HonDeath: An insane CL350 with 100 horsepower on tap

2-Stroke CL350 Honda cafe racer
In stock form, the Honda CL350 is a mild-mannered street scrambler with 33 horsepower and oodles of vintage charm. The kind of bike you meet the nicest people on.

This CL350, however, is a very different beast. The clue is in the name—HonDeath—and the only figure you’re likely to meet while riding it is your maker. Because a two-stroke Yamaha Banshee ATV motor powers it, bumped up to 472cc and pumping out roughly a hundred horsepower.

2-Stroke CL350 Honda cafe racer
This truly unhinged Honda cafe racer comes from Andrew Cecere, a Jaguar Land Rover technician based in Del Aire, California. He’s a multi-talented chap: “I build jet skis, dirt bikes, street bikes, shifter karts, and anything with an engine,” he tells us.

As the enormous expansion chambers suggest, Andrew is a dab hand at fabrication as well as engine building. Probably because he was an aircraft mechanic in his previous life: “I got burned out on night shifts and went to work for Land Rover, but I’m always busy in my free time.”

2-Stroke CL350 Honda cafe racer
So what exactly is this mongrel of a motorcycle? It’s a 1971 CL350, although your bearings might be thrown off by the tank, which is from a 1968 CB350 Super Sport. Andrew has grafted on the front end from the same CB350 too, to give the bike more of a vintage look, and laced up matching Akront rims.

But let’s talk about that engine, since this machine has got to have the highest power-to-weight of any CL350 on the planet.

2-Stroke CL350 Honda cafe racer
Andrew originally built the bike for a friend, keeping the 350 engine. “Then we started racing stand-up jet skis. Five years later my buddy wanted me to build him a jet ski, so he gave me the bike back in return.”

Honda’s 325cc 4-stroke motor had its charms, despite being crippled by a heavy, inefficient exhaust system that gained good looks at the expense of weight—and a three horsepower deficit over its CB350 sibling.

2-Stroke CL350 Honda cafe racer
That didn’t wash with a power junkie like Andrew. “I decided to just replace it with something cool: a 472cc Super Cub engine.” This modified two-stroke mill is well-known in the Yamaha Banshee world: the stock engine was an evolution of the unit used in the RD350 motorcycle, and lends itself to massive power gains.

“I went to work on Craigslist and eBay and found miscellaneous Banshee parts, including a nice set of crank cases with a transmission,” says Andrew. “I ended up buying a new 4mm stroker crank and a 472 Super Cub cylinder, and then found some CPI Racing drag pipes.”

2-Stroke CL350 Honda cafe racer
To get everything to fit, Andrew had to cut into the frame and modify the rails to contour around the engine. He also had to cut into the pipes to allow them to sweep under the frame, but given the size of them, that’s understandable.

Andrew has also installed a race-style MSD total loss ignition system (liberated from a jet ski), and a VForce reed valve system, but the 35mm carbs are decidedly street friendly and fuel-efficient. “They carburate very cleanly,” he says. “I also have a set of 40mm carbs for big power, but they eat way too much fuel.” A radiator taken off an RD250 keeps temperatures down.

2-Stroke CL350 Honda cafe racer
The drum brakes are original though. “Many people might say they’re not enough for a 100 hp Banshee engine,” Andrew admits. “But the bike is so light—and the brakes are tuned to work very well … for drum brakes.” We’ll have to take his word for it, since everything else is so well sorted.

It all looks absolutely ridiculous, but you just know it will be a hoot to ride. “I love the concept of function and performance,” says Andrew. “The looks are just a by-product!”

Andrew Cecere Instagram | Images by (and thanks to) Jason Stilgebouer

2-Stroke CL350 Honda cafe racer