Cafe Racer Forum banner

1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi Everyone
Today, just today, I was giving my uncle sh** about an old bike that he had in his shop since 1981, I just knew that the whole bike was taken apart for no reason and he did not remember how to put it back again. Well, today that bike came home with me and all related parts (Merry Christmas to me... I think). It is a Honda cb350 Four, what is that? I do not know, I don't even know how to ride a bike, I have never done any work on bikes; even my wife and friends are laughing at me because I am lost looking at the mess. But Im not discourage by it :)

My inclination, I restore vintage Volkswagen as a hobby, I own at least one of each different models and years, I buy them as rust bucket, not running, no life expectancy and with few weeks of hard work and a lot of used parts (restored off course) the project is on the road. Saying that, I am not completely lost in figuring out what is wrong mechanically and wiring. But there are so many different things in a bike called differently that I really at a lost.

Well, enough about me... the project bike now... I have been reading a lot in this site on what to build and what is important for people to know to give us a better guidance in what to look for. Well, I am not looking for a racer, or a daily driver, I will be learning to ride in this bike for sure but Im not afraid in modifying parts to make it more reliable... the front fork has a little bent toward the back, for sure will need to be replaced I just found few front fork from other bikes on CL, but I want to get the right things to make a Café racer bike, and I will like to start getting parts while I make the bike run... or at least the engine put back together to test it before moving forward.

Because I don't know anything about a 350 four, can anyone tell me what to look for in the bike... what to replace with some better parts to make it handle better, brakes of course,... my uncle took apart the clutch assembly, tank, seat, and some other small things... I will have to rewire the sucker... for sure. I will be posting pictures soon of the carnage. The bike has at least something of everything broken from being moved and thrown around... I will have a lot of fun figuring out what works.

Well, thanks for reading my post...
Regards,
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
477 Posts
The Honda 350 four is a pretty sweet little machine when sorted out and running well. They are remarkably smooth running and pretty docile until you get the engine spinning up over about 6500rpm and the engine comes up on the cam; that's when they begin to dance. Bits and pieces; sounds like most of the projects I take on...you have your work cut out for you, but it sounds like you may posses the mechanical skills to get 'er done. Get a couple of manuals, check out parts suppliers like Bikebandit, David Silver Spares, partsnmore etc...take your time and if you have questions, ask them.
My advice is to try not to spend too much money on it until you have it running, then get some decent tires, new brake pads and shoes...run it for a season and see if you think it's a keeper, then if you fall in love with it throw some money at improvements.
Have fun and good luck.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
658 Posts
Welcome Lunatik! Sounds like you have a lot of fun ahead of you. Hopefully you have a title to go with that basket case? Don't spend any money on this bike until you get that proof of ownership from the state in hand. If not then you may want to sell the parts and get a functioning basic bike that you can have fun learning on.

Take a hard look at the frame around the neck (where the forks attach) and see if it looks like there has been a patch of steel welded there that goes around from one side, under, and to the other. If you have any doubts take pictures and show us. This may determine alot in how you want to proceed.

Once you start spending money on this thing you could either focus on the engine (knowing that the frame is going to be relatively easy). Or start with the frame so you can roll it out of the way easier (and knowing that you are committed to a functional engine even if it's not that exact one or that it'll be fixed by you).

If you start with the frame and suspension be careful of stock dimensions of the forks and shocks. When you change the length of those you can accidentally change the handling characteristics really quickly and make it much MUCH harder for you to learn on.

This spring (as in, sign up now) go take the local rider's safety class. They provide bikes for you.

Pictures are always welcome.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,512 Posts
thankfully ca is an easy state to file for a lost title:rolleyes: all they really care about is getting your money
good luck with the project, deffinately take a riders course and don't get sucked into putting low bars on the bike
all the advice so far has been really good from these guys and i am sure there will be more have fun !
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
23,291 Posts
For a long time the 350 Four was a bastard outcast nobody wanted. Honda, whose general philosophy is to support their products to the point where you can still buy parts for 60's bike at the dealer, wasn't selling any service items for that bike for a long time. Even now parts are hard to come by, even though there is a devloped aftermarket around the bike. The 350 four was the precursor to the 400f four from 1975-78 and while it is a smooth running motorcycle it lacks any kind of useable power and the gearbox isn't all that great. The 400 came with a 6 speed trans and really it is what the 350 needs. So....If the motor is fragged, do yourself a favor and go find a 400f four engine and drop it right in (requires no mods since they share an engine case design). you'll be better off in the long run because the 400F has huge aftermarket support as well as better support from honda. I honestly wouldn't waste your time with the 350 engine unless you knew for a fact there was nothing wrong with it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
23 Posts
And keep in mind "There is nothing more expensive than a free motorcycle". Welcome to the forum.
Damn aint that some real truth. Sounds like you have the right mindset approachin this build. Dont worry about it too much, half of us didn't know what the hell we were doing the first time around. You'll get better at it.
Definitely take a look around other threads on here and see what you might want to take from other builds. I'm often times very inspired looking at other build threads..
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
658 Posts
Saw this on another site. let me know if interested.

350 motor:
This is actually still in a bike, complete with title. Some parts have been taken off, but I have just about everything except the exhaust. Take the motor for $150 or the whole bike with parts for $500. Seat is very good, tires and wheels are excellent. This one does include carbs and a parts carb or two as well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Thanks everyone for all the replies and good comments... I really like this site. Today I had to work double, good for after Christmas spending. I have the title of the bike, I guess I was lucky because my uncle loose everything. Im very excited about this bike, even my wife asked me to fix it for her to learn as well, for sure I will be looking for another vintage bike for the wife soon... but for now is getting this one on the road. I like the plan to don't spend too much money in making it run... I think I have all parts just missing bolts and small things, and a broken clutch handle. Today I messed with the clutch assembly and other few small things... the carbs are out of the bike. I will try to post some pics today, it is dark and cold outside but for sure I can snap few to post before I go to bed.

Thanks for the advice about the free bike... it makes a lot of sense, for me I never though getting a bike, but now Im stoked with this little POS.

Thanks again for all replies
Regards,
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,459 Posts
It isnt great. But I was picturing crank in a milk crate type scenario. Find manual, get the clutch sorted and get it running.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Thanks Raven
I don't mind rust... It gives character to any old vehicle... but I am going to fired it up standing in a box before spending any money. I have been trying to figure out the clutch assembly... keep you posted.

Thanks
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Top