1970 Honda CL350 Purple Haze

I started building this bike in 2008 after attending Bikes, Blues, and BBQ in Fayetteville, Ar. I had found a really cool antique spotlight on Ebay, and thought it would make a nice headlight. I had originally planned to use the stock Honda 350 frame with a few modifications, but after inspecting it, I found rust and damage, so I decided to try my hand at building a frame. I used DOM tubing and bent it in 1″ increments at certain degree bends until I got the desired shape. I loosely based the design on an old bicycle built for two that I had seen. I fabricated the motor mounts, footpeg mounts, exhaust mounts, and other pieces needed to complete the frame. I had seen leaf spring front ends on a few bikes, and liked the look, but they were way beyond my budget, so I got more tubing and fabricated one. I machined the upper tree from aluminum, and the lower from steel. I made the rockers and bushings, and used half a leaf spring from an old boat trailer I had. I formed the fuel tank from sheet aluminum, 3 different pieces shaped, then welded together. The rear fender is a front fender from the first Harley I owned, a 1976 Superglide. I cut 3″ from the center to eliminate the indentations for the fork tubes and welded it back together. I found the perfect tail light, a 50’s Schwinn bicycle front fender light on Ebay. I reshaped it to fit the Superglide fender, then modified it for a dual element bulb and painted the lens red. I needed a kickstand, so I looked in my toolbox and found a Craftsman 13/16 x 19/32 open end wrench. I had this wrench for 35 years, and had never used it. I have yet to see a 19/32 bolt or nut. I found a small 8mm open end wrench and welded it on so I could flip the kickstand down with my foot. I knurled and dimpled brass bar for my pedals and gas cap, and found some ratchet blanks at the scrap yard for my foot pegs. I completely rebuilt the engine with 1mm oversize pistons, mildly ported heads, upgraded cam chain tensioner, balanced crank, electronic ignition and Mikuni VM 30 carbs. I had originally planned to color the bike a tangerine orange, but the powder coat kept having issues – bubbling, different shades, etc. One day while I was at the powder coat shop, they were coating something with a purple color. I loved the color, and asked them to do the bike with the purple. There were no more problems. I guess the bike just wanted to be purple.

Comments are closed.