New bikes are cool, but if there’s one thing that most motorcycle enthusiasts can agree upon, it’s the intangible wonder that comes from bikes with a past. These can come from many directions, and perhaps none might be as special or sentimental as a bike that’s been handed down in your family for generations. Since Honda has been making its Super Cubs for over 60 years, and over 100 million have been sold worldwide, getting your hands on one that your grandpa used to ride is probably not that uncommon.
This isn’t your average stock Super Cub restoration, though. Instead, what we have here is an object lesson in that old adage about how every specialty sees the world through a certain lens. See an engine tuner, and they’re going to want to get right to work on the engine. See a body shop, and they’re going to go absolutely HAM on that classic Super Cub silhouette. (Does that count as a spoiler? Nah, we didn’t give you the details!)
Grandpa’s C50 has apparently been sitting unridden for over 30 years, just gathering a thick layer of dust. It’s unclear when it was last run, only that it was definitely over 30 years ago—so obviously, it’s going to need attention both inside and out. It’s carbureted, so from the jump, it’s a safe bet to assume that tiny little carburetor is going to need a good clean and rebuild. Sure enough, that’s exactly what it gets—and with OEM Honda jets and gaskets, of course.
YouTube channel NP Body Repair usually sticks to modifying four-wheeled vehicles, including kei trucks, but when you get a C50 that used to belong to your grandpa, the way forward is obviously clear. In a way, if you’re used to working on much larger projects, the C50 probably seems like a little bit of a vacation in terms of scale.
Plenty of techniques are on display here, including bending steel tubes to create a headlight bracket, engine guards, new handlebars, and more. Right away, NP decides to make all that bodywork modern. The fenders go in for a chop, and the tail is cut quite short. There’s extensive use of three putties: aluminum, resin, and fiber, all as appropriate to build up, smooth out, and generally create the look that NP wants. Several hours of sanding, welding, and painting go into this project—but all the time, you get the feeling that the goal is in sight.
NP also chops up an aftermarket muffler to achieve the abbreviated, high-mount scrambler look required. Installation of a very nice new LED lighting setup front and rear goes a long way toward achieving the tough, post-apocalyptic look that lives up its new Mad Cub C50 name. At the end, one of NP’s captions remarks that Grandpa may come back and haunt him for what he’s done with this bike, but the end result looks and sounds pretty worth it to us.