The Honda CB 350 was everyman’s motorcycle in the late 1960s, with an amazing 626,000 examples of all models sold between 1968 and 1972. The CB 350 replaced the CB77, and like that model was available as a Super Sport (CB), Scrambler (CL) and Motosport trials bike (SL).
In its first year, the Honda CB 350 was the best-selling motorcycle in the world, and an ideal step up for a generation who had started off on the 50 cc and 90 cc Cub and wasn’t ready for the new and fairly intimidating CB 750. The CB 350’s 12-volt electric starter was comforting to anybody who’d tangled with British iron, the lights were adequate and it had flashing turn signs, dual mirrors and even a helmet holder.
The CB 350 actually displaced 325 cc, and its overhead camshaft was chain-driven between the twin cylinders. It generated 36 bhp at an impressive 10,000 rpm redline, had a five-speed gearbox and electric start was standard except on the last SL 350 Motosports. The quarter mile took only 16.8 seconds, top speed was around 90 mph and 70 mpg was possible.
Over the years, the suspension and brakes were gradually improved, and the bike remained utterly reliable transportation. It was light enough around town, at 370 lbs, and fast enough for highway travel. The colors ranged across the spectrum of the late ‘60s: Candy Blue, Red, Gold, Olive, Orange with White, Tyrolean Green, Iris Purple Metallic, with stripes and flashes. Fenders were chromed steel.
The Road-Going CB 350 Super Sport accounted for 300,000 sales, but the high-pipe CL 350 Scrambler and SL 350 Motosport trials bike each sold about 150,000 examples as well. The CB 360 followed the Super Sport in 1974 for two years, while the XL 350 replaced the outgoing CL Scrambler, and the SL 350 Motosport made the jump to becoming the more extreme XL 350R.
With so many CB 350s sold, finding a good used one shouldn’t be hard, and there’s really no reason to buy a basket case or really ratty project. Mechanical parts are pretty easy to come by, but OEM pieces could be difficult.
The principal problem with all Hondas from this period is finding correct original exhausts, The chances of finding original mufflers are near zero and replacements are very expensive, so look carefully at any prospective purchase. Electrics are fairly reliable, but rectifiers can fail, so check for a spark before getting too far into mechanical issues. Off-road bikes always lead harder lives, but occasional low mileage examples can surface as mature buyers often decide really quickly that it’s not for them.
1970 Honda SL350K1 Motosport 350 Info
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