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’75 Honda CL360

Posted on June 12, 2012 by Andrew in Café Racer, Scrambler. 74 comments

Aspen, Colorado. You’re thinking about the mountains, the snow, the cashed-up tourists, yes? Of course all that frozen water, dampness, and roads full of chains-on-the-tires virgins would make it pretty much the antithesis of what you’d call “good biking country.” Well think again, because it seems the local scene there has got their long Johns all in a twist over a rather beautiful scrambler-cum-cafe racer that has been buzzing up and down their streets disturbing the peace. The perpetrator of this public nuisance? One Casey Braaksma. And the bike? It’s probably the nicest Honda CL360 we’ve seen all year.

“I live in Aspen, CO. My working background is mostly in action sports film. A few years ago I took a completely different opportunity to become a ranch manager. This gave me access to a workshop and tools. Motorcycles have been a part of my life since I was a kid, but mostly dirt bikes. I became interested in building a bike when I first saw bikes like the Wrenchmonkees, Johnny Ryland, and all the different builds I see on Pipeburn.”

“I wanted a bike that would look great but could perform on the street as well as dirt roads. That’s why I was attracted to the scrambler. So I began looking and picked this 1975 CL360 on eBay for $800. It was a faded, beat up orange and ran like shit.This being my first bike start to finish there was a lot of trial and error. I did everything 2,3,4 times – so I got to know the bike very well. In the end these are the things that were done.

I pulled every single thing off the bike. I completely cleaned the frame of any mounting brackets I wouldn’t need. I also cut out the bulky center stand. The frame, wheels, hubs, trees, swing arm and brackets were powder coated. The wheels and hubs were also replaced with super thick stainless spokes. I polished the engine cases and forks. I fabricated the following; hoop at the rear of bike, new tank and seat mounting brackets, seat pan, rock guard, headlight guard, key and headlight switch box.”

“Progressive suspension was added to rear and the front lowered 2 inches. Mikuni VM with K&N filters. Renthal bars. 17 tooth front sprocket. Tank from a cb350. Front fender was moved to the rear. Completely new wiring harness with new points, ignition coils and plug wires. New gold chain. Engine got all new gaskets and new bolt kit to dress it up a bit. Firestone ANS were added. I may be forgetting some things but bottom line is every nut, bolt, gasket, and bearing has been replaced with new or refurbished to the highest quality.”

And no, I wasn’t just crapping on about the buzz this bike has created. Apparently Casey has started construction on two more bikes commissioned purely on the strength of what you see here. With any luck, custom bikes will take off and the SUVs drivers with the roof racks and the motorbike-shaped blind spots will find somewhere else to break their limbs. Here’s hoping.

(Images via Zach Hooper Photos)

  • Lurch

    Stunning. I’d really like to see some ‘before’ photos however of these kinds of builds.

  • Very clean, very shiny, very pretty. Only two gripes; considering where it’s going to be used it might have benefited from a front mudguard, and air filters that won’t leave you stuck in the middle of nowhere when you tank it through a puddle a bit too briskly. If you do that sort of thing ambling between cafés. 

    • Davidabl2

      It still weighs almost 2x what a modern dirt bike it’s gonna see gentle offroading.

      • Franklfalke

        pretty sure the man said dirt roads.  Of course it weighs more than a dirt bike you tool.

  • Very nice, subtle and good attention to detail. Well done!

  • Mpress

    very nice indeed.IF the license plate were attached to the rear fender(Where it belongs) you’d be”there”
    according to my there that is…

    • Lplate

       I am with you on the license plate. It’s current position make it stick out (literally and figuratively).
      But other than that: very good looking bike!

  • Dstereo

    omg. I love this thing.

  • Wow! Gorgeous! I really love it.

  • Man that is nice looking! Beautiful job. I agree about the license plate, though. I don’t like them on the side like that. My opinion, of course, and we all know about opinions.

    • GuitarSlinger

      In light of Colorado Motor Vehicle laws that probably was the best option ( probably the only option ) for the plate without ruining the design or having every ticket happy Apsen Cop/State Trooper/Sheriff  placing a target on his back 😉

      • Davidabl2

        Even if vertical?  That’s just become a big no-no in CA this year.. CO could be different,

        • GuitarSlinger

          Just one more reason why all of you ( Californians ) keep coming here ( Colorado )

          • greg

            colorado sounds like such an awesome place to live – im in London, England of travelling there and CA – very jealous!!

  • Adexterc

    I really like this bike. Can anybody tell me about the mufflers and the heat shield on the pipes. I need those. Thanks

    • I’m pretty sure that heat shield is stock – i used to have a ’73 cl 350 with the same one.- not sure what kind of mufflers those are tho. 

