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.
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.
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 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.”
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.
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 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.”)
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?