That’s it, I am moving to Portugal. We have for a while now been banging the drum proclaiming the glory of the machines coming out of the Iberian Peninsula and yet there seems to be no let up in the flow of utterly gorgeous motorcycles. This little 1974 Honda CB360 is the latest head turner to reach our digital shores, courtesy of the gentlemen at Rua Machines.
Armando Fontes, Marco Mendes and Victor Rocha founded Rua Machines back in 2011.Many nights spent nostalgically musing over their two wheeled childhood day dreams convinced them that an outlet was required for their pent-up creativity and thus Rua was born. The Bike Shed was founded that very same year but it was not until February this year that our paths crossed. RUA #7, a beautiful Kawasaki Z650, was soon followed up with pictures of Armando’s personal steed, RUA #1, an elegant Suzuki GS450. Now circuitously we find our pages graced by RUA build #6.
The little Honda had been left forgotten in a Garage for 11 years before it found salvation in it’s present owner that cherished it for a further twenty before rolling the now dishevelled machine through the doors at Rua headquarters. Armando takes up the story. “When he contacted us to transform the bike, he wanted one like RUA #1. But we were thinking of a different thing, we did not want to undress very much the 360 personality, we did not want to remove the side covers. Our idea was to take advantage of all of her personality and make a scrambler with caffeine and blood of dirt.”
The small Honda twins, be they CB or CJ, 350 or 360, always seem to come out of a customisers hands looking just right. The proportions of the original machine are spot on and the engine is a simple, handsome lump. A little nip and tuck in all the right places produces as pure and simple a motorcycle as you could possibly wish for, Rua’s version offers further proof.
They started by subtly altering the stance by raising the original rear suspension close to 2 cm to give a slight forward slope, the tilt in the tank line lending the CB a more purposeful intent. The engine was thoroughly worked over and received hours of arduous cleaning and a splash of satin black. The electrical system and all running gear also received a thorough refresh. Tyres are matching Heidenau K67 4.00-18s front and rear.
The beautiful tailpiece was crafted in steel, wrapping the taillight like a vintage american car. For the paintwork an understated bronze was chosen with flat black panels, the slice of black through the tail unit elegantly extends the visual lines of the bike whilst giving away Armando’s day job as a fashion designer. A subtle number six in those lovely original side panels designates its place in the Rua bloodline.
The seat is finished in waterproofed Alcantara adding a further texture to the ensemble of matte, shiny, exhaust wrap and rubber. A Motogadget Tiny speedo, Biltwell grips, underslung mirror, a 6′ headlight with custom rim, custom mudguard and bars from a ’72 CB125 complete the details. Rua also changed the starting process so that it starts off the key to keep the bars tidy.
The little Honda was presented at the last Art & Moto event in Lisbon, which judging by what we have seen of the scene in Portugal must have gathered one fine collection of motorcycles. Time to start learning the language I reckon, starting with Rua – Street. This is going to be easy…