1973 HONDA CL450 "DESERT SLED"
1973 HONDA CL450 "DESERT SLED"
This is like the text stuff about the bike. King of the North.
Always having a penchant for vintage desert racing and a fan of On Any Sunday, Jason decided that he wanted to build a sled that could hang with Triumph's and BSA currently running in the Hell on Wheels Race. His good friend and pal Brett Houle (I&A Magazine Founder) just somehow had to be convinced to go pickup the CL450 Jason had just found on Craiglist.
Fast forward 8 months after the bike showed up and Jason and Big Will, finally tore into it building the bike from the ground up in only two weeks.
A large emphasis was put on asethetic of the bike, it had to be legit, but even more was put into the setup of the bike. They did their best to keep the parts period knowing that the Gods of Speed were watching ticking the boxes...
"There's a certain style a Desert Sled has." Says Jason. "It's got the be stripped down and bare, everything has to go to make room for the extra essentials you need like your tools, a tow rope and a flask of Whiskey."
The frame was modified to accept a rear loop where one of Kim Boyles hand-made taillights was frenched into the tubing with a hand-made aluminum fender sliding through it supporting the replica Bates seat that was made in-house.
Extra weight is put on fast with these bikes so the skid-plate and as many other items were hand fabricated out of aluminum. The goal was to take a Benelli tank and replicate it making it a bit bigger (fuel capacity = race wins on sleds.) From there the side panels were hand hammered with vents to aid the K&N filters ensuring they were taking in as much air as possible.
The foot controls were custom built to bring the riding position up a tad more and the addition of Moto-X style foot pegs help with keeping your Redwings planted while ripping a wheelie or getting in the air.
At the front and rear sit Excel shouldered aluminum rims laced up with new stainless spokes from Buchannan's to the original Honda CL hubs. The rear swing-arm was modified too, in order to accept a set of Progressive Suspension 970's to keep things planted in the right place on the dirt.
Up front, custom pre-load adjusters and Progressive springs set inside of CB750 DOHC forks (give the bike a 2" lift up front to match the 15.5" 970 Series shocks) And the fork-brace, a one-off piece utilizing the missing dual front rotor mounting points keeps everything in place. To say she's rigid up front is an understatement.
The bars are hand-made in house with the gauge coming from Dime City Cycles (along with basically everything else on the bike that wasn't made by hand) the controls are Tomaselli re-pops with Oury dirt grips to keep the riders hands stuck to the bars.
In addition, there's a host of other engine upgrades and other unique pieces. Full details and specifications can be seen below.
Base Bike - 1973 Honda CL450
Mileage - 500 Miles
Engine - Bored to 505cc, Megacycle Cams, portmatched intakes, backcut transmission gears, full engine rebuild w/ Mikuni VM34 carburetors and K&N filters
Bodywork - Hand-made aluminum Benelli Mojave replica tank in collaboration with Frankie Bowman, Hand-made Bates replica seat
Frame & Swingarm - Modified stock w/ HEIM joint stays for braking system
Electronics - New custom harness, Kim Boyle rear taillight, Anti-gravity battery, Dyna coils, Ricks Electric H/O stator, regulator rectifier, standard key style ignition, 2.5" mini electronic tach, Bates style 5" triple tree mounted headlight
Hand and Foot controls - Tomaselli replica controls with Motion Pro cables. Oury grips and DCC bar-ends, hand-made moto-X style foot pegs, mounts and custom shifter
Wheels & Tires - Excel shouldered aluminum front and rear with Continental KTC80 tires
Brakes - Standard CL drum brakes match fitted with EBC sintered shoes
Suspension - Progressive 970 rear dampers, Progressive front springs with hand-mad pre-load adjusters