Stella Feature Bike

Story by Adam Gaspic// Photos by Adam Gaspic
November 1 2012
Gasser Customs

Buy-and-sell Internet sites can be a wonderful resource when looking for a project – if you’re willing to wade through the crap. And then again, sometimes it’s the misaligned and decrepit that turns out to be the best buy, if you have a vision of what it can be and the determination to see the project through.

Take, for instance, this 1973 Honda CB350-Four found in barn-fresh condition, literally. The previous owner guessed that the little 350 had been relegated to the farthest reaches of the barn around 1977, and hadn’t moved since. It might have been the blown head gasket that put it there in the first place, or perhaps it was forgotten after a winter’s storage.

It was a sad existence for the little Honda: to be ridden for only four years and left to suffer mice and dustand 35 years of neglect.

Adam Gaspic of Gasser Customs stumbled upon this poor CB while surfing the Internet one evening. He saw through the bike’s sad state of layers of dust and the rims sitting on flat, rotten rubber, and knew that if the bike was given a second chance and some TLC, he could bring it back to life.

Having no idea what condition the engine was in, or what else it would take to resurrect the CB350 from its dilapidated condition, Adam took a chance and bought it. Now it was up to him to rescue this sad little Honda so that sunlight would once again reflect off its paint and pavement pass under its wheels.
The next step was a complete teardown that involved stripping the frame, and a complete engine disassembly resulting in a bucket full of nuts, bolts and various sundry parts. Detailed measurements ensued, and whatever measured out of spec was renewed or rebuilt. He updated the charging and ignition systems to current spec, at least most of it; he admits he’s a mechanical kind of guy, so instead of installing electronic ignition, he installed new point sets and a clear cover so he could watch them work.

Adam made a few of the parts in addition to buying some tricked-out pieces from the aftermarket, like the seat and the rearsets. Adam also used an old hot-rod trick of drilling holes to lighten some of the cases, and then proceeded to polish every exposed piece of aluminum, including fork lowers, upper triple tree, engine cases and wheel hubs. He even turned a corner of his shop into a paint booth and sprayed the paint himself.

A month later, this little jewel rolled out of the shop and onto the road for the first time in 35 years.

Adam, a Marlon Brando fan, named the bike Stella after the famous scene in A Streetcar Named Desire, and also as a tribute to Brando in The Wild One, where biker Brando personifies vintage cool.

I stumbled upon Stella at the CVMG National Swap Meet in Paris, Ontario. The bike was sharing a hall with a dozen or so Vincents, the weekend’s featured marque, and while those bikes were getting the attention they deserved, a constant crowd of onlookers stopped to check out Stella.
As a fitting reward for her escape from many years in captivity, she took home the first-place honours that weekend. Regardless of the Brando connection or the win at the Paris rally, we think Stella is pretty vintage cool as well.

Owner: Gasser Customs
Make: Honda
Model: CB350/Four
Builder: Gasser Customs
Time to Build: 4weeks
Name of bike: “Stella”


Builder: Gasser Customs
Displacement: 350 cc
Cases: Honda
Heads: Honda/Gasser Customs
Lower End: Honda
Carburetor: Keihin
Air Cleaner: K&N
Ignition: Honda/NGK
Exhaust: Mac 4-1


Builder: Honda
Type: 5-speed, constant-mesh
Case: Honda
Clutch: Wet, multi-plate
Primary Drive: Chain


Builder: Honda
Type: Semi-double cradle
Shocks: Progressive Suspension
Modifications: None
Front End  


Builder: Honda
Type: Telescopic fork
Triple Trees: Honda
Modifications: Gasser Customs drilled front rotor
Painting: Gasser Customs
Chroming: Polishing done by Gasser Customs
Restoration: Gasser Customs
Wheels Honda
Front Size: 3.00-18
Builder/Manufacturer: Bridgestone
Tire Make and Size: Spitfire 100/90-18
Rear Size: 3.50-18
Builder/Manufacturer: Bridgestone
Tire Make and Size: Spitfire 110/90-18
Gas Tank: Gasser Customs/Honda
Oil Tank: None
Fenders: Gasser Customs
Seat: Roc City Café
Handlebars: Clubman
Headlight: Honda
Taillight: Custom

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