Archive for the ‘1973’ Tag

1973 Honda CL350 Cafe Racer

Picture 8It is no secret that I love, I LOVE!!! Honda 350′s…and I’m not the only one. The CB is by most accounts the biggest selling motorcycle of all time…hell, I have four of them! CB,CL and SL models. A couple run, one’s a parts bike and the other is in boxes, milk crates and hanging from the rafters in my barn.

My love affair with the Honda twin began in 1971 when I was in a ‘one-upmanship’ contest with my friend Eddie. Even though I was riding a BSA 650 most of the time, the contest revolved around smaller bikes. Eddie won a couple of times but when I got my first SL350, his ‘little’ Yamaha DT1 250 was left in the dust…literally.

I eventually sold the SL350, after I had slogged it through the deserts of Southern California for a couple of years only to regret it a few years later. So…the search was on for another. I ended up with a 1972 CB350 that had been sitting out in a back yard for something like 10 years or so. That little 350 looked pretty bad, but it was all there and the price was right, a hundred bucks. On to my trailer it went (flat tires and all the spiders you could want, plus a dead mouse in the right side airfilter) and home it came with me. I still have it…25 years later.

Once home, some basic service, a lot of elbow grease and a few (?) new parts and I was back on my favorite little Honda twin. Over the years I put a mild cafe treatment on the bike, lower bars, changed the exhaust, moved the pegs back a bit, upgraded the suspension, I even put good tires on it. Now it is waiting for the big bore kit I recently acquired to be installed.

Building Cafe Racer out of a Honda 350 nowadays is a pretty easy thing to do. Parts are available easily; tanks, seats, controls,suspension, you name it and with a good credit card you can have it delivered to your door the next day. But here is the thing about building a vintage cafe racer,if you’re going to do it right, it ain’t gonna be cheap and it ain’t going to happen over a weekend. The time,effort and money you put into it is for your own pleasure…when time comes to sell it, don’t set your hopes too high.Picture 10

So, on that note, I found a super sweet CL350 that has a whole lot of nice parts and a lot of love put into it and is being sold at a reasonable price (so far). This CL motor has been gone through, it didn’t need much it only has 4837 miles on it, carbs rebuilt, new electrics, etc, etc. Then we get into the really cool stuff.

The bike was stripped down and everything was either powder coated, painted or polished. The wheels got new spokes, bearings and tires. Suspension was all redone front and rear, nice handlebars, rearsets and the exhaust, which may be a bit loud but it sure looks good. I really dig the instruments and the headlight arrangement. I think I’m changing the vision I have for my own new 350 project.

This is a really nicely done Honda 350 that will last for a long time both mechanically and styling. Click on the pics below for more info and more pictures.

Oh and one last thing, the Honda advert says top speed is 100mph…don’t believe them…maybe 95mph is where it tops out. But with a very little work, the little 350 will ‘Do the Ton’. Have fun.

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Picture 41973 Honda CL350 Cafe Racer

1973 Suzuki T500 (with Reed Titan bodywork?)

This is an interesting, and low priced, Suzuki T500 in need of a bit of work to get it ready for either the street or a track day. The seller claims it is fast and “runs/rides well”. The neatest thing about the bike is the bodywork. While the seller thinks it is original Reed Titan bodywork, I would tend to believe that at this price and condition that it is replica fiberglass. It needs some work and parts to be fully rideable (missing front master cylinder being the most obvious thing), but it is 95% complete. Check out the listing to get more details.

The auction still has almost 10 days left at this point, and the starting bid is $999. Interestingly, it has a Buy-It-Now of only $1,999. This seems like it might make this bike a really good deal, but it also speaks to the fairly beat-on bodywork and the need for some work before riding. It will be interesting to see what happens with this auction as it moves towards completion…

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1973 Honda CB750 (Stock Bike For Project)

If you are looking for a decent starting point for a cafe racer project, this might be a good bike to begin your work. It’s a 1973 Honda CB750 that is basically stock and in good shape. The seller provided a good list of his recent upgrades to the mechanicals, so I just cut and pasted the list shown below. There are a few more pictures on eBay of some of the details on the bike, but these give you an overall idea of what this bike has in store for you…

I don’t know if this bike is going to sell or not. It has zero bidders with just over a day left in the auction, but the starting price is at $2,500. Buy-It-Now is set at $3,200. If everything works as stated by the seller, this bike appears to be in line with what a decent CB750 is currently worth. I’d love to see pics of this bike after it gets the cafe treatment…


    Had a Honda mechanic replace all the gaskets in the upper half of the engine. Head gasket, valve cover gasket, etc…
    Carbs have been cleaned, rebuilt and synched
    Valves have been timed
    Gas tank has been lined
    New OEM petcock fuel valve
    Clutch has been rebuilt with OEM Honda parts, OEM clutch cable is new also
    Brakes have been serviced and checked out
    Original air box replaced with pod filter, carbs were re-jetted at this time with 120′s, i also have the original air box with a new K&N filter
    Rear fender has been removed and replaced with a fender eliminator kit and LED rear light. Looks great on the bike. Turn signals were flush mounted and look better this way
    New EMGO rear shocks have been added to replace the originals that were pretty useless. I still have them though
    Low (super) bars have been added to give it more of the cafe racer look. Note- these are not “clubman” bars because i found them to be uncomfortable
    Added a headlight visor to front light
    Original chain has been replaced with an o-ring chain
    New battery added last summer
    Original paint on the gas tank (pretty sure side covers are repro)
    I have the original tool kit and original manual from Honda
    I also have 3 additional manuals, including the official Honda service manual which is amazing
    Tires have plenty of tread on them
    Electric ignition and kick start both work great
    All lights, guages and electronics function perfectly


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1973 Honda CB500 Cafe Racer

There are cleanly built cafe racers, and there are cleanly built cafe racers. This bike clearly epitomizes the idea of taking a bike, and building into a cafe racer without doing anything crazy or over the top. Heck, this bike has drag bars, and I still like it!

