posted on February 09, 2012 at 1708

Vroom vroom

Something new to work on!

1971 Honda CL350, the scrambler version (what would today be called a “dual-sport”) of the once-ubiquitous CB350. It’s been stored in a barn for the last 32 years. Has quite a bit of surface rust, but the underlying structure is in extremely good shape. The engine turns over and has good compression, the electricals work, the coil fires, the transmission goes through all the gears and, amazingly, the tires are still holding air from 1980. It needs new tires and chain for safety, of course, the forks make a bubbling noise, and new cables and brake linings wouldn’t be a bad idea…but I’m going to start by flushing all the fluids, cleaning the tank, and seeing if it’ll fire up with some new gas.

You may recognize this motorcycle if you’ve seen the recent version of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo — the main character rides a modified ’69-70 CB350 with the headers from a CL, a cafĂ©-racer seat, and a few other custom parts (below). I’m planning to keep mine mostly stock but I wouldn’t mind slightly lower handlebars and a different paint scheme…we’ll see!


So, a new project that is both fun, and highly sustainable! Taking something from the scrap yard and restoring it to its original functional state is clearly the most energy-efficient carbon-neutral kind of recycling there is; much friendlier for the planet than buying any number of Priuses. Ultimate feel-good stuff.

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