Over the last few weeks we’ve been sending Bike Shed T shirts all over the world – South Africa, Australia, Germany, even India. It’s a good feeling to know how global this ‘scene’ has become. So when this cute CB250 build turned up from Croatia, we just had to feature it.
Zeljko started RBC (Retro Bikes Croatia) for the same reason most of us would start a bike building business. He got bored of working in an office making lots of money for other people, and decided to try and make some for himself, doing something he loved. He describes himself as having a ‘connection’ with older bikes, and set up RBC with the aim of producing quality, affordable bikes in a classic or Cafe racer style. Nothing coming off the workbench will ever be too ‘extreme’ as he always wants to make sure the bikes are everyday usable.
The CB250 was chosen because it’s relatively rare in Croatia (unlike here in the UK where couriers still thrash around on them in their dozens) and its satisfyingly beefy enough even though it’s only a 250. The other big attraction is the ease of maintenance (hence their popularity with the aforementioned couriers) which is very important for the young riders Zeljko is aiming at. They want style, but they have to watch the pennies too.
The engine has remained completely standard, all it needed was a good clean up, some new sparks and an oil and filter change. The Keihins were cleaned and inspected, re-jetted, synchronised, and equipped with open filters. The airbox, side panels, clocks, bars, rear fender, stop light, indicators, mirrors and countless other nameless parts were removed to get ‘the look’ he was after.
The frame, forks, swing arm and wheels were powdercoated and the tank painted. A modern front brake master cylinder was fitted (no one likes early 80’s disc brakes) along with steelbraided hoses, fork gaiters, clip ons and Beston grips. The seat and battery box were hand made and the frame was modified so they would fit neatly. The electrics were renewed and moved partially under the seat, and the rear chrome fender was modified to fit. In fact, lots of parts were made specifically for this bike during the build simply because Honda could no longer supply them.
Zeljko stresses that he’s not a pro builder and had no previous experience doing anything like this, but he does say he has a strong determination, and that, combined with the help of family and friends enabled him to finish his first project. Now he is focussing that determination on making RBC a serious player in the bike building world, and wants to be recognized as the first of its kind in Croatia.
The bike has only just been completed, and is now for sale (surely not for long) in a partner’s showroom in Zagreb. The cafe racer/shed build/custom bike world tour continues.
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