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Old 06-16-2011, 09:27 AM   #1
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Joined: Mar 2011
Location: Columbia County
Oddometer: 648
Vintage Dirt Racing on a 350 Honda Twin

I have been posting a little on Oregon Coast's Baja thread regarding some of my own efforts and adventures with vintage SL350's and thought it was time to get off of OC's thread and throw my own out there.

My current vintage ride is a 1972 SL350 that I had owned in 1985 and prepped and raced in a few grand prixs (they were somewhat like the current motard races and very popular back then). Anyway, I had ridden this bike a few times and then sold to a friend who has had it in his barn for 26 years and recently gifted it to me with the condition that I vintage race it. Done deal! The initial picture is of the bike after being first brought back home.

When first built, funds were limited and bought the original bike from the local Honda dealer where I worked for $50. Out of the scrap heap we found a set of '73 CR250 forks and front wheel (35 mm and fit SL350 triple clamps), we lengthened the swing arm one inch, put a good set of shocks on also cut off any thing un-necessary and drilled a number of holes here and there, ostensibly for lightening the bike, but probably saved 1 pound off of the original 300!

The local Honda rep at the time was Adrienne Browning (sp?) and when he found out what I was working on, volunteered that he had a brand new SL350 motor in his garage and claimed it was a spare motor from one of the official Honda Baja efforts. I have no idea if that is true but quickly coughed up the $100. price tag and brought it home.

The top end was pulled off and a Pow Roll 400 kit installed, and then added TT pipes and later on a pair of RD350 carbs (they never really ran quite right either). After a few races and several trail rides, I had the money for a new RM465 and sold the bike to my friend.

So 26 years later I have the bike back again and decided it would be a good idea to race in the upcoming vintage scrambles at PIR (6/25/11). It took about an hour of carb & points cleaning to get it running and surprisingly did not smoke. Because of family obligations I waited until last week to get started and now am regretting that I didn't start sooner, there is a lot to do!

The bike is relatively intact from when originally built, but the TT pipes are gone and now have scrambler pipes. There are a few other subtle differences and I am unsure if it is even the same motor I once built, I won't know for sure until the motor is torn down and checked for the Pow Roll piston kit.

In the last week, I have cleaned and serviced the steering head bearings, serviced the front forks and changed over to fork gaiters, and last night changed the carbs to a set that Oregon Coast (OC) generously gave me.

Still to do; grease wheel bearings, new tires, new chain, service rear shocks and swing arm, adjust valves and cam chain, new points, synch carbs and many other small tasks. My biggest worry at this point is that I did not get all new cables and am running out of time, I have a new front brake cable ordered and OC is donating a new throttle cable but will just have to make do with the original clutch and rear brake cables.

Let me know if you are interested and I'll keep posting some updates and pictures. I've included a link to Smug Mug so that you can look at the original and current pictures of the bike and will update as time allows. http://lastchancegarage.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/SL350-Retrospective/16474080_FMjKs#1239759180_XeUwZ
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