Where would Cagney be without Lacey? If that’s a bit too retro and tenuous, what about Robin? He’s pretty decent at fighting crime, but frankly a bit crap without Batman around the corner. Some things simply work well in pairs; wheels and testicles are alright on their own, or in greater quantity, but a deuce is definitely the preferred option. deBolex Engineering are now notorious for knocking out some cracking CB750s, with an attention to detail and finish that belies owner Calum’s young years.
We first saw his handsome pair of Bonehearts a few weeks ago in the back of a van outside the Carreau du Temple in Paris. Three days later and anyone who’d visited Bike Shed Paris, fans and fellow builders alike, would have been left in no doubt that Calum’s bikes are proper. I think that’s the correct term they use around deBolex’s HQ in Croydon, Surrey.
The Bonesheart Specials are a pair of identical customs produced for the Swedish app developer behind aGreatday.tv and the upcoming Bonesheart app; an interesting concept whereby folk can enter competitions to win customs of their own. With influences from the MK3 and MK5 these CB750F2N based customs are deBolex’s most ambitious builds to date.
Full creative control was handed to Calum in the knowledge that a slick and menacing looking bike would be a guaranteed outcome. One thing the Boneshearts owner wasn’t expecting was a degree of practically engineered into the project. Calum goes on to say, “Building two identical customs proved to be a challenge but very rewarding especially in the aluminum tail piece and seat design, we wanted a seat that was removable, that would withstand the test of time, be comfy and stopped water from getting into the compartment below. These are the things that take time during the build and being on with such a tight schedule we don’t have time for research and development! But we feel we have come up with a seat design that we can now transfer to all our builds. Thankfully I have a second pair of hands on the team, our upholsterer Desmond is also experienced on the tools so together we can take on more work and incorporate more elaborate ideas “.
If you got up close and personal to these bike at either Bike Shed London or Paris you’ll have seen the slick catch and relatively cavernous storage area beneath the seat. Easily enough for a mini D-lock, disc lock, a super slimline pair of waterproof trousers and perhaps an iPhone on charge (I’ll lend you that idea Calum). Although not the 6 Plus; that thing wouldn’t fit in a Volvo.
As is now a prerequisite for builds at the this level, a full and complete strip down is required prior to cleaning up, powder coating and painting the mechanicals. With completed bikes being shipped all over the world, gremlins and faults are simply not acceptable. One ace that deBolex does have up their sleeve is an in-house paint facility, again a proper one, with full paint mixing facilities and an oven. The flatting, sanding and final finish are all Calum’s graft, and the result suggest it’s worthwhile.
To make these CBs stop, go and turn as well as they look some fairly serious upgrades are required. A modified top yoke not only holds the Motogadget speedo, but also grip the burley upsidedowners pinched from a more modern CBR.
In a break from the usual deBolex custom airbox, this four-banger sucks through trusty K&Ns and re-jetted carbs. Batch produced, to the now tried and tested design, stainless exhausts sound great and exiting from one side, also look clean and simple.
Dunlop Sportmax rubber not only offers a handsome tread pattern, but plenty of adhesion once the free breathing motor is let loose. And yes, these bikes have been at delivered to the show in a back of a van, but they were built to be ridden, more about that further down.
Tarozzi foot rests, set in a slight rearward position add a sportier feel, and irradiate that curled up like a pretzel look. The clip-ons are low but not uncomfortable and the forks set-up for the winding roads but not rock hard, race spec teeth cracking levels.
The owner of the Bonesheart Specials, and the namesake tech company, is an avid custom fan and keen for others to see the result of his investment and deBolex’s handiwork. These CBs won’t be locked up in a fancy glass office in Stockholm, far from it. The final shakedown was completed last week around London (check the vid here)and now both bikes are bound for Biarritz for the custom bike, surfing extravaganza, Wheels & Waves. And yes, they will be ridden all the way down. So if you see Calum in France next week, wave him over, there’ll probably be a decent picnic stashed under those seats.
For a spot on the waiting list or to discuss your project get in touch via the deBolex website. Or for envy shots, follow Calum’s trip on Facebook and Instagram. And to see behind the scenes check out their Youtube channel here.
Photos by Dominic Hinde