I’m not joking when I say this, Ben tried to hold an intervention during our regular work meeting about my “addiction”. I would like to quote Britney Spears by using one of the best songs to come out of the 90’s, “Oops!..I Did It Again.” This was a hit for sure, but in this case it wasn’t about something teenage girls are fighting over, or some dumb boy getting tricked into thinking he’s in love. Wait. Oh no, it actually could be. This might be the same thing that happened, but I’m not going to worry about that right now, or admit it. Right now I’m going to talk about the 1972 CL350 Honda Twin Scrambler that I picked up. Of course I found this one on craigslist and it was only some 10 odd hours that it was on the list before I launched out the txt to get more info. My
addiction passion took over so Josh and I piled into the “Mini Horse” rotary pickup and headed out to Howard Lake, MN. “Josh, if this bike isn’t cool or running don’t let me buy it” is what I told him. Yeah that didn’t work. That was because it was cool,running and a good deal so now I have another bike in my garage, but at least this one runs right? So I wouldn’t exactly say that I have a problem or addiction as much as a fascination with vintage air cooled motors.
I enjoy that they are always pretty cranky and always need some sort of attention to run properly when it comes to these bikes. Making sure the carbs aren’t all gunked up, checking to see that the points aren’t all out of whack, there is always something to do. Sometimes it’s just oil changes and remembering to turn the gas off. It’s a balance between making sure the 40+ year old cougar doesn’t bite you and riding it enough that things don’t go stale from sitting. It’s mainly the experience and the conversations that push my fascination to another level. Like any Heritage car that you take for a spin you have to be ready for a story from some old cranky guy who doesn’t care what you have to say, but wants to tell you about his experience with whatever your driving or riding. I oddly enjoy that part of it and it really makes for an interesting hobby to share with everyone.
The bike the way it sits isn’t without it’s problems, but as far as ones I recently owned this one seems to be a fine example of a café racer. It has the right look with the rear seat hump and low slung bars. A perfect patina and the original paint on the tank including a nice dent like most always have to compliment it nicely. The problem is the bike needs a bit of clutch work and perhaps a few adjustments to the carbs to get it to run just right. This bike is loud. When I say loud I mean loud AF (if you don’t know what that means go ahead and google it now, I’ll wait) and that isn’t something that makes my neighbors happy or my left ear drum usable. I’ll hopefully be installing some mufflers with added packing this weekend and changing the oil. I just happened to have some of the correct spark plugs for the bike, so I threw those ones in. Now I need to make sure to get this bike on the charger constantly when it’s not being ridden. The Honda twins are notorious for having charging issues which I experienced first hand with my “brat” bike after pushing it what seemed like halfway across the metro area. Not fun when it’s 85º outside in August.
I’ll keep the blog updated as I/Josh work on some Two Wheeled Tuesday projects and also make sure to drop some comments below with your CL/CB 350 stories. I’d actually really like to hear them. Lé Coug 03 will hopefully be ready for business by June or before that even.