Café Racer: Dia De Los Motos Honda CL350
Photography: Barry Peterson
Who are you and what do you do for a living?
My name is Miguel Castro and I live in San Luis Obispo, California. I work for an ad agency called Rosetta as a Creative Director.
Tell us about your first love for motorcycles.. right back when you were young. What inspired you?
I didn’t get into bikes till I was about ten years old when my dad surprised me for Christmas with a KDX80. From then on I was hooked at riding two wheels. I never really got into the dirt biking scene but really enjoyed just riding on the road more. I was always inspired by fabrication because of my dad who restores older Jaguars for a living. I was always in his workshop as a kid watching. It wasn’t till later in my life did I want to make the attempt at creating my first bike, a cafe racer.
How many bikes have you had? List a few.
1987 Kawasaki KDX80
1989 Honda NSR 250R
1987 Suzuki GS 450
What are we looking at here? (make, model, year etc..)
1969 Honda CL350
How long did the build take?
Roughly ten months.
Why was this bike built?
This was a personal project. I originally bought it just to ride around and keep original and then I changed my mind once I started making small updates.
Who was involved with the build of this bike and what did they do?
I didn’t have anyone else involved as I really wanted to try and tackle this all alone. I used numerous places for parts, particularly Dime City Cycles and Cognito Motos.
What was the design concept and what influenced the build?
My concept was just that I wanted a simple and clean looking cafe bike. I didn’t want to get over my head by building a tank and seat cowl because at the time I was in a very small garage and didn’t have the space for bigger tools. I wanted to make sure I could attempt the simple aspect and look of a café racer.
What custom work was done to the bike?
Custom Battery box
Custom seat fabrication
Inner hubs painted black
Drilled Clutch plate
List some of the changes made and parts used.
Front disc setup from a Honda CB350
Bridgestone Spitfire tyres
Dime City Cycles rear cowl
Was there anything done during this build that you are particularly proud of?
I personally was proud of the knee dents that I put in place. It was a pretty simple task but at first I was so worried about attempting it and ruining the tank.