Thread: Sl350?
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Old 11-30-2012, 04:38 PM   #11
Studly Adventurer
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Joined: Jun 2011
Location: usually the garage
Oddometer: 576
I bought an orange one new and put about 25,000 miles on it in 18 months - quite a big mileage for a Honda back then. I burnt out one piston, cracked several ring sets and the electrics were incredibly unreliable. The engine was an easy afternoon's rebuild when it did fail, and mine was ridden hard all its life, so despite the rings and piston I'd rate it as mechanically reliable. On the good side, it was a very comfortable bike, economical enough in the fuel shortages of the early 70's, handled fairly well and a lot of gear could be strapped on for touring. I used mine on all sorts of on and off-road work and it was fine, bearing in mind that at the time we used to run any bikes we owned off-road. I was working with Forestry at the time and used it on all the tracks and fire roads in my work area. The real downside was that the engine had very little torque and hitting the bottom of long, steep hills on the highway in 5th at 60mph would see it down to about 40mph in 3rd at the top. Without the factory exhausts the power dropped markedly, to the extent that when mine rusted out after about 6 months, having tried a number of aftermarket mufflers, I ended up hammering a quart oil can over each pipe end on the originals and it stayed like that until I sold it. I liked the bike a lot but it didn't really set my world on fire. I replaced it with a new CL450 - and that was a real dog; uncomfortable, gutless for its size and hp and very unreliable, and in the three years and 40,000 miles I put on it remains one of the worst bikes I've ever owned.
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