In the early hours of Sunday morning while the rest of the neighborhood was enjoying the extra hour of sleep from turning the clocks back, the Fuzzmop household was alive with the sounds of compressed air and flying sand. Kenny was outside working on cleaning up the newer cylinders he picked up for the CL.
The CL started having problems with starting. Suspecting a bad head gasket, the bike went up on the lift and parts started coming off. As it turned out, there were two broken piston rings. Kenny took a quick inventory of anything else he might want to update while the bike is unbuttoned.
The current cylinders have a few cracked cooling fins. This would be the perfect time to replace them. Thanks to eBay, Kenny found a set for $30. Score! A little cleanup by sandblasting, some silver paint and the 40 year old engine will soon be looking extra spiffy.
The custom exhaust is nearly finished. New photos coming soon!
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!
I don’t want to steal Kenny’s thunder but I’m just so proud of this jewel. There have been a few false starts and detours along the way but the 1968 Honda CL350 is finally in the homestretch. Kenny had a vision to turn a lump of coal into a diamond. Outside of a gorgeous custom exhaust most of last bits and baubles will be going on today.
Stay tuned for updates and photos of the completed project!