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Monthly Archives: May 2012

1971 Honda CB350 Cafe Racer Project – Episode 3

A few photos of the bike pieces before taking the frame off to the powdercoaters…

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Spin Cycle Industries’ Art In Motion Vintage Motorcycle Show

Damn, this weekend I was out of town and it happened to be the weekend of the inaugural Art In Motion vintage motorcycle show, put on by our own local Spin Cycle Industries. I encourage you to visit their recap on their blog to see photos of the bikes that showed up:  Art In Motion

Just to tempt you I hijacked a couple of photos…

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1971 Honda CB350 Cafe Racer Project – Strip-Down Complete

Whew, what a weekend… The bike is now down to the frame. It is time to start breaking down the engine. The frame was dropped off at the Armadillo Powdercoating today for a nice flat-black powdercoat. Pictures to follow…


CB350 Cafe Racer Inspiration

I found another nice bike to inspire the Cafe Racer Project. I would love to polish out the tank to raw metal…

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This one was discovered over at jvoisrad with no additional details. It looks to be a Honda CB350 to me.

Here it is a little earlier in the process:


2012 Oregon Vintage Motorcyclists Show

An old vintage motorcyclist enthusiast I met in Casarama last week told me about the Oregon Vintage Motorcyclist show & swap meet that happens every May at the Benton County Fairgrounds in Corvallis, Oregon. The show was happening the following weekend (this past Saturday & Sunday) with the swap meet and bike rally on Sunday. Since I had little planned on Sunday, I made plans with The Missus to head over early Sunday morning in hopes of finding some parts and inspiration for my CB350 Cafe Racer Project. I wasn’t sure what to expect but I was excited to go.

Sunday morning we were up early, and with a quick check of the Corvallis weather, which looked good, we were out the door for the 2.5 hour drive over the mountains. As soon as we hit the Corvallis city limits the rain started. It was one of those misty-drizzley rains that has you soaked before you realize you even need an umbrella. As we pulled up to the fairgrounds I was pleased to see that vintage motorcycle enthusiasts are like postmen, and won’t let a little rain, sleet, or snow hold them back from showing off their projects. The bikes were rolling in. The rain had thinned out the parts dealers but there were some amazing bikes to drool over. I didn’t find any parts for the CB350 Cafe Racer Project but I took alot of photos of amazing bikes. These were just a few…

BSA’s

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Gitta was even excited about the size of this one for herself and had it been complete we might have gone home with it.

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Royal Enfields

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Harleys

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Hondas

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Several times during the day the words, “This one would be good for me!” were said, which gives me hope that I can continue my motorcycle obsession.

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Indians

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This one was a Royal Enfield Indian.

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Italian Bikes

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(An Italian Harley Davidson custom frame project from the 1950’s)

Jawa

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Nortons

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(This guy came flying in with the marshal chasing him down to tell him where to park.)

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(This was a NorVin – A Norton frame with a Vincent HRD engine.)

An Ossa Wildfire from Isle of Mann

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A Panther

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Triumphs

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A Velocette

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A few Vespas

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BMWs

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& more… Too many to photograph in fact. I could have made a dozen trips around the field but we were getting soaked and The Missus had taken in her fill of vintage iron. Next year I will make a point of spending more time and taking more photos. Hopefully my Cafe Racer Project will be finished and I can roll it on over…

The rest of the afternoon was spent in antique shops. We found some treasures, so the day was a total success for both of us.



1971 Honda CB350 Cafe Racer Project – Inspiration

I found two bikes that resemble what I would like my final bike to look like. Most of the cafe racer projects leave the bike totally stripped down with either small modified fenders or no fenders at all. Also, since I will be riding with the Missus on the back of the bike I cannot go with the small cafe racer seat. I need to maintain a passenger friendly cafe look. These two bikes are pretty close in many regards:

This is a 1973 CL350 that was restored by Jonathan Wood. You can see more pictures of the details on his Flickr post.

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This bike is great inspiration. I like the lower profile headlight and the fact that he kept the rear fender configuration with modified LED lights. I would have kept the original front fender and added rubber shock boots, but that’s just my style. He did a great job on this bike all around.

This next bike is a CB350

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On this bike I like the fact that they kept the original front fender and I am a big fan of the rubber shock boots. The handlebars and gauges sit a little higher than I like and the seat back is too tall, not to mention that the seat is meant for one person.

These two are the best conversions I have found so far, based on my likes and dislikes. Great job guys! Thanks for the inspiration.