What has been done to this bike is as follow:

    Tons of energy put into making it a clean build.
    Classic cafe racer seat.
    Cylinder-head gone through and cleaned up.
    Replacement of various mechanical bits and pieces including clutch plates, ignition, K&N filter conversion, and battery.
    Aftermarket 4-4 exhaust.
    Nice paint job.

Currently, bidding has put this bike at just under $2K with 11 interested bidders. There are only 9 hours left, so unless bidding picks up it might be possible to pick up this bike for a deal. Keep an eye on it if your interested. The seller has built a nice bike that will most likely make the buyer very happy. Good luck!

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1973 Honda CB500 Cafe Racer

Here’s a nice home-brewed cafe racer up for auction on eBay that includes some nice upgrades. The best upgrade as far as I’m concerned is the 605cc big-bore kit. While this isn’t the shiniest, prettiest cafe racer on the road, chances are it will surprise just about any trailer queen it finds on the road. Some of the other mods done to this bike are hyrbridized tank and guages from a couple of different period correct Honda twins, bobbed front and rear fenders, and an electronic ignition.

While bidding is low on this bike right now (about $450), reserve hasn’t been met and the Buy-It-Now is $3K, so I would suspect that the reserve is pretty close to the BIN price. Because of the not-so-perfect aesthetics, it may or may not hit reserve. But with a little bit of cosmetic work, this bike could be a screamer and an eye-catching Sunday morning ride.

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Another Not-Quite-Complete Cafe Racer Build (1973 Honda CB750)

I think this bike is from the same seller as the one I posted yesterday. It is a really clean build of a Honda CB750 being advertised as a cafe racer. But we all know better right? Just a cafe racer seat does not make a bike a cafe racer. As with the CB750 from yesterday, add bars and rearsets to this bike, and you would have an instant conversion. The seller/builder has already added a nice Giuliari-style seat, so this shouldn’t be too difficult.

Other features of the build include a long list of new and/or updated parts including Dyna ignition, Barnett clutch, Yoshimura header, and lots of other stuff. There are many pictures in the listing if you are interested, but the bidding isn’t particularly active right now with only 1 bid at the starting price of $2,500 and a Buy-It-Now of $4,500. There’s about a day and a half left in the auction. Good luck to you if you win this bike. Send us some pictures if you convert it fully…

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1973 Honda CB750 Cafe Racer (Sorta)

Since you have read this far, let me address the “Sorta” in the title of this post. What we have here is a nicely modified bike with so much text in the eBay listing that I refuse to even cut and paste it into this post. Is it a cafe racer? Absolutely not. Could it be one with minor mods? Yes. Get some bars and rearsets, and off you go to your local bike night on a nice, fast, classic-looking bike that would meet most of the criteria of your average cafe racer.

Do you like the paint? Good! Go ahead an bid…

Do you not like the paint? Good! Don’t bid…

Sorry. Didn’t mean to be snarky. Good luck whatever your choice…

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1973 Honda CB350 Twin Cafe Racer

Up for auction on eBay is this CB350T cafe racer that has been decently cafe’d. It isn’t in perfect shape, but the price is much better than some of the other cafe racers that get listed for sale.

One of the best features of this bike is that the mechanicals appear to be in great shape. The YouTube video shows an instant cold start (he grabs a header pipe to demonstrate the coldness of the motor), and the engine, exhaust, and suspension bits are nice and shiny. The paint with checked flag racing stripe appears to be in good condition, too.

So what’s missing? Rear-sets. And the seat is just a bit wonky. I think it is padded a bit too much, and perhaps a couple of inches too long for the rather diminutive CB350T. Although, on repeated viewing of the photos, I think my issue with the seat is entirely related to the height of the padding. The length would be okay with the padding halved in height so it lined up better with the tank. YMMV.

However, the best thing about the bike is the price. With less than 2 days left (1 day 9 hours as I write this), the bidding is only up to $127.50 with 3 bidders competing. The Buy-It-Now price is set at $2K, so the reserve is somewhere in-between. Regardless of your opinion (or mine) about the aesthetics of the seat, this is an opportunity to get a mostly complete and in great condition cafe racer for a reasonable price. Good luck if you go for it!


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1973 Triumph T140V 750 Cafe Racer

Here’s a beautiful, professionally built cafe racer that started life as a Triumph T140. It appears the bike has been entirely gone through with lots of new parts, including a full engine rebuild (top and bottom end), new ignition, custom exhaust and seat, new rims/spokes, etc. One of my favorite features is the polished aluminum tank. It and the red frame and fenders really make this bike stand out.

There are four days left in the auction for this bike, and it currently has 8 bidders who have taken the price up to $3,550 currently. Good luck if you are interested, as this is a truly magnificent bike that will make the new owner very, very happy…

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1973 Triumph Bonneville Cafe Racer

Up for auction on eBay right now is this Triumph Bonneville that has been converted into a somewhat soft cafe racer. It’s got what looks like the euro-bend of the superbike bars, and a somewhat cafe-styled seat. The top-end is supposedly all rebuilt with new pistons and rings, and it has a new Mikuni carbs. This is a nice bike that can either be kept in this fairly classic-looking state. Or with a bit more effort, it could be fully converted into a cafe racer.

There were no pictures of a full-view of the left side of the bike, but a bunch more pictures of other parts of the bike in the listing…

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