My free SL350!

Discussion in 'Old's Cool' started by Mr. Vintage, May 2, 2007.

  1. Mr. Vintage

    Mr. Vintage Family Dude

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2007
    Oddometer:
    867
    Location:
    The Palouse
    The other day I overheard a coworker trying to give away a motorcycle to one of the ladies at the front desk. Of course I perked up, and went running out and managed to score this surprisingly straight '72 SL350. For free! 6200 miles, manual is still under the seat, and short of the exhaust and side covers, complete (at least until I rode it and the tail light lense ejected somewhere). The PO had planned to rebuild the thing (not sure why - compression is good) so it also came with pistons, rings, gaskets, and a basket CB350 engine! I did a full tune up, flushed out the icky gas, and replaced the battery and plugs ($25 net investment) and it runs pretty well. The suspension actually works and has damping, which tells me it wasn't abused too much. Gotta dig magnesium engine covers, aluminum fenders, and the double-leading shoe front brake!

    My plan is an ultra low cost commuter/ADV bike - I need to rig up mufflers somehow, and I'll probably krylon the tank, headlight, and the ammo-box panniers I have planned. I should really buy tires if I'm going to ride it to work.

    And since this is my first post (been lurking), I live in the rolling hills of the Palouse in eastern WA, I'll be 34 next week, and also have a CB450 and a MT250 Elsinore. Come to think of it, I didn't pay for them either...

    [​IMG]
    Cheers!:freaky
    #1
  2. SCQTT

    SCQTT Zwei Kolben

    Joined:
    May 16, 2005
    Oddometer:
    5,462
    Location:
    Mike's Sky Rancho
    Neat bike. I had a CL350 for a little while. The SL is much cooler that the CL.
    #2
  3. bykpimp

    bykpimp Live and let ride

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,410
    Location:
    Santa Cruz Ca
    Built like a hammer!! One of the toughest bikes ever made.
    #3
  4. Boojum

    Boojum I Miss the PartyBoss

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2004
    Oddometer:
    5,967
    Location:
    Ringgold, Ga.....Saaalute!
    A FREE SL-350???? :flip :lol3 Keep us posted on what you end up doing with it! :wink:

    Boojum!
    :freaky
    #4
  5. RocketJ

    RocketJ Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2005
    Oddometer:
    674
    When I had a new SL70, One of my brothers freinds had a new SL350.
    He used to let me (12) thrash it up on the aquaduct. We'd ride dirt all the way to Ace mc track in Modena That thing sure was fast in 72. :ricky
    #5
  6. comes naturally

    comes naturally renewed hope

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    Oddometer:
    1,894
    Location:
    SE PA
    Samething happened to me with an old CB....but I was about 3 sec. to late.:baldy
    #6
  7. markjenn

    markjenn Long timer

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2003
    Oddometer:
    10,481
    Location:
    Swellvue, WA
    The SL350 was a surprisingly good dirtbike for its day. A great platform for what you're talking about.

    - Mark
    #7
  8. Pally McGee

    Pally McGee Eater of Sandwich

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2004
    Oddometer:
    3,362
    Location:
    Monadnock Region, NH
    Hmmm... I wonder if I could squeeze a kz1000 motor in an SL350 frame?

    :patch
    #8
  9. yooperbikemike

    yooperbikemike high, wide and handsome

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2003
    Oddometer:
    12,759
    Location:
    The blue groove
    When I met my wife I had been bikeless for a couple years. After we had been going out for a while, I started to get the itch and started leaving bike mags lying about and sighing heavily a lot and mooning over friend's bikes -- the usual behaviour for a junkie that never really gets the drug out of his system. I broached the subject of getting one and she said "I have a motorcycle in my Sister's garage" :huh We went out to her sister's house and there it was -- a 1971 SL350 in all it's gold metalflake glory. Long story short, I fixed it up, rode it for a while and haven't been without her or a bike since.
    #9
  10. Cordless

    Cordless Two Wheel Addict

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,049
    Location:
    Spokane WA
    Jeff51, Welcome to ADVrider. I grew up in Endicott so your photo of the Palouse makes me a bit homesick.

    My father was storing my '78 XL350 in Spokane until his neighbor offered to take it off his hands for free--so my old 350 became someone else's spectacular find. I didn't have the heart to tell my father he'd done the entirely wrong thing. (I was away from motorcycles for a bit in grad school).

    Good find. Gread riding on those E. Washington curves.

    Post some bike atop Steptoe Butte photos.
    #10
  11. bykpimp

    bykpimp Live and let ride

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,410
    Location:
    Santa Cruz Ca

    That's a very cool story!!:clap :clap
    #11
  12. Mr. Vintage

    Mr. Vintage Family Dude

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2007
    Oddometer:
    867
    Location:
    The Palouse
    I've been working on the SL, so I thought I would post an update.

    First order of business was to sell this:
    [​IMG]
    :huh And what does that have to do with anything? Some background: Mrs. Jeff51 quit work a year or so ago to be a full time Mom for my boys, leaving little or no play money for the forseeable future. The idea with this project is to get the bike roadworthy for daily transport and some adventure with nearly no out of pocket expenses. Anything I spend on the bike will have to come from selling stuff.

