Archive for Two Wheeled Schenanigans

’72 Honda CB350 – Done

I think it’s finally finished.

The bike runs, is street legal and everything that should work does. I’m in the midst of replacing the front tire (overzealous effort at removing the old one punctured the inner tube and I’m waiting for the new one to arrive by mail).

1972 Honda CB350

I’m considering pulling the bike apart once more and actually fixing some of the dents/dings/scratches and maybe repainting the bike and frame, but truthfully that must be considered a “new” project, rather than a continuation of this one.

Suggestions, as always, are welcomed.

CB350 – Out and about

100km on the bike since it’s been back on the road. The bike runs well (once it was tuned up a bit), and it’s a hoot to ride around on.

1972 Honda CB350

There only seems to be the one remaining issue;

  • Sticky Transmission: When up or down shifting the lever has a tendancy to “stick”. I need to move sort of manually reset the lever by moving it a little bit up (or down) with my toe before I can properly shift again.

    The shifting was initially pretty rough, but has been getting better as it’s spent more time on the street.

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1972 CB350 – Ride Report

With a shiny new licence plate attached I could not resist the opportunity to take her for a ride around the block, followed by a few more laps.

Initial impressions are positive – the clutch problem has mostly worked itself out, if still a bit bumpy while letting it out in first (adjustment required).

The bike has some pep, feels light and nimble and was quite pleasant to ride. It’s noisy as hell compared to the Bonneville, an while I am not a fan of loud pipes I’ll admit that there is a nice throaty rumble to these ones.

Am looking forward to a real ride, but this has been a treat after 2 years of wrenching.

’72 Honda CB350 – Street Legal

778 Days.

When I started down this path the thought was that a project like this would give me a better understanding of how motorcycles work, give me some more confidence when wrenching on bikes I own and be a little fun into the bargain.

As such I’d justified the cost of this project as “tuition” rather than just a restoration/renewal.

1972 Honda CB350 K4

It’s been a long road but attaching the plates to the bike feels like a shift from “project” to “motorcycle” for the bike, and a step down the road from “motorcycle rider” to “motorcycle owner” for me.

’72 CB350 – Clutch Problems?

So – The bike is now running on both cylinders (a little fine tuning still required) I happily went to install the new chain and two things immediately became apparent.

1. The chain I ordered (530-93) is too short, leaving a full inch gap. New chain ordered 35 seconds later.

2. The clutch doesn’t seem to do anything.

I found #2 momentarily disturbing, but conventional wisdom on the old bike forum was to bump around on the new bike and let the clutch plates shake loose. I did, and they did.

1972 Honda CB350 K4

The CB350 is now insured, and merely awaits its safety inspection before I can plate it and give it a try running around the neighborhood properly.

1972 Honda CB350 K4

She does look pretty nifty in the photos, but up close her scars are visible. Can’t help but feel I have some more asthetic work to do when this administrivia is finished.

’72 Honda CB350 – 2015

It’s been just over two years since the CB350 came home with me. It’s been an education, and as the weather has improved to the point where I can spend more than 15 minutes at a time in my garage I thought I’d try and start the bike.

It’s a bit smokey, it’s only firing on the one cylinder, but it’s a definite start.

Let’s see if we can’t get her on the road this year.

Ontario – Year of Manufacture Plates

In Ontario your are allowed to plate “vintage” vehicles with licence plates made in the same year as your vehicle (yearly plates were manufactured in Ontario until 1973) under the “year of manufacture” program.

Obviously to do this you need to track down a plate made in the same year as your vehicle (reproductions are NOT acceptable), then make sure that the plate you’ve found isn’t already assigned to something (they provide a 1-800 number to call to verify that the plate is clean).

1972 Ontario Motorcycle Plate

There are a few outfits that specifically cater to people hunting for these plates and both seem to have favourable reviews on forums dealing with vintage cars and bikes.

You then have to send the plate(s) along with the fee for vanity plates ($261) to the ministry for inspection and approval. If approved they’ll send them back to you with some papers you need to bring with you to the MTO on your next visit.

The rest of the process is the same as for normal plates – safety inspection, government fees and the like.

I have not yet decided if I can justify the $261 expense for the plates, but I have ordered a ’72 plate anyway (worst case it can hang on the wall above the project whiteboard).

Honda ’72 CB350 K4 – One year later

It was just about a year ago that I took a leap and plunked down a few hundred dollars buying my (at the time) third motorcycle, a 1972 Honda CB350 K4. I had hoped that the acquisition of a “Project Bike” would deflect my interest in replacing my CBR250R with a larger bike.

That winter was ALOT more forgiving and I couldn’t help but to creep out to the garage fairly regularly even just to liberally spray everything with oil, or to turn the key and admire the glow from the instruments and headlight. As the weather improved I took more and more of her to pieces, surprising myself when those pieces went back together properly.

We now know the bike runs (a little rough granted), I’ve rebuilt the carbs, cleaned out the gas tank, replaced the front and rear brakes, tires and tubes, throttle, brake and clutch lines, gas lines and assorted relays, regulators, bulbs, dod-dads and thing-a-mahoosits. I’ve even changed the oil twice.

1972 Honda CB350 K4

The remaining to-do items on the whiteboard are largely asthetic – replacement mirrors, carb covers have been obtained where the pitting and rust was too much to overcome. The only vageuly mechanical items are the timing and reinstallation of the chain.

The garage now, at least, smells like a garage should. As soon as the weather improves I hope to get back on the CB350 (although our renos still compete for my time). I’ll be sure to scribble a bit about the headaches involved in getting her safetied and plated.

Triumph Bonneville – Horn Replacement

Well, I’d owned the Bonnie for an entire day before a Gas Company truck tried to change lanes through me. I did the usual frenetic combination of “I don’t want to die” things and even hit the horn to warn the driver (last item on the list) – the weak “Neep neep” that resulted, however effective, made me wince.

One of the first “upgrades” I did to the CBR250R was the horn, and for $15 it’s hard to get more bang for your buck.

So it was only natural the the first thing I changed on the Bonnie was replacing the stock horn with the Fiamm Freeway Blaster (although this time I just went down to Canadian Tire and bought one rather than waiting for the mail).

FIAMM Freeway Blaster Horn

I don’t buy that it is substantially louder than the stock horn, but the note is lower giving it a bit less of that “neep neep”, and while it’s a little bulkier than the stock version I think it’ll do. It is a “drop in” replacement, and does not require a relay or other upgrades.

Photos of the install after the cut.
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