1971 Honda CB350 Cafe Racer Project – Episode 2

Let the breakdown begin! I spent a few hours this weekend dismantling the bike to see how deeply the rust had penetrated various parts. The  original goal was to simply get the bike running in its current state and work slowly over time to fix it up while I worked out the engine by riding it. Well, my OCD kicked in and I couldn’t stand to see the rusty parts, so I decided that I would get it stripped down to the frame so I could get the frame powdercoated while I dealt with the surface rust inside the gas tank. Once the seat and tank were off I kept on going. I made sure to take many photos of each part before removing it so that when I put it back together I have something to refer to. I also ordered the Clymer Honda repair manual. It should be here in a couple of days.

After breaking down the bike I sent a couple of hours on the internet sourcing some of the parts I thought I might replace, but after looking at part sites and eBay I think some of the parts I thought were poor are actually not so bad, based on the junk people are trying to sell on eBay. It seems surface rust and dents are par for the course on CB350 parts this age and I will be better off sanding, sand-blasting, re-chroming and powdercoating some of the pieces with minor wear that I thought were throw-aways.

This is the bike after a few hours of breakdown:

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And after an hour or so more, it was even lighter:

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Now I can get the carbs off and rebuilt…


1971 Honda CB350 Cafe Racer Project – Episode 1

This past weekend The Missus and I drove over the mountains on a journey to pick up the 1971 Honda CB350 my good friend Loren had forwarded to me from Craigslist for my Cafe Racer Project. The day was a total success! Flea market in the morning and motorcycle purchase in the afternoon, all with the blessings of The Missus, who has warmed to the idea of riding on the back of a vintage motor bike, dressed in all the vintage regalia (of course).

The ad had stated the the bike would need a little work to get it running, but was in good shape otherwise. No other details were available. I had corresponded for a week via email arranging for the seller to hold the bike until I could pick it up and no details about the bike were discussed so I thought it would be good to go, even though the ad stated that the bike had no title. I figured that this was the reason that the bike was listed for a couple of weeks and was still available. When we arrived in the afternoon and I climbed out to look at the bike I had a bit of a sinking feeling, spying rust from across the driveway. The photo in the ad had been shot in such a way that it was not evident that there was any rust on the bike, only a little faded paint on the tank. I dove in and climbed under the bike for a closer inspection. After examining the details it looked as though most of the rust was surface rust and pitting on the chromed elements of the bike. The seller had oiled the carbs and freed up the wheel bearings so the motor turned over and the bike rolled. The only thing missing on the bike were the brake pads. Everything else was there and was original. I hemmed and hawed over the price for a bit and we came to an agreement that was pretty close to his asking price. He was stubborn, knowing that these bikes were gaining popularity and that there would be someone right behind me at this price that would take it off his hands. We shook, loaded the bike:

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and The Missus and I headed back over the mountains with our new purchase staring at me in the rearview mirror.

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The first step is to get the bike titled. I have all of the paperwork filled out and ready to go, so tomorrow is the DMV journey. Today I dragged the bike out for a complete photo documentation so I have reference where the bike was when I started. This is what the bike looks like today:

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1971 Honda CB350 – Original Condition

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Stay tuned for more episodes…


Vintage Shooting Jacket

At the Piccadilly Flea Market this past weekend I scored an amazing vintage shooting jacket with patches. As I said before, it was ten feet inside of the front doors after 4 hours! And it was CHEAP! How can people walk by this kind of thing? I should stop complaining now, since I walked out with it. BTW, it fits me…

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Vintage Moto Jacket Score

This past weekend was the weekend with the road trip to pick up my new Honda CB350 Cafe Racer Project (stay tuned for details). First the Missus and I had to stop by the Piccadilly Flea Market in Eugene, OR to see if we could find any vintage goodness. I hadn’t been to “The Pic” in years, but have friends that buy and sell there that keep me up to speed on quality of goods, so I knew it was ripe for the pickings. It was a successful pick, as I found a vintage hunting jacket within ten feet of the front door to start out the proceedings. We didn’t arrive until noon, so I was pleasantly surprised to see such a great find at all, let alone within ten feet of the front entrance. I will post the hunting jacket next, but first, the next little treasure I found was a vintage motorcycle shop jacket from the 70’s with fantastic graphics on the back and a chain-stitched name on the front.

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The brand is Pla-Jac from Danbrooke, which is a new one to me. While the jacket looks like one of the cheap nylon giveaways, it is not. It is a light cotton jacket and the elastic is still in great shape. It isn’t heavy duty by any means, but will work great for breezy days. The only bummer for me is that, as usual, the jacket is a Medium (40-42) and I am more of a large, so perhaps the Missus gets to wear it now and then, although it will run big on her…