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‘74 Honda CL360 – Modern Metals


Posted on September 2, 2014 by Andrew in Scrambler. 37 comments

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As the saying goes, life wasn’t meant to be easy. It’s the same reason that diamonds and gold are buried deep underground and not just rolling around in the gutter outside your house. All the best things in life take hard work to achieve. Take, for instance, the bike you just picked up off of a complete stranger for a song. If you brought it home and it customised itself, that’d be no fun now would it? No, it’s the challenges that make it all worth while. And trust us when we say that the challenge Doug Devine from Modern Metals faced after he peered inside the engine of this innocuous little Honda would be enough to test anyone.

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“Nothing feels better than being able to help out a friend, says Louisville, Kentucky local Doug. “I just so happened to have an abundance of extra space at my shop when Bryan, a buddy of mine, needed some space for his cars. After watching me work on a few builds, he decided to hunt down a bike for himself. He returned from a short road trip with a ‘74 Honda CL360. I thought his find was pretty nice until we couldn’t remove the spark plugs…”

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An engine teardown revealed a horror show that had been hiding inside the engine for years; a dropped valve had been left to fester until… well, you’ll see. “Unfazed by the disaster, we discussed what Bryan envisioned for his bike over coffee. Within a few days, I received an invitation for PDX’s The One Motorcycle Show. Knowing that I would only have 40 days to complete this build in time for the event, I asked Bryan if we could get started.”

After stripping down the bike and detabbing the frame, Doug modified the rear seat stays so they were pointing skywards for the seat he imagined in his head. And for the tires he imagined, he ordered a pair of Firestone ANS boots. “I just so happened to have a Honda CB450 tank that fit perfectly with the look of the tires.” David ‘Matchstick’ Brooks expertly applied some gold leafing and stripes along with the black aluminium trim pieces which Doug added for more width.

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After fabricating at least four different seat pans and cowls trying to determine the direction he wanted to move in, Doug settled on what you see here and left the upholstering to Ginger at New Church Moto. She really came through for Doug when she produced some old oxblood-dyed horse hide for the seat.

“I searched long and hard for the frame color which is ‘Lincoln Ginger Ale’ metallic over a black base coat. I had to source a new engine because the original was clearly beyond repair. I wanted to keep the high pipes but wanted to cut off some old megaphones with an angle to induce a more speedy look. Ben “Bender” Boyle of Benderwerks saved the day when he offered to do the headlight work after dropping by. Thanks also to Kim Boyle of BCM for the tail light, See See Motorcycles for the micro handlebar switches, and Farmers Racer for the orange pack bag.”

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Unfortunately, this story doesn’t finish with a first place at the One Show. But gladly it wasn’t through a lack of trying. “We finished the bike just in time and I attempted the cross-country trip to the show, but I was snowed in once I reached Iowa.”

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Doug returned home and then called in a few favours from his extended family. “My brother-in-law owns Headliner’s Music Hall, a historic building that houses one of the best music venues in the city. He graciously allowed us to shoot the bike in front of the turn-of-the century artwork.”

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Adding new meaning to the term ‘valve grind’

[Photography by Seth Schikler]








  • oldman

    alright, now thats what Im talking bout. heres a build i can get behind. granted its still a turd fresh out of a japanese hipsters ass, but its got style and a real seat. I’m digging the bag too, put you old shine in there and head off down a dirt road to your sister house.

    • TJ Martin

      ” Old(man) take a look at yourself … you’re a lot like me ”

      At least in as far as the whole ‘ hipster ‘ issue is concerned . Well … that and the fact that I’m an old(er) man myself … being late 50’s and all 😉

      • Doug Devine

        I find it hilarious that you call me a hipster!! I guess that’s cool, but I didn’t know 43 year people could be young hipsters. You should research who your talking about before you type. Thank you

        • TJ Martin

          …. and you thought the ‘ hipster ‘ designation was limited to just one generation or another ? No …. sorry .. the ‘ hipster ‘ moniker today … having long since lost all its original meaning … is now applied to one of any age trying too hard to recreate a past they have little or no concept of . Ahem . By the way … it was oldman who called you a ‘ hipster ‘ first …. with my simply agreeing with him …. being an old(er) man myself .

        • Junior Burrell

          I guess that makes me a hipster too,lol

          • shalbleib

            Hipsters must be pretty cool then. Congrats Doug and Junior for making the list. Just wish you all had a concept about the past?? Lol. Haters gonna hate

          • Junior Burrell

            But I’m trying really hard 😉

          • TJ Martin

            So you think its ‘ cool ‘ to poorly copy a past you barely even understand .. never mind comprehend : all while not bringing one single solitary original thought to the table : doing so under the guise of Irony that in the hands of todays hipsters is abused to the point of the ridiculous ? [ read Thomas Mann’s quote on the abuse of irony from his book ; ” The Magic Mountain ” ]

            Hmmmmn … Interesting indeed !

          • How do you know who understands a “past.” Seems pretty presumptuous, but then most trolls have that character trait. Congrats on reading a book though.

