Tuesday, December 3, 2013

DAILY INSPIRATION: 1981 Honda CX500 "Howler" by Nathan Godillon

1981 Honda CX500
by Nathan Godillon

          Although a first timer in the custom motorcycle world, Nathan Godillon has quite a bit of automotive modification experience under his belt. Kicking off his career path on a panel beater apprenticeship he eventually moved on to working at a custom shop modifying everything from Japanese drift machines to Euro track cars. Working later as a car salesman he was able to save up enough scratch to start his own custom auto shop Fahren Customs. Tragically the massive floods that swept through Brisbane a couple years ago put over 6 feet of water in his shop, destroying everything and forcing him to close up the business. Nathan currently holds a desk job at BMW where he began looking into 2-wheeled transport to help ease the parking woes of the city. First hopping on an Aprilia SR50, and later a Yamaha YZFR125, Nathan found he was missing something. That something turned out to be acceleration.

"Eventually I stumbled upon a CX500 that was selling for the price of an old newspaper. First thoughts were this thing is ugly as sin, which presented the challenge that would take my interest."
"The build took a total of 7 months and was done entirely on the front balcony of my rental house, as there is no garage. I can tell you that was not the smartest idea. Living on top of a huge hill there were constant howling winds and loads of Mosquitoes, which led me to name the bike "Howler". This also influenced the build to an extent as I wanted it to have nice windy flow. Hence the scrambler pipes - they have that curvy line which almost looks like the wind has bent them that way."

 "The CX is such a heavy bike that I wanted to lighten it and bring out the beautiful engine design. The engine floats nicely under the exhaust and the pipes make it look like it's moving/flying even though it's standing still. I think this is my favorite part of the build. There are other things I'm proud of too, like the way the seat is held down with leather straps, kind of like the way you would see a bonnet on a vintage race car. This also lead me to put one on the tank in order to replicate this further."
 "Over all I'm absolutely stoked with the end result and the quality of the finish, like the fine grain Merino leather used for the seat and BMW 7 series sophisticated grey. There are a couple of things I would like to finish off down the track, but I think I might be a bit of a perfectionist. Or maybe it's just OCD. Either way I do plan to build another bike, and who knows, this could be the start of something big."

 Good luck in your ventures Nathan. I'd love to see what you roll out next and how your prior skill sets start to play into your work.


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  2. Followed this build on Instagram (or somewhere like that). Glad to see it's turned out so well. Really impressive for a balcony build! Good work Nathan.

  3. What a handsome motorcycle! Would the engine paint's finish be considered a wrinkle finish? It's actually the same look I have been imagining the my own CX's engine!

  4. Good stuff, and this is ironically so like the bike that I ride to work and beat the crap out of every day, just done with the kind of money I don't have(and definitely didn't two years ago when I made it). Same idea behind the seat (though mine I made and covered myself from scraps), Can sorta make it out behind the one I've been building for just about ever.

    Good on you guys. Glad to have found the site. (And I'm an ex-Chicagoan-raised all over the North side.
    BUT I made all of it in my garage, where the mini ramp is, and all that other stuff.

  5. Hi,
    I really love the rear of the bike. Would you let me know which fender you have used. Im currently building a CX as well and your rear is exactly what I was looking for.
    Thanks in advance

  6. Me too! Really interested in that rear fender and how you fabbed the frame and seat to pull it all together. Exactly the idea I want to replicate.

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