Slipstream Creations builds a more versatile, capable Honda Scrambler…
Introduced in 1969, the Honda CL350 was the factory scrambler version of the CB350 twin, one of Honda’s most successful machines. The 324cc, 33-horsepower parallel-twin engine earned a reputation for rugged reliability that continues in vintage racing circles today.
“What a motor it was. The 350 Honda twin was anvil reliable, with over 300,000 copies being sold in the USA alone, it was one of the most popular motorcycles ever produced.” —Super Hunky
The CL350 Scrambler version featured a 19-inch front wheel and beautiful high-mount exhaust, but it was more of a styling exercise than a truly capable dual-purpose motorcycle:
“As in the case of most street scramblers, ‘street’ is emphasized above ‘scrambler’ and doubt arises regarding the bike’s suitability for bashing around rocks and pines. It is naïve to assume that the scrambler is meant to be a scrambler — it’s not.” —Cycle, 1968
Enter our friend James Fawcett of Slipstream Creations, based in St. Louis, who’s worked as a graphic designer, auto mechanic, web developer, auto body pro, and in construction before opening his workshop. Today, he builds some of the most well-sorted Honda CB builds in the country, as well as some really nifty spark plug coat racks and phone stands. As we wrote of James’s work back in 2018…
“James’s philosophy is less about wild, one-off fabrication than thoughtful execution of a design that accentuates the original lines, style, and unique character of each bike. The result are builds that are not mere showpieces, but rider experiences. Machines built to be ridden and enjoyed.”
That’s as true today as it was then, and this 1971 Honda CL350 Scrambler is a prime example — a bike whose original character, style, and functionality have been amplified, brought into a greater state of realization. Says James of the project:
“With this build, we wanted to turn up the dial on versatility and off-road ability just a bit, while keeping that vintage Honda style and charm.”
To that end, James added taller suspension and DOT knobbies, whipped up a new subframe and seat, fabricated a panniers rack and skid plate, restored the original tank and graphics, and much more. Below, we get the full story on beautiful, extremely well-sorted CL350.
Honda CL350 Dual Sport: In the Builder’s Words
The 1971 Honda CL350 Scrambler was always a fun, reliable, and versatile bike. With this build, we wanted to turn up the dial on versatility and off-road ability just a bit, while keeping that vintage Honda style and charm. A custom subframe and seat, along with longer-than-stock Hagon rear shocks helped increase the ground clearance and provide a better fit for a taller rider.
Up front, we stuck to the vintage theme and fitted a 1975 Honda CB500T fork, for even more clearance and suspension travel, along with a front disc brake. A small custom aluminum skid plate, as well as a custom pannier rack give this bike the dual sport feel and functionality we were after.
Ultimately, this bike turned out just how we envisioned. All of the work was performed in-house — custom metal fabrication, paint, powder coating, and upholstery — and we love how it turned out. It runs like a Honda should, and is an absolute blast. This bike is ready to tear up some Ozark Mountain backroads.
CL350 Build Sheet
- Original tank restored and painted with custom retro Honda graphics
- Custom subframe
- Custom fabricated battery/electronics tray mounted under seat
- Custom fabricated pannier rack
- Custom seat pan and seat upholstery
- Longer-than-stock Hagon rear shocks
- Full CB500T front fork and disk brake
- Scrambler high-pipes with stainless steel mufflers
- Custom skidplate
- Custom headlight mount
- Aluminum oversized rims laced to original powdercoated hubs
- DOT approved knobby tires
- All of the little, big details