We love long and passionate stories about Cafe Racers and their owners. Today we bring you the Honda CB350 Cafe Racer story of the Dutch Tim.
“In the summer of 2013 I came across a CB350F from 1974 which was for sale. After I phoned the owners I found out that they would like to make a caferacer out the bike but that the project had stranded along the way and that they needed the space in their garage. After some negotiation about the price and the Suzuki T500 hub I had seen on some of the photo’s I jumped in the car for the drive to friesland where the bike stood.”
“When I arrived I found out that there had been a little fight between man and wife about the price I had to pay but the owner said that I could have the bike and hub for the price of 550 euro. The bike had been completely stripped and came in crates and boxes. The frame however was in an excellent shape and was even powdercoated in a nice fire extinquisher red… And the front fork had new seals and bearings too! There also was a new caferacer seat in the package and I was very pleased with it!”
“After we put everything in my car I went home with one fine 10.000 piece puzzle. At home I sorted it all out and placed the frame with tank and seat and all the boxes in my shed next to my Honda C50 and Honda c70 mopeds. In the next months I did spend a lot of time with grinding, sanding, painting (rattlecan), polishing, clipping, soldering and a lof of swearing! I chopped the upper triangle and fitted some led idiot lights and polished it. I polished the hubs and fitted akront/morad rims and high gloss spokes after I painted the inside of the hubs with gold paint and offcourse there are new braking shoes and bearings in them. Around the rims are classic Dunlop K82 tyres.”
“The front headlight I made out of a light I found at a dumpstore a few months before. The clipons are from fehling and I put some nice imitation Tomasselli brake and clutchlevers on them. The big knob on the left clip-on is the horn and is originally made as a dead mans button for a triumph.”
“I cleaned the tank with household vinegar wich worked out great and I cleaned the totally gummed up carburetors with dasty and fitted new gaskets and brass jets and needles and some cheap ass open pods… The engine was stripped completely and seemed to be in a rather good shape so just a few bearings, the camshaft chain and spanners and the gaskets, filters and fluids came in new. The outside was cleaned by hand and was sanded with sandpaper from grid 200 till 1500 after which it was painted with black and silver engine enamel. Almost all the bolts and nuts are new to complete the fresh feeling and all covers were painstakingly polished by hand…”
“The headers and collector of the exhaust system were wrapped with black heat wrap, because there was too much rust for polishing. Lateron I found a nice S-muffler which completed the system and it sounds completely crazy! The leather seat was made out of a old leather jacket I found at the garbage and a few household sponges support my bum underneath it. All the electrics have found a place under the seat cowl and I installed a 8 amp gel battery wich works just fine with the electric starter. The wires from the engine I covered with some braided steel lines I once found and were intended for use as a water drain for a shower cabin. The cable for the starter, made from a peace of car starter battery cable, also runs through a piece of braided steel.”
“The rearsets are from Tarozzi and I mounted them with selfmade brackets made out of some leftover iron and yes the rearbrake works fine thank you.
The golden chain got a new set of sprockets to work with and the rearwheel sprocket was secured with nice brass nuts.”
“All the paintwork was done by myself with the cheapest paint I could find (2,09 euro a rattlecan) and was finished with a rattlecan 2K clearcoat wich I polished and buffed. After some rejetting, #85 main jets and needles down two places it runs like crazy and I do have a lot of fun riding on this little bike with its great sound. While working on this bike I found a suzuki gs 750 and a yamaha xj550 seca and I will try to make a few more fine cafe racers on a budget!”
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