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1969 Honda CB350 – Vintage Customs

Posted on August 17, 2011 by Scott in Café Racer, Classic. 35 comments

Vintage Customs was started a couple of years ago when Jason Lajkov quit his graphic design job to pursue his dream of building custom motorcycles for a living. Since we featured one of his early builds just over a year ago, he hasn’t looked back and his bikes seem to just keep on getting better. This stunning 1969 Honda CB350 which Jason named ‘The Speedster’ hasn’t always been beautiful; when Jason bought it she was uglier than Ernest Borgnine in lipstick and a tutu. “I got the bike from a salvage yard – it was just going to be sold as parts” explains Jason. “The motor was seized and everything was really rotten and destroyed”. Jason saw past all the rust and visualised what this old girl could look like in the right outfit. So he got to work.

The first thing that had to be replaced was the cylinder head, pistons and then a full rebuild of the motor. The transmission also had some issues, so that got a going-over too. “I cleaned up the frame, chopped the fork springs and put a set of Rebel 250 shocks on the rear to give her a nice stance.” says Jason. The tank is an aluminum Yamaha TT500 tank which was painted by Jason himself. The paint he chose was a classic combination of Regal Red & black with gold pin-striping and lettering.

Then a set of the ever-so-popular Firestone replicas were added to keep to that vintage styling. The levers and controls are all stock but Jason built the handlebars and added those ruby red retro grips. “Stripped down and cleaned up was the goal ” he says. “This little beauty also sounds amazing & really hauls due to its new diet.”

If Jason’s goal was ‘stripped down and clean’ then we think he acheived that in spades. This brat-style cafe racer is as stripped down as Miss July in a heatwave and just as worthy of being pinned up on your bedroom wall. If you want to hear what she moans like, then hit this jump, otherwise just enjoy the pictures here before someone walks in on you and starts to ask some embarrassing questions…

  • woods

    STUNNIG! absolutely stunning.

  • what a classy paint job!
    perfect balance of black, red and metal parts.
    if the seat had a bit more style this bike would be perfect in my eyes
    very nice bike

  • revdub

    Very nice all around. I like the new stance a lot.

  • Big D

    I think a small up-sweep at the back of the seat or a more cafe rear would really finish it. Love the color scheme and simplicity.

  • Killdisco

    This is so well done I want it! Great take on the CB!

  • Doud

    Very nice example of what can be done with an open mind. Sweet bike!

  • Chris

    Very nice…it's just…that seat (if you can call it that). It looks like an afterthought as well as massively uncomfortable.

  • I'm with lenny and Big D about the seat.

    Great job though. I love how builders are building stuff outside the confines of one particular style. There is no way this is a cafe racer or even Brat style but put them together and "Brat style cafe racer" is a good description. It's very different to my Brat CB350 but I absolutely love the "Speedster". Top work Jason

  • rob

    just went over to the VC website… and this bike is actually for sale for an asking price of 4200 USD. in my mind, that is pretty damn awesome! i like to see when a custom shop creates something cool—using some old stuff, some new stuff–and then when the go to sell it, the price isn't like 20grand. if i was in America, i would seriously consider this bike–it is great to see something turnkey that is done right. As for the seat, i tend to agree with the other commenters–but just head over to the pipeburn store and buy a seat there!

  • mgm

    What a beauty. The only change I would make at all is to the seat. I like it's style, just do not like how it looks like the front and rear of the seat look thinner than the middle. If it were flat it would look right. The last pic the seat looks like it is not straight with the frame rails. That's all a small tweak though. Very nice. Especially the bars.

  • Andrew

    @rob – Thanks for the plug. The cheque's in the mail.

  • Thanks for all of the comments. I guess I'll be having a new seat made…
    This bike is for sale as mentioned. Head over to my site and send me a message with contact info if interested.
    Jay – Vintage Customs

  • Gearbox

    What's the obsession with Cafe racer seats? Can't we have a bit of variety out there. Bike looks great. Paint work is very classy.

  • Woodrow

    This bike is begging to become a bobber! Beauty paint job, but I agree that the seat really seems like an afterthought. Aside from that minor detail, beautiful.

  • Ash Bali

    Nice looking build. I think the seat looks fine. I would personally change the handlebars and forks, but the original forks suit the overall colour scheme of the bike, which is tastefully done.

  • Drillmastertommy

    Loved this one as soon as I saw it, I don't even dislike the seat! My only gripe is the void on top at the front of the tank…. Small gripe though, ace bike.

  • Assholewelder

    I love everything about it. Dont change the seat!!!

  • redrumracer

    the bike rocks! it's original, it's different, why change a thing?

  • Lovely Bike!

  • i like it…

  • Ion66

    I love most of this bike. Really nice to see what you can do with a Japanese classic that usually gets the cafe' or vintage racer treatment. 2 things though. The seat, to my eye has a bit too much rearward slope, and the exhaust is a bit of a cop out. The wrap has the right period cool, but I find that many designers create a bike that would be too loud to actually use. Its easy to do a header (Harley customs do this all the time, in an homage to airplane engines) with no mufflers, but if you want to really impress me, do a cool exhaust that shows some creativity and makes the bike something you can imagine riding. Otherwise, I am really impressed by this bike.

  • Adam

    The seat looks as though it may be uncomfortable, but I actually dig the look, its different.

    Beautiful Job.

  • Jon

    First off, very well done. Couple things I noticed though…The void mentioned earlier, on the tank near the top triple tree…it's huge, you could put a loaf of bread in there! Maybe it might seem to disappear a bit if the underside of the tank was painted black, just a thought? Not a huge fan of the bicycle pedal kickstart, but hey, not my bike. Dude, the seat looks great! No need to change it. Did you make those handlebars, great sweeping look to them!

  • marcus

    love this bike. and don't trip – the seat is perfect. cats' got an obsession with cafe racers. don't follow the conforming majority.

  • John Cook

    I don’t care for the current look in motorcycles, and this one looks like a bike some of the completely backward jerks that rode in the 60’s might have had built or cobbed together.  I actually think I recall some that looked very similar. Additionally, as a professional bike seat designer, I think that seat looks not only home made, but terrible. It has no form, appears as if the foam, was compressed too much when an unskilled designer got together with a crappy fitter, and the finished item came out too small.  The hell with it, someone said, we got too much in that seat cover to pitch it out, stick it on.

    Since it was a bike that belonged to the bosses weird son, on it went!

    • nobby

      A “professional bike seat designer”,…..your parents must be so proud. LOL.
      The bike looks fabulous.

  • Pholliday80

    where did u hide the battery? I really like the way that having no box looks but I am not sure how he did that.

    • Matt

      Looks like it’s tucked in under the swingarm

  • Jason

    Get off your high horse John.  I personally really like the seat and would prefer it over a piece of perfection put together like a pompus jerk like you.  It might help if you put a link in to all the reviews and articles on your creations . . . oh, there are none.

    Amazing bike.  The seat is perfect.  A ‘cafe racer’ style seat on this would ruin it.  There’s a time and a place for that (much over done) style and I’m glad it came nowhere near this bike!

  • the sheer beauty of simplicity!

  • Sancho

    What is the wheel and tire setup? thanks

  • C.Howard

    John, I would like you to design a seat for my 1969 CB350. What is your company, or the company you work for? I’d be interested to see what you can do.

  • It’s a work of art JL. Absolutely beautiful – seat and all.

  • Davey

    I’m curious how he handled the electricity? I’ve got the same one, that I’m rebuilding at the moment…

  • Bernhard S

    Awesome job! Where can I download those pictures in high res?