My New Project: Honda CL360

1975 Honda cl360One of my good friends moved away almost a year ago and gave me a motorcycle. As our conversation progressed over the phone about the motorcycle, I asked what it is was.

“It’s a Honda CL360 street bike.”

“What is that?” My brain was running at full throttle when a poof of smoke rose from my ear. I had never heard of it.

“It is just a little street bike; you have to know about a 1975 CL360. You know about almost everything else.” He said.

“First off, I don’t know about every motorcycle ever produced. I can hardly tell you about the different types of Harley Davidson and much less any thing older than 1989.”

“Are you interested in it or not?” He said.

“Heck yeah!” A free motorcycle who couldn’t pass that up.

The day arrived, when I picked it up with a trailer. Apparently registration ran out on it and he never got it renewed.

“Oh yeah, it has been backfiring when it runs and it does not run very well.” And he failed to mention the fact that it a nasty seventies orange, had old spoke wheels, drum brakes all around, a leaking fork seal and … that’s it… for now.

I was there with a trailer and he had the title. It couldn’t run, so I took it home and let it sit in my garage until the past couple of months where now it won’t start at all. I wish I had a picture of my wife the day I brought it home. It was the look of “Is that a motorcycle and why is it here?”

“It’s my project.”  I smiled with a grin.

She rolled her eyes, frowned a little and said “I hope it was free.”

“It was.”  I said back to her and she walked back into the house.

I began inspecting it to size up my work.  The carburetors were so fouled up the throttle plate would not move. The points are black with carbon. Points?! What the heck is points?  This is the electronic era. Where is the electronic ignition?

I vaguely remember reading about them in my automotive class and I have never ever worked on anything with points. Only the electronic ignition, the wave of the future for 1975.

As I was cursing the fact that it had points and I hadn’t any clue as what I should do about them, my wife returned into my garage. “Are you really going to fix that thing?” She said to me.

“Yes, I’m going to turn it into a Vintage Cafe racer with my own twist to it.”

That is the beginning story of my project bike. As I work on it, I will be posting things about it.

There is just one thing I need for it… a name. Every cafe racer’s bike has a name.  I’m open to suggestions and you are welcome to post any.

Ooh, and here is a pic of what my bike should have looked like but doesn’t:

Uploaded on October 21, 2007 by V-rider

Uploaded on October 21, 2007 by V-rider of Flickr.com

12 comments ↓

#1 Peter on 01.30.09 at 8:56 am

I have the same bike my friend! I love it, it runs perfectly, of course after a lot of headaches. Good luck with your restoration/ cafe racer !

#2 Allen on 02.02.09 at 1:55 pm

Thanks Peter. I’m looking forward to polishing the bike and using it as a learning experience.

#3 Jason on 03.22.09 at 9:15 pm

Hey that bike was a lot of fun before I let it sit more than 2 weeks. Remember, after you fix it up and turn it into a cafe racer, you have to give it back… lol

#4 cheryl on 04.21.09 at 1:19 pm

this also was my first bike. wanted to get another one, so 2 yrs ago, I found a couple of them in non working order; thought maybe I could get a nephew to help get one out of the two, but he had to go and get a girlfriend, LOL. anyway, I found another one in running condition, all electric works and clean title. brought it home, got it titled, registered, etc. they had painted it yellow, but I’d like to restore it too. got the other two back from the nephew and may be selling off some parts in the near future. maybe we can help each other out? contact me at maggiewyatt@verizon.net. cheryl in DE

#5 Phil on 09.08.10 at 5:17 am

My first bike also, awesome little machine. I don’t know if they are all like this or not, but if I was almost out of gas it would only run on one cylinder. Also, the guy I got mine from cut the mufflers off and put bologna cut tips on it, I think it really helped the performance.

#6 carlos carpenter on 09.27.10 at 11:59 pm

hey yall, just got a 75 honda cl,,, need help also ,,
want to customize it,, how hard is it, it actually runs now but needs some fun stuff going on on it lol
all suggestions very much welcomed/ u can write me at krazykoony@yahoo.com or facebook.com/cindy and carlos
thanks for all ur help

carlos

#7 Art on 03.15.11 at 11:40 am

My first/only bike.

I rode a CL360 about 10,000 miles worth back in the late 80′s. Reliable cheap commuter. A headwind would make keeping up with the 55 mph speed limit hard sometimes.

One time I was near the Marysville Ohio Honda plant and a car load of Japanese suits freaked out when they passed me. They were pointing and talking like crazy. Must have been the guys who built it in the 70′s.

#8 ishan on 09.01.11 at 2:01 am

ne time I was near the Marysville Ohio Honda plant and a car load of Japanese suits freaked out when they passed me. They were pointing and talking like crazy. Must have been the guys who built it in the 70’s.

#9 Gregg Moore on 09.06.11 at 4:49 pm

Now its my turn.I just finished a 68 Honda Dream.More when I get it home and do an assessment.

#10 TONY on 10.28.11 at 7:32 am

I AM BUYING A 1975 HONDA CL 360 SUNDAY MINT COND . 3944 MILES RUNS OK NEEDS CARB CLEAN I HOPE THATS ALL? what should i pay for this bike?

#11 Edna on 07.06.12 at 5:57 am

I don’t really much idea about motor bikes since I don’t own any, but I think this project of yours looks terrific. Thanks for sharing about it,

Edna
My blog: table basse avec pouf 

#12 abc on 09.20.13 at 3:34 am

I don’t really much idea about motor bikes since I don’t own any, but I think this project of yours looks terrific. Thanks for sharing about it, google

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