The term ‘café racer’ is bandied about so much these days, it’s virtually lost all meaning. But this sleek Honda CB 350 is one of the few modern customs that live up to the moniker. Even better, it’s fresh out of the workshop and ready to race in the AHRMA Production Class race series—if you can bear the thought of putting a scratch on that immaculate bodywork.
It’s the personal project of Jason Paul Michaels, co-founder of Dime City Cycles and a man who knows a thing or two about building bikes. Michaels is not too vain to call in extra help though, and in this case, he approached Scott Turner, the multiple Daytona-winning AHRMA Sportsman 350 national champion. How’s that for a pedigree?
For Michaels, building the bike was a release from the pressure of running one of the most successful aftermarket parts companies in the USA: “A way to blow off some steam, and take a break from the daily rigors at Dime City,” he says. “Scott shared quart after quart of knowledge on perfecting the CB 350. To use his words, we wanted it to be ‘the funnest bike there is to race!”
It’s a ground-up rebuild, torn down 100% and reassembled from scratch. Scott’s input extended to the tiniest details: Little things like back-cutting the transmission gears, installing solid chain rollers, and taking a notch out of the points case. (And adding a few extra washers here and there, “Because they just need to be there.”)
Building a race bike involves a learning curve. “When working with a seasoned builder and racer, there are things they figure out—due to necessity on the race track—that street builders like myself would never uncover,” says Michaels.
The mid-controls are a case in point. AHRMA Production Class rules dictate that a bike must be as close to stock as possible—including the fenders, seat, carburetors, a period-appropriate exhaust and so on.
So the mid controls on this Honda CB 350 were custom fabricated to push the limits of what AHRMA rules allow with back and upward placement, along with several other little tweaks. “To hit the track, we only need to use the quick disconnects built into the harness to remove the headlight, then swap in the number plate and fasten the belly-pan to the bottom,” says Michaels.
The mechanical spec is high end, with an engine completely rebuilt using .50 over pistons, Mikuni VM30 carbs, custom headers and Norton peashooter mufflers. It’s a bike designed to go fast.
Unfortunately, it will not be Michaels riding it. He’s a man with very little spare time, and honest enough to voice fears that he’d lay it down if he rode it in a race. “Scott hasn’t backed off, and I’m sure he’ll get me on the track sooner rather than later—but it’ll be on a different bike.”
So Michaels has decided to put the CB 350 up for sale. “The bike isn’t ‘brand new,’ it’s as-new. It has approximately 600 miles after the complete rebuild and got full adjustments to valves and other items at the 500-mile break-in mark. It’s a turnkey bike read for anyone to ride. Just a couple of kicks, and you’re on your way to the ton.”
Tempted? Contact Jason Paul Michaels via the Dime City Cycles website.
Images by Erick Runyon.
Complete Engine Rebuild w/ Powder Coated Covers & Cases
.50 Over Pistons
Back-cut Transmission Gears
Tensioner Wheels Replaced w/ Solid Delrin CAM Chain Sliders
Custom Headers w/ Norton Peashooters Mufflers
Mikuni VM29 Carburetors w/ Emgo Throttle & Aluminum Velocity Stacks
Vintage Finned Valve Tappet Covers
All Stainless Steel Fasteners
New Chain & Sprockets
Gloss Black & Silver Flake Paint-job by Kevin Bates
Vintage Red hand pinstripes by Liza Hopkins
Stock CB 350 Tank w/ New Gas Cap & Petcock
Stock CB 350 Rear Fender
Stock CB 350 Front Fender
DCC Original Headlight & Ears
Lossa Engineering Handlebars
DCC Original Cafe Racer Seat w/ Flip-up Hinge
DCC Original Classic Retro Round Taillight
Hand-made Aluminum Number Plates
All Stainless Steel Fasteners
Stock CB 350 Seat pan with DCC Original Cafe inspired seat covering
Front Avon Race Compound Tires w/ Stock Wheels Powder-coated Black w/ Stainless Steel Spokes & Nipples
Rear Avon Race Compound Tires w/ Stock Wheel Powder-coated Black w/ Stainless Steel Spokes & Nipples
New Custom Harness
Dyna Coils w/ Points Ignition
Ricks Electric Hot-shot Regulator / Rectifier Combo
Stock CB 350 Frame Powder-coated Gloss Black
Progressive 412 Rear Shocks
Progressive Front Springs w/ Fork Gaiters
CB 400F Top Triple Tree Powder-coated Black w/ Tapered Bearings
CB 350 Lower Triple Tree w/ Tapered Bearings
DCC Original Steering Damper Kit
Stock CB 350 Front Drum (EBC Shoes w/ Turned Hub) *All Hardware Re-chromed, Motion Pro Cable
Stock CB 350 Rear Drum (EBS Shoes w/ Turned Hub)