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Discussion Starter #1
Hi All. Really enjoying the forums here. I thought I would document my ‘71 CL175 project here to keep myself motivated and on task so here goes!

I bought this little scoot close to 20 years ago at a little local MC swap meet. I got it running without much fuss and rolled around the neighborhood on occasion. Home and hot rod projects (among other things) came and went with the little bike tucked in the corner.

We sold our house in the city and moved out to the country. Finally a little room to spread out! I got the bike running again (not well) soon after we moved (about 7 years ago) and then stuck it in the barn while other projects took precedent but always thinking about turning the little guy into a flat tracker. As a child of the 70’s I was/am of course a huge fan of Evel Knievel and his XR750s. I’ll never be able to afford one of those so I thought I’d make the working man’s version instead.

I live near Topeka, Kansas. A few years ago the local Harley Davidson dealer opened up the E.K. Museum. My wife took me for a surprise trip for my birthday in the fall and the hook was set! I pulled the CL out of the barn and into the shop.
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Lot's of racing in the KS / OK region! She's a touch over sized for mad dog but I'm thinking they'd probably give you a pass. ;)

If you're looking for inspiration check out a short film called "Fast and Left" by Evan Senn, he's from Kansas to

That said, you have what appears to be a pretty complete bike there. It's yours and you certainly have every right to do as you please with it, but less complete donors are readily available. Honda may have made a million of these things but there are fewer left every year. One day such a complete example is going to be rare. You might be able to swap it for a better candidate for a tracker and still "save" it even if you don't want a resto. win/win! :cool:
 

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Discussion Starter #3
A quick hose down and into the shop she goes.
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I bought this old Champion Glass seat/fender several years ago. After pulling the original seat I set it on for a look. My intention is to not do anything to the bike that can’t be reversed down the road. I’m carefully removing everything that doesn’t look like a dirt tracker to me. This bike was wrecked at some point so the forks are tweaked, tank is dented, turn signals broken. The usual stuff.
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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Lot's of racing in the KS / OK region! She's a touch over sized for mad dog but I'm thinking they'd probably give you a pass. ;)

If you're looking for inspiration check out a short film called "Fast and Left" by Evan Senn, he's from Kansas to

That said, you have what appears to be a pretty complete bike there. It's yours and you certainly have every right to do as you please with it, but less complete donors are readily available. Honda may have made a million of these things but there are fewer left every year. One day such a complete example is going to be rare. You might be able to swap it for a better candidate for a tracker and still "save" it even if you don't want a resto. win/win! :cool:
Thanks for the tip on the movie. I’ll look into it! Of course “On Any Sunday” made quite an impression on me as a wee lad. Seeing Mert rip around on his XR ruined me for life (as I’m sure many can relate!)

I did hesitate to post this as I feared some backlash for “chopping” it up. I haven’t been around this site long enough to know whether that is taboo or not? I am big into the traditional/period correct hot rod world and I feared I might be looked at as the guy trying to build the “gasser” though I’m kind of getting the impression that the “café racer” is the equivalent to that? No offense to anyone and correct me if I’m wrong on that?!

Anyway, if this is not kosher here I will just sit back and read rather than post my project? I don’t want to ruffle any feathers.
 

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We appreciate all forms and variants, although individually some prefer relatively non-molested versions.....
It is your bike...If you like how it looks and rides, we are generally fine with it (except concerning safe vs unsafe modifications)....;):D
 

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Anyway, if this is not kosher here I will just sit back and read rather than post my project? I don’t want to ruffle any feathers.