        • Spyker May

          Kudus Doug..!

          At first I wanted to comment on the (a) “toilet-humor” that is befitting of trailer-trash and certainly not here and (b) the veiled insult aimed at a person – then I realized I may just end up falling into my own ‘name-calling’ trap.

          I do not mind criticizing a build – it comes with the territory, even from the toilet that is the mind of some, but when it is aimed at individuals (and as such branding- and name-calling groups) – it shows a distinct lack of any measure of class.

          You laughed it off – WELL DONE..!

          • oldman

            ol spider monkey is above all us poor trash. aint no hillbillies good enough to come around the high society that is pipeburn.

    • You seem a little obsessed with hipsters, Oldman. Anything you’d like to share with us?

      • oldman

        I’m just taking a crack at y’all high falutin motor scooter boys. why y’all so sensitive about being called a hipster, you know you are, don’t try to fight it, just let it run its course like the flu. ill talk at y’all later, today is bath day.

    • ben

      if you don’t have anything nice to say don’t, how would you feel if some came along and bagged out your pride and joy?

      • oldman

        I aint doggin it, i said i liked the ol girl. and don’t tell me what to do, ill say whatever the hell i want.

  • revdub

    Another stunner of a build, Doug. Beautiful in all the details.

  • Junior Burrell

    I watched this build for a while and am happy to see it here!! Nice work Doug!!

  • Sweet! Lots of nice touches on this bike. Well thought out but still raw and sounds amazing! Still hoping to get a ride on it at some point…

  • Schlitz

    I like it, but a front fender would make me love it 😉

  • TJ Martin

    So … while there’s nothing wrong with this one . There’s not much standing out about it either . Its a custom build . Its … errr … ok . Nary an original idea to be found on the entire bike … but then again … like I said … there’s nothing really wrong with it either . So in response to oldman’s comment … I’d say this is yet again another pastiche of the past coming from yet another hipster who’s barely aware , never mind knowledgable about the past he’s trying to emulate.

    But … then again …there is something seriously wrong about this build as well . That being the mechanics and engineering that is more than a bit lacking

    • oldman

      that ox blood leather saddle aint no joke though

      • TJ Martin

        You’re right . On 2nd look that saddle is a stunner … as well as perhaps the highlight of the bike .

    • shalbleib

      Have you built anything that we can reference?

      • TJ Martin

        Have you ? I mean seriously ! Since when was valid , reasonable and constructive criticism outlawed ? Was I asleep or something when it happened ?

        • Yes, I’ve built bikes thus far and am currently working on two more. I would think with your vast knowledge of what custom bikes should be and the history of motorcycles, you might do some research before making comments, but I suppose I should know better just based on your posts.

          I think the problem is your comments are neither valid, reasonable or constructive really. You’re just someone who can’t “do” so you criticize instead. Pretty pathetic but there’s plenty of folks who troll these sites just for that purpose. You’ll find a hobby one day.

          • Shalbleib – I agree with you 100%. Unfortunately, old trolls, like guitarslinger, get banned and then come back to life with another moniker just so they can wreck havoc for awhile. If you ignore ’em they just might go away.

  • TylerB

    Hell yeah, Doug!

  • Lars Gustavsson

    Fantastic bike by Doug. The colors and choice of materials are in a perfect harmony, just like a hand built guitarr. Verry well done.

  • Cliff Overton

    Love the leather choice for the saddle, frame colour is spot on – it looks plated, admire the extra work in the tank fins and totally want that headlamp, well done.

  • Righteous build. Everything but the font.

  • Oldroadie

    Very nice bit of work. A slightly smaller side bag made from that stunning oxblood leather would put this one over the top.

  • I like those old Honda twins and I sure like what Doug has done with this one. Lots of cool stuff here but I especially like the redone tail section with the new seat. The seat line follows the tank line and (literally) doesn’t leave you hangin’. This may seem like a small thing but it can make or break a bike build and this one is done right. And the seat itself is the best looking custom seat I’ve seen in a long time – just the right proportions and finished off in classy oxblood leather.

  • Guilherme P.

    You guys spend too much time talking about irrelevant sh*t. bike looks nice and a fun daily driver. thats all.

  • Tron

    I think this bike rules. As does oxblood red leather, and that headlight is beautiful piece.

    I also quite frankly like cb/cl360s. The armpit of the cb line is actually quite a fun bike to ride!

  • Bowds

    Cool bike, only thing I’m not sold on are the fins on the tank.

    Love it how anyone who likes real leather, fat tires, patina or pants a size down from there daddy is instantly labeled hipster. Time rolls on and fashion is cyclical folks. If your getting off on putting people down maybe your just past it or never had it. Good modern design should be informed by the past, but is there purpose to clone it exactly? Style reaches saturation and then evolves or rebels. I wonder how all these modern bikes are gonna look in 10 years.

  • Joe Tessitore

    Good looking bike Doug! The color combination really works. Well done.