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1967 Bridgestone 350 GTR

Discussion in 'Some Assembly Required' started by Fast Idle, Sep 17, 2018.

  1. Fast Idle

    Fast Idle Since the Sixties

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    Now that the Z1B is finished it's time to see about fixing up the old Bridgestone 350 GTR.
    350GTR (3).JPG
    A friend of mine had called earlier this year and said his neighbor had the bike and that it needed a new home. The guy wanted the bike to go to someone that would hopefully fix it. We went and picked it up a few days later.
    350GTR (5).JPG
    The story is that it was his Dad's bike since new. At some point the bike was wrecked and a second bike entered the picture. So the bike was now a mix of parts between the street model GTR and the scrambler version GTO. And there were also retrofit Honda turn signals and a period correct sissy bar. :photog
    350GTR (4).JPG

    The rest of the parts were in boxes. Almost a second bike's worth of parts but no scrambler exhaust.
    350GTR (2).JPG
    #1
    nuggets, JagLite, dpforth and 4 others like this.
  2. Fast Idle

    Fast Idle Since the Sixties

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    I had just started the Z1 build back then and had parts scattered across the shop. I looked the Bridgestone over a bit but then put everything away to get it out of the way.
    Now the bike and all the other parts and pieces are back in the shop.
    DSC00083.JPG
    BS350 SNs (12).JPG
    I need to look over everything real good and see what's what. Only have the tittle to one bike, the GTR. So the plan is to sort though all the parts and pieces and use the best ones to bring back a running 1967 Bridgestone 350 GTR.
    #2
  3. Rick4003

    Rick4003 Adventurer

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    Woo-hoo! It is started already! Definitely subscribing to this!

    Shame that the scrambler exhaust missing. I can't imagine it would be easy to get hold off. Is there enough parts to be able to fix the second bike too? Maybe you could fabricate a new scrambler exhaust. We know you do exhaust too you know

    Will it be a full on restoration or will you keep the original paint work and so on, full mechanical restoration with original paint and other salvageable parts?

    Looking forward to following along

    -Ulrik

    Sent from my SM-A520F using Tapatalk
    #3
  4. Rick4003

    Rick4003 Adventurer

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    How difficult would it be to get a title for the GTR?

    Sent from my SM-A520F using Tapatalk
    #4
    rhino2481 likes this.
  5. Fast Idle

    Fast Idle Since the Sixties

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    Good questions Ulrik. I wish the scrambler pipes came with it too. I kind of like the look. I haven't decided exactly which way to go yet on this bike. On one hand it is a somewhat rare bike with less than 10,000 ever made. And the 350 GTR was the most desired of all the Bridgestone motorcycles.
    On the other hand I don't want to put more into the bike than it would be worth. I need to dig deeper into it and see just what it needs to get restored including price and availability of the parts. I will definitely try and use every decent part on hand. It may not be a complete, like new restoration but I think it will come back as a pretty nice survivor.
    The GTR may be a future possibility with or without a tittle but right now there just aren't enough good parts in the pile.
    edit, meant the GTO might be a future possibility.
    #5
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  6. Fast Idle

    Fast Idle Since the Sixties

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    First up is sorting the GTO from the GTR parts starting with the frame. Bridgestone used 3 identification numbers on all their motorcycles. There are the usual engine and frame numbers, with an additional Vehicle Serial Number on a separate plate riveted to the frame (the actual VIN). This assembled bike has frame serial number NA1-07432. The NA1 prefix means it is a 350 part.
    DSC00060.JPG

    The engine is serial number NA1-07629
    DSC00062.JPG

    According to sources on the web the numbers were usually within 200 or 300 of each other so this looks to be the GTO frame with the original engine. There is no VIN tag for this bike but the numbers indicate it's a late 1969 or early 1970 bike. That would be towards the end of the production run.

    Now the cool thing is that the GTR tittle and tag are for VIN number 21Q00037. Yep, the 37th Bridgestone 350 GTR to roll off the assembly line!
    Number 37.JPG

    21 indicates it's a 350 and Q is the month code for May. This bike was made in May of 1967.
    And the frame is S/N NA1-00038. Now that's within 200 or 300.:photog
    BS350 SNs (2).JPG
    #6
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  7. Fast Idle

    Fast Idle Since the Sixties

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    The GTR engine is a complete basket case. The case halves and a few boxes of parts.
    DSC00108.JPG

    Amazingly it is S/N NA1-00023.
    BS350 SNs (9).JPG

    First thought was to build up one engine from two using the early cases but there is a small problem.:becca
    BS350 SNs (13).JPG

