The ups and downs of owning a classic motorcycle
Among the motorcycle-related publications I regularly receive, Motorcycle Classics holds a special spot as the only comprehensive U.S. classic motorcycle magazine. You guys do an excellent job! The article about the Honda CB350F struck a cord (January/February 2012). At first glance, I thought it was “my” bike. Several years ago, I stumbled upon a pristine 1974 CB350F at AMA Vintage Days at Mid-Ohio. The bike had only 218 original miles on the odometer and was in perfect condition, including the factory 4-into-4 exhaust. Shortly after it was bought new in 1974 by a man in Michigan for his wife, it was parked and spent its life in a shed. The husband passed away and a couple of years later the woman moved into a managed care facility. I could not resist and bought the Honda CB350F to add it to my modest vintage motorcycle collection. It took just a little effort to clean the tank and the carbs, and the bike ran again like a charm.
After seriously considering the value of the original, low-mile bike, I decided that keeping and riding it would be a shame, and I decided to sell it. I offered it on eBay and sure enough, a bidding war between a Honda dealer in Pennsylvania and a collector in Indianapolis resulted in a selling price of twice what I paid. About two years later I saw the bike again at the AMA Museum in the Hall of Fame bike show. It now showed some 3,000 plus miles. The buyer had sold it to his brother, another collector. Looking at the pictures in Motorcycle Classics, I sure thought it was the bike. When I read the article in detail, I recognized it was a different one, but I still felt I knew the bike intimately.
As far as the specifications are concerned, please allow for a comment: Honda did not only make the 350F in Flake Matador Red, Candy Bacchus Olive and Glory Blue Black Metallic, but also offered a silver variant, albeit only in Europe.
Mike Simon is a classic bike enthusiast from North Royalton, Ohio.