Jay LaRossa runs Lossa Engineering of Long Beach, CA, and he builds super-clean cafe racers. Like this very sharp 1972 Honda CL350. “I wanted to do a high pipe bike,” says LaRossa, “and cross over one of the exhausts, through the spot where the battery and electrics used to go.”
LaRossa originally planned to build this bike for himself, setting aside a Benelli tank—before everyone wanted one—and mocking the bike up. Then he let it sit for a while as he worked on commissioned builds.
“Then a customer flew in from out of town and was interested in a full bike build. He really dug the CL. I had kinda lost interest in the build, so I agreed to sell. The deal was made and I finished the project to his specifications.”
For the exhaust LaRossa used the factory CL header pipes, then custom-made the rest. He ceramic-coated the pipes black, cloaked them in custom-fabricated chromed heat shields, and finished them off with 1970s vintage mufflers. “We also did our typical Lossa Engineering stuff—de-tabbing the frame, drilling and screening the front brake hub for better cooling, and relocating the battery.”
LaRossa’s mechanics also hooped the sub-frame, installed modern bearings and electrics, and upgraded the charging system. (“The factory unit doesn’t work worth a shit.”)
With new rearsets and Mikuni carbs fitted, the Honda was ready for its next life. I’d be happy to have it in mine.