Holy Moly. Custom Honda CB450.

MolyHoly1MolyHoly2In his small shop in Owensboro, Kentucky, Mike McFadden of M&M Customs has built a few notable customs and cafe racers that have captured my attention. I always admire custom bikes made to be ridden, especially when they look like rolling art pieces. Something uniquely beautiful making you proud wherever you ride it. “Holy Moly” is Mike’s second creation I am featuring and having it headline my weekly news is well deserved. Recently unveiled at the 2014 Mid-Ohio Vintage Days judges agreed with me and gave this custom both the Best of Show and People’s Choice awards.

MolyHoly2bisMolyHoly2terThe story of this custom Honda CB450 starts when in 2013 McFadden was given the chance to take a couple of his builds to the 110th Harley Davidson Celebration AMD Invitational bike show. During a couple of days he incessantly walked the Harley museum looking for inspiration for a new project. His brain rich of visual and mechanical inspiration, he returned home decided to create a board tracker style bike the way the Japanese could have done it in the early days of racing…

MolyHoly3MolyHoly4McFadden knew right away that building a Japanese flavored board racker would require something to make it stand out and separate it from the already created multiple Harley and Indian versions. To free his creativity, only the neck and motor mounts were kept from the original factory frame. A twin tank set up with an exposed backbone and a mono shock suspension inspired the final frame geometry. The battery and electrics are housed in the one-off tail section along with the brake lights.  Swingarm was sourced from an old bike he had cut up previously and extended by 2″. Bars where made from the cut up originals. Interestingly, the custom made seat is held in place thanks to a magnet against a metal brace.

MolyHoly5MolyHoly6Admirer of the art-deco style and of all its automotive applied variations and evolution, McFadden didn’t want the expected (on this type of bike) typical round number plate on the front wheel. So, he fabricated a more classy Flash Gordon like design. With the help of Ride Wright Wheels he was able to secure a beautiful set of 21″ 3.50 Soft Lip Exotica wheels wrapped in a set of Continental Conti Custom Attacks, a set largely responsible for giving the bike its final stance and appeal.

MolyHoly7MolyHoly8Although he is color blind (!), McFadden is also a long time painter (he started to experiment colors on his bicycles at age 14), with the help of his “eyes” (Joe Jones, Jim Warren, and PPG Rep Richard Shofner) he picked a color scheme of B/C Brown Pearl and Vanilla Cream with black for outlines. It’s only when the paint was applied that he was able to source in a thrift shop the matching color distressed leather from which he made the knee pads, grips, and seat. Builder friend Jeremy Cupp of L.C. Fabrications supplied the brass tank and carb caps along with the brake fluid reservoir.  DEI provided the wire covering and pipe. wrap. And those foot pegscome from an old 80’s Bmx bike…

The motor received a 500 kit with a Mikuni VM34’s to wake it up and a smaller rear gear was installed. Enough to make this custom CB450 a pretty decent ride although equipped with tall wheels and relatively fat tires for a board tracker. A very slick around-town and country road bike. M&M Customs.

26 Responses to “Holy Moly. Custom Honda CB450.”

  1. 1 Kurt Sep 15th, 2014 at 8:07 am


  2. 2 Greeko Sep 15th, 2014 at 8:23 am

    Very slick. Imagine if our US manufacturers would produce something like this for $6000 to attract a younger generation.

  3. 3 Shifter Sep 15th, 2014 at 8:37 am

    Excellent work.

  4. 4 Sheridan Sep 15th, 2014 at 8:37 am

    Stunning bike, well done!! Looks both amazing, and fun to ride

  5. 5 Paul Hamilton Sep 15th, 2014 at 8:39 am

    I agree. Lots of youngsters would like one just like that. Hello Harley, Indian & Victory?

  6. 6 Jay Horton's Private Shop Sep 15th, 2014 at 8:47 am

    Beautiful work. My best to him for his continued success. Later Jay

  7. 7 Heather Wright Sep 15th, 2014 at 9:20 am

    Nice feature Mike!

  8. 8 fuji Sep 15th, 2014 at 10:56 am

    Most sanitary bike that have seen in years

  9. 9 Woody Sep 15th, 2014 at 11:03 am

    Beautiful! Beautiful! Beautiful! How nice to see a custom bike with a great rear fender instead of a bare back tire and stupid cantilevered “diving board” seat! This thing is sweeter than any of the latest high dollar “limited production” bikes seen here recently. NICE!!!

  10. 10 JohnJ Texas Sep 15th, 2014 at 11:04 am

    which youngsters are talking about…?

  11. 11 Todd Nix Sep 15th, 2014 at 3:12 pm

    Mike, we’ve been friends feels like forever now and your talent never ceases to amaze me. I knew from the start, this was going to be my favorite.

  12. 12 Blackmax Sep 15th, 2014 at 4:14 pm

    Now that is a work of art !!!!
    Yeah I know it’s a metric
    But talent is talent & it takes some to make a bike like that !!!
    Very Nice !!!!

  13. 13 Joe Sep 15th, 2014 at 4:56 pm

    Wow – beautiful. But that bike is screaming for a springer style seat – just sayin’

    Great work ~ Joe

  14. 14 Midnight Sep 15th, 2014 at 5:05 pm

    That’s the nicest Honda I’ve ever seen.

  15. 15 Jusmecuz Sep 15th, 2014 at 5:37 pm

    Those rims & spokes are sick.

  16. 16 Septic the Sceptic Sep 15th, 2014 at 6:44 pm

    True creativity knows no racial divides.

  17. 17 Dave Blevins Sep 15th, 2014 at 8:35 pm

    A very nice, uncluttered, tasteful, machine.

  18. 18 nicker Sep 15th, 2014 at 11:02 pm

    Nicely done & different….
    Honda small bore….. Why not.


  19. 19 Homer Sep 15th, 2014 at 11:53 pm

    BAD ASS ! Great job, looks amazing !

  20. 20 Jack deagazio Sep 16th, 2014 at 5:21 am

    Great looking bike, very well done

  21. 21 Jeff Duval Sep 16th, 2014 at 6:14 am

    Gee, isn’t it great to see that everybody agrees 🙂 ? Ain’t it refreshing too to see a bike that looks like one ?!

  22. 22 Mark Sep 16th, 2014 at 6:44 am

    One of the nicest motorcycles I have ever seen.. A true work of art – I really like the ‘FXR” style open Triangle where the shock is.

  23. 23 JERI Sep 16th, 2014 at 7:31 am

    nice work . real clean looking

  24. 24 AFT Sep 16th, 2014 at 10:46 am

    Well done!

  25. 25 Sean Simpson Sep 18th, 2014 at 5:36 am

    Another stunning creation to add to the collection.
    It’s good to see the little guy knock one to the moon, proud of you Mike!

  26. 26 B. D. Howard Sep 18th, 2014 at 5:27 pm

    My first bike was a CB450. But it didn’t look anything like this!

    The original 450 was known as the Black Bomber, again, it looked nothing like this.

    This bike is very interesting to look at, but Jeezsis, I wouldn’t want to ride it.

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Cyril Huze