1972 CL350 -- Mattel Bratz (how much can I mess up this bike?)

ceggertcrowe

New Member
Hey everyone!

I've been lurking on the forum for a while now, checking out all the awesome projects and advice as I built up the stones to start my own project. Well, the time has finally come. I just bought a 1972 CL350 in pretty good condition. It kicks right over, only 3200 miles, but definitely needs some work.

I'm not 100% sure what I want to do with it yet; but whatever I do, I want to do right. I am a mechanical engineer and industrial designer. So I know design and fabrication, but will for sure be asking a lot of questions on how to get this thing to ride a best as possible. I've been riding for about 10 years and doing all my minor maintenance, but this is my first foray into this world.

I will try to keep this as updated as possible too for any other greenhorns like me who are looking for it.

I think this weekend will be spent just tooling around on it to get a feel for the bike before I start working on it (plus I can't pass up riding a running bike). Then I guess first steps will be disassembly and and documentation.

So, without further ado, here's the bike. those pipes tho 8) 8)
 

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ceggertcrowe

New Member
Re: 1972 CL350 -- First Time Build--Update #1 Interesting Find

So I got the bike running nice and pretty this weekend so I thought it was a good time to completely tear it apart. It came apart pretty easily, which was nice. On my way, this old girl told me a few stories. I found that it is a 68 CL350 K0, with a 72 tank and headlight, and a 71 CB350 motor. I'm betting that someone bought a wrecked 68 in the late 70s early 80s, and got it running with bits and bobs of other bikes. The last time it was registered was 85,but it fires right up and rides like a champ.

I got it down to a rolling frame and motor this weekend. Next weekend I'll take to motor out and do some mocking up on the frame. I want to get my seat design while I still have the wheels on so I can be sure that there will be no interference with the rear wheel.

Things on my list.
Mockup seat
Mockup lower or higher suspension
New seat pan/electronics housing
Cut frame/weld tail loop
Clean/line tank
Rebuild carbs
Electronic ignition
New wiring harness
New lighting
Clean, Polish, seal all aluminum parts
Clean and Polish all chrome
Rebuild front forks
New rear shocks
New tires
Test different bar configurations
Rehab hand controls
New spokes
Get frame powder coated
Paint tank

I'm just getting started and there is a lot to do, but I'm excited and I think the bike has some great potential.
 

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Erskine

New Member
Re: 1972 CL350 -- Introduction and First Time Build

Hi and welcome .... nice score, it must be barely run in!
Wondering if you could do me a quick favour ... might you be able to measure the distance between the inside of your front forks for me?
I'm wanting to use a Honda 2LS hub set up inc spacers but I'm not sure if it will fit inbetween the forks I have.
Much appreciated if you can!
 

ceggertcrowe

New Member
Re: 1972 CL350 -- Introduction and First Time Build

Thanks, yeah it was definitely a great score and it's running strong.

Right now the bike is out in the country and I live in the city. I'm going back out to it this weekend and I will take the measurement you're looking for. I'm assuming you want the measurement of the fork at the axle?
 

ceggertcrowe

New Member
Re: 1972 CL350 -- Introduction and First Time Build

Erskine, didn't get as far as I wanted to this weekend and didn't pull the wheel to get the measurement you are looking for. I'll get it once I get the wheel off.
 

ceggertcrowe

New Member
Re: 1972 CL350 -- First Time Build--Update #2

Didn't get much work done this weekend, but I made a little progress. Most of the time was spent taking the rest of the bits and bobs off so I could get the engine out. I've been wanting an impact driver and I finally went out to get one for this job. If you don't have one, get one. It made the job much much easier.

Getting the engine out was pretty straight forward. Drain the oil, remove any cables from the engine, take off the left cover plate to remove the chain and the clutch cable. Once all that is done, remove the hanger bolts and jimmy the engine till you can get it out. I found that lifting the front of the engine to clear the forward mounts first worked pretty well. I also used a hydraulic car jack to help lift the engine a bit.

Once the engine was out, I brought the roller down to my basement fab shop where it will live for a while. I took the rear shocks off and replaced them with mockups of the shocks I want to put on at their maximum travel. This will allow me to design a new rear loop, seat pan, and fender that won't interfere with the rear wheel. This is probably what I will do next time I work on the bike.

I also bought a killer headlight off ebay that I'm very excited for.
 

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Erskine

New Member
Re: 1972 CL350 -- Introduction and First Time Build

I love that headlight ... Do you know what it originates from?
 

ceggertcrowe

New Member
Re: 1972 CL350 -- Introduction and First Time Build

Not sure of the exact model, but from some kind of Guzzi. Pretty sure it's NOS too, or just very lightly used.
 

Bud64

Always make the best of what you have!
Re: 1972 CL350 -- Introduction and First Time Build

The headlamp maybe off a old Brit bike too, but not a very fast one 80 mph. But it was a nice pick.
Those pipes are really sweet, I hope they are still in descent shape.
 

ceggertcrowe

New Member
Re: 1972 CL350 -- Introduction and First Time Build

Yeah the CLs had great pipes. They're in pretty good shape, just need to remove some spot rust a polish.
 

Erskine

New Member
Re: 1972 CL350 -- Introduction and First Time Build

It looks great. And yep, I still v keen to know that measurement. It's usually the same as the inside to inside of the lower fork stantions on the small Hondas, if so no need to take the wheel off, simply eye ball it with a ruler. If it's under 130 mm I know I'm good to go. However, due to where the lower swinging arm of my leading link forks passes the brake mechanism, I don't have the option of shaving anything from the brake plate.
 

TheCoffeeGuy

Books, Books, Books, knowledge is within
Re: 1972 CL350 -- Introduction and First Time Build

Looks like the head light off my Aermacchi.
 

Erskine

New Member
Re: 1972 CL350 -- Introduction and First Time Build

Did you have a chance to take that measurement?
 

Barnburner

Member
Re: 1972 CL350 -- Introduction and First Time Build

It's definitely a CEV headlight because of the key switch located in the top. A lot of Italian bikes (including Aermacchi) came with this. IIRC, they made a 130mm and a 150mm width version with the integrated speedo. I have a new 130mm version converted for use with a 12v headlight if you're interested Erskine. It doesn't have a speedo (just a blanking plug), but I believe a new 2.5" small speedo will fit in the hole.
 

ceggertcrowe

New Member
Re: 1972 CL350 -- Introduction and First Time Build

Erskine, sorry I didn't go out to the shop last weekend. I will be there on Saturday and will pull that measurement for you.
 

TheCoffeeGuy

Books, Books, Books, knowledge is within
Re: 1972 CL350 -- Introduction and First Time Build

i have a set of paint over original decals for that tank if you want those original lines. free, just the lift.
 

Erskine

New Member
Re: 1972 CL350 -- Introduction and First Time Build

ceggertcrowe said:
Erskine, looks to be about 150mm between the forks.
Thank you and dammit, I've only got 130 to play with and nothing can be taken off the brake plate. Back to plan A, which is a MZ 250 16" wheel but with a single LS plate.
Cheers for taking the measurement for me
 
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