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Last dance with an old friend

SL350

Forum Supporter
Joined
Oct 12, 2005
Messages
13,822
Location
Mesquite
I've chosen to ride, repair, overhaul and ride again my sl350. I've done it for about 40 years. But this might be the last year.

The bike developed an oil leak around the head gasket. Still I rode it last year across several of the mountain passes in Colorado and a ton of day rides around north Texas. But winter set in and it was beginning to be hard to start.

First problem was getting the engine out of the bike. What was fairly easy a decade ago can do months worth of damage to my back lifting an engine out of the frame. It's out.

Now I had a backup engine that I had taken the kick start gear out of. The spare engine was already overhauled so I chose it for now and will rebuild the one that came out later. This is Texas and you ALWAYS have to be ready to ride. Heck it was 81 yesterday.

Part of replacing the missing kickstart gear is removing the clutch and the oil pump. Here is the first real problem, the oil pump split its gasket. Now I already have an overhaul gasket kit but that oil pump gasket is missing. That gasket is unavailable (I did find one on ebay and am waiting for delivery). Not wanting to wait a week I visited OReiley last night and picked up gasket material. But the oil pump has a screen on the bottom and I can't figure how I am going to trace it and the holes.


1579195232353.png


So while I am waiting I decide to order air filters for the old SL. New Mexico and Colorado forests left the foam filters caked in dirt. Bikebandit no longer sells them, nor did I find anyone else. Right now they are soaking in Dawn and water trying to eek another season out of them. The alternative is to make them out of blank foam and glue.

It was one thing when last year I lost a few teeth from my kickstart gear. Luckily I could use the one in the spare engine and I sort of expect those kind of parts to be hard to find on such an old bike. But air filters and gaskets?

1579195773359.png


I'm putting this back together but this is likely the last dance with the old ride. I will surely miss it and knowing how to fix what I am riding. Probably migrate to a maxi scooter.
 
Joined
Mar 25, 2008
Messages
2,690
Location
East Texas
Honda SL350 from the 70s? I am sure you already know this but just in case,,,,,,,,. Smart Honda parts guys can find NOS pieces hidden on some dealers shelves. If your bike is the one I am thinking of it is one of the finest Honda ever built IMO. A BIL had one and I loved that thing.
 

SL350

Forum Supporter
Joined
Oct 12, 2005
Messages
13,822
Location
Mesquite
I put the case back on today after removing an oil filter gasket from a spare engine. Actually I did it twice since the penny I put in between the gears to tighten the oil slinger style filter fell into the engine blocking the oil flow. I had to take the pump and clutch off repeat. I cursed that penny.

I'll set the valves before putting the engine back into the bike. But I look at a beautiful Saturday lost to this repair and I can hear bikes zooming along the near freeways and I am so jealous. More riding, less wrenching is my 2020 motto.
 
Joined
May 22, 2013
Messages
896
Location
Thorndale, tx
First Name
Ed
Last Name
Baker
that sounds about right . It usually takes me 1.5x the time it should take to do most jobs due to having to repeat something, due to falling pennies or the like...
 
Last edited:

LaserDave

Forum Supporter
Joined
Feb 25, 2009
Messages
2,435
Location
San Antonio
Did you finish it? The worst part of rebuilding hydraulic pumps for a WW2 turret was making all gaskets from scratch. Hate that!
 

SL350

Forum Supporter
Joined
Oct 12, 2005
Messages
13,822
Location
Mesquite
The engine is still on the floor of the garage. I hurt my knee taking it out and it's not healed enough to lift and put it in the cradle. Soon. I'm riding my ct90 and it's perfect for the short runs.
 
Joined
Jun 28, 2010
Messages
217
Location
Houston TX
First Name
Travis
This may or may not be of interest to you.

I have a customer who bought a restoration project, a good condition 1971 SL350 and brought it to my shop about 4 years ago. I had already built a larger CB900F Scrambler/Street Tracker for him and he asked for me to find a CB350 to use as a small cafe racer. When I couldn't find a reasonable donor CB, he located this 71 SL350 and we started to explore our options. After some consideration my customer decided that the SL was too nice to simply canabalize and told me to sell it as is whenever I had the time. It has been sitting in my shop for several years without a direction. The project has completely stalled as he has lost all interest. Currently the bike is about 80% complete but is missing an exhaust system and has not been started for the better part of 4 years but has been stored inside a dry and heated building. The engine has good compression and could probably start without too much effort. I have thoroughly cleaned the carbs in my sonic cleaner and was last replacing the ignition points and battery but I'm sure its dead too, now.

I had planned to make a new SS 2 into 2 high pipe set with twin mufflers if he gave me the approval, but that would add several $$$ to the potential sell price. It is not original paint but is the correct blue metallic color. I also have a second original blue and white tank included with it. I know he'd like to get what we currently have in it which is about $2000. Anyway if you are interested, just shoot me a PM. I haven't actively listed it for sale as I've had a busy year moving my workshop from Houston to the Conroe area in a new building we built early last year. I just saw your thread as today is the first time since 2013 that I signed into my TWT account.

Anyway have a good one, Talk soon, Travis
 

SL350

Forum Supporter
Joined
Oct 12, 2005
Messages
13,822
Location
Mesquite
I had one in the same condition, it's where the spare engine came from. I had painted the frame, bored the engine, and built the rolling chassis and it sat for two years. I lost interest and mine was riding perfectly if not pretty. Anyways about two years ago I sold the rolling chassis to a buddy for $1 hoping he would build it. Last I heard it too was just sitting in his garage.

Thanks for the offer. About the only thing I would buy for it today is the kick start gear. If I had an extra I might change my mind and ride mine forever. But two years of eBays and all I've found is broken gears and whole engines. I'm always one kick away from a bump start only.
 
Joined
Dec 25, 2006
Messages
124
Location
Midlothian, TX
First Name
Tom
Last Name
Harrington
About the only thing I would buy for it today is the kick start gear. If I had an extra I might change my mind and ride mine forever. But two years of eBays and all I've found is broken gears and whole engines. I'm always one kick away from a bump start only.
If its the pinion gear - there are several NOS ones on ebay - here's the listing for one of them
 

kdh

Joined
Apr 7, 2019
Messages
26
Location
TN
... Anyways about two years ago I sold the rolling chassis to a buddy for $1 hoping he would build it. Last I heard it too was just sitting in his garage. ...
Heart breaking.

Peace and joy.
 

SL350

Forum Supporter
Joined
Oct 12, 2005
Messages
13,822
Location
Mesquite
I hear it! šŸ˜œ

I'm looking for one w dual sport tires and a high front fender.
 
Joined
Nov 18, 2012
Messages
1,004
Location
Zephyr, Texas
For a street worthy scooter, I'd recommend a Yamaha XMax. It only has 3" of rear suspension travel but otherwise is a great scooter.
Dirt tires and a high fender on a scooter may be an oxymoron. Watching this thread for enlightenment.
I live on a dirt road, have a dirt driveway, and a dirt path to the shed where my motorcycles are stored. Mud clogged and slicked tires on scooter would be interesting.
 
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