My VMD adventure... aka Why I love CB350's
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My VMD adventure... aka Why I love CB350's

This is a discussion on My VMD adventure... aka Why I love CB350's within the General forums, part of the Caferacer.net Forums category; I'll preface this story with the fact that this was my first lenghty ride on a motorcycle. I bought my first bike four years ago, ...

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  1. #1
    Senior Member Mercury Kid's Avatar
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    My VMD adventure... aka Why I love CB350's

    I'll preface this story with the fact that this was my first lenghty ride on a motorcycle. I bought my first bike four years ago, and it has yet to run, or even roll. I bought my second bike about two months ago, and got it on the road and legal last week.

    I live and work in Columbus Oh, about 60ish miles south of Lexington, where Mid-Ohio is located. I left work on my cafe'd cb350(can be seen in the projects forum) on a mission to make it to the track and meet my friends and co-workers in the swap meet area, where everybody was spending the weekend.

    As I said I'm a new rider and so I wanted to stick to the backroads. I had my course all planned out and I was making good time. I was cruising down the road, enjoying the scenery and the beautiful evening sun when I began loosing power. I gave it more throttle, but the tach continued it's fall. 6... 5... 4... I pulled over.

    The day before I had been experiencing some charging problems. I had narrowed it down to wiring, and before I left I had cleaned up some suspect connections but didn't have time to check the system. I threw a spare battery in my pack just to be sure, and it was seeming like it was about time to swap it in.

    As soon as I got off the bike, I knew my battery was the least of my worries. It was pouring smoke from the right pipe, oil covered the entire rear of the bike, and it had that hot smell.

    As I got off, a couple people passed on bikes. One of them turned around and asked me if I needed any help. Turns out, his house was only 50 feet away. I pushed the tired cb into the driveway and began diagnosis. I blew into the valve cover vent, and smoke blew out the right pipe. Not good, but it turns out I was only about 20 miles from the track. The owner of the house gave me enough oil to fill the motor back up, and I decided to continue, since the bike still ran.

    Let me tell you, twenty miles through beautiful countryside on a bike that can only limp up to 50mph on one cylinder isn't much fun. Downshifting up hill to maintain momentum, not letting the bike go below 2k at idle to prevent stalling, and staying way over to the right, I made it the rest of the way.

    After regailing my tail to my friends, it was decided that I should buy a motor the next day, and swap it in, in order to ride it home on sunday. It was also agreed upon that the most likely culprit was too much timing, crappy 87 octane fuel, and lean carbs, resulting in a torched hole in the right piston.

    Saturday morning I made a make-shift sign for the bike, asking for a cheap cb350 motor in order to get home. A man across the isle from our spot came over and made an offer. A complete '69 cb350 for $50. It was in rough shape, but it kicked over and he said he got it to fire on starting fluid.

    After much ribbing and prodding from my friends I agreed, handed over the cash, and began the swap. A compression check confirmed that the motor was sound and only needed the parts I already had such as clean carbs, points, and fresh gas.

    After a long day of wrenching, telling everyone my story, and even selling a few things at the swap, I got to the point were I was ready to fire it up. First try and I got nothing. Second try, and the electric starter died. I swapped my good starter in, and on the third try she started right up and ran like a champ.

    The new motor still had the oil that came in it, so I only ran it for a couple seconds, as the age and origin of the oil was unknown. Sunday morning three quarts of oil were again graciously bestowed upon me. I changed it out and rode it around the swap meet.

    Later that day, a couple guys came by that I had talked to the day before while swapping out the engines. They had expressed intrest in buying my bike, so I told them I would sell them the parts bike for the same $50 I had in it, so that they could build their own version. When they came back Sunday, one handed me a fifty dollar bill and they pushed it away. I ended up with a new motor for free!

    I decided to play it safe and not risk a repeat performance, so the bike was put in the truck for the trip home. After getting home, the main jets were upped three steps and I've been riding it for a couple days now with no problems.

    Just goes to show, swap meets are the greatest places on earth!
    Those scooter jockeys? Yeah real cycle trash for sure.

  2. #2
    Moderator joe c's Avatar
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    cool story. man, you got to have the real deal mid o experience the first time. you should have bought jets and ridden it home though.

    oh yeah, 3 sizes up is probably a little rich. plug chop it to make sure.


    j



    not a pretty boy honda rider... i\'m fag on a TTR

  3. #3
    Administrator texmawby's Avatar
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    i bought 6 CB350's there 9 years ago for $300.00. i built a race bike out of one, sold the rest of the stuff except for a spare motor and raced it till last year when i dropped a valve at nelson ledges. great story indeed! swapmeets at racetrack events are like peanut butter AND chocolate.

    cheers,

    tex
    advocate for the injured, disabled, and urinated upon.

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    Senior Member Donald's Avatar
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    you mean Reese's Peanut Butter Cups.
    \"Pain don\'t hurt.\"

  6. #5
    Senior Member Judeyramone's Avatar
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    Hey, I'm sure I saw you. I recognized the bike as we were heading off to the hotel, maybe 8:00-ish. Right near the gate. Too much traffic to turn around & say hi.
    Many a man who falls in love with a dimple makes the mistake of marrying the whole girl. - Evan Esar

  7. #6
    Senior Member cafe350's Avatar
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    Good story! I was really bummed to not make it to the meet, VMD was kinda the un-official deadline I had in mind for finishing my build. I am an inexperienced rider as well and taking the backroads would have been my plan as well...
    \"Hey, McCloud! Get off of my ewe!\"

    Trevor,
    \'72 Honda cl350 (sold)

    \'80 gs450E, the \"spooky \'Zuki\"

    \'04 Kawasaki Ninja 500

  8. #7
    Senior Member Mercury Kid's Avatar
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    Yep that was me. I got up there around 7:30 or 8 on friday.

    A big thanks to CO-Oh Vinmoto and Chi-Town Vinmoto for all the help.
    Those scooter jockeys? Yeah real cycle trash for sure.

  9. #8
    Moderator joe c's Avatar
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    yeah, thems some good peeps.



    not a pretty boy honda rider... i\'m fag on a TTR

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