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Discussion Starter #1
OK, I just took my CL 350 race bike out of the office/living room where it has set since late Nov when I bought it from nf343. I pushed it around a little to see if it would be nice and start right up, which of course it did not.

My question is--if the battery is low (bike has full battery, generator still on) will it be harder to bump start the bike?

If the low battery causes start problems I will take it out and charge it instead of running up and down the drive way pushing the bike preparing myself for a heart attach (fat and 52). But, hey, I am lazy and don't want to fart around taking the batt. out if I don't need to.

Jack

Thanks, the life you may save is my own.
 

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one thing at a time. Charge the battery first.

Then, did you empty ALL the fuel out of it? Even if you did, your main jet or primary jet is probably cloggged. Easy to check, just do it. Then see if you have spark, and if you do, then you know it's probably a gas thing.

Then check to see if mice got into it.
 

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I've learned my lesson so many times that I now I am very anal about draining fuel out of all the bikes, tanks and carbs. Makes a huge difference come starting time.
JohnnyB
 

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Discussion Starter #4
OK, got it going and it runs fine! Unfortuately I can't ride it more than about 100 yds up and down the road in front of my place. At first I thought it seemed pretty underpowered until I realized I hadn't replaced the sparkplug wire when I checked if a plug was wet.

I am embrassed about the problem. I did NOT drain out the gas, but I guess it just kind of dissapeared or evaporated over the winter...I don't think there was that much in it anyway. The petcock did "weep" just a little, so maybe that did it. Does race gas evaporate much faster than regular?

Hopefully the MB5 will start, while I didn't drain the tank I did turn off the gas and ran it until it ran out of fuel.

I am ready!!!
 

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Jack,

I'm glad you got your bike going but I am concerned that you are not prepared for a race/track day. Not only are you endangering yourself but you are putting others at risk as well. I don't want to come across as a hard ass, but racing, no matter what level, should be taken seriously. You should be prepared with your safety gear and your race bike.

JS
 

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oooooo, oooouuuccchhh,
but (i really hate to say this in front of everybody) champy's right. you still have time to prepare carefully.
parks
ps a good thing to do is clean/ wipe EVERYTHING with good lighting. looking over everything that way often shows up things not seen otherwise. then check bolts/nut one at a time systematically. i go front to back but whatever works for you is o.k. then try to run yor bike again and make yourself confident it will start when you get to the track so that you don't waste PRECIOUS track time. that will help to ensure a fun, safe and rich track day.
 

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champ you are a hard ass. I know, I've felt it. Lighten up on the guy. We were all there once. (expecting reply that shoots me down a notch)
 

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Jack,

Champ is right, if you're not ready you've got a week to get ready. So now is a good time to figure out what you still need to be ready. You said you bought it last November - was it a running race bike then or was it a CB350 that had sat in someone's garage for 20 years. No offense but there is a huge difference. If it's a bike that's sat for 20 years you've got your work cut out for you to get it ready by Monday. If it's a race bike and it's sat since November you've still got a shot to get it ready. At this point my bike is still sitting on a lift and lacking a few things to run. Hopefully it will start by tomorrow. If not Champ can be a hard ass to me as well.

So the question to you is what are you still needing to be ready to go, on a safe bike and in safe gear by Monday? And safe gear is just as important as a safe bike. Don't skimp on this stuff. Trust me. Do you need some help with anything? Champ doesn't live far from you, he'd be happy to help out.

Craig
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I really appreciate the last few comments- I take them as true concern.

The bike I bought last Nov was built and raced a couple times by Kevin Campbell (Nashua NH), he is on here once in a while as nf343 (the race # is 343, still on the bike). It was up and running when I got it. The only thing that should be done to it is to change the fork oil for something other than the reccommended ATF. I will go over it before next Monday. Today was the first day there hasn't been snow all over so I was able to get it down the steps and out to run. I still am wondering where the gas in it went to...

As to gear, I have Alpinestar sxm plus boots, bought a helmet from Frank, picked up a good back protector on ebay and will rent leathers from Carl (I have bought a couple sets but I can't wear an off the rack and want to make sure I really like it before investing $1000 in a custom made suit). I kind of forgot about the gloves but will buy the best I can afford before track day.

I will GLADLY accept any help/advice to prepare me and the bike for the 30th. I don't think there are any other guys within 2 hours of me down here in the wilds of Delaware County. I'll be at the red roof Sunday afternoon, and maybe could get some last minute things taken care of then, but I think it will be OK.

Again, thanks for the concern! I am looking forward to more advice.

Jack



Edited by - Jackc on Apr 20 2007 11:02:11 PM
 

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I helped a few newbies in the infield last year and was aghast at the condition of some of the bikes....and they had passed tech.

Best case senario is you get really really bummed out because something stupid breaks or screws up and you lose a race.

