Tag Archives: honda CB350

Fleet of Honda 350’s

Picture 19I can’t help myself. There must be some sort of genetic defect in my DNA that makes me love Honda 350’s. But, I can take solace in knowing that I am not the only one. The Honda 350 is the best selling motorcycle of all time. I think? I hope? I really don’t want to be the only one with this incurable disease.

I have 4 1/2 Honda 350’s in my barn. Two run, one doesn’t (its the parts mule), and the other one and a half is in a bunch of boxes and parts hanging from the ceiling to be put back together sometime soon?

On ebay this morning I found a small group of 350’s that all need some love but could turn into a couple, a couple, of very cool bikes.Picture 17

First, the bike above is not in the collection, it’s just what you could maybe build out of what’s there…

There is a CL77 (305 Scrambler) in the batch which is really quite nice. Most of these bikes are destined to become parts bikes however, but that’s OK, those of us into this sort of thing need a good stock of parts bikes…and an understanding wife or a very separate (as in another town) industrial / storage space.

The Honda 350 is one of those things in life that does ‘everything good and nothing great’. It gets you around town, it can handle freeway speeds (kind of…??) its headlight is as good as a Boy Scout flashlight in a dust storm, The alternator is as weak as can be so you need to always ride the bike at at least 3,000 RPM just to keep the battery up to snuff (if you’re really serious about these bikes you upgrade the alternator). When it’s hard to start chances are it is the battery, buy a ‘Battery Tender’ and keep it hooked up.

Despite its little flaws, the Honda 350 is still the perfect motorcycle. It is the Labrador Retriever of the motorcycle world, always there when you need it, willing to do whatever you ask of it.

Picture 22Click on the pics below for more info and pictures. There are a couple of real gems in this bunch.

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Picture 12Honda 350 fleet

1977 Kawasaki KZ400A-Deluxe

Picture 16In 1978 Cycle Guide magazine editor Paul Dean was asked, what is the most boring motorcycle out there? Without one bit of hesitation “The Kawasaki KZ400.” This was for an article to be written by Rich Taylor on how to take an ‘Everybike’ and make it more. Well, there was no more an ‘Everybike’ than the little Kawasaki.

A quick bit of history here, Kawasaki made their reputation on building the fastest two stroke motorcycles you could buy, I should know, I had their fastest, the “Evil, Wicked, Mean and Nasty” H2 750. Then Kawasaki went into the four stroke business with the mighty Z1 900. The Z1 was a huge success so Kawasaki jumped headlong into building four stokes. One of the first was the KZ400 twin. Now, Kawasaki was smart, they had the Hi-Performance market, what they didn’t have was the commuter market, Honda owned that one with the CB350. The day to day rider needed an economical, reliable, easy to ride, easy to maintain good piece of basic transportation.Picture 18

The KZ400 was marketed by Kawasaki as a good, fuel efficient means of transportation. They were right. As a matter of fact, during it’s run, the KZ 400 outsold the Honda 350/360/400! Why? Well, it’s smooth running engine accounted for a lot of that, it was reliable, could do 75 mph all day long with no strain, got up to nearly 70 mpg. It had a modest price and modest performance (a whopping 36 HP…) and could actually do ‘The Ton’ (100 mph..my stock CB350 tops out at maybe (?) 90). What more could you ask for in a commuter bike. The other thing that made the little Kawacker so good was that for learners it was a great value. Most could buy one, ride it for a few months, get the itch for something bigger and faster and then sell it for almost what they paid for it! In 2003 the British magazine Classic Motorcycle Mechanic rated the KZ400 in the ‘TOP 40″ motorcycles of the 1970’s!!!

Kawasaki built the KZ’s from 1974 to 1984 with only a few changes. The first couple years there were oil leaks, carburetion issues, little hiccups here and there. In 1977 the little KZ got the needed redesign and a few upgrades. One of the best upgrades was the KZ400A Deluxe model. For just a few dollars more you got a fairing to keep the wind off of you, you got a nifty set of saddlebags and a nice rear rack. Absolutely perfect for the commuter…who, the bike was designed for.

I found on ebay this morning a really, I mean really nice, KZ400 Deluxe that is really ready to ride. It has been gone through top to bottom and front to back, 11K miles on the clock is nothing for this little bike. Honestly, this is a great bike for a commuter in an urban area and truthfully, it is a PERFECT solo tourer.

Picture 19Click on the pics below for more info and more pictures. This a really neat bike.

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Picture 241977 Kawasaki KZ400A-Deluxe

1971 Honda SL350

Picture 6The Honda SL350, an amazing motorcycle.

When I had reached the point of wanting to shoot my race bikes, a Bultaco Pursang and a Matador, right through the cylinder head I bought a Honda. A 1971 Honda SL350. Actually, I bought the Honda as a street bike that I could ride to and from school and work every day and know that I would get there, and home each day.

When the Pursang stranded me in the desert for the last time I decided the SL was my new racer of choice. I stripped it down to fighting weight and headed for the desert. The SL worked just great and never gave me a bit of trouble. It wasn’t the fastest or the best handling but it was good enough and I was happy as could be.Picture 7
I found a really nice SL on ebay this morning at a good price. It appears to be completely stock, which is a good thing, low miles and cosmetically beautiful. Hey, if you ca find an Sl model with a good set of stock mufflers BUY IT!!!.

It’s no secret that I love the Honda 350’s and so does most of the world ( it is the best selling motorcycle of all time) and the SL is my favorite. The double downtube frame, kickstart only, slide carbs instead of CV’s..it is a truly amazing motorcycle that can become almost anything. My newest SL is going to become a Cafe Racer. However, if you would like a really wonderful do anything motorbike this particular SL is a good deal. Click on the pics below for more more info and more pictures.

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Picture 51971 Honda Sl 350

1971 Honda SL350 custom

Picture 4Stop me if you have heard this one…I love Honda 350’s… I have four of them. A 1971 CL350,a 1970 CB350 (the one I bought for my dad to get him back into motorcycle riding after about 30 years), and two 1971 SL350’s (one of which is in the process of becoming a cafe racer project).
The Honda 350 is arguably the best selling motorcycle in the world and for good reason…it does everything really well. Reliable, easy to maintain, you can’t kill ’em and they are fun to ride. Also, they make a great platform for all kinds customization.

I started my racing career aboard (and a few times under) a Bultaco Matador, when the Bultaco became terminally ill I transformed my daily commuter SL350 into my new racebike. Strip everything off the bike, add a skid plate, knobbys, shorter lighter mufflers and go racing. It wasn’t as light as my ‘beloved'(?) Bultaco and it wasn’t as heavy as the Triumph ‘desert sled’ I had also raced so I guess it was the perfect ‘Goldilocks’ racebike.

The Sl Motosport models developed quite a following right from the start, I mean even ‘The Duke’ rode one!John Wayne SL350

I found a really well done customized (not brutalized like I did to mine) SL350 on ebay recently. The owner/seller has gone through the bike nut by nut and bolt by bolt but what I really like is the ‘scrambler’ style exhaust, really nice. The bike is pricey, thats probably why it has been listed a number of times. Is it worth what the seller is asking? In his mind, yes. To a buyer, maybe.

What I’m really hoping for is that this SL will come out as nice as the one on ebay now.CIMG3712
Click on the pics below for more info and pictures.

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Picture 51971 Honda SL 350 Custom