Honda XL350 Grass Tracker

Honda XL350 Grass Tracker by Phil Little

Honda XL350 Grass Tracker by Phil Little

Have you ever seen those old Jawa speedway bikes? Laying over and flying through turns they're quite a distinctive sight. The bikes have been around since the 20s and sometime in the 70s some crazy adventurous Englishmen started running the rigid frame bikes over unimproved field tracks and soon realized suspension is a beautiful thing. The modified speedway bikes became known as grass trackers. Phil Little has two old Jawas and he used to race them on ice up in Minnesota, but Phil is a builder who has done some nice work before, like the CR-450 Clubman we previously featured and he's done it again with this Honda XL350 grass tracker.

Honda XL350 Grass Tracker by Phil Little

You can use this bike just like a Jawa but it has not only suspension, but a multiple speed transmission and a kick start, it seems push starts on ice don't work so well.

Phil says he found the English main frame and fuel tank hanging in the Minneapolis area shop of Merritt Cody, a 50s flat tracker. All other frame components were custom made for this project by his brother Ric Little. The center piece of the frame is the dual engine plates which were cut from 5/16” aluminum, polished and red anodized. The bike’s color matches the plates. The leading link forks were obtained from Bill Cody Racing. An XL350 Honda was chosen for power because it is vintage, reliable and produces sufficient power for the intended purpose going sideways on the ice.

Little has the molds for both fenders and the number plate if anyone is tempted to
build a similar mount, which for those of us in northern latitudes, might be neat project.

I really like the look of Phil's projects, very finished, very clean, they look like something anyone with the time and inclination could put together and he provides some of the hard to fabricate parts to make it even easier. Very nice!

Link: Phil Little Racing

Honda XL350 Grass Tracker by Phil Little


  1. todd says

    Great work! I loved the XL350 for what it was, it made for such a fun, useable bike. I often wish Honda would see fit to make something like it again (not so much plastic like the XR’s). This version looks like it was a joy to build and should create a ton of interest wherever it goes.


  2. says

    Lot of sliders with swingers were raced here in Oz in short-track events like the one at Ammaroo Park immortalized in the epic mo’sickle movie “Naturally Free”.

  3. Ramadancer says

    Phil has done again with this effort, what the CR-450 did for me a year ago. The 450 became what I would love to own and ride if a OHC 450 was in my stable. It sort of reminds me of what an old Superhawk would have looked like with a fairing, bump seat,.factory rear sets, and some color scheme.
    What really toots my horn about the Grass Tracker is it is a Honda, it looks like a serious speedway bike, but it’s begging for grass or dirt, in a lefty powerslide, engine ‘on the cam,’ with forks locked hard to right. Whaaaaaaa…
    And what about the modified leading link, Earls Type? front end with a single sided shock.
    Looks Masterful to me.

  4. says

    Rear wheel cover came in after a racer was seriously injured when his hand got jammed into the rear wheel of a bike in a crash.