“It started out as a 1969 (70?) Honda CB350. It had the upswept CL pipes on it but the engine number starts with CB350, I’m not sure if thats the way the are supposed to be or if someone swapped the pipes out. It was sitting under a tree in a paddock on a farm next door to my parents property just outside of Queanbeyan NSW. The farmer said I could have it for free if I came and removed it from his property. According to him it “ran perfectly” before it was parked 10 years previously. Since then my 13 year old son and I have spent approx 18 months in the shed slowly getting it together.”
“The bike was stripped to the bare frame and 40 years worth of grime and grease was cleaned off along with any excess/unwanted lugs and brackets. The rusted out frame rail was cut out and replaced and the motor stripped back to the crank. A new lower case was sourced from the US on ebay because theold one had two broken engine mounts. We rebored the cylinders and fit 0.25mm oversize pistons/rings and serviced the head retaining the original valve. A new cam chain and tensioning rollers were also installed before the engine cases, barrels, head and rocker box were all prepped and painted with rattle cans. Then a Boretech electronic ignition, dyna tech coils, Ricks rectifier/regulator and home made wiring loom were added to get the bikes electrics in order.”
“The frame was sent out for a coat of metallic grey reminiscent of the many Ducatis I have ridden over the years. In the front a 2.15 x 18 rim with Harley Davidson hub and a custom 3.5 x 18 rim in the rear with a Honda hub/brake custom rim and chrome spokes. The bikes forks, triple clamps, discs, calipers and master cylinder all came from a Ducati 848. The CB’s steering stem was retained but required a customised spacer pressed into the Ducati lower triple clamp to allow it to fit. We also made a custom front axle and spacers to allow the Harley rim to fit ducati forks. The tank and seat are from Benjie’s Cafe Racers and were painted by Collide-a-scope in Sydney.”
“I’ve put a few parts bin specials together when I was younger but this has been the first time I’ve done it “properly”. The bike is also the first old bike I’ve rebuilt and certainly the first time I’ve worked on a Japanese motor. It has been a huge benefit to both my son and I. For him, he is learning all about working in the shed, how to turn a spanner and the love of tinkering on motorcycles. For me, I’ve had the incredible joy of working together with my son towards a common goal and generally spending good time together at a time when many kids don’t want to spend time with their parents.”
Unlike his day job as an anaesthetist DB’s CB350 won’t be putting anyone to sleep in a hurry. Using a smart mix of Japanese and Italian technology his “limited edition’ Cafe Racer handles just as good as it looks. If this is the sort of bike he’s teaching his son to put together I think we can expect great things from him in the future!
Do the Ton is the perfect resource for inspiration and helpful information for the budding backyard builder. Head over to www.dotheton.com and sign up to become a part of the internets biggest and most devoted Cafe Racer enthusiast forum.
If you spend some time on the Cafe Racer forum “Do the Ton” you’ll have the pleasure of seeing many amazing custom bikes come together. One build that recently grabbed my attention was Sydney based member DucatiBoy’s Honda CB350 ‘Limited Edition’ Cafe Racer. After a few emails back and forth DB shared the story of his Cafe Racer build with me and despite his declaration, he was no good behind the camera, he snapped off these slick shots for us. Here’s how the bike came together in his own words…