The Black: a stealthy Honda CB350 from Australia

The Black: a stealthy 1971 Honda CB350 from Australian workshop 66 Motorcycles.
The Honda CB350 hits the sweet spot for a stylish urban commuter. It’s well made and nimble, with a dry weight of just 350 pounds or so.

It’ll comfortably crack the ton, if the parallel twin engine is in good nick. And in the States, you can pick up a good one for around a couple of grand.

This lovely resto-mod is from Australia, though, where the Honda CB350 is something of a rarity. It’s from Sixty-Six Motorcycles, who have just moved their shop from Perth to the slightly cooler climate of Fremantle on the coast of Western Australia.

The Black: a stealthy 1971 Honda CB350 from Australian workshop 66 Motorcycles.
“Our client wanted a classic, small-capacity street bike,” says Sixty-Six’s Peter Ellery. “With clip-ons and rearsets, and a tank from a CB200 in red.”

But the red tank didn’t make the cut, so this 1971 CB350 is now called ‘The Black.’ And it’s all the better for it—a tight, compact build that didn’t break the bank.

The Black: a stealthy 1971 Honda CB350 from Australian workshop 66 Motorcycles.
“We decided to build a bike that was not flashy,” says Peter. “A little bit conservative, but definitely not boring. Fun rather than demanding to ride—yet it always demands a second look.”

Sixty-Six have built a few small Hondas in the past, so they know how to make them sing. “Our head mechanic Paul races a very quick CB350 in the local Historics class. He knows the motors inside out, and knows how to make them handle well beyond their intended purpose.”

The Black: a stealthy 1971 Honda CB350 from Australian workshop 66 Motorcycles.
The air-cooled motor now breathes through K&N filters, with rejetted dual Keihin carburetors for smooth running. Exhaust gases exit via 18-inch reverse cones: “A first for us on a small bike, we normally opt for 12-inch shorties,” says Peter. “The extra baffling produces a tasteful rumble, but it’s not loud enough to piss off the neighbors.”

The Black: a stealthy 1971 Honda CB350 from Australian workshop 66 Motorcycles.
The header pipes are original: they have some of the best curves around. “Honda nailed it. But we’d love to put on a set of less restrictive, hand bent pipes on one day,” says Peter.

Sixty-Six wanted to maintain the integrity of the original classic, so they’ve rebuilt rather than discard the drum brakes. The aluminum surfaces on the braking drum (and fork legs) have been vapor blasted, and the wheel hubs powder coated.

The Black: a stealthy 1971 Honda CB350 from Australian workshop 66 Motorcycles.
Other upgrades include stainless steel fenders, indicators from Posh, Tarozzi rearsets, and a vintage-style Daytona headlight and gauge combo. “It helps elongate the look of the bike. Originally we tried a Bates light, but this one is far more complementary. The billet style head light ears work with the exposed fork springs.”

The Black: a stealthy 1971 Honda CB350 from Australian workshop 66 Motorcycles.
The rear shocks are from highly regarded Australian maker Gazi, with soft springs and light damping. “They work in harmony with the front end, providing confidence-inspiring cornering and braking,” says Peter. “As much as can be had with drum brakes!” The tires are Avon AM26 Roadriders—a good mix of modern performance and classic looks.

The riding position is unapologetically lean-forward, but the seat cushioning is ample. (“The bike is actually very comfortable on a long ride.”)

The Black: a stealthy 1971 Honda CB350 from Australian workshop 66 Motorcycles.
It’s usually the CB750 that gets all the attention on the custom scene, but we’d take a CB350 any day. It’s better value, easier to throw around and has plenty enough power for tight city streets—what’s not to like?

66 Motorcycles | Facebook | Instagram

The Black: a stealthy 1971 Honda CB350 from Australian workshop 66 Motorcycles.