  • revdub

    So classy. What a great looking bike. Enjoy!

  • GuitarSlinger

    Truly a stunner from all angles . Can’t wait to see his next effort . But ……. errrrrr… being a Colorado kind of guy myself ( Vail & Denver ) I can guarantee you bikes like this won’t even put a damper on SUV sales and use . Hell …. if Sheik _____’s  Veyron hasn’t had an effect on SUV sales  in Aspen ….. nothing will . Anyway why not do both ? An AMG  ( G , GL or ML ) or Cayenne Turbo …BMW X5M … for the snow days  ( which my antipode friends sticks around in Aspen till May …… can start up again as early as August ……. and makes the occasional appearance in June and July as well … no exaggeration ….. just the facts  ) and the bike for those 250 + sunny days when the roads are dry 

    • Davidabl2

      It’d probably fit quite well in a carrier on the back of one of those monster truck SUV’s

      • GuitarSlinger

        Ahem . You might just want to do a few measurements and comparisons before going on about just how big those SUV’s some of us prefer to use as daily drivers really are . Here’s a clue as to mine . Its a Benz CUV . AMG modified . With a smaller footprint than 70% of the compact sedans/hatchbacks  on the road . Smaller  than a RAV4 ,  Subie Imprezza etc etc . Zero blind spots as well .  We may be taller … but we’re not all bigger .

    • You? A Cayenne Turbo kinda guy? Now THAT I would have NEVER picked…

      • GuitarSlinger

        Ahem ! Look carefully mate . Its a Benz , not a Porsche . 

        ( nobody listens ! )

  • Davidabl2

    As i just said about today’s bike over at Bikeexif….”Honda,,,take note.”  Please.

  • Davidabl2

    “I fabricated the following; hoop at the rear of bike, new tank and seat mounting brackets, seat pan, rock guard, headlight guard, key and headlight switch box.”

    Mr Braaksma you fabricated a gas tank on your FIRST build?

    • Dennis

       He must mean ‘new tank mounting brackets’ not a new tank.

    • Tanks’s from a CB, yes?

  • arnold

    nice, clean workmanship. Well done scoot.

  • Casey, I like the way you integrated the original heat shield with the new mufflers. I have a ’73 CL350K5 and a ’75 CL360 and I know that the original sheet metal mufflers rot away quickly and are unobtainium.. I haven’t seen the mufflers you used –  can you pass on the source? I like the tires, too – they look like the old flat track tires we used to use. Look foreward to your next build.

    • arnold

       Back in the day, something similar for tires was ‘ Pirelli Universals ‘. They didn’t do everything goodly , but they did nothing badly. The tire selection looks good for this moto.

    • Caseybraaksma

      The mufflers are slip ons from Liquid choppers

  • JURP

    Hey I have a great idea, lets have Pipeburn be about bikes and builders. Maybe you guys can help Guitar slinger set up his own page where he puts him self over again and again; You know cause hearing about his accomplishments, awards, medals, trophies, cars, exotic places of local, “friends”, ect, is just totally awesome and all…… but who cares. Those who can do, those who cant (or pay others to do it for them) talk the loudest. Casey Braaksma, I really dig your bike, it must have taken a great deal of time and hard work, looks awesome.

    • I laughed.

      • JURP

        In my haste, I incorrectly wrote the phrase “those who can do”, while neglecting to write the other “do”. I just know Guitar slinger is just sitting in his Aspen home drinking whiskey made from dinosaur bones or some nonsense like that, pointing out my mistake to his celebrity friends.

        • GuitarSlinger

          Ahem ! Built my first bike at age 12 . Built my first car at 16 etc etc etc . So …… you were saying about being able to DO ! 

          Wise acre ! Envy will get you no where ! 

          PS; READ the post . DENVER and VAIL !

        • GuitarSlinger

          >JURP  ; You know I’d take the time to respond in depth  to your pithy insults , but seeing as you don’t have the Stones to confront me directly as a reply … and are obviously consumed with  Envy and the Reality of your own , no doubt failure : it’d be an abject exercise in futility …. so I’ll keep it short //// Here’s the Secrete to Success ; There will Always be someone more successful – famous – wealthier than you no matter how high up the ladder you get … so …. GET OVER IT ….. and get on with whatever it is you do . Envy and Bitterness will only serve to consume you  /// FYI – You’ve no clue what circumstances I’ve overcome or what I CAN or cannot DO little man – Suffice it to say I’ll lay odds I’ve Built – Rebuilt -Restored more Bikes/Cars /Guitars etc than your feeble limited imagination is capable of comprehending . Initially out of need so’s to afford the things I needed or wanted … and now for the sheer joy of it !

