Vintage Scrambler Soon to Turn Roadracer

Arroyo Seco Motorcyclist Association has recently introduced a vintage class to the race schedule. Any bike at least 10 years old qualifies for the class. We are currently in the process of setting up my 1972 Honda CL 450 to run in this class.


This bike was my first streetbike, and my first real restoration project. I was in college when I was learning to ride, and didn’t have much money to spend on a first streetbike. I purchased the CL from a guy who had begun to restore the bike, but had too many car projects that he needed to focus on. The bike was completely disassembled and in boxes, and I purchased it for $100. Over the next year I learned all about the engine as we put the bike together.

Zac welded the seat pan back together, and we painted it and installed new foam. I then used the old, dilapidated original seat as a template, made a pattern out of newspaper, and sewed a new seat cover out of vinyl. The CL was also Zac’s first attempt at painting bodywork for real. We chose a nice emerald green metal-flake color. I then stripped the old, flaking paint off of the side cover emblems and re-painted them by hand. I could never get rid of the bike, even after we had acquired newer bikes, since we had put so much time into it putting it together.

The CL hasn’t been registered for street use for a few years, since it doesn’t pass today’s emission standards. So it has been sitting in the garage, waiting for us to make the time to work on it. But now that Arroyo is running a vintage class, it has a new roadracing future destined for it. We just have a few modifications to make before it will be track-worthy. The internal sliders of the forks were never in that great of condition, so we have new ones on the way.

We are also sending the front wheel off to Vintage Brake to have the drum of the front brake turned and better brake shoes installed. We’ll then do all of the safety wiring of the engine and remove the mirrors, turn signals, headlight, taillight, and centerstand. Add to that some new race tires and it will be ready for the track. I’m planning on running the bike in its full scrambler trim, with the high dirt scrambler handlebars and the high-mount exhaust. I’m really looking forward to running the CL in the Arroyo vintage class. It won’t be the most competitive bike in the class (especially against ’93 GSXR 750s), but it will be one of the bikes with the most style.


We’re projecting having the bike ready to run at the June Arroyo race. In 2016 we will be adding a few AHRMA races to our race schedule. I’m planning to race the MZ in the Supermono class, and Zac will run the CL in the Historic Production Lightweight class.