RETRO CHIC: Honda CB360 Scrambler by Slipstream Creations
Honda CB360 Scrambler photograph with the aid of using Slipstream Creations
The custom scene is bursting with artisans that do more than just build awesome motorcycles. James Fawcett is a prime example. As Slipstream Creations they make furniture, paint bicycle frames, do temporary welding and fabrication work and even upcycle spark plugs to create coat racks.
He additionally reveals time to construct custom bikes like this pleasant Honda CB360 Street Scrambler. Thanks to James’ extensive skill set and can-do attitude, he does everything from his workshop in St. Louis, Missouri, to paint, powder-coating and upholstery. So aside from some part-time help from his son, it’s mostly a solo gig.
Slipstream’s portfolio is loaded with small-capacity vintage Hondas that have been pared-down, tastefully tweaked and finished in striking liveries. It was one of those builds that caught the eye of the owner of a 1974-model Honda CB360 (a CL350), and prompted James to reach out.
“He started the journey of building his own custom bike,” James tells us. “But like many of us, a lack of time, tools and experience caused the project to stall. That’s when they reached out to us to help realise their vision.
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The bike arrived in pieces, separated into a collection of boxes and bins. The first step is to stock a mix of original and aftermarket parts. When it was over, the boys rolled up their sleeves and dove inside.
With the Honda stripped, Slipstream focused on cleaning the frame. Unnecessary tabs were shaved off and a custom subframe was fabricated with a flush-mounted taillight and turn signal combo LED.
A custom-made seat is placed on top, with a slim electronics tray underneath. This CB also favours a fender-less back-end look, but not at the expense of practicality. Look closely, and you’ll spot a hidden internal fender mounted to keep dirt out of the pod filters.
The OEM fuel tank still works and looks right at home with Slipstream’s other modifications. A small front fender completes the minimal body work.
Slipstream builds often straddle the line between custom and restomod, and this one is no exception. Part of that charm is how well James combines old and new parts.
In this case, the Honda still wears its original forks, but they have been rebuilt. The rear shocks look vintage, but they are modern units with preload and damping adjustments. And while the original steel rims have been swapped out for 18″ aluminium hoops, they’re still attached to the original drum brake hubs.
“We usually swap out the front drum brakes for more modern hydraulic disc systems,” explains James. “But the original front drum brake adds a bit of retro flavour to an otherwise slick, more modern finish.”
Moving to the front, Slipstream mounted a conventional headlight, flanked via way of means of a couple of Motogadget LED flip signals. They are Analog Speedo, Biltwell Inc. Added new bars and modern switchgear with grips.
Just two buttons control all the important functions of the CB, thanks to the NWT Cycletronic control unit. There’s also an updated regulator/rectifier, lithium-ion battery and electronic ignition from Charlie’s Place, along with a brand new wiring harness.
The Honda’s motor has undergone a major clean-up and repaint and runs with rebuilt Keihin carbs. Slipstream covered the inventory exhaust headers with satin black Cerakote and delivered a couple of stainless-steel opposite cone mufflers. Since they run close to the bike, the side and centre stands had to be modified to accommodate.
When it came time to paint the bike, James sent the client more colour and graphics options. But in the end, he was so enamoured with Slipstreams’ old CL350 build that he wanted the same thrill.
James painted the frame white and hit the tank with a red, orange and yellow livery. The tank logos are variations on Honda’s traditional ‘wing’ logo. A diffused trace of coloured sewing at the seat provides a further touch.
Slipstream’s humble CB360 take is a fun mash-up of old and new and a great example of how to tweak a classic Honda twin. James is already hard at work on the next two bikes; A CL360, and a Suzuki VanVan with 14” rims and fat tires.
We can’t wait.