1973 Honda CL350
Classics are classic for a reason. This 1973 Honda CL350 adheres to the clean lines and minimal aesthetic that make café racers one of the most beloved styles of custom motorcycles today. Resembling a café racer that Marvel’s Tony Stark would build himself, the bike has been dubbed JARVIS—an acronym for ‘Just A Rather Very Impressive Scoot’—by Jan’s son, Sean, and daughter-in-law, Kat. The acronym is entirely fitting for this stunning machine, which performs just as impressively as it looks.
While Jan’s second build falls into a separate classification of motorcycle than his first—the custom bobber called Purple Haze—key fundamentals of Jan’s signature build style became pronounced through the repetition of various characteristics within both motorcycles. These fundamentals consist of ingenuity, resourcefulness, a high attention to detail, an exhibition of multidisciplinary skills, a minimal aesthetic, and the ambiguous essence of ‘soul.’
Similar to Jan’s previous build, the design for JARVIS took shape with the purchase of a single part: a Benelli Mojave fuel tank. At the time, these tanks were highly sought after within the custom motorcycle community, so Jan was ecstatic when he was able to snag a damaged tank that was missing its cap for a reasonable price. He modified the tank to fit the 1973 CL350’s frame and machined a cap for it from billet aluminum. The result of this single modification inspired the decisions Jan made for the rest of the cycle.
Jan hand-formed the cowl to complement the curve of the fuel tank, giving the build a clean and sleek ‘swoop’ from the front of the tank to the tip of the cowl. However, JARVIS’s custom cowl serves a dual purpose. Jan saw an opportunity for the cowl to house the bike’s electrical components, which would add to the build’s desired minimal aesthetic, so he formed the cowl to additionally serve this purpose. The outcome is an electronics box that is not only easy on the eyes, but easy to open if need be.
The same ingenuity that was channeled in the design of JARVIS’s cowl was also present when Jan chose a headlight for the machine. In order to further pare back the number of parts seen in the build, he chose a 1960s Honda Scrambler 305 headlight which incorporates the speedometer, resulting in a more visually minimal front end.
Perhaps the most prevailing trait of Jan’s build style is the presence of elements that were fabricated by the man himself. In addition to the gas cap and cowl, Jan also fabricated JARVIS’s clip-on handlebars, exhaust pipes with heat shields, foot controls, foot pegs, and license plate mount. These custom components, which are not available for purchase anywhere, bring an essence of superb craftsmanship and unique flair to Jan’s motorcycles.
This craftsmanship and flair is further amplified by Jan’s intense attention to detail. Every aspect of the build is considered before being installed on the motorcycle. The exhaust pipes on JARVIS were sprayed with a clear paint that increasingly changes to a champagne color over time, matching accents elsewhere on the bike. The yellow heart wood of the hand grips was also chosen to best match the bike’s champagne accents. Even the rivets on the seat—which Jan fashioned from wheat pennies—were viewed as an opportunity for interesting detail-work.
One of the most intriguing details of the build is the tail light. Jan has always been a fan of old Chevies, so when he came across a tail light from a 1952 Chevrolet truck, he was determined to put it on the bike. He modified it to fit and installed the blue accent in the center of the light, giving it a dash of his own flair.
JARVIS was originally built to sell, but Jan fell in love with the machine after a couple of extensive test rides—and it’s easy to see why. Although the engine has been completely rebuilt and all components but the frame, engine, wheels, and front forks have been either removed or replaced, JARVIS still retains its own individual spirit largely due to its unique components and interesting details.
- 1973 Honda CL350
- Stock 5-speed
- Air Filters
- Foam air filter pods
- Custom megaphone exhaust pipes and heat shields by Jan Sallings
- Electric & Kick
- Detabbed and smoothed stock frame
- Custom rear hoop fabricated by Jan Sallings
- Front Suspension
- Rear Suspension
- RFY nitrogen shocks
- Front Wheel
- Hub machined to house perforated metal inserts
- Rear Wheel
- Front Tire
- Bridgestone Spitfire
- Rear Tire
- Bridgestone Spitfire
- Front Brake
- Stock drum brake
- Rear Brake
- Stock drum brake
- 1960 Honda Scrambler 305 headlight
- Modified 1952 Chevy taillight
- Fuel Tank
- Benelli Mojave fuel tank modified to fit frame
- Custom machined aluminum gas cap by Jan Sallings
- Custom horsehide seat cushion
- Custom seat cowl fabricated by Jan Sallings
- Custom clip-on handlebars fabricated by Jan Sallings
- Hand Controls
- Custom yellowheart wood hand grips
- Foot Pegs
- Custom knurled and dimpled foot pegs fabricated by Jan Sallings
- Foot Controls
- Custom rear sets fabricated by Jan Sallings
Big thanks to
- Whitworx Fine Metal Finishing, LLC
- All chrome and polished metal components.
- Floyd Hilton
- Custom seat upholstery.
- Mark Pulsifier
- Mark Partain
- Custom yellowheart wooden hand grips.