Spare Parts Honda


Article By: Duane Ballard

Photos By: Lisa Ballard

Crusty and Fred, who built the bike seen in theses images, have been riding longer than most of our readers have been alive. Fred has 60 years of riding under his belt and Crusty follows with a close second at 58 years. Crusty is an old desert racer whose claim to fame is running over Harvey Mushman during one of the Catalina races. After an afternoon of drinking, all was forgiven.

Crusty recently traded in his Shovel for an HD of a newer vintage but I’ve seen him ride this rigid Honda countless times. Fred’s main ride is a vintage VW trike but he also has been spotted on his extremely long Honda rigid chopper he first threw a leg over in 1972. I think the only reason he rides the VW is to have something to haul his three wheel cart around with so he can be mobile when not riding. Fred riding down the freeway with his crutches strapped to the long Springer of the CB is a site you won’t forget. He also told me that he can be spotted in a few of the old biker movies. Look around in CC Rider and The Hard Ride, among others, for a younger and supposedly better looking version of Fred. He was good friends with Crazy Frank Sharola who used to build a lot of the movie bikes during this time.

When the studios would call his shop in Downey looking for riders, Fred and whoever else was around would jump on their bikes, or a customers’, and head for the set.

This bike is the result of their lifelong obsession with anything on two wheels. The frame is a vintage C&G frame that the pair of them has been carrying around for about 15 years.

The same can be said of the Springer frontend. They were found in a storage unit years ago by a friend of Fred’s. The duo have had the wheels in their stash for about 20 years and the tank is the first tank that was on Fred’s CB750 chopper that he built back in ’72.

Crusty found four wrecked Hondas in Oregon to source a power plant from, and the project began. One of the wrecks had only 5000 miles on the odometer so that’s the motor they went with; it was left stock. The 750s have plenty of power in stock condition and this was to be a budget build. The front and rear wheels are both 16”. Unusual on the front of a chopper now, but was fairly common on the Denver style choppers of the seventies and early-eighties. The front and rear tires are both Shinko. The bars are an old pair of Z-bars that have been modified and set up with HD controls. The rear fender is a trailer style flat 6” and the hex oil tank is an old aftermarket item from who knows where. The last part of the puzzle was a set of forward controls that Crusty built.

With the pair steadily working on the bike, they were able to knock it out in about four months to riding condition. After running around for a month or so in bare metal, it went to Scott at Big Ugly Designs for paint. Since that time, it’s been seen all over California pretty regularly. Not bad at all for a total investment of around $3,000. Of course a few of those are from old deals but nonetheless it goes to show nice bikes can be built on the cheap. These two seem to have one or three going at all times. Now get out there and build something! Scrounge out those deals and dig through yours and your buddies’ spare parts. These two have proved numerous times that it takes more work than money.


Spare Parts Honda Tech Sheet

owner: Fred and Crusty

city: Lake Elsinore, CA

Fabrication By: Crusty

Year: 1976

Model: CB 750

time: 4 Months

Value: ???


Year: 1976

Model: Honda

Builder: Crusty

Ignition: Stock

displacement: 750cc

pistons: Stock

Heads: Stock

cam(s): Stock

carb: Stock

air cleaner: K&N

exhaust: Custom

primary: Stock


Year: 1976

Make: Honda

Shifting: 5 Speed

FraMe Year: 1976

Make: C&G

rake: 45”

Stretch: ??

Front end

type: Springer Builder: extension: 16”


Front Wheel: Hallcraft

Size: 16”

tire: Chinko

Brakes: None

rear Wheel: Hallcraft

Size: 16”

tire: Chinko

Brakes: Honda


painter: Scott/Big Ugly Designs

color: White/Blue/Orange type:


Graphics: Scott/Big Ugly Designs

Molding: None


Bars: Modified Zs

risers: Aftermarket

Hand controls: HD

Gas tank(s): ??

Front Fender: None

rear Fender: Flat 6”

Seat: Swap Meet Find

Foot controls: Forwards by Crusty

oil tank: Hex Aftermarket

Mirrors: Swap Meet

headlight: Aftermarket

taillight: Sparto

Speedo: None

photographer: Lisa Ballard

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