Mountain bikers seem to build some of the best custom scramblers. They understand the value of “adding lightness,” and the way that suspension and geometry mean more than outright power. All of this can be seen in the work of MTB rider Kyle Fitzgerald, who built this Honda SL350 “short range assault vehicle.”
The Honda SL350 was basically a dirt bike with lights and a license plate, built from 1969 to 1973. Honda called it “thrilling fun in the rough” and “ever so durable and safe.” The bike weighed ~360 pounds, with a 33-horsepower air-cooled single capable of pushing the bike to an 86 mph top speed.
Below we get the full story from Kyle on the build.
Honda SL350 Scrambler: In the Builder’s Words
My name is Kyle Fitzgerald. I live in Bend Oregon, USA. I will be thirty and dirty this year. The SL you are looking at is my second motorcycle I’ve ever owned. I come from more of a mountain bike background. I currently am working at 6 Volt Cycles here in Bend. I built this bike while I was a general auto repair tech.
This is a 1971 Honda SL350 K2. I built it for myself.
The design of the bike was kinda winged really. I did what seemed fit as I went. It snowballed. I started with building a tail section, then seat pan. Then I dived into the motor. The only thing I guess i took into real design consideration was the paint color and I did not want to terminally change the frame (no cutting). The build really came around effortlessly, natural, and on its own.
- Honda New Formula Red with black mixed in to look more like blood
- Painted the frame, hub centers, spokes, fork lowers, engine cylinders, cases black
- Protaper aluminum bars
- Hand formed tailsection, seat pan and rack.
- Modified CB front fender mounted to fork brace
- Hand stitched upholstery. UV and water resistant canvas
- CB900 headlight with H4 bulb
- Upgraded rectifier
- Prism Supply co. Led tail light
- TKC 80 tires (4×19″f/ 100-90X18″r)
- 16/36 gearing. 530 chain
- 2-into-1 exhaust with megaphone. (modified stock pipes and megaphone baffle) sounds amazing!
- Rebuild engine. KA timing chain tensioner, light porting, Barnett clutch and springs
- K&N pods with standoffs
All work done by me!
This bike is a short range assault vehicle.
I’m proud of the heads it turns. People get excited about it. It’s classy, yet gets dirty.
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