It’s no secret that vintage Japanese is our specialty, but when it comes to our all time favorite model, the Honda CB750 takes the cake. From the factory these inline 4’s were a hotrod, and from the showroom floor these bikes were being customized. Some may forget that in the 70’s the chopper scene was full of Japanese choppers, guys were buying these bikes new and immediately chopping them up into a one of a kind ride. It’s safe to say that the Japanese platform had a heavy influence in the chopper world, and we’ve been seeing a resurgence of Japanese choppers being built or survivors being brought back to life!
When we came across some photos of Zach and Kristin Shipwash’ chopper they were building, we had to hear more. We reached out to the couple to get the inside scoop on this bike and a awesome collection of photos to go with it. Let’s get into it!
Starting with the basics, what’s your name and where are you located?
Zach and Kristin Shipwash
How long have you been riding and building motorcycles for?
I have been riding with my dad since I was 2, I've had something or another ever since then. I've wrenched on motorcycles most of my life but got more heavier into it the past few years. We decided to start the business in 2016 in honor of my dad who sparked my passion into motorcycles. His name was Tommy Ray Shipwash hense TRS-The Rebel Spirit.
Tell us a little about the bike (year, make, model)
The engine is a Honda 1972 cb750 four, Amen Savior frame, Paul Durfee square girder front end.
What was the starting condition of this build?
The bike was basically a roller with a few boxes of parts. We swapped the motor out for another one that was stored with the bike. We put on a gasket kit, paint and polished the aluminum covers.
What was the inspiration behind the build?
I've have always had a thing for long choppers, I think the 70s was a rad time and I couldn't wait to build one to keep. We kept some of the original chrome parts and re-chromed parts that needed it. So what we wound up with is what looks a barn find with a sweet paint job.
Have you named the bike? If so, how did you arrive at that name?
Boogie Nights, we were going for a straight out of the 70s theme so it fit.
Were there any favorable moments during the build process?
When we got the paint back it was an exciting day, when the sissy bar and front end came in from the chromer. I emailed Paul Durfee about the front end and he responded which was pretty cool.
We’re huge fans of Japanese choppers, a lot of people seem to forget that Japanese bikes were a huge platform to chop back in 70s. Flip through any old chopper mag and you’ll find its filled with Japanese choppers ranging from cb350s to Z1’s. This build looks like it came straight out of one of those old mags, was that the plan?
Well my (zach) plan is to make bikes that are more rideable than show style but my wife adds her touch and ideas and they usually come out way nicer than planned. I grew up riding with my dad to biker bars and hangouts and I definitely loved flipping through old mags to check out the bikes and dreaming of building one that would make it into a magazine one day.
It’s awesome to see you used period correct parts with the build as well, from the Amen Savior frame to the Durfee Girder. Is there any specific piece on the bike that sticks out as your favorite?
That Amen frame sold me but i definitely love the wheels and girder equally as much.
There are a lot of really cool details on this build, one thing that stuck out to us was the Finch style pawn light you made. Could you give us a brief walk through of the process on that?
We knew we wanted to put some unique lights on this one to go with the retro theme, so we set out hunting for a Finch pawn light and every time came across one on the chopper swapper pages someone always beat us to buying it. So we thought about how we could make one ourselves and started researching. We found a company that makes custom replacement lenses for them, and a guy who shared the recipe of what you need to make your own:1 piece of tubing, 2 candle snuffers, 1 bulb, a pinch of wiring, and a smidgen of time and patience.
Paint tends to be one of the first things that draws people in and then they start looking at all the other details in the build, who did your paint and what made you go with the color scheme?
Cody Rountree We found a bunch of psychedelic looking metal flake colors that we thought would go well together and gave Cody free reign to put his spin on everything. He went way above our expectations and knocked it out of the park.
To wrap things up, where can everyone find you (Social media, website, etc.)
The Rebel Spirit on Facebook and Instagram or Therebelspirit1955.com
Photos by Zach Shipwash, Lincoln Infield and Robert Luffman
Do you own a CB750? Check out our huge parts offering HERE and get your CB back on the road!