian Halcott of Twinline Motorcycles lent his fabrication skills to the project helping create the body panels bent and shaped of 090 aluminum. The LED tail light is shrouded by a perforated panel which can be unlatched via the lever on the butt of the tank. A cable system running back to a Ducati release mechanism makes it happen.

The amount of innovative detail work on the bike really makes it a knock out. The app will be available for download in the Apple store in the future. Keep an eye on the Instrument blog for more details. You can read more about the functionality of the mobile app here.

Contributors: Designer: Toby Grubb
Builder: Justin Lewis
Fabricator: Ian Halcott, Twinline Motorcycles
Elbow Grease & Beer Runs: Alexi Santorineos, Reid Schilperoot, Jason Murray, John Brown
Powdercoating: Brooker Enterprises
Paint: Coachman Auto Body
Parts: Manufacturer: Honda
Year: 1973
Type: Single Overhead Cam
Displacement: 736 cc (44.9 cu in)
Carburetors: Keihin
Stacks: Steel Dragon Performance
Exhaust: Nostalgia Speed & Cycle
Chassis: Honda Modified Multitubular
Tires: Firestone Vintage
Fork: 1979 Honda
Headlight: 7" LED Halo
Front Signals: Daytona Mini
Rear Signals: Revival Cycles - Micro LED
Controls: Joker Machine
Handlebars: Clubmans w/ Outlaw risers
Grips: Black Driven D3 Aluminum
Speedometer: The Instrument™
Rearsets: Custom Fabrication
Brake: Original
Linkage: Joker Machine
Tank: Ian Halcott, Custom Fab
Seat: Ginger McCabe, New Church Moto


  1. Awesome instruments, but lets play leapfrog, a bluetooth heads-up display for visors, google goggles even.

    1. voice activated start, or slide to start ala iPhone.
      touch screen clutch, tap to foot shift, tap for signals etc.
      ok i'll stop...

  2. Awesome build! Thanks for the post.

    Weatherization would be even cooler!

  3. IT really like this bike. It's has a lot of the elements I plan to put into my build like the halo in the headlight and smartphone instruments.

  4. I look forward to reading about The Instrument app. Cool tech like that goes so well with vintage steel.

  5. I have a question. What is the name of the app that was shown on page. And this page is really good. Have nice day!!

  6. same question:name of the app?is it only for US appstore or for all the world?
    great job!