Hey, Like I said before, it's yours! I was looking at it more from the standpoint of what it's worth compared to a more suitable (maybe a tad larger bullet) donor. I certainly appreciate originals, but I don't have the patience for intricate restoration. Have at it! ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
These two Champion framed bikes have the same seat/tail that I have. I am shooting for this look proportionally though I think the swingarms may be a little longer on the Champion frames?
*(Hopefully it’s not against the rules to post non-Honda examples???)
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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
More strip down and clean up. Close to 50 years of grime on this little guy. I am not going for a restoration here (obviously :)) and I am a fan of keeping things looking old for the most part so I will be doing my best just to touch up here and there and clean up the original finishes.
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Not sure why these post sideways sometimes? Anyway, like I said this bike was wrecked at some point. Mashed tank, bent forks/ headlight etc. I bought replacement forks years ago to mix and match.
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Not sure why these post sideways sometimes?
This might help explain picture orientation
 

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Discussion Starter #10
This might help explain picture orientation
Ah! Ok thank you sir!
 

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I doubt it's magic... :) part of it is the orientation of your camera - if it's a phone like most of us today because they take such good pictures now, the angle you're holding it has everything to do with how it displays, as well as (of course) portrait vs landscape. Obviously I don't know if you're using the computer version of the website or the mobile version, but I always transfer my pictures from my phone to my computer and upload to the site from my computer as that is how I access the site. That allows me to see what orientation the picture is in from the phone camera to the desktop, and I rotate or correct as needed before uploading
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I doubt it's magic... :) part of it is the orientation of your camera - if it's a phone like most of us today because they take such good pictures now, the angle you're holding it has everything to do with how it displays, as well as (of course) portrait vs landscape. Obviously I don't know if you're using the computer version of the website or the mobile version, but I always transfer my pictures from my phone to my computer and upload to the site from my computer as that is how I access the site. That allows me to see what orientation the picture is in from the phone camera to the desktop, and I rotate or correct as needed before uploading
I am viewing from a phone or iPad usually. We live out in the stix with no internet really so the desktop doesn't get used much anymore.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Here it is welded to the frame.
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I made some gussets to put in in the correct orientation. Like I said earlier, I’m doing my best to keep the original frame intact. Though it looks a little weird I will not be cutting the frame at all in case it ever needs to go back to stock.
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Discussion Starter #16
I got some new tires.
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A friend of mine in town has a tire machine and helped me get them mounted up. I also mocked up a cardboard number plate for that racy look and to hide all the disconnected wires that were in the headlight. The starter button will remain in use

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So are you using that tank or the other one? You know, in the period this would have been in, it was pretty common to put those indents in the tank on purpose.
Either cutting the corners out. Flipping and welding them back as concave corners or simply judiciously applying a ball peen hammer to achieve the desired shape to provide clearance if needed.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
So are you using that tank or the other one? You know, in the period this would have been in, it was pretty common to put those indents in the tank on purpose.
Either cutting the corners out. Flipping and welding them back as concave corners or simply judiciously applying a ball peen hammer to achieve the desired shape to provide clearance if needed.
I have seen tanks “coved” like that for clearance. This one got “crashed” when the fork stops went through the chincy frame stops, ha!
These pics are just early on as I was trying to decide what to do as far as the tank was concerned. I tried to talk myself into using it as this was not intended to be a full blown project. The stock tank is just too big to achieve the look for which I am going. I have actually purchased a ‘74 XL tank as it is a much better size.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I whipped up a number plate in ally with my bead roller.
A543969B-04EE-4513-A68D-554234572F37.jpeg


Not perfect but t’will do for now.
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I pulled the forks apart for a clean up and rebuild. The seals I ordered through my Honda dealer. I wanted/ needed to switch from gators to dust caps because mine were beat and also wouldn’t fit with the 3.50 tire. I had a helluva time finding something that would fit. I ended up with some off a Kawasaki as they were the closest thing I could find.
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Discussion Starter #20
Here is the ‘74(?) tank I picked up just sitting in place. I’ve been working on a house project so not much progress on the CL (or XR175 as I am starting to refer to it as.)

I need to clean the tank out so I can make a few tunnel mods. The petcock needs to move over a bit for the tank to sit down over the spine. I think I will just add a plate to lower the coil and adapt the front tank mounts to the frame.
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