Focusing on the Finer Details
To me, it’s always great meeting younger people that are interested in building custom motorcycles. It’s even better when they build something truly impressive. On his own time and in his own garage, Andrew Frederick slowly put together this meticulous 1973 Honda CB350G that he calls “Princess”, simply because it requires a great deal of love and attention. This was his first true custom build and took roughly seventeen months to finish—hence the number seventeen on the tail.
Andrew grew up racing motocross, progressing from a Honda CR80 big wheel to a Yamaha YZ125. Later, he became interested in super bikes and eventually developed an appreciation for older bikes. His story about acquiring a box of dusty parts is probably relatable to many who have ever started from scratch.
“A friend had a Suzuki GT250, and I was helping him polish some aluminum pieces. He told me about a project that I would be interested in that was in ‘perfect condition.’ All I had to do was come by tomorrow with $100, and it was mine,” he mentioned. “So I swing by the next day, and we go to his friend’s house. It’s all in boxes and bins in poor condition for the most part, but for $100 I couldn’t pass it up. I took it all home and sat on it for a little while to think of some ideas. There really was no rough sketches or anything. I just got started with the motor, and it went from there. After polishing all of the cases, I put in a new piston and rings, ported and polished the exhaust ports, had the head decked, and adjusted the carburetor.”
That was just the start. To accomplish perfect measurements, Andrew built the bike using the Golden Mean—a mathematical equation often used by architects. This helped avoid the tank or tail sitting too high and created the perfect height. The tail is in proportion to the tank, and the seat is in proportion to the tail.
Both rims were completely despoked and polished, as well as new chrome all around. The wiring harness was built from scratch to reduce clutter and any excess wires. Andrew went over the entire frame, smoothing over all of the welds. A solid pan was added underneath the subframe to work as the rear fender, along with a ram air duct for the regulator-rectifier cooling.
The fuel tank was moved forward to get rid of the void near the neck. This adjustment also helped the custom-made lambskin seat and fiberglass tail fit seamlessly against the tank.
So, why seafoam green? He explains, “On such a small object, I think you should have bright colors. I wanted something that pops or sticks out. I believe that when building a bike, you should have three primary colors. I chose seafoam green as the predominant color and used 24K gold leaf for the decals and the brown on the frame as the two complimentary colors.”
Some additional custom parts were the adjustable rear set brackets. Andrew made these with different labeled holes in order to change positioning. The rear brake light was formed out of a mold, casted in acrylic, and then fitted flush into the tail section. A 3D printer was used for small details such as the rear shock caps and accents on the top of the front forks. The decals were made by Andrew, while the paint was done by his father, Brian.
After all of the work and effort, Andrew’s Honda CB350 cafe racer was a huge success with features in Cafe Racer Magazine, Thunder Roads Magazine, and more. It has been displayed and won awards at different bike shows around the region, including first place in Cleveland at the International Motorcycle Show and second place in Chicago at the National Championship for Progressive’s Ultimate Biker Build off. If you want to check it out yourself, catch it as part of the Fuel Cleveland custom builder show in late July. You won’t miss it. Just look for the only seafoam green bike there.