Having established themselves as purveyors of quality Enfield-based bobbers, Old Empire Motorcycles were keen to show that they had a few more strings to their bow by putting their stamp onto a 1975 Honda CB250 G5, and as we witnessed in last May’s BSMC London event, this wee beastie is a real head turner, so we’re glad to finally have the photos and story for The Bike Shed.
Alec at OEM comments; “I guess you could say that the Vulcan is the result of mixing some cafe racer with a little brat and some bobber chucked in there for good measure. As this was one of our own builds it was actually started around a year ago now and worked on in any spare time.”
“To begin with we were worried it was going to handle like it was running on a set of Oreos but surprisingly its a very agile and lithe bike considering the oversize tyres. The uprated front-end now brakes phenomenally and the steering has sharpened up nicely too. I would like think that there isn’t any other bike better suited to showcase OEM’s ability to design and create not just a Jap-engined build, but any other type build of which we are working on in the Old Empire MC House of Assembly.”
Alex & Rafe have a love of old-school British wartime imagery and iconography, and this finds it’s way into their designs, giving their brand a uniquely ‘Great British’ vibe. The CB is named ‘Vulcan’ after the Avro-built strategic bomber, one of Britain’s principal nuclear defensive weapons during the cold war. The triangular headlight is there to echo the bomber’s huge delta wing.
After being completely stripped, there wasn’t much left of the bike except the engine, wheels, frame and tank. The USD forks were donated by an Aprilia RS125, while the rims were shod with a set of Avon Mk2’s.
We love the attention to detail on this build. The Smith’s Instruments Chronometric electric speedo has been beautifully set into the top yoke, along with the warning LEDs. Grips and pegs were wrapped with leather cord and rubber bindings.
With all this attention to detail going on the seat had to be a thing of beauty too, and following the Old Empire brand aesthetic it has been upholstered in the style of a Chesterfield sofa, complete with leather covered buttons. Plus and posh, but it also looks very cool, and probably rather comfy. What ho! Perfect for the Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride, perhaps?
Other features include the custom Old Empire MC battery satchel and custom electrics box, with embossed logo, plus new shocks and tail light.
Rims have been powdercoated and the engined scotched and repainted, and is wearing K&N filters. The exhaust is a custom item, wrapped in titanium (the colour, not the metal).
Thanks go out from Alec & Rafe at OEM to Jay Aldred of OEM paintworks, Demeanour customs. Alloy polishing services and Aerocoat powdercoating and Ekquire Motorcycles. Photos are by Nadine Ijwere.
There’s no shortage of custom CBs out there, and we love them all, but it’s fair to say this this one stands out as a unique take on the Honda CB platform with a stylish bike carrying British style and panache, and we look forward to seeing what the guys do with the next one they have on the bench.
Oi, Billy. The 3.57 from Cambridge is due any minute…