Worst case scenario....you crash because of an equipment failure and hurt yourself.

Scenario from hell...you crash and hurt someone else because something stupid failed.

Eventually you get in the groove and realize the anal preparation of a race bike is part of the pride and yes, status of being a motorcycle racer.
JohnnyB
 

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>>>I still am wondering where the gas in it went to...<<<

I have spaced it on turning off the petcock and found the gas that was in the tank ended up in the crank case. This happened on the TA and a Ducati I have.

ALSO, Thanks for not being offended by my comments. I just want to make sure you have a great experience and don't end up getting hurt. And welcome to the USCRA!! I know you will find vintage racing a full filling experience and will meet some really cool people along the way.

JS
 

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just another thought.
the mystery location of your missing gas is probabley your crank case....before you run your bike again and risk scoring bearing races, cange your oil. and if you're a smoker...don't while you drain the 2 stroke mix out of your engine.
parks
 

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Jack,

As has already been said. Change your oil, and change your fork oil. I'm thinking 15 weight fork oil is what you want. Maybe 10 weight. Wire the drain plug. Then instead of sitting at the Red Roof inn on Sunday night come up to the track and get your bike tech'd. Then you'll know what else needs to be done for a race day. For the track day on Monday there's really not a lot more that needs to be done than what you've already got done to the bike since
it's a previous race bike.

Karl Smolenski, who's running the track day, and myself should get to the track sometime late Sunday afternoon and can help you with any questions then if you want.

Also, though it's not recommended, I've seen people before come to a race school with nothing done to their bike, go into a panic when they realize how much needs to be safty wired and then get it done in time to race that day. And that guy is still racing in the USCRA today. And the Champ was the instructor for that school as well.

Good luck.

Craig
 

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JohnnyB,

Regarding the condition of race bike for newbies, what can we do to help these guys out? I think there will be more people than Jack showing up for their first event and I think that there bikes in "less than race ready" condition than his. This caferacer forum is great to help out newer racers but I'm sure there are more out there that don't read this that will be at the track event.

I'm hoping that the relaxed track day event will bring a lot of new guys out and they can be instructed on more than just riding around the track. I'm hoping that those bikes that are under prepped can be told what needs to be done to bring them up to the proper level. At one time a mentoring process was discussed that could be a huge benifit to a lot of people. I think at one point I was even listed as the Western New York Regional rep.

The best solution to this type of situation is to work with someone over the winter so your bike is ready to go before the first event of the season. Ask the questions you don't know. Don't be afraid to ask the dumb questions, we've all been there before asking the same questions. Vintage racing needs more racers. We all have a stake in this. We need to make the first event for each racer something that they want to continue doing. My first event the weather was as bad as it gets in New England. Rain was coming down in buckets. I was scared shitless. My only riding was on the street on a Harley, so needless to say I was slow. But I kept coming back because I had a ball on the track.

Sorry for the long winded reply but I think this is a topic that needs some discussion or vintage racing in the north east could dry up. I better get out to the garage to get my bike ready for next weekend or the Champ will be on my ass.

Craig
 

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Discussion Starter #15
The missing gas will be a mystery never solved!

The oil is perfectly clean with no trace of gas in it. I think Kevin changed it before I bought the bike. The weepy petcock was a slightly loose fitting on the tank, I will have to drain it and put some thread sealer on.

Does anyone have the specs for how much oil in each tube for a 1972 CL350 (as I understand different forks than the CB)?

I will have to resaftey wire a few things, was the required size 20 ga., I thought I read some where that the rules had changed?

Actually this bike seems pretty nice (to me), well finished and assembled, not the junkyard dog you might expect it to be. I will admit I am definitly lacking in the mechanical aptitude dept., but just love riding and anything to do with bikes.

Lots of good ideas here! Especailly the mentor thing! I respect the advice -- I recognize most of you as experienced racers and have run into you at the Giro or Frontierland. Sometimes it is hard to figure out who is really who since I am not "in the loop" so to speak. Thanks again!
 

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Jack, the first year is always a challenge....I probably missed half the races and broke the other half. Gets way better the second year. When it comes time to ask questions at the track...don't ask someone just standing around...ask someone who appears to have a race bike, they probably know the answer if it's a generic racing question.

Definately show up early at the track or the night before with your bike and have some people check it out. 90% of the problems that arise are common to all race bikes and most of the guys know what works and what doesn't.
JohnnyB
 

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My Honda factory service manual lists the front fork oil capacity as 125-130 cc (to fill dry) and 105-110 cc (to fill after draining). For a cl350.

Craig
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Thanks for the info Craig! Does the manual say wether they reccomend ATF or a certain weight oil. The CB manual I have says ATF, but then again they are different forks.

Jack
 
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