“Come by tomorrow with $100 and I’ve got a project for you. It’s perfect, pristine, and all original.”
So said one of Andrew Frederick’s friends. Of course, the bike was in boxes and bins! Seventeen months later, Andrew had turned the basket case into the 1973 Honda CB350G cafe racer you see here. Andrew, who is a full-time college student and runs afcsignals.com, had a single goal for the build:
“To build the perfectly proportionate bike that is functional, minimal, and I can ride daily.”
Andrew certainly accomplished his goal. Recently the bike took first place in the Modified Retro class at the Cleveland International Motorcycle Show and second place in the national championship round in Chicago. Congrats, Andrew!
Honda CB350G Cafe Racer: In the Builder’s Words
This now sleek 1973 Honda CB350G was originally a basket case that was bought from a good friend for $100. As the story goes, I was showing him how to polish an aluminum oil injector cover on his vintage GT250 when he says, “come by tomorrow with $100 and I’ve got a project for you. It’s perfect, pristine, and all original.” I thought, “great – a running bike for $100!” Little did I know it was in boxes and bins.
Initially it was going to be a budget build, just something fun to ride around town but one thing led to another and I found myself getting carried away. The only goal in mind for this build was to build the perfectly proportionate bike that is functional, minimal, and I can ride daily.
I started with the motor; I knew I wanted to polish it and build it from the bottom up. Internally, every gasket and seal was replaced and every part carefully inspected. I then had the head decked .30 thousands, the valves and seats were cut, it was ported and polished, new piston rings and put everything back together and set it aside.
Next was to started on the frame; I de-tabbed every unnecessary bracket and smoothed over all of the welds. I then welded in a custom seat pan underneath to hide all of the wiring, rolled and welded custom rear fender with a ram air duct for the regulator / rectifier cooling, and moved the gas tank brackets around to settle in line with the frame.
Between doing the big items, I worked on the custom rear-sets, speedo bezel, custom brass inserted exhausted flanges, polished the forks and hubs, rebuilt the master cylinder, new spokes and rim hoops.
Next was the tank and tail section. It’s the original CB350G gas tank but with perfectly proportionate knee indents to the size of the gas tank. The tail section is also a one-off custom piece designed from a plug mold and glassed over with another one-off custom frenched in tail-light, all in proportion to each-other.
To match the tail section, the seat was then recessed in proportion and then upholstered in a bright red matte lamb skin leather.
I believe when building a bike that you should have three main colors – a primary and two complimentary colors. The primary color is called Atlas Green and it’s topped with 24K gold leaf decals with pin-stripping to finish it off. On the tail section features a “17” which is the number of months this build took given time constraints of working, being a full time college student, etc. and on the side, I have a small business that keeps me plenty busy throughout it all.
The bike features some other goodies such as: Pamco Electronic Ignition, Emgo Slip-on’s, Wood Craft Clip On’s, brass velocity stacks, custom one-off 3D printed fork and shock caps, a custom built wiring harness, new chrome all around and Avon Road Riders.
Recently the bike took first place at the Cleveland International Motorcycle Show for Modified Retro and second place in the national championship round in Chicago.
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