Honda CL350

Honda CL350 custom motorcycle
I don’t know the provenance of this lovely café racer racer conversion, spotted on Rocket Garage. It’s a CL350, which was introduced in ’68 and is a sister bike to the CB350. Despite selling big numbers into the first half of the 70s, the CL350 has become a footnote in the annals of Honda history: it was unfortunately sandwiched between the iconic CB77 (Superhawk) and the ubiquitous CB750. The CL350 had scrambler-influenced styling with high-set pipes and braced ‘bars—not unlike the contemporary Triumph Scrambler—but the engine was actually a 325 parallel twin.

At first glance this machine is a neat but fairly standard cafe job, but if you check the detail shots, you’ll see some lovely touches on the paintwork.

  • http://basseq.com Basseq

    Nice bike; the pinstripes are really a nice touch. I’m wondering about the green and red lights (?) on the triple… they’re backwards for port/starboard, but that’s probably just the sailor in me talking.

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/ictwoody/sets/7215762 Jonathan Wood

    Hey! Thanks for posting up my scooter.

    It’s a 1973 CL350 sporting a 1969 CB350 tank. I had the fenders, fork lowers, headlight bracket and triple-trees all powdercoated black.

    I swapped out the CL pipes for standard CB headers mated to NOS MC Motorcycles shorty bell-mouth mufflers.

    The seat is custom shaped foam and custom covered on a stock CB seat pan, so it uses stock mounting points.

    My favorite part, and the part that gets the most attention from fellow riders, is the custom headlight bracket. I fabbed the pieces myself and had a shop weld it for me. The headlight is a CEV scooter headlight, which houses a 2.25″ tach. The taillight is a Lucas style unit with integrated plate mount and light.

    The 1 7/8″ speedo is mounted to TTR400 CNC’d clip-ons.

    The paint is Corvette Victory Red and a GM maroon done by Josh Ferry of The Autobody Complex in Wichita, Kansas.

    The pinstriping was done by Josh Christy of VanChase Studio (vanchase.com).

    The bike is lowered 2″ in front and uses heavy RaceTech springs and 20wt oil in the CL360 forks. The back is riding on 11″ short shocks.

    Tires are Avon RoadRiders.

    I think that covers most of it. Feel free to e-mail with questions, or check out more pics on my flickr at the website link above.

    Thanks again for posting it!

    Best,
    Jonathan Wood

  • http://www.flickr.com/blueyes/ tony starr

    that’s where i’ve seen this before, on flickr! makes me want to custom my old cb350.

  • http://hondatwins.net Jason

    Congrats Jonathan!

    Great looking bike.

  • Travis Phillips

    what size tires are you running on her? are those the factory wheels? My wifes 72 cl350, has an 3.50-18 rear and a 3.00-19 front, I want to know how wide of tires I can put with the factory wheels on the bike and would like the newer style aggresive tread like the bike in the pics above. Any input would be greatly appreciated.

  • Jonathan Wood

    The tires are a 100/90-19 front and a 120/80-18 rear. I don’t think you could go much bigger then these. Maybe a little bigger in the front if you removed the fender.

    Hope this helps.

    JW

  • Jeffrey Henon

    Nicely done. Aggressive yet sophisticated.
    I’m jealous until I can finish mine … hopefully this spring.

    I’m building a sort of cafe/scrambler on a Suzuki GN400 and bought the same 105mm CEV headlight at a swap meet a couple of years ago. I haven’t mounted it yet though because my unit only has a single beam headlight.
    If you can answer a few questions, I’d really appreciate it.

    Do you have HI & LO beams?
    Did you have to replace the reflector/lens?
    If so, what did you use and where did you get it?

    Thanks

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/ictwoody/sets/7215762 Jonathan Wood

    Jeff,

    No I only have the Low beam… no high. For the riding I do it hasn’t really made a difference for me.

    JW

  • Facebook User

    Jonathan,

    Thanks for the reply.
    In my state (NJ) the bike won’t pass inspection without the highbeam.

    If you’re interested, I have learned a lot more about the CEV headlights since my last post. There are many flavors. 6v, 12v, singles and dual beams, etc.
    http://www.themopedjunkyard.com/lights.html

    And since these were originally used on mopeds, I found this:
    http://www.mopedarmy.com/forums/discuss/1/776285/776285/

  • Anthoney Garces

    Jonathan,

    Did you modify the upper triple trees to get the tubes through them?

  • Jonathan Wood

    Anthoney,

    To answer your question in short, no. On the later CB350′s, all CL350′s and CL360′s the upper and lower crowns both had 33mm openings. The fork upper tubes don’t taper like on the earlier bikes.

    These forks happen to be off a CB360 cause they have slightly different internals allowing me to purchase stiffer springs. CB360 forks can be had on ebay complete for under $100 and are a direct swap onto CB/CL350s

    Hope this helps.

    - Woody

  • http://www.jlbworks.com John Crain

    That seat is absolutely beautiful (along with the entire build). Is that something you found or had made for you?