old Honda Scramblers & ADV riding.

Discussion in 'Old's Cool' started by FXRocket, Apr 22, 2008.

  1. FXRocket

    FXRocket Phoneticide Squad

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2007
    Oddometer:
    5,315
    Location:
    Hoosier
    I am pondering a scrambler style Honda CL bike for gravel road going etc.. I have not messed with these bikes since the early 80's and dont know what I am getting myself into. Can anyone shed some light on what years I need to look for? I want to get the largest displacement I can and any info would help.

    Can I update the ignitions and modernize it?

    Also, if anyone has a bike like this anywhere near Indy let me know, I would like to hear from you.
    #1
  2. RocketJohn

    RocketJohn Hook em' Horns!

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2002
    Oddometer:
    11,386
    Location:
    Denver Metro
    i forsee this going to the old skool forum...

    Never seen a Honda scrambler CL bigger than 450...
    #2
  3. longrider999

    longrider999 Long timer

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,414
    Location:
    new london,wizconzin
    FK rocket,i owned a 67 cl77,305cc.superhawk.think it was 27 horsepower.4 speed.it was a nice bike.bought it at 10K.redid the top end and got 30K out of it.easy to work on.think it might have used leaded gas.good luck.try www.cycle trader.com
    #3
  4. gaspipe

    gaspipe Wandering Soul Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2004
    Oddometer:
    11,354
    Location:
    Pickwick Lake, Tennessippi
    Honda made several CL models, up to the 450. There's a ton of stuff out there to tweak them with, but in the end, they are still vintage rides and have their peculiarities.

    I ride a '74 CL360 pretty often, and it's nothing short of horrendous on any thing more rugged than a graded gravel road compared to anything modern.

    They're still a lot of fun to ride.
    #4
  5. Mr. Vintage

    Mr. Vintage Family Dude

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2007
    Oddometer:
    867
    Location:
    The Palouse
    #5
  6. FXRocket

    FXRocket Phoneticide Squad

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2007
    Oddometer:
    5,315
    Location:
    Hoosier
    Thanks for the tips guys. If I can find a deal I may jump at one.

    Jeff, thats not too far from what I am thinking. I used to ride on the street on a CL175 when I was 13, I would put ona helmet and a big coat and think nobody knew how old I was. :evil
    #6
  7. Grider Pirate

    Grider Pirate Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,686
    Location:
    LV, NV
    I've owned CB's, CLs, SL's, and XL's, and ridden all of them in ways and on surfaces they were not meant for. In order of preference for dirt trails: XL, SL, CL, and CB. XL is vastly better than the SL, but either is orders of magnitude better than the CL or CB. An SL 350 would be a sweet find.
    #7
  8. eyedragaknee

    eyedragaknee McGuyver

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2004
    Oddometer:
    2,319
    Location:
    Triangle
    You won't find a deal on a CL77 305 any more.

    The 350 and bigger ones are easier to find.

    If you ever plan on doing anything other than Starbucks, get something different than a CL.

    They are very cool, but not really up to any dirt riding compared to modern bikes.

    I have a 150 Benley with 6 volt battery and points and it runs like a "dream" and starts first kick.
    #8
  9. VonHelm

    VonHelm soggy doggy

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2007
    Oddometer:
    4,001
    Location:
    Grapevine, TX
    My first street bike was a CL 450. I would NOT recommend it for anything other than pavement. They are nothing more than a CB with high pipes. Scramblers were the fashion then, and fashion does not = function. The 450s were also really heavy. A CL 175 is twice the "off road" bike than the 450, and feels like half of the weight.

    If want an old Honda 4-stroke, any of the XL models are leaps and bounds better on non-paved surfaces than the CLs.

    I know this to be true- been there, done both. :deal
    #9
  10. Spicy McHaggis

    Spicy McHaggis Darth Peach's cracker...

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2006
    Oddometer:
    3,789
    Location:
    Grand Haven, Michigan
    Unless I missed it, you didn't say anything about what type of "adventure" riding you intend to do.

    For some people, it's adventure touring - side roads, dirt roads, nothing technical. For others it's more of a ride the pavement till you get to the trailhead and rip it up there thing. Some are both.

    I bought an '84 Beemer for adventure touring - which to me means riding back roads and dirt roads, and nothing more technical than that.
    #10
  11. FXRocket

    FXRocket Phoneticide Squad

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2007
    Oddometer:
    5,315
    Location:
    Hoosier
    Just pis poor roads mostly, but some of them are 100 miles away. I like the idea of a twin over a thumper and if ya wana a cheap bike with two pistons this seems like an option.
    #11
  12. Solaros1

    Solaros1 Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2005
    Oddometer:
    1,294
    Location:
    Roswell, GA
    My first bike was a CL77 Honda 305 Scrambler - it was a heavy pig of a bike with very limited off road ability (doesn't mean I didn't ride the piss out of it off road however - it just wore me out sooner and beat the crap out of me while I was doing it). The front forks had about 3-1/2" of travel and I eventually swapped the forks out for a set of Yamaha DT-1 forks that had about 6" of travel - some improvement but the damn thing was still heavy.

    The best of the lot was the later SL350 - damn near bulletproof and somewhat lighter than the CL models. If you're dead set on a vintage Honda for mild off road adventures try to find one of those.
    #12
  13. Growl

    Growl Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 27, 2007
    Oddometer:
    78
    These bikes were surprisingly useful as an all purpose 'adventure' bike.
    I lived on rutted dirt roads, commuted to college on the freeway for years and explored logging roads going through bushes and crevices. Keep in mind that off road work is limited to around 20-30 mph - which is faster than a horse! Some attention must be paid to improving the suspension - as simple as adding a spacer in the forks to boost preload, or swapping to beefier forks (I've done both) and using better rear shocks... cobbling up spark arrestors is responsible... I had a 360 which I even toured on (2 up) and used to take to an OHV park... sure I avoided the really intense stuff but I could ride in, ride trails for hours and keep up with my stepson on his xr-80 and then his mom would drive him and his bike home but I rode out. If you want to keep up with modern dual sport bikes you will be left in the dust. But as point A to point B transpo, you might be pleasantly surprised.
    #13
  14. Bee

    Bee Ride On Brother

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2009
    Oddometer:
    117
    Location:
    Helena, MT
    These days with our modern "lightweight" bikes with loads of travel I think you'd be crazy to buy an old Honda Scrambler for any kind of adventure or off road riding.

    HOWEVER - If you want to ride short distances or around town, OR go to a few vintage shows, then buy a classic old Honda CL77 like I just did. In their day these bikes were The thing with their classic styling and upswept pipes. At the time - 1969 - I owned a Yamaha DT1 enduro but I always wanted a Honda 305 scrambler (CL77), and now I have one!!

    :clap
    #14