The idea of a utopian or post-apocalyptic world seems to provide custom shops with an undying stream of inspiration. From zombie fighters to MadMax desert raiders, the grit and rawness of the concept makes for some pretty cool customs. Apparently, the end of civilization as we know it gets people creative juices flowing. For PopBang Classics, however, the notion of apocalypse has rather inspired a human-machine clash. Lower your shields: the Borg is here.
Simply put, a (cy)borg is a human and robot hybrid. Considering motorcycles are machine, it can be hard to give a bike a “human” quality for a very obvious “borg-ish” look so until you hear the name of this custom, it doesn’t exactly scream “borg”. That being said, once you do know what the shop is going for, it sheds some light on the cleverness of the design.
Let me put on my art history major hat here and have a closer look at this build. The way PopBang has achieved the human-machine symbiosis is with the contrast of materials: the cold hard metal contrasts the softness of the maroon diamond-stitched leather that covers not only the saddle, but also the top of the gas tank. The red tubing connecting reminiscent of a vein seemingly feeding fuel to the engine is both the most subtle and most striking human element in the design. The difference in materials, colors, and surfaces is what creates the organic-biomechatronic duality. Smart.
The Borg is based off a 1971 Honda CB450—only the cradle frame, wire spoke wheels, and twin-cylinder engine remain from the original bike. All the other (visible) components have been altered to serve the Borg’s purpose. The cowl, gas tank, and skid plate have been given a “brushed metal” look with the addition of rivets to create a mechanical, machined look. The grittiness of the metal is complemented by the elegant leather accents. The thick, knobby tires give the bike it’s post-apocalyptic character—it looks about ready to tackle any type of terrain. The “industrial” feeling of the design is completed by the cast iron fuel tap valve, painted red to match the rest of the design.
This is a custom job worthy of a first contact. All we have left to figure out is whether this machine wishes to be human or whether it’s the other way around.