1972 Honda CL350 Brat-Track Scrambler
Lifelong Kansas Bike, 3 Owners, 3,500 Original Miles, Original Kansas Title
One of the Most Well Known CL350 Builds, Feautred on Over 20 Custom Bike Websites (Including Bikeexif, Moto Revista, Pipeburn)
This 1972 Honda CL350 started was sold new in Kansas and stayed there throughout its entire life before coming to us. It has had only 2 previous owners, being preserved as a clean and unmolested original until it was converted to its current brat-track build. When the previous owner bought it, it had just 2800 original miles from new.
The bike was built by a well known privateer custom bike builder/graphic designer based in Wichita, Kansas, who was heavily praised for his first CL350, which became known on the internet as the "Rocket Garage" CL350. He wanted this project to be unique, so he drew heaviy on both the japanese Brat style, as well as the aesthetics of dirt- track bikes of the 60s and 70s. When the bike's painter asked him what look he was going for, he said, “I told him I wanted a paint scheme that looked as if it had been on a dirt track bike in the 70s, ridden hard, and then pulled off and forgot about … but shiny."
Before the modifications, the first step was a run through of the entire bike in terms of safety and mechanicals. This included cleaning the tank and lining it with por 15, new spark plugs, new battery, oil change, new grips, new throttle tube new cables, blade style fuse-holder, new handlebars and brake fluid. The carburetors were removed from the bike, completely disassembled put through an ultrasonic cleaner.
The modifications started with shorty 12" Redwing shocks from Dime City Cycles, shortened front damper rods and shorter control cables.The whole damper/damper rod assembly was taken to a well regarded machine shop and the stainless steel rod was cut 1.5" and rethreaded. The fork was reassembled and is 1.5" lower then stock in the front. The springs were cut with a cutoff wheel and 1" was removed from the spring to give it .5" of preload to help stiffen it. 20 Weight fork oil is used to give a firmer ride.
Tires are 19"x4.00" front and 18"x4.00" rear Firestone Deluxes from Coker Tire, and the turnsignals were swapped fo Mini Amber Billet turn signals from Dime City Cycles. The rear fender was bobbed and the bracing removed to give it a thinner look.
The exhaust pipes were left stock but feature 10″ slash-cut tips bolted on instead of the stock ‘suitcase’ muffler. 8" baffles were installed for the neighbors The sound is very healthy and certainly louder than stock, but not so loud as to be intrusive. The stock airbox and filters are used but a bigger primary jet and a washer were used to richen the bike up to account for the exhaust mod.
For the seat cowl, a template was made on paper and then scanned in flat to make an autocad file. A fabrication shop used a CNC plasma to cut the cowl out of 16G steel. The seat upholstery was a super high quality job done by the best upholsterer in Wichita.
The paint was done by Josh Christy of Van Chase Studios. He had done a similar distressed looking paintjob on his personal car, an old Pontiac, and the builder of the CL350 wanted something similar. On his Pontiac he mixed up a primer that was the same color as the original paint. After doing the bodywork he sprayed this tinted primer. He used single-stage paint, because a base/clear job just looks too new and just "not right". After his custom colored primer he then laid a coat of a metallic lime-ish green over the slate-blue-grey primer. Once the paint cured he broke out the buffing wheel and compound and buffed the finish to be shiny and smooth. Wherever he wanted "wear" he just buffed all the way through the top coat revealing the layer(s) below.
For the bike, he started with a black primer, followed by a metallic silver flake coat. Then he masked off the side panel and sprayed the orange. He then masked again and added the cream scallop under the honda emblem. Then he added the pinstripes on top, around the panel, scallop etc... Once all of that was done it was a bitchin' brand new paint job. Then he got out the sandpaper and buffing wheel. He lightly sanded the stripe on top to knock it down, and some on the sides etc... Buffing through one layer revealed the silver and continuing revealed the black.
Christy said that he just thinks about where the sun would fade it and the areas where he thinks rubbing and wear would occur. He even went as fast as to take some photos of the previous owner sitting on the bike to see where his knees overlapped the tank etc. It's truly an artful job and it's one of the first things people comment on.
In addition, the original green tank was preserved and comes with the bike as well. The tank is in excellent shape with outstanding original paint that really highlights how nice the bike was before restoration. Christy painted a matte Black insert into the tank with a Red pinstripe. The bike includes freshly painted black sidecovers as well.
The finishing touches were a modified Jeep rock guard that fits inside the stock headlight ring and side-mount license plate bracket.
This is a great opportunity to acquire a well known custom CL350 with excellent provenance. The bike has a very unique style not seen on any other custom honda we have seen, before or since. It was built to a very high standard starting from an excellent rust free original bike that would have made a great preservation class bike in and of itself. Not only has it been praised on virtually every custom motorcycle site, but it has very low original miles and even comes with some nice original paperwork, including the original title.
Please use the contact box below for any questions, call 631-318-0155 or simply email email@example.com
Photos courtesy of Justin Ochs (www.justinochs.com)
Click all the way to the end of the photos for complete restoration shots. And please click the pictures below for an enlarged version of each.
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