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Discussion Starter #1
Well I rode the honda last night from my shop to my house and im a little worried. The bike likes to make real short turns and dosent like leaning so much. Now I know it will never lean like my sport bike but ive seen pictures where cafe racers are carving pretty good. I tried leaning it a little bit but it was sprinkling and I didnt want it to slip and drop it. So I consulted my dad about it and I asked him how I could fix it so it would want to carve corners a little better. He told me I need to adjust the rake or find a new frame. Now im not ready mechanically to adjust the rake so I s'pose the lesser of two evils is finding a new frame. Now my questions to you is, Is there a differnent way? and if I have to pick a new frame, what would be a good one to go with? Thanks

-Cambo
 

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try dropping the forktubes through the clamps and inch.

but you could have other problems. but no, they wont turn in like a modern sportbike.


jc
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Yeah I knew they wont. I mean i dont want to be able to drag my knee or anything, but i want to be able to lean without thinking "oh jesus im going to biff it". Will clubmans or clip ons help? or are they more cosmentic, aggressiver(?) riding style kind of adjusment?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Yeah I was thinkin tires maybe. But when im on my Yamaha and I merge lanes or turn, I push on the handle bar ever so slightly and its ready to turn. But I guess thats just because its a sport bike. I tried to doing the same thing to the honda but it actully started going in the wrong direction. Like on my Yamaha if i want to merge or turn left, I push the left grip, and then it goes left. On the honda i pushed the left grip left and it wanted to turn right like my dirt bike...accept it wanted to turn more. its definatly the squirrliest bike ive road and thats why i was a little nervous to lean it. And i dont trust the grip on the sides of the knobbys....
 

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ok I am going to take the stone simple stupid aproach before you go nuts with the frame and suggest:

- new steering head bearings
- new swingarm bushings
- new, proper, modern tires
- new performance shocks setup to your weight
- steering dampner
- low handlebars and rearsets
- adjust your riding position via new lower seat.

go in order and by step 5 your bike will feel like a new machine and carve a heck of a lot better and probably closer to how she was when new. Honestly it is a 30 year old bike and you really should take care of the maintenance issue stuff first. I ride my stocker cb750 really hard with confidence because of new bushings and tires alone.

clipons or clubmans will make the steering feel harder. they won't improve the actual handeling of the bike but they will give you more feel. You are not up to the point where you need it yet. Get your machine sorted first and you will be surprised. If you are not ready to do rearsets just yet a drag bar might work best for your setup.
 

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Without getting into serious money to improve your handling, the steering head bearings and new bushings will help your cause for very little expense. I'm not sure what model Honda you have (your profile said XL350). If it is an XL, this frame is designed for off road which will have fast steering on the street.

If the bike has fast steering, increasing the rake of the bike will definitely slow the steering. Short of cutting the frame and re-welding it, there are MC performance companies that sell steering heads that allow you to wench adjust the rake of the bike. These are almost exclusively used with race bikes and are very very expensive. ($1400 and up).

Hopes this helps
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Yeah it sure does help! ill do all of that when its ready for it and see what happens. You both have saced me from a lot of stress and I appreciate you spelling this out for me!
 

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when working on bikes, espically old bikes, the K.I.S.S. principle is the best way to approach anything. K.I.S.S. = Keep It Simple Stupid and really can be a life saver.

If you do have an xl350 then the suspension might have to come down an inch too but let's focus on the stuff you need now. and if you are wondering if it is ready for it, well it is ready for it now and while you have it down you might as well do other service items like chains, sprockets, etc. Save up the parts and do it all at once. IIRC you bought somebody's beater xl350 that looks like shite - I can pretty much gaurantee you these parts need to be addressed first thing.

and forget riding this thing like your crotch rocket. it is a completely different animal and will respond as such. you are basically going to have to relearn a lot of what you know about riding when you got into a vintage bike.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
and the only way to learn is get out there and ride it, i think i can handle it. Im just going to get it in better running condition first. I saw a rebuild kit for my engine for $60 i think ill invest in. My first goal is to get it mechanically sound. I sure dont want to sit in the middle of traffic kick starting it....
 

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quote:Originally posted by Stuntboy56

and the only way to learn is get out there and ride it, i think i can handle it. Im just going to get it in better running condition first. I saw a rebuild kit for my engine for $60 i think ill invest in. My first goal is to get it mechanically sound. I sure dont want to sit in the middle of traffic kick starting it....
does it need a rebuild? or just a carb cleaning? or just points?

Start at the points, then clean the carbs, then see if the motor is making any akward noises. If it is, then rebuild it. If it is not oil tight to the point of being compared to the exxon valdez then invest in the gaskets (which is probably the rebuild kit you are referring to since a timing chain will cost you that much alone) and a timing chain, and maybe valve springs. Honestly - don;t just throw parts at something that isn't a problem yet. So many bikes improve radiacally when you do something as simple as a proper tuneup.

it is a common newbie problem - you want to start big and jump right in when you should start at the most logical small places first.
 

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bow to geeto, he very wise man.

if its handling like crap, you can check the steering bearings by seeing if there is a rough feeling, not smooth operation, when the front wheel is up. or if there is front back dink donkiness if you grab the fork lowers and pull back and forth. it shoudl fall from side to side, easily,. with no clunk front and back. also check for side play on the swing arm. grab the rear wheel with the rear in the air and see if it moves back and forth. tires are huge. they make a gigantic difference. have the basic tools to do a tune up. and then do one. youll have to do it when youre done tearing into it anyway. so have them. these bikes are 20 and 30 years old at this point. they have been hacked into by everyone who owns a screwdriver who "knows what they are doing" do the job right. have the right tools. and it will pay off.

jc
 

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joe, your monthly fee is in the mail.:D

in all seriousness I have your plastic fender, are you coming to NY anytime soon? If it is a weekend I will be out of town or you will see rosko at a race soon I can leave it with him.
 

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ill be at engishtown this weekend. if you ever go to matchless, you can give it to my friend denise, or rosko see her occasionally there. if you give it to rosko, ill get it at some point.

thanks again
jc
 

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quote:Originally posted by parks61

quote:Will clubmans or clip ons help?
clubmans will definitely help.
-parks
yeah they will help....you meet the man of your dreams....

(sorry I couldn't resist)

in all seriousness, any kind of low bar will probably help but it shouldn't be the 1st step. 1st step is always always always a good tuneup.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Yeah, i had my dad read the thread and he totally agrees with you geeto. Ive seen people who even type the work clubmans take 3 pages of flak. Why? what makes clubmans so bad? is it that the clip ons may be a little more pricey but are easier to work with. do clipons work better? why such hostility twords the clubmans?
 

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I just did most of the above mentioned items on my "storage unit fresh" 72 CB500. Swing arm bushings, wheel bearings, wheels trued, Metzeler's, drag bars, points adjust, dyna coils, and plugs/wires. NIGHT AND DAY difference! These guys know what they are talking about! I got it all running again to find out my carbs are dicked, thats this weekends project.
 

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it isn't that clubman bars themselves are so bad - it is all about overall riding position. Clubmans, clipons, m bars, by themselves with stock pegs tend to create a bad riding position by placing a lot of unnecessary weight on your wrists and when coupled with stock pegs tend to keep your back arched differently unless you are very short. On some bikes clubmans just plain don't fit easily at all (the cb350 is not one of these bikes - it will fit fine). every bike is different and some have stock foot pegs set back far enough that it may not make any difference (as parks), while others will throw your spin in to an unnatural binding arc.
 
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