The Bike Shed and this little Honda have something in common. They both came about from a meeting of minds – a collaboration between different people with similar ideas and aspirations. The ‘Tropper’ is the result of Dead City Cycles and Topdollar getting it together for Fashion Week in Berlin. And we like it. A lot.
In 2012, Gonzo (aka Topdollar, not the Muppet) had an idea. An idea which sprang from a bunch of parts found in a corner of his garage. The base is a 1976 Honda CB250G frame which was cleaned up and modified with a rear loop. The engine is from a Honda CJ360T, which is very rare in Germany. The front wheel is from a Honda CR125, a cool crosser from the 80’s with a magnesium drum brake. And the rear wheel is from a not quite so cool Honda CB350. The forks are from a Honda CB 250 (albeit 4cms shorter). The combination of a modified fuel tank from an NSU FOX, the handmade reindeer seat, and the handmade manifolds gives the bike a proper 50:50 mix of chopper and tracker, hence the name ‘Tropper’.
The super cool custom paint on the tank was done by a friend of the guys, known as The Stör. He created a unique look which we’re told matches the clothing style of Topdollar himself. We’ll have to take your word for it on that one.
It’s the little things on this bike, like the laser branding on the seat and the milled aluminum covers on the engine, that really make it stand out from the crowd. Not that you’d want to attract too much attention as its not strictly road legal.
The project has been such a success that the two of them have decided to work together on special commissions for customers looking for something ‘extraordinary’. They say they want to build bikes that give the feeling of freedom that can only come from a pure, undiluted riding experience. Gonzo clearly uses his 14 years of experience well, disassembling and restoring every part of the machine and reassembling only the critical components that are totally necessary. Artje, the designer, works on finessing all the aesthetic elements and most importantly of all , serves the cold beer at the end of the working day. The team is completed by Hofi, who the guys describe as a ‘general servant’, not sure if this is how he likes to be referred to or not.
Together they create bikes like this. Bikes with soul and style, bikes without frills or unnecessary bits and pieces. Next up is a BMW R100, a Kawasaki Z 750 Twin and a Yamaha XS 750. We cannot wait to see how they turn out. Here’s to successful collaborations.
Photos by Marcel Schwickerath
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