Stone-Clad Custom Honda CX500 Rocks Harder Than Most [w/ Video]

One of the best ways – if not the best way – to tap into the creativity of custom motorcycle builders is to pit them against each other in a contest. That’s exactly what the German magazine Custombike did recently, but not before setting two ground rules: First, the budget for each entrant’s build was capped at 5,000 euros (currently just under $5,300), and second, the bike had to be fully functional. With those stipulations in mind, Chris Zernia decided to use one of the last materials you’d expect for a modified motorcycle (or any vehicle, really) for his surprising submission based on a 1982 Honda CX500.

That material is basalt, a dense volcanic stone that, in addition to looking rather cool, is inexpensive, meaning Zernia was able to stay under the 5,000 euro ceiling, despite his having made the seat, headlight surround, racing number plates, fuel tank and even a matching open-face helmet out of basalt. The downside, of course, is weight, and lots of it: This bike now weighs 771.6 lbs., or 286.6 more than a stock CX500, which is why Zernia installed beefier suspension hardware like front forks from a Honda VT600 Shadow and Harley-Davidson Dyna rear shocks. Oh, and there’s no front brake, so you’re going to have to plan your slowing and stopping a county or two in advance. Fortunately, freed of monetary constraints, Zernia’s next rock-clad chopper – a Harley-Davidson 1100 Sportster tentatively titled…wait for it…the Rolling Stone – probably won’t suffer the same compromises.