Some kids grow up around cars and bikes. Sofi Tsingos grew up literally stuck to them. “Dad used to own a very respected aircraft maintenance shop on Addison, Texas. This is also where he would keep his motorcycles… and instead of taking me to a daycare, he would bring me to his workshop to keep an eye on me. He would duct tape me to the tank of one of his bikes while I was still in diapers.”
All that time with Dad in the workshop had a life changing effect on young Sofi and as soon as she was old enough to ride she had her first street bike. For her 19th birthday Dad surprised her with her first Ducati and she never looked back. At 26 Sofi has a multitude of achievements under her belt, including the honour of being the first woman to win the Nation Technical Honor Society Award and is a qualified Ducati technician supported every step of the way by Dad. “He is my best friend, my hero, and I look up to him more than anyone or anything. If I could be half the person he is, I would be the second best person in the world…He can work on anything, repair, and restore anything. Everything he touches turns into a work of art, whether its an old hot rod, café racer, or oil painting.”
In 2010 Dad gave Sofi her first project bike, a 1977 Honda CB550. It was an old, rough running CB, dented and rusted with unattractive fenders and handlebars. Many would have considered the bike a basket-case, but not Sofi. With watery eyes she knew exactly what she wanted to do with it. “My favorite things about every bike, car and hot rod came up with my little blue bike. I named him Frank, because the bike is a running Frankenstein.”
The front end and callipers are from a GSXR, the headlight and front hub from a Harley. The tank is a Benelli and the seat and taillight are custom. Sofi rebuilt the motor and added a hotter cam and custom exhaust with a Honda civic tip. The points ignition has been replaced by a more reliable DynaTech system and the frame was chopped to suit the new rear end. The suspension is a custom job too that Sofi and her father designed based on a system they saw on a forum…
For the full story behind this bikes build and more stunning photos grab a copy of Tank Moto #1 here
Here’s our second collaborative feature from the premiere issue of Tank Moto Magazine; Sofi Tsingo’s Honda CB550 Cafe Racer. Every custom build has a story, some better than others, and Sofi’s is one that I would place in the better category. It’s not justabout the bolts and trick bits that went into creating the bike it’s a father/daughter story that you don’t often come across in the auto scene.
The following is an outtake from the full article in Tank Moto Magazine issue 1 written by Karlee Sangster…