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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…

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