ARBOL custom motorcycles are one of a kind, hand-built ready to ride machines. Each motorcycle is built to stay faithful to its legacy; carefully retaining the vintage feel, while incorporating modern technology to assure quality, reliability, and performance. “La Bala” is our latest project: A custom 1971 Honda CB750 build.
We found this bike in Pennsylvania after months of searching for the exact year our client wanted. Co-founder and builder Marcelo had experience rebuilding these old CB750s, but had never built a 1971, which he knew was going to bring some challenges of its own.
Here’s our chat:
ARBOL- what is your approach for building a bike?
MARCELO- I like to take one component at a time. I make one component the primary focus and build the rest of the bike around it. The challenge with this approach is that you can easily throw the bike out of balance aesthetically. You have to keep yourself in check through the entire build to assure you don’t stray too far from your original intent. The centerpiece of this bike is the rear wheel. I hand painted the letters to give it that extra pop.
“La Bala”, which means “The Bullet” in Spanish, was disassembled at the shop down to the last bolt. The frame was powder coated matte black (done by our friends at Goutham Sandblasting) which served as the foundation to the color scheme, blacks and shades of grey.
Modern components are present throughout the bike. From the digital tachometer to the Porsche inspired matte black perforated leather seat (custom hand made by our friend Corinna Mantlo from Via Meccanica), to the 4 into 1 short racing exhaust (custom made for us by Carpy’s Cafe Racer in California), to the slick triple clamp from Cognito Moto, the bike is all about performance.
ARBOL- How do you preserve the vintage feel?
MARCELO- It’s tricky. There are several factors one has to keep in mind and every build comes with its own challenges. I came up with my own technique which is a combination of sanding, blasting and polishing all the aluminum and metal parts. I like to grab each part and make it stand out on its own against the backdrop of the other parts. The balance also must be there. I guess this is something that you must have an eye for. Sort of like an art form. On this bike I really wanted to keep the vintage feel of the engine and wheels and was careful not to add too many modern components. This allowed for the original integrity to remain intact.
ARBOL’s goal for “La Bala” was to have a balance of sleek look coupled with performance. To achieve this, we incorporated components such as front and rear performance suspension, an engine performance upgrade kit including: cam, valves and oversize pistons, a 4into1 performance exhaust, and performance Pirelli tires.
We are working on a few final tweaks and the bike will be ready to ride soon. Stay tuned for the footage !!!