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Old 10-28-2012, 10:47 AM   #1
Randi OP
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Wink The Ballad of Jane Honda: A vintage rebuild

For a year now there have been Craigslist wars going on in my house, me looking up vintage Hondas, and my husband insisting that they are a horrible first motorcycle and telling me to go with his first bike - a Ninja 250. Either that man really loves me, or he figures I'll never come around because we got my vintage Honda.... in cardboard boxes. Today marks day one of this rebuild which, coincidentally, is also my first rebuild ever. I thought I'd throw it up here for others to see/critique/advise.


Here she is on the back of the truck coming home. Jane is a 1973 CL 350 and in pretty good shape, just disassembled. Aside from being a bit rusty and in pieces, she's a solid bike.


First order of business was to lay out all of her pieces on the operating table. She did have a lot of extras (unless I am missing something and she's actually a semi truck that needs 47 blinkers) so I sorted through and picked out the most viable parts and threw the others into the "box of shame."


Some are extra, some aren't really hers. I'll save a few of her extras in case I lay her over and need some replacement parts, they rest will probably go in the Frankenbike heap in the corner of the shop.


Tank and side covers will be repainted. I haven't decided yet if they will be harvest gold (like my first motorcycle was) with black accents, or if we'll give her an OD green base with cream and black accent. There is a great upholstery place down the street that I'm going to have quote a recover, otherwise I'll do it myself. Engine seems sound, although we haven't gotten into it too much. I have to cut some new gaskets because the ones she had were shot.


The frame is being powder coated black and what chrome I can't clean up with a wire brush and some steel wool will be sent out for a more professional refinish. Most of the small pieces cleaned up really well with just a bit of elbow grease. Luckily I have the patience to sit for 5 hours buffing chrome- and a heated parts washer. If anyone has advice on cleaning up rusty chrome I'd love to hear it. Most is superficial- the only part too rusty to salvage because of horrible pitting were the front forks, but the previous owner bought replacement triple trees (notorious for busting on 70's Hondas) from an '80's CM400 that fit great so I've also grabbed a set of forks for an '81 CM400 for $14 on Ebay. Worth a shot and if they are junk I'm only out the cost of a couple of bombers of beer.

Stay tuned. She'll be coming together this winter and hopefully chasing around all of you this spring!
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Old 10-28-2012, 11:09 AM   #2
SportsGuy
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Awesome Randi! Congrats and best of luck! :)

You could use those extra marker lights for "conspicuity lighting". ;) I could see one on the tip of the front fender, one each at the end of the handlbars, a couple on top of the rear shock mounts...and you'd have enough left over to string a few under the bike for that cool "street cred" look that's still hangin' on...

My vote for paint is the classic white with blue & red accents. Classic Honda, clean looking at darn near period correct.



Regardless - have fun. :)
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Old 10-28-2012, 11:11 AM   #3
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What does Dillon know about bikes?









Congrats on the bike Randi.
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Old 10-28-2012, 11:16 AM   #4
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I vote paint it like your first bike.
Either way, it looks like a great project and the perfect time of year to start one.
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Old 10-28-2012, 11:52 AM   #5
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Here's a seat cover on ebay in case you want to throw it on yourself. Pretty cheap too.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/HONDA-CL-350-1968-1973-Motorcycle-Seat-Cover-/220758064709?pt=Motorcycles_Parts_Accessories&vxp=mtr&hash=item336634be45

Good luck with the project. -Ed
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Old 10-28-2012, 11:53 AM   #6
Randi OP
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Originally Posted by Live2Ride View Post
What does Dillon know about bikes?



Congrats on the bike Randi.

Not much, and what he does know he learned the hard way, like hitting a guard rail at 70 mph makes a Ninja 250 fit in the back of a Korean hatchback.
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Old 10-28-2012, 11:54 AM   #7
Randi OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woodsrider-boyd View Post
Here's a seat cover on ebay in case you want to throw it on yourself. Pretty cheap too.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/HONDA-CL-350-1968-1973-Motorcycle-Seat-Cover-/220758064709?pt=Motorcycles_Parts_Accessories&vxp=mtr&hash=item336634be45

Good luck with the project. -Ed
Awesome! Thanks Ed.
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Old 10-28-2012, 12:33 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Randi View Post
She did have a lot of extras (unless I am missing something and she's actually a semi truck that needs 47 blinkers)



Great winter project.
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Old 10-28-2012, 12:50 PM   #9
Live2Ride
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Originally Posted by Randi View Post
Not much, and what he does know he learned the hard way, like hitting a guard rail at 70 mph makes a Ninja 250 fit in the back of a Korean hatchback.
And he wanted you to get a ninja? Hmmmm.
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Old 10-28-2012, 02:26 PM   #10
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Congratulations on the cool "new" bike. I can't wait to see the finished project. When you get ready to take that first (or maybe second) run if you would like I'll pull my vintage 400 out and accompany you.

My vote on the paint is to paint it any color YOU want. Good job on not allowing Dillon to make your bike choice for you.

Dillon, Don't you know trying to make someone elses bike decission will get you into trouble every time. Just because a Ninja got you excited doesn't mean that will be the best bike for someone else. Too many guys ruin their favorite gal to riding by try to tell them what they should want to ride. My first thought when you told me Randi wanted a vintage Honda was that a modern bike would be better for getting the feel for riding because they are just easier. Then I realized I learned to ride on a vintage bike, although at the time it was a modern bike.

I'm looking forward to this build. Randi, good for you with getting in there and going for it.

Ladybug0048 screwed with this post 10-28-2012 at 05:07 PM
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Old 10-28-2012, 02:33 PM   #11
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You're gonna need a lot more coffee.
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Old 10-28-2012, 06:23 PM   #12
WU7X
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Congrats Randi! Looks like a wonderful project. BTW, Dillon can be had for cheep; keep some good German beer iced in the frig and he will be dough in your hands. think you probably knew that already.

Actually, Dillon is a great wrench. He did an incredible job helping me get Fiona back on the road. You have a great team between you, Dillon, and your father-in-law.
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Old 10-28-2012, 09:06 PM   #13
Randi OP
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You should come over sometime and check her out, Dale. I'll even save the princess chair for you so you have a place to sit and watch.
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Old 10-28-2012, 10:53 PM   #14
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What a great project!

I'm sure I have some parts lying around that might be helpful to you, don't be shy about asking!

Also, this place has some very good prices on a surprising number of old Honda parts like carb rebuild kits, gasket kits, cables, etc. The pistons and a bunch of other stuff I bought from them got us across the finish line in Baja this year:

http://www.siriusconinc.com/

Don't forget, that your CL350 is basically a CB350 with some cosmetic differences. So when searching for parts on ebay or wherever, be sure to also look at CB350 parts.

Get friendly with an online Honda parts fiche, like this one:

http://www.hondapartshouse.com/home....FaN_QgodjgEAxg

The one at bikebandit creates their own part number whereas others give you the actual Honda part number. Which makes it easier to search for the right part at the best price. I would also get my best internet price and then see if the local dealer would match, more often than not, if they could get the part, they would.

And this is the nectar of the god's for taking care of rust:






Have fun! I look forward to reading about your progress!

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Old 10-29-2012, 02:01 AM   #15
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This project should keep the winter blues at bay.

Subscribed!

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