          • GuitarSlinger

            BTW JURP . Forgot to mention there Wingnut  . I’ll be cracking open a cold one on the deck this afternoon to toast your  (dis)Honor . Black Butte Porter if you must know . I’d await your replies on my posts today , but seeing as how I can pretty much  guess what they’ll be …. let me do it for you ///// ” Mommy ….. Andrew … somebody …. please !!! The Big Bad GuitarSlinger put me in my place and hurt my wittle feelings ! Waaaaaaaaaa ” 

        • GuitarSlinger

          So pray …. do  tell ….. inform us all here  of what ( if anything ) you’ve DONE or accomplished in your time on this little Blue Ball of ours Mr JURP .

          My guess is from reading your comments here …… Absolutely Nothing .Envy . The Bain of success 

          • Unitedguitar

             GuitarSlinger, why don’t you show us something you have built? You come on here and post on every thread about how awesome everything you do is but never any proof. I can rally off names of European SUV’s and talk about how many  bikes and cars I’ve built but without proof no one will believe you. I know you will claim to not need the approval of other people and I know my responding to you only feeds the troll fire but I think its high time you put up or shut up. As we say on the SOHC forums, :Pics, or it didn’t happen.”

            So, GuitarSlinger, I humbly await your awesomeness.

    • GuitarSlinger

      Hey JURP ! Here’s a better suggestion . How’s about we help you set up a site just  for the whining   Abject and Envious Losers who can’t deal with the fact that others may  have surpassed them and happen to  enjoy talking about their possessions and accomplishments from time to time . Lets see . What to call the site ? I know !  PLA ( Pathetic Losers Anonymous ) Now there’s a suggestion worth considering . 

      • I too wouldn’t mind seeing something you’ve built or even something you’ve purchased merely for the purpose of establishing a true North. 

    • arnold

      I giggled like a school girl myself. Interesting selections and nice site Andrew. Keep finding the diamonds and lumps of coal, and you will keep my traffic, no prob.ald

    • Ahem! We could call the web site “”

  • This bike is beautiful. I’d lose the pipewrap which detracts from the shine and the sheetmetal rear sprocket gaurd though.

    I might mount the license plate in the traditional spot due to the large plate and small rear profile. The plate looks overpowering. And if the “Girl with the Dragon Tatoo” ever wanted to upgrade from that beater she’s riding, I think this would be a great bike! Very nice build!

    • Zipper

      Where to mount the plate? Requires a lot of thought to get it right. I did a side mount once. That was enough after I walked into the plate a few times.   ..Z 

    • GuitarSlinger

      “And if the “Girl with the Dragon Tatoo” ever wanted to upgrade from that beater she’s riding, I think this would be a great bike! Very nice build!”

      That’d depend on which ” Dragon Tattoo ” movie you’re talking about . If its the Scandinavian version  , then yes this bike would be better ….. if its the US version , well I’d say they’re dead even . That bike built for the US version is pretty damn hot ! Funny that the Scandinavian version got the better Lisbeth and better production , whereas the US version got the better bike and background music . Strange ! 

    • Caseybraaksma

      Thanks. Your bikes are so amazing. I agree she needs a new bike.

  • PGearbox

    Numbers plates are a real drag:( Love this bike. Absolutely stunning. Beautifully finished. You can see the hard work that has gone into it and I am sure it is a massive head-turner everywhere Casey goes. Good work. There seems to be a new trend developing away from the stock Cafes. All the variations of these Bikes is what keeps it interesting. I don’t believe in a set formula or we would all ride the standard bikes as the makers intended to suit the masses and be reliable etc.

    • Guest

      I agree. I started out wanting a cafe. But tried to deviate from that somewhere along the way.

  • james boothe

    nice bike monkeycat now move somewhere that the rest of your riding buddies don’t just buy already done and hipster approved, people like these, where fickle is fat. PS. hope the snow blows next years 2   ….yeah rad mang 

    • GuitarSlinger

      I see you’re suffering from the same Envy/Green Mist syndrome as Mr JURP . So sad to watch potential consume itself in such petty emotions ! Pathetic actually . Maybe you should consider Discipling yourself to WORK at what ever it is you do instead of begrudging others circumstances and success ….. Nahhhhhh…. that’d take too much effort/brains and class on your part . 

