1973 Honda CL350 - first cafe


Active Member
After a day or two of work removing parts on my CL350 for cleaning/rebuilding/replacement, I wanted to start a project thread to share ideas and post some pictures.

First, I want to mention something interesting I found when draining my tank to remove it. After disconnecting the fuel line to the carbs, I opened the petcock to drain the fuel into a storage container. To my surprise, fuel only came out of one of the lines. Makes me pretty excited at how much better the 350 will run once I get the carbs and petcock rebuilt.

Other items completed were:
1. Removal of the slightly bent stock bars for installation of clubmans.
2. Removal of carbs for rebuilding

Having worked on VW Vanagons for a while, I realize that these bikes are exponentially simpler. Simple==good!

On to the pictures of the progress so far. Not really much to show, but it is progress

As the bike started out:

Minus the seat and tank:

Checking the clubman positioning:

Another couple angles of the clubmans:


I had a couple of questions on clubman positioning and length. I found that the only position where the clubmans didn't touch the tank at full turn was with the middle section basically parallel to the ground as in the images. The position doesn't feel odd just sitting in the garage, does this leave the down angle (drop) of the bars too steep in your opinions. The pictures above show the bars in that position.

Regarding the length of the bars, I've seen mention of cutting them a bit before putting on the controls but I feel that the current length looks and feels good. Is whether or not to cut them shorter a personal/style preference?

thanks for checking out my project. I'll update it as changes are made.

On a related note, I will be doing a much more in depth tear down/rebuild/customization over the winter. This work should be considered "stage 1"

nice work mate, although im more a tracker / enduro guy and love the stock look of the bike especially the pipe muffler setup they have.

looking forward to seeing your progress
Quick question for any of the carb guru's on DTT...

I'm rebuilding my carbs and noticed a couple of discrepancies between the Clymer manual and what my carbs have.

****Edit: I figured out what they were talking about in the manual. It's not quite as described****

Also, the carb rebuild kits I ordered from Sirius specifically for the CL350K5 carbs aren't correct. Does anyone have a reference/part number for the appropriate Keyster rebuild kits?

Thanks in advance for any help!

CL350's make some of the best café bikes out there, will look forward to watching your build as it progresses.
Sorry for not posting recently, motorcycle and non-motorcycle related activities have kept me overly busy. Work is progressing. I just finished mocking up the clubmans. I've removed about 1.25" from each side and mounted up the controls to check them.

Given the very bad shape of the original headlight tabs (bent to the point that the clubmans hit the turnsignals), I've removed them and will be using a set of the DCC medium weight mounts and a new set of mini-bullet turnsignals.

I'll try to post some pictures up tonight.
As promised here are some pictures of the progress.

First up, here are my carbs disassembled awaiting the rebuild kits from Charlie's, which just arrived today.

The seriously tweaked headlight mounting tabs that I took off because the turn signals were interfering with the clubmans

Two pictures of the clubmans during mockup


Trimming up the clubmans

Finally, the clubmans on the bike with the controls mounted up. I decided to notch the controls to run the wiring outside the bars. I plan on mounting up clipons over the winter so I decided it wasn't worth the work to thread the wiring through the bars. I've got about 1/8" to 3/16" to trim off the bars still to clear the throttle sleeve and ensure smooth operation.

Now that the controls are in place, I can route the new cables and mark them for shortenning. Luckily, we've got a local guy who specializes in shortening cables and threading custom wheels. It's $25 per cable.

Also, just got my CB350 front fender in today and put it loosely in place. Dang it looks sweet.

Any comments are greatly appreciated.

Thanks man. I asked about your location, because you mentioned you have a local guy who shortens control cables. I am in the midst of that mess myself having just gone from stock to clip ons. I was holding out hope you were in Chicagoland. LOL
Fellow DTT members,
I've been remiss in posting to this for too long. It's not that I haven't been working on the motorcycle, its just been very limited. I've got some pictures to post up this afternoon.

I wanted to ask a question concerning exhaust gaskets. Recently I had to remove the exhaust from the motorcycle as the left side chain/clutch cable cover screws had been stripped and
I needed room for the drill. Upon removing the exhaust I found that there weren't any gaskets (glad I didn't ride the bike much before this). Checked the different parts diagrams for the
motorcycle and all show the gasket. So, I ask this. Were there any exceptions to the honda 350 exhaust gaskets? All bikes should have them?

I'm sorry if this seems to be a stupid question, but I've worked on enough vehicles to know that there are cases where the norm just doesn't apply.

Late, but as promised some pictures of the clubmans mounted with the new headlight mount and turn signals:




As of now, I'm wrestling with the last of the broken front fender bolts stuck in the fork. Hopefully, this will be the last of it for now so I can ride for a bit.

On the engine end of my exhaust pipes, I noticed what appears to be "brass" rings at the surface where the pipes meet the heads. They look to be permanent, but I wonder if these are the original exhaust gaskets.

Any thoughts on this?

Yeah there is a brass (or copper maybe?) smash ring that goes in there. You can find them online pretty easy if you do a search. Maybe someone else can chime in as far as how to get one out, or how often it needs replacing. My cb350 didn't have them when I got it, the exhaust wasn't connected...
No further gasket, by the way... At least on the cb. Just the smash ring, and those two shims along with the pipes and the collar.
Thanks Grahamworks. I'll be ordering those up pretty quickly.

Just ran into another stumbling block over the weekend related to the front fender. Turns out that sometime in the distant past, someone broke off the two fender bolts in the left fork. So, I grabbed my trusty Craftsman EZ-out set and proceeded to drill the first bolt. In the process of attempting to remove the EZ-out from the bolt (to drill for the next size up), the bit broke off in the bolt. Undaunted, I drilled the other bolt for the bigger bit and removed the bolt. Turns out the Craftsman drill bit isn't strong enough to drill out the broken EZ-out bit. I'm honestly a bit disappointed in the quality of certain Craftsman tools lately.

One thought just came to mind, that might be some help to you. I have yet to take my cables to the shop locally. There's nothing preventing me from taking multiple sets. I could drop them off and ship them back when they are done. Or, if you want to give them a call to see if you can ship your cables direct, the shop is named Cyclops Cycle Products and the phone number is (913) 677-5550. Be forwarned, the owner is an old crusty guy and he is VERY gruff on the phone. Don't take it personally.
It's been way too long since I've been able to work on my cafe project, but the New Year has provided some much needed free time today.

Given that I have to replace my front fork and the frame is filthy (plus my son cleaned up the front wheel), I decided to completely strip the cycle down and build it from the ground up. Since this will eventually be my son's motorcycle (he's almost 12), he's been out there helping strip down the motorcycle. He's also giving input on what colors are going to be used for the repaint.

After about 3 hours today. Here is where it sits. Mostly stripped of parts, just need to remove the wiring, front and rear wheels, fork, and swingarm. I figure maybe another hour or two until ready for cleaning, paint stripping and re-paint.

Quick question for the learned motorcycle rebuilder. I noticed that the left side lower frame rail is very close to the screw at the bottom of the engine side cover. After removing the engine, it looks like that portion of the frame has a slight upward (concave) bend. It's right above where the side stand mounts.

Should this portion of the frame be straight?
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