    I won the Bose for hitting a hole in one at a golf tournament, which is particularly amusing since I don't golf. (Golf is too slow, too stuffy, and they won't let you use an Elsinore for a cart.) I can count on one hand the number of times I have played a round in my life. I believe some higher being wanted me to play with bikes more, so to ebay it went. And these radios are nice, but $500 bucks for a clock radio?

    $425 in hand from ebay, the second order of business was to get the bike in my name. The previous owner lost the title that went back several owners, so I borrowed a truck and it was off to the State Patrol.
    [​IMG]
    In Washington, title-less vehicles can be inspected and registered in your name. After three years, you can apply for a title. The numbers didn't come back as stolen; if not they confiscate the bike. Gloria, the nice gal from the WSP, said that on more than one occasion she has had to confiscate bikes after folks had put significant time and money in them. Everything checked out, so $95 in inspection fees and it's (mostly) mine.

    I did some online shopping, and a few weeks later I have all this stuff:
    [​IMG]

    Sorry for the blur, but I got new Kendas, tubes, fork seals, engine oil seals, mirrors, signals, and a replacement for the aformentioned ejected taillight lense. I also bought a pile of metal to start building some pannier mounts. Stay tuned.
    #12
  13. Huzband

    Huzband Team Dirt

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2006
    Oddometer:
    4,319
    Location:
    Cowford, Fl.
    " ...they won't let you use an Elsinore for a cart."

    :lol3:lol3:lol3:lol3
    #13
  14. Mr. Vintage

    Mr. Vintage Family Dude

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2007
    Oddometer:
    867
    Location:
    The Palouse
    I spent a long time head scratchin' on how to best build some pannier mounts for the SL. An SL350 has nearly no frame behind the shocks, just a loop to hold the rear fender on, and mine shows evidence of being busted off and rewelded previously. So I designed the panniers to rest almost entirely on the upper shock mount and the muffler / buddy peg support.
    [​IMG]
    At this point everything is just tacked together to mock up. The all-thread through the fender mount is just to keep things from flapping in the breeze.

    Note the gas can - the whopping 2.5 gallon tank and 40ish fuel milage is not one of the SL's strong points.

    Once I welded everything up, I still wasn't convinced that the weight wouldn't end up on the rear frame loop, so I added a diagonal. (Should I run soft bags, this will also help keep things out of the wheel.) It's welded solid at the top and threaded on the bottom, so I can preload it some and assure it's doing something.
    [​IMG]

    I'm not sure how impressed my shop partner is...
    [​IMG]

    Once I had both pannier mounts built, I built a rack to mount between the two.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    This involved a bunch of welding and even more filing, but I'm happy with the way it turned out. It's surprisingly robust. Total added weight from the two mounts and the rack: 10 pounds.

    You can see I also built mounts for the turn signals - the rear to the taillight (drilled for lightness of course), the front to the triple clamp.
    [​IMG]
    Next - exhaust system.
    #14
  15. yooperbikemike

    yooperbikemike high, wide and handsome

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2003
    Oddometer:
    12,759
    Location:
    The blue groove
    Nice work!
    #15
  16. Gezerbike

    Gezerbike Hey Rocky...........

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2002
    Oddometer:
    3,600
    Location:
    Everybody knows this is nowhere......
    [​IMG]

    Looks like he'd rather be out " off roadin' " :lol3
    #16
  17. deaconjones

    deaconjones Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2004
    Oddometer:
    363
    Location:
    West TN
    Great project!

    :lurk
    #17
  18. Ironheadziggy76

    Ironheadziggy76 What the hell?

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2006
    Oddometer:
    502
    Location:
    Belton, KY
    I rode the wheels off an old SL350 I used to have, I got all excited and sold it to an uncle when I purchased a CB550F. I need my ass kicked for selling them.........
    #18
  19. Mr. Vintage

    Mr. Vintage Family Dude

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2007
    Oddometer:
    867
    Location:
    The Palouse
    After eating too much on Thursday, and laying around Friday digesting, I spent most of the day Saturday in the shop. It ain't too warm; with my undersized pellet stove the temperature peaked at 40.
    [​IMG]
    I went to work on the exhuast. I started with two of these ($30 in mandrel-bent tubing):
    [​IMG]
    And this (an old tractor stack): Ugly, huh?
    [​IMG]
    I spent a long time on the wye pipe, making sure it flowed reasonably well. There's a short baffle inside where the two come together to make it flow a bit better.
    [​IMG]
    Many many back and forth trips from the bike to the vise to eyeball the whole assembly, tack weld, recheck, etc.
    [​IMG]
    Sorry, not many construction pics (I get in the zone). Eventually I come up with this:
    [​IMG]
    The muffler currently has a piece of hardware cloth rolled up in the middle, wrapped in stylish pink fiberglass insulation. I suspect the fiberglass may not last, but the end is removable so I can continue to play with the muffler inards. It doesn't sound too bad - throaty, maybe a bit loud. It's hard to tell inside the shop.
    [​IMG]
    It fits on the side of the bike, misses the paniers, kick-start and suspension, and is only slightly ugly. Once I build a muffler support, I'll tear the bike down to the frame. I hope it warms up a bit... :vardy
    #19
  20. Sniper X

    Sniper X De Oppresso Liber

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2006
    Oddometer:
    33,351
    Location:
    Central New Mexico, 7420ft above sea level
    I'd do a nice Ebay resto on that puppie! I am picking this up this weekend and am going to totally resto it to a pretty rider. It's a 1972 TC125 Suzuki. [​IMG]
    #20