First Ride Impressions: 1968 Honda CL 350 Cafe Project Bike
Kenny was in the driveway tinkering with the clutch on the CL when I pulled in yesterday morning. He urged me to take it for a ride so I slipped my jacket and helmet on and went through the side streets of our development.
This is a charming motorcycle. Visually speaking, the bike has that ‘it factor’ that makes you fall in love with it. Riding it doesn’t do much to diminish that feeling. At over 40 years old, it is of course not perfect by modern motorcycle standards. But when you are cruising along on it none of that matters. Where a new motorcycle does a lot of the work for you, the CL makes you do the work for it. That being said, the work is rewarding. Have you heard people speak of character or soul in a bike? This Honda has it in spades.
I followed behind Kenny on the bike’s maiden voyage, in my car. He was buzzing along at 75 on the highway which really surprised me. My mind was foolishly prepared for 55 wide open. While my little trip around the block didn’t see anything over 40mph, nothing about the CL’s 30-odd horsepower felt lacking. I enjoyed my 10 minutes thoroughly.
Are you a People Person?
When you pull in anywhere, people will talk to you about the bike. If you are a wallflower, this is not the bike for you. If you’re a snarky a-hole, you will be in heaven. The law of averages means you will get a high percentage of stupid questions. Today when Kenny pulled in, got off the bike and took his helmet off, I saw someone walk over to him and ask, Do you know what kind of bike this is? Oh boy.
The custom exhaust is being fabricated now and should be here in the next couple weeks so more pictures will be forthcoming. Hopefully I can talk Kenny into saying a few new words about his girl in the meantime. Stay tuned!