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1974 Honda CL360 – Josh Mott Racing

Posted on April 11, 2013 by Andrew in Tracker. 34 comments


There’s a saying that goes, “old Harleys never die, they just get faster.” Which, of course, is utter rubbish. Most of the Harleys I’ve known barely work fresh out of the box, let alone when they get old. Find and old HD in a barn and you’ll have about as much chance of getting it running there and then as you’d have finding someone with good taste at a Nickleback gig. But the same is definitely not true for the works of one Honda Giken Kogyo Kabushiki-gaisha. We’re not sure what dark, samurai magic the man possessed but it seems from where we stand, just about anything Soichiro Honda touched somehow gained the strength to never, ever, EVER die. Just ask Josh from Boise, Idaho’s JMR Racing.

“This is Josh Mott owner of JMR Customs of Boise, ID. We came across a 1974 CL360 Honda donor while dropping a Moto Guzzi off to a customer. The lady had the bike sitting in her garage, it was in rough shape. When I say rough shape, I mean it was probably the worst one I have ever come across. I asked her about it and she seemed relieved that someone was willing to get it out of her garage. I brought it back to the shop and checked the normal spark and compression. The bike had both so I cleaned the carbs and she fired first kick.”

“After I found out the bike ran I started trying to come up with ideas. Street trackers have always struck my interest because when I was younger I raced a lot of flat track. The CL came with stock scrambler up pipes so I went with a Mini XR 750 Harley theme.

Most of the work was cleaning. I did have to freshen up the top end, rebuild the carbs and rebuild the suspension front and rear. The little things that I would like to point out are the bottom stand, mainly because you hardly see anyone use bottom stand these days. Other things include the front hub with machined holes, the counter shaft sprocket cover with machined out holes and the crinkle paint on the motor.”

“Parts mounted include the mini megaphone mufflers, dirt track bars, Mulholland shocks and a Trail Tech speedo. The fabrication work included a battery box to hold all the electronics, lithium iron battery, side number plates and the headlight. The headlight was built by hand out of 16 gauge steel using 50 watt bulbs; it was built to be a multi-use number plate. It still keeps the flat track look while being a headlight and dashboard for the trail tech.”

“The bike rides amazing and sounds cool as hell. I am very pleased with how this bike came out considering what I started with. I cannot wait to show the previous owner what her old bike looks like now. This bike is currently for sale and will be on eBay within a couple months.”

  • nathas909

    wow wow wow. If there is ever an example of what the big manufactures should build, it is this. It is just amazing, so much has been done right I dont know where to start complimenting.
    I would change the seat color though, but thats easy.

    I like it even more than your stunning purple yamaha, and that was brilliant…

  • itsmefool

    It rocks…love the Harley-esque paint coupled with the legendary Honda reliability; the street tracker style seals the deal! Great work, Josh!

  • Moto awesomeness aside, the opening paragraph of this piece is the best thing I’ve read all day. Cheers, brother.

  • Paul

    After the apocalypse only cockroaches & old Honda’s will survive. lovely bike

    • LuciloJr.

      This is sad, no one to drive the Hondas?
      I have an old honda stopped in the garage, breaks my heart. 🙁

      • I heard it would be the roaches and “Cher” . . . I think her and Sonny, posed with a couple of trail 50’s on an album cover. There’s a visual; Cher on a pink Trail 50, squashing cockroaches, along RTE 66, coast to coast, singing “I got You Babe”. Nice bike, the tires have a, sort of, “combat boot look” but then, I don’t get out much lately, either. Maybe it’s just the black rims

  • revdub

    Solid build all around. Looks great. Honestly might be the best looking Honda tracker I’ve seen. Many cool details, but that headlight setup is really cool.

  • Leroy

    Can’t fault the build, but I can’t help wishing it had just a little stretch on the swingarm. I don’t mean a whole lot, but if it sat just a smidge lower and a smidge longer it would be double dynamite.

    That’s not to say I’d kick it out of bed.

