Project 1970 Honda CB350 — Part VII

We're almost there: Just a few more parts and our 1970 Honda CB350 will be ready to roll.

| September/October 2016

  • Almost there: Throw on some bodywork and add control cables and our CB350 will be ready to roll.
    Photo by Richard Backus
  • New high-output coils (shown) and electronic ignition from Charlie’s Place are mounted — now we just need to finish the bike and start it!
    Photo by Richard Backus
  • New high-output coils and electronic ignition from Charlie’s Place are mounted — now we just need to finish the bike and start it!
    Photo by Richard Backus
  • New EBC brake shoes from Sirius (center) versus the old originals.
    Photo by Richard Backus
  • Replacement EMGO mufflers are the right length and look good on the CB350.
    Photo by Richard Backus

This is the seventh in a series on our 1970 Honda CB350 build project. Read Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV, Part V and Part VI for earlier stages of the project, and Part VIII for the final installment. You can also watch video of our Honda running for the first time.

It may not look like it, but believe it or not, our project 1970 Honda CB350 is heading into the home stretch.

Even though our Honda is missing some critical bits — finished bodywork being at the top of the list — it’s actually very close to being finished. Sticking with our unintentional MO with this project — namely, why don’t we ever have time to get more done? — we’ve accomplished less than we wanted in the intervening time since our last update, yet we’ve moved tantalizingly close to the finish line and the first start of our little 350.

As anyone who’s restored or refurbished a bike will tell you, it’s the little things that take the most amount of time. That and forgetting to commit memory to notes so you’ll have all the pieces you need ready at hand when you actually find the time to get some work done. Blame the latter on it taking me literally weeks to finally contact Honda specialists David Silver Spares for a pair of much-needed factory replacement OEM air filters and carburetor intake mounts, along with a new rear gas tank mounting rubber. The original carb mounts were probably usable, but given the relatively modest cost of OEM replacements from David Silver Spares ($34 each) we elected to go new.

That meant we could finally mount our rebuilt carburetors, although we haven’t hooked up the new Barnett throttle cables owing to forgetting to source new bars. The originals were bent, as were the two more we scrounged up locally, pushing us to order a set of low-rise replacements, complete with dimples and wiring openings, from EMGO. Once those are in we’ll mount the controls and cables.

We finally found mufflers we like, once again turning to EMGO for a set of their Widemouth Universal Megaphone Mufflers. As the pics show, they’re not that “widemouth” and are actually reasonably close to stock looking. At just over 23 inches long they’re a little shorter than the originals, but they terminate past the rear brake drum (a look we wanted) and bolted up to our re-chromed header pipes they look great. At around $60 they seem like a good buy: We’ll let you know how they sound.

Our CB’s brake shoes were OK, but following Honda restorer Don Stockett’s advice (do we really want to trust almost 50-year-old brake linings?) we opted for new EBC brake shoes (complete with return springs) from Sirius Consolidated. We installed the rear brake shoes when we did the exhaust, and we’ll do the front when we remove the forks to install the repainted fork covers/headlamp ears.

Another step toward our soon-to-be-running bike was installing the electronic ignition and high-output coils we sourced from Charlie’s Place. I know some people like the stock points and condenser setup, but frankly, I don’t get it. As far as I’m concerned electronic ignition is a no-brainer — set it and forget it — and a solid track record has proven the setup from Charlie’s to be very reliable. The high-output coils come complete with custom brackets and bolt right up to the stock mounting points, and the wiring is pretty much plug and play. Nice.

That all gets us perilously close to the finish line. Marbles Motors will be done with the paintwork by the time you’re reading this, and outside of finishing up controls and cables — not to mention wiring in our upgraded voltage regulator/rectifier (also from Charlie’s) — next issue we expect to show you a finished bike, gleaming in Honda Candy Gold and White. Wish us luck! MC

Project Honda CB350 Suppliers

Avon Tyres: Front and rear Avon Roadrider tires
Barnett Clutches & Cables
: New clutch, brake, speedometer, tachometer and throttle cables, new clutch discs and springs
: Drive chain, lithium battery, passenger pegs
Bore Tech
: Gasket and seal set, oil filter/clutch spanner tool
Buchanan’s Spoke & Rim
: Replaced wheels with new stainless steel spokes
Charlie’s Place
: Electronic ignition, ignition coils and mounts, voltage regulator/rectifier
: Reproduction and NOS Honda parts
David Silver Spares
: OEM replacement air filters, carburetor intake mounts, rear gas tank rubber
Dennis Kirk
: Front and rear wheel bearing kits, reproduction fuel petcock
Dime City Cycles
: Fork seals, front and rear sprockets
: Replacement mufflers, rear view mirrors, handlebar
Forking by Frank
: New fork tubes
Hagon Shocks USA
: Classic I chrome shocks
Marbles Motors
: Paint prep and painting
Quality Plating
: Custom chrome plating
Sirius Consolidated
: Master carb rebuild kit, seat foam and cover, chain adjusters, chrome fasteners, front and rear brake shoes
The Pit Stop: Aluminum engine welding — (785) 887-6626
Topeka Custom Coatings
: Custom powder coating
Vintage Motorcycle Rescue
: Used seat and headlight bucket, battery cover

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