We put it in the layaway
For some mysterious reason this project ended up at the bottom of our stack and remained there for too long. With our sincere apologies to our friend Riko Loos we decided it was still a bike worth publishing a post on.
It is not so often we get to write about a Honda CB 350. Which is a shame as it is such a cute machine, even as a factory bike.
The project had been in under a cover outside somewhere for a number of years. Being out all seasons did not do the bike too much good. A full restauration would be far too costly, so the builder decided to strip it to the bare necessities and keep it basic.
It shows how much can be achieved with simplicity. Sometimes we make life and building bikes too complicated. Keep the balance, stick to the right dosage and your prescription will lead the way to loads of fun!
Considering the state of the donor vehicle, Riko decided on building a lightweight city bike. When it left the factory in Japan it was already slight of build, but after the striptease it was even pettier. Easy to handle and perfect for weaving through big city traffic.
Decisions were made on offering a passenger to climb onboard, making it necessary to produce a longer seat. When riding in urban circumstances and with a passenger on board you don’t want to be leaning forward a lot. Hence the somewhat straight handlebars offering a relaxed riding position.
Open heart surgery
Al work on the engine was done by our wrencher himself. He loves working on the older Hondas as they are relatively easy to take apart and restore. The heart of this bike looks really nice and clean. Riko adds “I really wanted to get the bike to run as smooth as A Singer sewing machine again. It required some serious work, but it was rewarding.’
“What were your biggest issues troubling the build?” we asked Riko. “I wanted to challenge myself a bit when building this bike.” He replies. “Decided to get behind the sewing machine myself to produce the seat. It was easier than I expected, but then again, it is not a very complicated shape to cover with the red leather I opted for.” At the editorial department we had some discussion about that particular part of the bike. We love the red colour, but the design would have generated extra points if a real pro would have put the finishing touches to it. The rear part unfortunately needs some tidying up. Having said that, we believe it shows bravery to step out of your personal comfortzone and just do it yourself!
“The gastank was a whole different ballgame however! I was dented and in pretty bad shape. When I got to work on the dents by welding small steel pins to it an pulling them outward, I ended up with leaks. That took far more work than expected to get it all done properly. I would have saved loads of time if I had just bought a replacement in better condition. Still it came our very nice in the end.”
“All in all I am very happy with the way this project flourished. It resulted in a lovely clean looking machine you just want to hug an be gentle to. Best part of the build? The two tone tank. After all the work it just looks marvellous.
• Welded a loop to the frame to fit the seat
• The front fender was modified and ended up as the rear fender
• Mounted a replacement front fender from some other project I had lying around
• Produced a new battery holder and cleaned off all the original mounts for electronics
• Modified a new megaton silencer to make it sound a bit more ‘demure’
• Rewired the whole beam and hid all electronics beneath the seat.
• Rims and spokes powdercoated black. Same for front end of exhaust pipes
• New LED blinkers and a retro rear light.
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Instagram: Fueled by Riko