Two Wheels - Six Strings

Random news and thoughts about various two-wheeled projects and music, especially my band, Skull Full Of Blues.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Sometimes, Plans Change

As I mentioned in my last post, I put the big Suzuki on Craigslist thinking that I might buy a Triumph Scrambler to knock around on.  I love the Scramblers, because they remind me of the old Honda CL series, which I was much more aware of, back in the day, than the original Triumphs.  Triumphs were pretty exotic, where I was living in the early '70s, but there was Honda shop in every second town you passed through.

So, when I saw this, on Craigslist, I went to take a look at it.

It's a 1970 CL-450, in pretty decent shape.  And, the price was low enough that I could actually afford it.  So, I had to go check it out...

I love the high pipes, the dirtbike bars, the fork boots, and the chrome fenders.  The rear fender has been bobbed, slightly, as was the fashion back in the day.  I think the seat cover is a reproduction, because it is in such good shape, but it matches the original version really well.

One of my favorite angles for photographing a bike.

The seat opens up like the seat on my 1970 SL-350 did, rather than to the side like the CB-series bikes.  It is held up with a little prop rod, like the hood of a car.  The mirrors, obviously, are not original.  I might get a pair of the big round units, like it came with, but I kinda like these...

The turn signals have been removed, but the wiring is intact.  So, I will probably replace them.  I don't know that I want the stock style, however.  They stick way out from the bike, right in harm's way if anything happens.  But, I don't much like riding in city traffic with nothing.

The view from the cockpit.  The jewel-like high-beam indicator on the headlamp is a nice touch, on these bikes.  But, I don't think I've ever owned a bike with factory gauges that didn't include a trip meter.  No, wait, my 1974 Suzuki TS-100 didn't have one, now that I think about it.

The paint is an older re-spray.  You can see a little crazing in the surface, in this shot.  Apparently, the factory paint was blue (you can see it in a couple of little chips), so I am glad it's been repainted.  The hand-painted pin-striping makes it even cooler.

The guy I bought it from was very apologetic about how bad the paint looked.  Of course, he has three BSA dual-purpose bikes in his garage, which he has restored immaculately.  I think his standards are a bit higher than mine.  To me, for a 40 year-old bike, this looks pretty darn good.

A bit of the paint is rubbed off of the tail light mount.  I might actually take that off and rattlecan it.

One of the good things about the CL, as opposed to the SL and XL models, is they retain the centerstand.  (Check out the Suzuki looming over the Honda!)

Forty years old, with 20,000 miles on it and there are no head gasket leaks, or oil drips.  Plus, the electric starter still works! 

I think I might get some "trials-universal" tires for it, just because I like the looks of the smallish knobbies.  And, as I said, I will probably get some turn signals on it, as well.  Those two things, plus tracking down a tool kit, are all I plan on doing to it.  It is more of a "rider" than a "project", but it's just enough of a project to make it interesting to me.

One really big plus:  The motorcycle came with not only a Clymer repair manual, but I also got the  factory Owner's manual with it.

The long-term plan is to teach my nephew, Kyle, how to ride it (he is coming to visit, for Christmas) and then give it to him for his 16th birthday (assuming it's still in good shape, fifteen months from now).  I've already cleared that with his mom.  As she said,  "I'd have taught him to ride mine by now if it was in riding condition."



At 6:13 PM , Blogger Steve A said...

Very nice bike. Do you find the drum brakes lacking at all compared with modern ones?

At 6:32 PM , Blogger Jon said...

Compared to the twin front discs on the Suzuki and the Triumph, these beakes are pretty "Flintstonesish". Compared to the single disc on my old Yamaha XS 650, they are actually better.

At 8:31 PM , Blogger Pondero said...

I remember those! I've not followed motorcycles since the late 70s, opting for bicycles. But there is a small flame still burning deep inside. And a CL like yours it what it wants. I hope it brings you many enjoyable hours.

At 6:30 AM , Blogger Rat Trap Press said...

I wish I had an uncle like you.

At 10:00 AM , Blogger Stewart said...

I found your ad on craigslist while i was hunting around for Triumph Scramblers. I followed the link here and man! this is awesome! I thought i'd share my '68 cl 350 with you since you like the scramblers!

here's the pics

and here are some hd versions of the videos:

Love your bike man! it's awesome!

At 8:28 PM , Blogger Jon said...

Wow, your 350 is clean! Thanks for sharing it!


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