The gas tank was a CB350 - 4 unit. It was a perfect fit and with the emblems and graphics removed its neat racer styling and subtle knee indents became apparent. An oil cooler adapter was fabricated by heli-arcing aluminum plugs to the old filter cover. Holes were drilled and tapped andthe appropriate passages plugged. The oil cooler was mounted in place of the electric starter. I rarely used the awkward forward thrust kick-starter as I knew from experience that it was prone to crack the engine side cover. In practice I found it very exciting and racy to yank the leather thong-connected red rubber balls from the velocity stacks, stuff them in my jacket and then run and bump start the bike in true period racer form.
The Super Hawk Cafe project was completed in the spring of 1975. The bike performed flawlessly from the start. It was extremely reliable and not a single component failed during the time that I owned it. The silver Cafe racer was my sole transport as I attended classes at the University. The route I took daily affirmed the legendary Super Hawk handling and power characteristics, and it instilled in me a sense of confidence on a bike which I have not known since.
I can't recall exactly why I began to think about selling the cafe, but at some point it seemed like the thing to do. We had a splendid run together and my family and career was becoming more important to me daily. The decision was made in the fall of 1975 and the price was set at $600. In retrospect that must have been a lot of money for a decade old bike that cost not much more than that new. I began to feel that maybe I had made a mistake when the first perspective buyer, almost without discussion, reached for his wallet and handed me six big ones. I knew then that I had made a dreadful mistake, as I watched him pull the red rubber balls from the velocity stacks, stuff them in his leather jacket, don his helmet, and run and bump the Super Hawk Cafe to life. At that moment my heart sank as I realized that the many good times we had together were over.
You can read all 34 entires of Diary of a Cafe Racer at From Minnesota Motorycle Monthly.