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Monday, 16 April 2012

CL350 update

Managed a bit more work on the CL350. First of all I got rid of the ridiculous 'Easy Rider' handlebars and fitted something more sensible. These are generic 'trials' bars but are very similar to the original Honda part. They were a bit wide, so I cut 40mm from each end.

After a lot of soaking with WD40, the exhaust came off without any drama. The silencers are a bit rusty on the back, but the metal is solid so I'll clean them up with a wire brush and give them a coat of silver heat proof paint.

There should be a bracket between the 2 silencers (RHS of this photo). I found a picture of what it should look like, so will be easy to make.

The rest of the exhaust is in remarkably good condition for a 40 year old bike, so will just need a clean up and a polish.
Removing the exhaust allowed me to remove the LHS side panel, air filter and carb. Both carbs were really grotty inside, with all sorts of deposits left by the last lot of fuel that had been left in them. I tried carb cleaner but it made very little difference. A look on the Web found the suggestion of using hot lemon juice. So down to the supermarket for some juice, put some in a plastic tub, heat it in the microwave, and plop a carb in. Gave it a shake now and again, and the gunge started to come off. After a couple of cycles of hot lemon juice and a good clean with carb cleaner, the carbs were good as new.
 (this was 'before')

 I checked the diaphragms (OK), set them up as described in the manual, and bolted them back on. put the exhausts back on, squirted some fuel down the fuel lines (tank is too rusty inside to use), and spun the engine over on the starter. I got it to pop and bang a bit on the LHS cylinder, but it wouldn't 'take' and start running. This was better than I'd expected as I'd only given the points a rudimentary clean and fitted some new plugs. I'll clear the points and set the timing properly once I can get the side cover off (chewed screws!)
Whilst I had the air filters off I noticed that they were a bit dirty. I tried cleaned them, but they'll need replaced.

Genuine filters are still available, but the paper element is bonded to the unit so you have to replace the whole lot. A these cost £37 EACH, I decided to use the approach I'd used on a previous post and replaced the paper element with some foam.

That worked out at about £3 the pair, and while I had the filters apart I cleaned up the outer covers and gave them a coat of satin black.

Looking behind the filters, everything seems intact and will just need a clean up.

I've also managed to source a number of bits on Ebay. There seems to be no shortage of pattern Honda bits out there.

'Period' petrol pipes and clips, clutch and front brake cables (4 days to come from California! That's what I call service), spark plugs, special tool for removing oil filter, less rusty rear light (£4.19!), pattern Honda grips, exhaust gaskets, and indicator mounts. Since the photo was taken I've also got some pattern fork gaiters (the old ones have turned into Bakelite!)
As you can see, I've still got plenty to do, but it's moving forward. I found a company that can supply the correct colour of paint, 'Magna Red', and has any one used this company Bikepaints? As there's so little painted on the bike, just the tank and side panels, I was thinking of getting it all redone.
Finally, I know that this is a million to one chance, but do any readers in the US know anything about the bike shop that originally sold the bike - Honda of Van Wert, Ohio? I had a look on the Web but couldn't find anything, so I assume they're long gone. If they still existed I had thought about trying to buy new stickers from them as the one on the rear mudguard will probably be covered by the larger UK numberplate.


  1. Looks like it's coming along nicely Norman.

    I did a Google search and found this:

    Honda of Van Wert
    10852 US Route 127
    Van Wert, OH 45891
    Tel: (419)238-1776

    Didn't see an email addy for it.

  2. I'll have to try your foam air cleaner retro-fit idea. Like Bodger I found some info on that Honda shop. I also saw on a forum where it is mentioned that they have closed shop. It seems business was down. They talk about how they were specializing in Goldwings and trikes towards the end.

  3. Norman, try this place, he might be aable to do it, but I think you have to order a batch of 25 or so.

    Failing that, try Photoshop as Harry Larry mentioned, might be able to make up a couple that way.

  4. Gawd.....what was I thinking.....Hairy not Harry Larry!!!!!

  5. Thanks for the info, I don't know how I failed to find it (Probably spelled it wrongly in Google!). It looks like the shop only shut last year, so I've just missed out!