Jan M. Sallings — the man behind JMS Customs of Arkansas — has had a love of motorcycles since an early age. He still remembers the thrill and music of twisting the throttle on a friend’s 1964 Honda 150 Dream. A love of mechanical things has stayed with him throughout his life, from working in automotive repair to designing and fabricating large composting machines.
His shop, JMS Customs, is quite the family affair. Jan has six sons and two daughters-in-law who ride. In fact, we featured his daughter-in-law Kat’s Honda CB175 cafe racer, as well as his son Sean’s Honda CL350 brat. Jan’s own CL350 cafe racer graced Bike EXIF.
The Honda CL350 bobber you see here makes good on Jan’s build philosophy:
My personal opinion is that if I said “I built this bike,” then that is exactly what it should mean.
The bikes is composed of stories and parts from throughout Jan’s life, including a reworked fender from an H-D Superglide he bought new in 1976! Without further ado, we get the full story from the man himself.
JMS Customs: Background
I guess my background has been an involvement in and love for mechanical things since I was very young. Someone gave me an old lawnmower engine when I was about 10 years old; I spent 2 whole days just completely engulfed in trying to figure out how it worked.
When I was 13, I got to ride a friend’s 64 Honda 150 Dream. It’s difficult to describe the thrill of twisting the throttle and hearing the music of the engine. Those two sensations have never left, although they’re somewhat subdued by age and mileage. Since then, most of my career and leisure time has been focused on something mechanical, from automotive repair training to designing and fabricating large composting machines to restoring and customizing bikes.
As far as JMS Customs is concerned, that somewhat got started as a family thing when I was building my red Honda 350 cafe racer. My youngest son, Sean, who does computer graphics, designed and made me some tank badges with a really cool skull logo on them. (I seem to have a thing for skulls).
Since then, it has stayed pretty much a family thing; I have 6 sons and 2 daughters in law who ride. We built bikes for the two girls, (they were heavily involved in the builds, check the upcoming issue of Cafe Racer magazine), and we are currently working on a cool Honda 350 for one son, a Yamaha XS 650 bobber for another son, and a radical Honda 400 Hawk for another son. I have some interesting ideas for 3 or 4 more bikes, I just need more time and more money.
CL360 Bobber, “Purple Haze”: In the Builder’s Words
I fabricated the frame, front end, fuel tank, battery box, engine mounts, brass pegs, pedals, and fuel cap, Craftsman wrench kickstand, seat mount, license plate mount, and a few other pieces.
The headlight is an antique military spotlight modified for a 12 volt H4 bulb.
The taillight is an antique Schwinn bicycle front fender light re-shaped and modified for a 12 volt dual element bulb. The rear fender is a re-worked 1976 Harley-Davidson Superglide front fender from a bike I bought new in 76.
There are many stories about the parts and inspiration involved in building this bike. My personal opinion is that if I said “I built this bike”, then that is exactly what it should mean. I have had a love for motorcycles since I was about 6 years old, and it has never left.