“The ’73 CB350F came to the workshop as a reasonably well-done cafe racer with a quite tidy tail section and a few trick parts like rear-sets, aftermarket gauge, and handlebars. The owner, however, wanted something a little more special,” says Tom. “As the bike was already in reasonable shape, it let me focus on aesthetics so I could give this small pot Honda 4 a big heart look and feel!”
“The owner had very few stipulations in regard to the design and finish. A brat style flat set, preferably brown, was pretty much it. So I decided to create a bike that played with tonal shades, rather than color. Using only brush finished metal, black and white as my palette.”
“I finished the fuel tank with nickel plate, a process that proved to be highly labor intensive. I then hand brush finished the nickel and applied a hot rod inspired paint design over the top. To complement the tank the headlight bezel, linkages and shift lever were all also plated with nickel and brushed. The rear-sets and Purpose Built Moto Torpedo Muffler have all also been brushed. The fenders have been re-mounted to better suit the bike and finished in a bone white. The tires are Shinko E270 White Walls that help to bolster the old school hot rod feel I was after.”
“To create the new seat I had to scrap the old seat pan and form a new one that uses mid-density foam for great riding comfort, even though it’s only 30mm thick. The Tan leather was hand-picked and stitched using a simple but effective tuck and roll.”
“The finishing touches were a top to tail revival of the electrical and lighting system. The electrics were overhauled with all new Purpose Built Moto Switches, LED indicators and our new V2 Black box digital control module. It handles all your lighting relay needs in a compact, durable and easy to install unit.”
“Improving upon a bike that someone is already happy with is a task in itself, but thankfully at the end of the day, the owner was blown away with the result. Not having to worry about the tasks completed by the previous owner allowed me to focus my energy solely on giving the rider a bike he could be proud of and other could envy.”
Fixing other peoples mistakes may not sound all that appealing, but it can sometimes offer great rewards. Tom Gilroy of Purpose Built Moto in Queensland, Australia loves a good ground up build, but when a customer rolled into his workshop with a rebuilt Honda CB350 that was in need of a facelift he wasn’t about to pass up on the opportunity.