    • JMR

      It’s a street tracker! True flat track bikes have a 54 inch wheel base which this bike has. All the older stock frame converted Flat track bikes we’ve built to race in the past needed longer rear shocks to achieve the head angle or rake we needed. Thanks for the comments

      • cool bike.
        curious about the shocks…what brand and how long? also, what type and how long of a chain did you end up going with?

  • Very nice and clean job, we are working in a 1976 360 T at this moment. El Centinela Motorcycles, Puerto Rico.

  • ccc40821

    Somehow I got to think of a H-D ad from back in the 1980s, showing a junkyard with hundreds of motorcycles. The text went something like this: ‘Can you see a Harley-Davidson motorcycle her? (Of course you can’t)’. I’m sure there are Harleys being scrapped out there, but I’ve never personally seen or heard of one.

    • That’s because they have a high collector value. Someone will always buy and resurrect a HD.

  • arnold

    I like it, Very nice build. Especially the NASCAR -like headlights on the number plate. Good touch.
    Definite love it on my part.ald

  • Lee Wilcox

    Love it. Just picked up a 1974 DT175 Yamaha today and this has some ideas.

  • I think DP Customs would have to disagree with your opening statement. Truth be told, Harley’s don’t end up in the garbage heap because there is alwasy someone who wants to rebuild them. They also hold their value. Hondas, on the other hand, were throw away bikes and so are common fodder on the custom rebuild script. Don’t get me wrong, I like Hondas (I own one and plan on buying two others to rebuild,) but I think there is room in the cafe custom world for Harleys as well. In fact, the sport approach is refreshing after all of the choppers and bobbers that have rolled around on this planet.

    • Allan Girdler once said that old Harleys are infinitley rebuildable like Colt 1911 45s. They have bushings and bearings that can be replaced over and over again. I have a Honda CL350 and a CL360. The cam shaft runs in a bearing surface milled into the aluminum head and cam cover – no bearings or bushings. Poor oiling to the head is a “feature” of these bikes. No oil and the head is ruined. The cam chain tensioner is problematic in these old Hondas as well. That said, I love riding them but my go to bike is my Sportster. BTW, I really like the bike featured here. Shows a lot of talent and creativeness.

      • Yep. Oh, and I won’t be rebuilding the other two. Guy already sold them. I snoozed, I losed.

  • Zack

    I’m not exactly a Harley guy but the relentless bashing on them made this hard to read. Probably the most iconic brand in the history of motorcycles, heritage in everything from flat track racing to the ubiquitous chopper. They’ve built some fantastic machines and to generalize them as you have done is unfair.

    • arnold

      At one time, and in many eras gone by Harley personifies motorcycling in America. Big and Brash. Much like sports cars, small displacement and handling can be an asset, rather than historical straight line speed. Harleys are still assembled in America and I suppose we should be happy with that.

    • Well, I AM a Harley guy. I love ’em to bits. The fact that they aren’t as reliable as yr average Honda doesn’t amount to much at all. You could say the same about Ferraris. And Aston Martins. And just about an British bike built before 1990.

      Don’t mistake me trying to write an attention-grabbing opening gambit as me bashing Harleys. It’d take a pretty mean Honda to for me to pass by a HD. In fact, one of my all-time favourite bikes ever posted on Pipeburn was a Harley. I liked it so much, I shot the thing myself:

  • You love the opening. You hate the opening. Tough crowd…

    • nathas909

      I like the bike….. thats why I am here. To look at bikes….

    • Bikers are a fickle bunch.

  • Icke

    She´s a cutie

  • whitebear

    Did you know that 85% of all Harleys ever built are still on the road?

    (The rest actually made it home…)

    • ccc40821


    • taka-tz

      I laughed.

    • rim shot

  • Great build. Every thing works together. The color choice is right on. I’m going to steal that headlight idea – very cool. Are those stock pipes with ceramic coatings?

    • JMR

      Thanks for the comments! Yes they are stock headers powder coated.

  • Andy

    360 stock carbs=garbage.

    • JMR

      Actually the stock cv carbs on the cl 360 were some of the best I’ve personally came across. CVs aren’t an easy carb but this bike runs extremely well.

  • Peralta

    Can’t believe that was the bike that was in my garage!!! Amazing job guys. Glad to see it was re-beautified! You guys do some amazing work.