When you work for a top stud farm training Arab horses every day and you decide you want to build your own bobber, which motorcycle do you buy? A Steed of course. We have previously featured several Honda Steed based Bobbers. What makes this particular bobber special is that it took only three weeks to complete by Matt, a specialist installer of fire prevention systems and that Gary the owner, does not know that it is finished and can be collected. I guess he knows now!


We first met Gary when he joined a group of us on a ride to the Retrofest in Verkykerskop earlier this year. He had just started “bobbing” the Steed by removing the rear mudguard and installing a solo seat which gave about four microns of clearance between his backside and the rear balloon tyre. He had also installed a side mount number plate and tail light. The rest of the motorcycle was still standard. Gary wanted a rugged looking bobber when he was finished. As so often happens in life, our best intentions of building our own custom motorcycle are derailed by time and technical constraints. The build was not progressing. Matt, whose first attempt at customising is the gorgeous Sportster bobber which we featured in March, was looking for a new project. Marnitz volunteered Matt to finish the build for Gary. Matt graciously obliged.


Matt wasted no time. He cut the subframe and installed a Honda CB550 rear fender. He used the seat made by Gary but recovered it. Basil, Matt’s brother assisted with the build, especially with the rerouting and hiding of the wiring and electrics. Matt installed a plate under the saddle to hide the components. The battery was relocated to a much lower position behind the engine. The existing exhaust pipes were wrapped with ceramic wrap from Old Skool Trading. A new side-mount number plate holder was made and installed. A Sportster indicator is now the new tail light. Total cost of the above including the paint job but excluding the exhaust wrap was R800; less than 80 US Dollars.


Marnitz provided a pair of pull back Sportster risers which were shortened and retapped to install the Biltwell Keystone handlebars imported by Old Skool Trading. These handlebars make a refreshing change to the more common apehangers. Gary wanted to paint the bike in red oxide. Matt listened to his request but took the liberty of spraying satin black over the red oxide and then rubbing the paint down to show the red in certain areas. This definitely gives a worn and rugged look. I hope Gary likes the effect otherwise Matt is in for a lot more sanding down of the black  paint!


The last time Gary saw his Steed was when he dropped it off at Matt’s place in a horsebox. I wish we could all see his face as he reads this article. Well done Matt, Basil and Marnitz. I am proud to call you my friends.