CB/CL 350 RACE BIKE FAQ INTRODUCTIONS PAGE
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- Chris Marshall, Currently Iím 29 years old, born back in 1970, two
years after they made my CB350. I bought my first bike in 1986 to get
back and forth to high school. I eventually got dragged into the BMW
world, where I ended up working and eventually became a parts manager for
a large BMW only shop.I started racing in 1998 with WERA Vintage. A
friend suggested I try it, lent me an EX500 for race school, and then
presto, I started this madness.
I bought my CB350 for $200, stuck some tires on it, tuned it up
and hit the track. In 1999 I won my first two championship in WERA, V1
(Honda 350 class) and Classic Lightweight (Duc 250). In 2000 I held my
Lightweight title and won the V3 title (Duc 750) taking second in V1 and
third in V2 (Honda 350).
I currently own a 65 BMW R69S with sidecar, 86 BMW R100, 81 Honda
XL185S. Race bikes I own are a Honda CB72 and my CB350. I also race a
Ducati 250, 72 Ducati 750, 78 Yamaha SR500, Aermacchi 350, TZ350G. My
favorite street bike is my sidecar rig and my favorite race bike is
without a doubt the Ducati 250.
These can be made into very fast and horribly handling bikes quite
easily. Friends who race modern bikes said they feel ill after watching
me go around a corner. On the other hand, they can be very fun and
reliable, and will put you in classes with good competition. Other
vintage riders will occasionally give you crap for riding a junkyard
Honda, but you can wave at them when you lap them. Strengths are power
and reliability. Major weakness is handling.
- Hoyt McKagen, Will be 57 soon, Machinist/toolmaker/prototype builder/designer +25
years, biker since 1965, presently own a dozen bikes most of which run,
three 100% home-built and two FFE. Have tough determined and lovely wife,
young daughter and teener son none of whom ride by self.
General comments about the CB 350, Rock solid motor except for indifferent oiling system, tends to burn
cams. Can be made as big as 444 cc with crank and pistons from CB 450 and
considerable machine work to cases, or 400-410 cc with Kaw 1000F pistons
on stock crank. Serious big bores need upper crankcase opened up and new
sleeves installed in block; some cyl castings do not have room and liners
will show. Can have close-ratio gearbox made from all stock Honda parts,
but not at home, kidz. Fork needs good set-up and is really too small,
frame is a touch limber, and a longer and stronger SA would help. A whole
slew of performance gear is out there and the bikes are cheap with
readily available spares. People give them to me all the time in fact.
inititial reccommendations for mods, things to watch out for,
In this order: tires, chassis, brakes, better pipes and bigger carbs.
With 'pan' rules in effect in many racing orgs the pipes need to be above the
cases, best if aimed directly at eyeballs of following riders.
- Chris Ford, I am 56 years old, and I feel it. I
have 38 years experience in repairing, restoring and racing motorcycles.
I owned a small shop in Santa Monica California in the 70's, but now I
only do custom, show, and race bikes out of my home in Virginia. I have
ridden, raced, or wrecked everything from a 1965 Benelli Fireball 50, to
a Harley Full Dresser. My all time favorite bike is 1964 Bultaco
Metralla MK1: went around corners like you drew it a map, and it could
lift that front tire any time you wanted. I have owned, by last count
somewhere over 200 bikes, but my biggest claim to fame is that Buff Harsh
rode my old race bike to the number 1 plate at Road Atlanta.
General comments about the CB 350, The Honda CB/CL 350 series bikes were undeniably one of the most
successful street bikes Honda ever made. They were manufactured from
1968 to 1973 with nothing more than cosmetic changes. The motor actually
displaces only 325cc. They are eminently suited as race bike material,
and I have seen many racing in virtually stock form. The first
modification I would make, is to the cam chain tensioning system: replace
all the rollers, and the slipper with new parts.
- Buff Harsh, Motrcycles are a wonderful passion. My first bike was a 1988 Honda Hawk. I
learned the do's and don'ts about motorcycle riding in north Georgia, and
decided to take it to race school at the end of 96 where I crashed twice
and did not finish. The bike was stolen the following May ... but by that
time I had been lured into the affordable Vintage racer... the Honda 350. A
year later I bought mine and took it to the track. I am 28 years old and
have learned a lot about these Honda's in last three years. I have never
been a mechanic before I was introduced to Vintage bikes, and some people
in the paddock can tell you... but it is really fun and rewarding- don't be
intimidated - learn how to do it! I went from multiple electrical DNS's in
97 to Double National Champion in 2000. I keep mostly Vintage equipment in
my garage. 1972 CB350, 1973 CB200T, 1973 CB450, 1953
Norton Model 19 600cc single(on loan) and the 71 CR362 racer. Favorite all
time bike must be the MotoGuzzi 1000s. I love the 350's and have had more
fun on them, but after getting of the 1000s, the Hondas feel like a tinker
General comments,The 350 is a very common bike. Honda made more of them than just about anything
else so parts are easy to find. The stock mill makes good power, and it is easy to
make a little more without to much work. A less restrictive pipe and a set of Mikuni carbs
will start this process. The rear shocks must be thrown in the garbage in
favor of something else!
- Seg Niebuhr, I used to drag race cars, almost for a living, when I was about 10 years
younger so I do have something to garner knowledge from. I also am an
engineer, a former auto mechanic, and have ridden bikes for 20+ years
(mostly Hondas and BMWs)... but, alas, no roadracing experience...
...until now. I currently run a 1972 CL350 in WERA Vintage I. The engine
and drivetrain are completely stock. I got my license from taking the Ed
Bargy school, and my first season will be 2001.