    There seems to be a chunk missing from the lower case half.
    DSC00065.JPG
    So unless someone knows of a magical case repair outfit it looks like she'll come back with the late model engine.:(
    #7
    JagLite likes this.
  8. jays100

    jays100 Been here awhile

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    Ebay occasionally has reasonably offered bare 350 cases, so there could be some hope for a 2nd engine. You should be aware that the crank halves aren't splined or timed in any way so if you replace the center bearings (like for instance, if the crankshaft perchance needs a rebuild), a special tool is needed for reassembly to factory specs.
    #8
    Fast Idle likes this.
  9. fast1075

    fast1075 Fasterizer

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    There are quite a few places that can rebuild the crank as long as rods are available that fit. It may be that they used a generic rod common to more than one make.
    #9
    Fast Idle likes this.
  10. 3legs

    3legs Real men ride sidecars

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    Looks like you may have the oldest surviving Bridgestone in the world. Would be nice to confirm that.
    #10
    Fast Idle likes this.
  11. r60man

    r60man Long timer

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    Yay a new bike to cheer on the restoration of! :clap:clap:clap:clap
    #11
    zzzak, more koolaid and Fast Idle like this.
  12. Scrivens

    Scrivens Been here awhile

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    Aagh. I put this in the wrong thread by accident first off. Dug around in my old bike mags for this from Two Wheels #3 late '67 - I've never forgotten the photo because of the size of the two men. Reminds me of the old joke about 50lb Japanese test riders.

    Bridgestone GTR.jpg
    #12
  13. Blakebird

    Blakebird r-u-n-n-o-f-t

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    I had a '67 X6 Hustler with the scrambler pipes - grew up on two strokes in the late 60's.
    This thread will be every bit as fun to watch as the Z1B build was :nod
    #13
    Fast Idle likes this.
  14. anonny

    anonny What could go wrong?

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    Nice project! If you decide to get rid of the scrambler bars I’d be interested in them for my CL450 project.
    #14
    Fast Idle likes this.
  15. Fast Idle

    Fast Idle Since the Sixties

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    Looks like there are enough decent parts between the two bikes to bring one back. Some parts are pretty rough but should be repairable. Other parts are missing all together but should be available. This is going to be a different kind of build since the "parts bike" is going to be the one getting restored and the complete bike becomes the parts bike. The GTR frame has a bent exhaust hanger on the right side but looks real good other than that.
    BS350 SNs (4).JPG

    The shift shaft is completely stripped on the complete engine.
    DSC00067.JPG
    Fortunately the other one looks great.
    DSC00064.JPG
    Bridgestone made these bikes to be either left or right shift depending on their destination. The shaft ran through the gearbox to both sides and the frame had brake peddle and brake switch fittings on both sides. You can see the right cover has been repaired where the brake pedal punched a hole in it. There are torch marks on the peddle where it was straightened.
    DSC00060.JPG
    #15
  16. Fast Idle

    Fast Idle Since the Sixties

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    Cool photo. It goes to show that the 350 was not a small frame bike. It was real apparent when I first got the bike. With 19" wheels front and rear on a full size frame it feels like a much bigger bike. The frame is also heavily made. I swear it feels heavier than the Z1 frame.
    The shorter guy in that photo looks like he'd be on his tip toes to ride it.
    #16
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  17. fast1075

    fast1075 Fasterizer

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    I'm glad you have a good shift shaft. I did a rebuild once that required that the stripped shift be repaired since the owner absolutely would not allow a new replacement, which ironically was available. I sent the shift shaft and shifter to my machinist, where they were welded up, re-splined, and sent to the plater to be re-plated. He got to keep his original parts for the paltry some of $400.00. NOS parts still in the Honda bag would have cost around $110.00.

    And I'll bet that after being Fast Idled, that damaged cover will look new. Is that welded or epoxied?

    From the looks of that shift shaft, it got the "vice grips will work fine in place of the shifter" job.
    #17
    Fast Idle likes this.
  18. Fast Idle

    Fast Idle Since the Sixties

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    That's crazy.
    The cover is welded. Might clean up pretty decent. Sure hope so because this is what the second set of covers look like.

    covers (1).JPG
    And yes, the old vice grip trick! :photog
    #18
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  19. more koolaid

    more koolaid Been here awhile

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    What you're not going to cast new cases?

    After buying the pre-painted bodywork you've gotten really lazy:jack
    #19
  20. anonny

    anonny What could go wrong?

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    I had a set of aluminum Norton covers welded, after hours of polishing and buffing it blended in pretty nice.
    #20
    Fast Idle likes this.