For most repairs or builds on 30 year old vintage motorcycles, there will be a fair amount of frustration. The hope is that given enough patience and will-power, you can muscle through, and figure out the issues that are preventing these great bikes from running right. That has certainly been the case with Ruby’s 1969 Honda CL350…
The problem is, occasionally there are some issues that keep coming back to haunt you, despite your best efforts to eliminate them. In these cases it is nice to have an outside opinions, possibly to see something you’ve overlooked, or an experience you’ve yet to have.
With the Honda CL350, we were having a hell of a time getting the bike to idle correctly, and despite having taken the carbs off several times, we just couldn’t get it straight. After getting a new set of carbs from the folks out at Venturi Moto, we were fortunate that Keith was willing to follow up on the sale, with some serious tech support. Many emails and phone calls later, the carbs and timing had been checked, and rechecked. No matter what we did, the idle was running high, and the RPM seemed to hang.
Typically, this means air leak, and we tried to chase it down, with the help of Keith and everyone in the garage, for two weeks. Finally, a test with some starter fluid on the right cylinder manifold revealed a slight leak at the gasket. Good grief! It took FOREVER to find it, but we finally got it running smoother.
There is still a slight bog or hesitation, at about 6000 RPM (or 3/4 throttle), and we will need to address that as well. But for now, major victories over the damn air leak are being celebrated, and we can move on to some fine tuning of the clutch and brakes.
The Honda CL350 are supposed to be simple bikes… My ass!