Bike of the Week, Nov. 20, 2015
This Bike of the Week come to us from Phil Bredfeldt. He shares his story with what he calls his Murphy’s Law experience. But, the bike turned out looking great. Anything worth having can have its setbacks, right.
It started with a 1973 Honda CL350. – This is the unedited story from Phil. Enjoy.
I purchased the bike for $400 form a local Honda collector. We guessed that the bike had been sitting for nearly 30 years, but was about 90% complete and an excellent candidate for a restoration. When I got the bike home to the garage, I completely tore it down looking to start fresh. The front end was replaced with a set from a ’89 Honda CR500. The reason behind that choice of fork was they had the same width as the original and allowed me to use the stock wheels with little modification as well as a nearly matching steering stem. They were modified via an 8″ drop to match the stock height, slight modification to the steering stem, and the upper triple was machined for some marine grade engine start and stop switches. The original tank was far too rusted to use, so I found a CB350 survivor in excellent shape on eBay. To allow the maximum amount of front end steering, I moved the tank mounts back 15mm and modified the steering stops on the frame. The frame was de-tabbed and an under seat electronics tray was added. Once all the welding and modifications were completed on the frame, it was sand blasted and powder coated black. I rewired the bike completely, upgrading the bike to electronic ignition, upgraded stator and all new electronic components. Power is supplied by the amazingly small and powerful AntiGravity 4 cell Battery.
I took an optimistic approach to the engine, get it running without any internal work. I succeeded, but she only lasted a couple hours, which was a couple hours longer than I thought it would. I was able to ride the bike around my neighborhood before losing a piston ring. There was a strong sense of respect for these small twins. After sitting for some 30 years, it fired up and ran fairly decent. This obviously led to an, already planned, complete engine rebuild. I had the engine bored 1mm over getting it closer to a true 350 and after reassembly, I bolted on the set of Mikuni VM30 carburetors from Dime City.
Originally, I decided to take a unique approach with the front brake using the original drum set up and modifying it for use with the USD forks. This did not last long as I had far too many butt pucker moments with the lack of braking power and decided to upgrade to disc brake in the front. This required a wheel from a CB350 and modification of the front rotor. I used the stock CR500 brake caliper to provide the stopping power.
Coming from a classic & muscle car background, I like to consider this build a garage built, restomod cafe. Something most gearheads can accomplish in their own garage. I run a machine shop for a living and have access to an assortment of fabricating goodies, therefore I am able to take things a step further. Hand fabricating the seat/tail, as well as the exhaust and machining custom mounting brackets, are some of the ways I like to add a little bit more to each build.
’73 Honda Cl350, 1mm over bore
Mikuni VM30 Carburetors
Rick’s Motorsports Stator
Pamco Electronic Ignition
Hand Made 2-1 Single Chamber Exhaust with Carbon Fiber Heat Shield
’89 Honda CR500 Front Suspension (Modified)
YSS Suspension Rear Shocks
Woodcraft, Clip-ons and Modified Woodcraft Rear Sets from a Ducati 999
’73 Honda CB350 Fuel Tank
Hand Made Cafe Seat and Tail
Avon Roadrider Tires – Front: 90/90-18 Rear:120/80-18
Love that front end on the Bike!! I may have to try that on one of my builds!