In 2012 Scott Halbleid left his career as a graphic designer to focus his efforts on building custom motorcycles. As a trained, multidisciplinary artist his skills already included sculptural and fabrication techniques which when combined with a lifelong love of motorcycles had him positioned perfectly for the transition. Since he opened the doors of his ‘H Garage’ workshop he has amassed an impressive portfolio of custom builds, but this ’78 Honda Goldwing, his latest creation, is the icing on the H Garage cake.
Scott acquired the Gold Wing when an acquaintance stumbled across it decaying in a barn and offered it up for sale. He had already been tempted by another Gold Wing he’d seen at a swap meet months before so convincing himself to lay down the cash was an easy task. After taking ownership of the ageing GL1000 it was decided the bike would be his next workshop project with an aim to transform it into a fully-faired bagger. Thankfully after some deliberation while observing the stripped-down Honda the bagger theme was ousted in favour of a Hot Rod/Mad Max themed bike, naked, raw and packing plenty of attitude.
With the beast of a bike taking up a large chunk of real estate in Scott’s 2 bench workshop the Gold Wing build had to be prioritised and completed as soon as possible. Over the following 6 months, he transformed the 1800cc behemoth into his minimalistic road warrior named No. 5 to commemorate his fifth H Garage workshop build.
After the initial tear down the Gold Wing’s frame and its water cooled, flat 4 engine were cleaned and painted before being reunited once again. Hot Rod parts manufacturer Mooneyes supplied a set of solid alloy “moon discs” to conceal the bikes cast wheels and the stock Honda fenders were stripped to bare metal. In the rear he trimmed the fender and rolled it around to sit over the rubber at 5 minutes past twelve and tucked an integrated brake/signal LED strip beneath the lip of the fender.
With the removal of the bike’s faux fuel tank (on this model Gold Wing the real fuel tank lives under the seat) a new air-filtering system was required, so Scott once again looked to an aftermarket manufacturer in the Hot Rod scene for a solution. Performance carburettor specialists Holley had the perfect solution in the form of a large billet filter that perfectly fit the top of the frame so he mounted it using a custom made inlet system, feeding all 4 of the bikes carbs.
When it came to the bikes exhaust extra time was spent refining its design prior to fabrication. A pair rectangular tips were underslung on the frame to visually draw the bike lower to the ground. Shooting out horizontally from either side of the bike the mufflers were welded to the stock headers and produce an exhaust note that’d put most Harley Tourers to shame. With modifications to the flow of gases through the carbs and out of the engine some tricky tuning was required. For this Scott enlisted the help of Chad Francis of RetroWrench who solved the problem with careful synchronisation, jetting and a bit of needle drilling.
The Honda’s factory controls were swapped out with MotoGadget switches, new cables and hand levers mounted to a set of drag-style bars. To help keep cables to a minimum a GPS speedo with integrated tacho sits on the backbone of the frame. The headlight has been replaced by an alloy framed, mesh faceplate and a pair of high intensity LED Fog lights perched atop the engine guard rails provide enough light to illuminate a small stadium.
The suspension has been upgraded with Progressive rear shocks and rebuilt fork internals and all of the tired old brake lines have been replaced with braided ones. The seat pan was designed to wrap over the fuel tank which protrudes out from the top of the bike’s frame. Using several welded sheets of steel it hugs both the frame and tank perfectly allowing easy access to the tanks filler cap.
The final finish on the bike was achieved by applying a custom paint colour to the faceplate and the fenders before laying down a satin clear coat which gives them the appearance of raw steel. The gas tank, radiator surrounds and various brackets were stripped bare before being clear coated in a heatproof clear coat while the frame, drivetrain and forks were finished in satin black.
There are so many incredible details on this bike that I had to ask Scott what he likes most about the No. 5 Gold Wing to which he replied… “Riding it! It’s loud, obnoxious and fast. People seem to dig it too which is always a plus.” What’s your opinion?