Saturday, May 19, 2007

Bringing the bike home

This journal is about the bike I plan to ride in the fall 2007 Crud Run. Given to my by the father of a friend, this Honda CL350 is a beautiful example of engineering and design prevalent in 1970's Japanese motorcycles. Today Jacy and I picked up the bike from his parents house and trucked it back to my house in Beaver Dam.

This bike hasn't run for years, I'd guess at least 10 years if not more. At one point Jacy began to get it back in shape (which you can see as the carburetors and exhaust have been removed) so when I picked up the bike it came with a nice kettle of parts to go along with it. Not quite a true "basket case", but a good beginning nonetheless.

I'm still evaluating the bike and deciding where to start. With a project like this, there's almost no "wrong" place to go to work first but if you spend some time thinking about it you can save yourself some trouble down the road by avoiding "re-work". Since the exhaust seems to be in the worst shape (the mufflers in particular, the headers don't look too bad...yet) one of the first things I'll need to do is look into tracking down replacements or alternatives and do some cost comparisons to see what makes the most sense.

Since my goal here is to ride the bike in the fall 'run, I'm willing to compromise when it comes to restoring the bike to "stock". Ideally I'd like to keep the bike as original as possible, to preserve its charm but I don't expect to have a numbers-matching museum piece when I'm done.

Another obvious area is the fuel system, first off because one of the most common dangers of an old bike like this is rust in the tank but also because most of the fuel system components have already been removed which is half the work. With a bike that has sat as long as this one you can pretty much count on having to replace any rubber components so items like the fuel lines, etc. are something you should start shopping for immediately.