Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Holiday Hondas

Seen while out walking on Labor Day:

 Honda CL350 "Scrambler". I've been seeing this thing puttering around the Ripple a lot, lately, so I do believe it's somebody's daily driver. If so, mondo cool points. Apparently the protagonist in the U.S. version of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo rode a trick customized CL350, so expect unmolestered originals like this one to become more scarce and valuable in the future.

O.G. Honda V45 Magna. The straight grooves in the front discs distinguish an '82 750, the first year of production, from later tariff-era 700s. I had one of these things very briefly. The frame on mine was tweaked badly enough that the tracks of the front and rear tire could be distinguished after you drove through a puddle, since there was almost an inch of offset between their centerlines. This made for... interesting handling characteristics. Also, all the baffles had come out of the exhaust on one side, possibly in a cloud of rust, so it was kinda loud.

23 comments:

aczarnowski said...

I was lucky to have an '86 750 VFR before the same stupid tariffs multiplied the 700s. Still miss that ride.

Scott J said...

Have been meaning to ask you: when you rode did you ever get down here to Alabama to run the "mini dragon"?

That would be the 19 miles of state highway 25 that runs South out of Leeds.

Randy said...

Other than the rip in the seat that is sure a clean little 350. I rode one back when they could be had for cheap. I imagine an original one would bring collector prices now.

Anonymous said...

I had the loan of a V65 Magna for a summer. It was one of my favorite summers. 1100cc's, 500lb curb weight, cruise control... Absolute joy to ride. Only dropped it once and the owner didn't even get mad, he just laughed at me.

Always wanted to get one, but health issues won't allow now. :-(

Sklutch

Paul said...

Yep, the CL350 was a nice bike back in the day. Handle city and pasture pretty well. Gullys were a bit much for it, but that is why they make dirt bikes.

It would be nice to have on now that I don't need to find the top end of every thing I ride.

Blackwing1 said...

I had a CL350 (a '71, I think) in a horrible yellowish/green metallic color. Somebody had put ape-hangers and a sissy bar on it, and I picked it up for $300. The points were always needing adjustment on it, and I kept a gap-measurement shim and a piece of fine-grain emery cloth on the bike so I could adjust 'em as necessary.

It ran great for 20,000 miles or so, and then I blew up the engine when the oil seal on the shaft failed and dumped the oil while I was riding. First thing I knew was when the cam bearing froze, and locked up the engine. Wasn't worth repairing, so I scrapped it.

I don't actually miss the durned thing. It was replaced with a CX500, and having a water-cooled, shaft-drive bike for the first time got me used to the idea of motorcycles as reasonably reliable transportation, rather than just a fun machine.

Ambulance Driver said...

I used to ride a 1972 CB450 that looked a lot like that one.

Third gear in it was borked, so I had to tach out second gear and skip to fourth.

Loved that old bike.

roland said...

My dad bought a CL360 new in 1975, and dropped it shortly thereafter, bending the handlebars. I immediately appropriated the tweaked bar (with the ultra-cool MX stylee crossbar) for my Western Auto Flyer bicycle. I'm not sure how my six year old self managed, but I got that sucker on there, ditched the fenders, and had myself the sorriest excuse for a BMX bike the planet has ever seen. Fortunately, i didn't know any better.

doubletrouble said...

The CL was called a "scrambler", so our little band of misfits thought they'd be good for haulin' arse amongst the rocks & trees.
At 350#, that machine wasn't exactly nimble, & the suspension sucked.
But it's got "high" pipes!

Charles Pergiel said...

Yay, Tam!

Jim said...

Honda's "scramblers" were some of the nicest looking, visually balanced bikes of their era.

I think the last of them was the 360 Scrambler, with the downswept pipes and upswept mufflers. Black pipes, at that. 72 or 73, if I recall correctly? Was one of the first "dirt" bikes with a disc brake.

They seemed huge to me, back then. After three Gold Wings and nearly 40 years later, I now have a different perspective.


Jim
Sunk New Dawn
Galveston, TX

Will said...

Almost the first bike I bought. In blue, probably a '68, since it was used in '69. Owner couldn't find the title, and my parents were not happy. Used the money to buy a very much breathed-on big block for my '57 Chevy rag-top. In hindsight, I'd have been better off with the bike.
Eventually got a 750 Norton as a first bike.


WV: ighTwin 9. Must have been a model I missed.

Jay G said...

Wow. My second bike was an '82 V45 Magna. Same COLOR, even. Yes, I rode a purple Honda.

Memreeeezz...

Wound up selling it to buy my S&W 360PD. From one type of flame out of a cylinder to another...

JhninMd.(help?!?) said...

Why am I picturing Billy Jack ridin' inta town to take off his boots an' kick bootie?

Anonymous said...

I still have my '73 CL 450. Most unique engine valve train design I had seen at that point in time and it was cheap. Paid 300, rode it home.

I used to love holding the clutch in and cranking the rpm's to around 6k and dumping it. Tons of fun, tread life was limited and expensive.

I keep meaning to do a total rebuild but other projects like the two RD 350's keep getting ahead of it in the long line of "I'm gonna's" around here.

Gmac

Anonymous said...

Had a CL350 back in the day. I recall it being heavy, clumsy and slow.
Even nostalgia can't help some things.

Reno Sepulveda said...

Love the old Honda Scramblers. The Magna not so much although didn't Prince put around on one of those in Purple Rain?

Brigid said...

That first one is seriously cool!

HerrBGone said...

My second bike was a CL360. The first was a Suziki T-125 also called a Scrambler. Loved em both, but that was a long time ago and I was a lot younger (and lighter) then...

Anonymous said...

You know what'll make feel young again and old as fluck at the same time?

Seeing posts like this featuring what was the coolest in hi-tech scoots that I slobbered over at 14-15 being slobbered over now as survivors and vintage tin. :/

Weird. But cool.

-chaz-

Ole Phat Stu said...

I've been visiting various motorcycle museums in Germany and have been blogging about them. Bikers & fans might care to come take a look at the photos. The blog is in English, so you can read it too :-)

Ole Phat Stu
(currently on a Triumph Street Triple)

Mugwug said...

Love those old Scramblers!

I'm in the middle of redoing a '72 CB350 (not the CL350 I covet, but still pretty slick) I picked up that had been neglected for a number of years.

I'm new to motorcycles and figured I could cut my teeth on a renewal (rather than restoration) project, learning my way around the bike.

http://www.moral-flexibility.net/archives/2013/06/25/the-bike-where-we-are-now/

It's been an education.. although I seem to spending as much money on shipping as on parts.

Larry said...

I had a CL350. The thing about it that sticks out in my mind the most was its absolutely horrid drum brakes on the front axle.