  • GuitarSlinger

    So now that the personal attacks have been dealt with : back to the Bike . On second look I like it even more than I did  yesterday . But I am surprised no one’s called me on my dislike of the Loaf of Bread saddle Syndrome . Fact is on this bike ……. well …… much as I usually distain the looks …….. the saddle works here  . So maybe I’ll have to readjust my thinking as to the appropriateness of the Loaf of Bread saddle as it relates to the bike at hand . Hmmmmn .

    • davmo

      I Almost made the same comment yesterday. After trashing the brat seat a couple posts ago, I have to admit this one fits the bike nicely. Maybe it is that slight roundness, and a little more contouring to the frame, but this one works. Great bike, especially for a first build.

  • GuitarSlinger

    Oh and before I forget . I’m in the mood , had my coffee and am ready to Rock & Roll . So ….. anyone else want a piece of me today ?

    • I think I know the issue, GS. There are constructive criticisms and then there are criticisms. You tend toward the latter. I think your posts are snarky and mildly entertaining. Much more so than someone just saying how wonderful the bike is. I’ll call you out if I disagree and not get my panties in a bunch from your arrogance. Since I know you are in need of my approval (lol) I want you to know that I’m glad your snarky little self is here, in all your braggadocio glory.

  • guest

    Another bike with a loaf of bread for a seat, same ol shit, nothing new.

  • Franklfalke

    Nice build, looks meticulously done.  I want to ride it!

  • This ride appears very purpose built. Not for cruising the highways, but also not for tearing up the trails. This looks like a perfect country/mountain road explorer. See a little dirt road off to the side? Go for it. Want to head up through the mountains and do a little swimming? Right on. Could be a pit bike or a short trip to Starbucks. If I had any gripe, it would be to make it street legal for where I live (California, by the mountains.) I could find all kinds of uses for this ride 🙂

  • James

    “pretty much the antithesis of what you’d call ‘good biking country.'”  WHAT? Think again! Go anywhere in the Colorado Rockies with a bike (motor or push) and you’ll have the time of your life!!! I grew up going to Aspen every summer as a kid. I would love to go back and tear up the roads on a fast bike!

  • very nice work. I really like the exhausts too.

  • JURP

    Wow Guitar Slinger, the comments you had for me were well thought out, and true to the point. You know, I never saw it that way. I say its time for me to turn a new leaf and start looking up to folks like you. I thought my accomplishments, property, profession, and things I own were my business only. You are so right, I have worked hard for all my things and status, its about time I started telling the world on a daily bases, just how great I am. I am going to sit on my dock which faces the gulf, sip a Zimma, and tell this world whats what! Gentlemen of Pipeburn, take note we are in the presence of a modern day renaissance man. We should all hope to achieve and bask in the glory that is the Guitar Slinger……..Oh and your a douche.

    • It’s about time you learned your place. lol

      Sip a Zima? What are you, a girl?

  • arnold

    I would say that we all need editors, spel chech and all. Especially since the first word is Apsen. I think I’ve been through there. Delaware, right? 

  • Andrew, you have one of the most intertaining websites since Al Gore invented the internet. Interesting and sometimes controversial custom bikes but the comments section is like “South Park” for bikers with GS as our Cartman. Even when he likes a bike, all of a sudden – wham! there he goes again. I just want to know what happened to GS’s evil twin, alwayson2? It just occurred to me – you never see them in the same place at the same time…

    • Unitedguitar

       I was just thinking the same thing myself. Alwayson2 did however provide a link to his “body of work.” Unfortunately it turned out to be a really crappy website with no pictures of work and some very poorly written junk about how he didn’t have time to deal with people. Not exactly the best way to get business.

    • arnold

      Kent/Superman ? Parker/ Spiderman ? Wonderwoman/ err ?

  • Mob Ruldoon

    GuitarSlinger needs a root…

  • jonathan

    how did you lower the front end?

  • Nashman

    Very very late finding your stunning bike, love the mufflers. I have just acquired a 74 cl360 myself. Are the forks stock, if so could you tell me what size rims and tyres your bike is running. Many thanks

  • michael larson

    Where did you get that chain? Is it a 520?

  • Mikael Lewis

    Simply beautiful. Why in hell did I sell my cl350??

  • Red Rocket

    What tires did you use? I’m in the middle of a CB360 build and I love what you have done.

  • Tom Rossiter

    That’s a very nice bike. Grew up with Honda and spent years getting a 750/4 back in action, but always had something for the CLs. Not quite what they were, but now riding a ’98 CL400 which is something Honda should have kept making (and exporting). Still, nothing on what’s been done to keep a ’75 bike kicking strong. Great work and enjoy the dirt roads!