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I've used this site to calculate spoke length:
Spoke length calculator

You'll need several accurate measurements from your hub, and one measurement from the rim that you plan to use.

Before I first used this calculator I measured my Stock hub and Stock rim to see how close the calculated spoke length came to stock, it was less than 1/2 millimeter off, good enough for me.
I just don't ever want spokes that are too long and I have to grind them down before the rim strip can go on...
 

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Discussion Starter #22
Thanks guys, I'll probably be going the same route as 83XLX. And wow another gorgeous bike. I doubt it looked that clean right off the factory floor!
 

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Yes, same bike. I turned it back to stock-ish a couple years ago. This is how it looks today - a CL with low bars and a CB exhaust. I still have the café parts and may return it to that look someday, but I like it a lot like this, and it's more comfortable to ride.

IMG_5657.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #26
Nice! Boy that would be a tough call between them. The tank and exhaust on the Cafe are really good looking. But the blue and white is classy vintage.
 

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Discussion Starter #28
One more quick question. The stock rims use center stem tubes, right? And is a 1 1/4 inch wide rim strip enough?
 

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fullsizeoutput_14df.jpg Just ordered new tires for a new to me 1971 CL350.
Shinko 241 dual sport
3.5x19 front
4.0x18 rear
Should arrive in a few days, from Fortnine in Montreal.
 

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View attachment 284666 Just ordered new tires for a new to me 1971 CL350.
Shinko 241 dual sport
3.5x19 front
4.0x18 rear
Should arrive in a few days, from Fortnine in Montreal.
Those are quite a bit wider than stock and you may have clearance issues with the front fender uprights and the knobbies on the shoulder of the front tire. My CL350 had those same tires on it when I acquired it, and that was an issue for me until the fender uprights eventually shaved off enough rubber from rubbing on the sides. You will find this extra rubber in powder form, all over the lower frontal area of the bike afterwards

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fullsizeoutput_1542.jpg fullsizeoutput_1541.jpg fullsizeoutput_1540.jpg My tires were supposed to arrive tomorrow or Wednesday, so this afternoon I removed the front wheel and removed the tire from the rim. At dinnertime, an email notice informed me that the tires had arrived and could be picked up at the post office. I brought them home and got busy. First, I laid a tire on the rim and eyeballed the job. It looked like a an impossible stretch until I realized it was the 18 inch rear tire on the 19 inch front rim! :) The most difficult part was getting the air valve of the tube into the hole in the rim. There must be a trick I haven't learned yet. There is a slight rubbing of the nubs on the fender brace. If I had it to do over, I wouldn't increase the tire size from the stock 3.0x19 to 3.50x19. Maybe to 3.25 if that size exists. Will do the rear tire tomorrow.
 

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From my experience working at a high-end bicycle shop, it is much easier to get the tubes positioned inside the rim if you first inflate the tubes *Slightly*. Just to the point where it begins to hold its round shape and not resemble a wet noodle anymore. Probably about 1-2psi. Then you can get the tube seated in the rim groove and subsequently mount the tire, one bead first, then being careful to get the tube also seated inside the tire *without pinching it anywhere.* After that, you can begin to massage the second bead over the rim. We used a standard plastic spray bottle, filled with water and a little bit of dish soap, to lubricate the beads of the tire to ease installation.

All of the same techniques can be applied to motorcycle tires, although the sidewalls *may* or may not be stiffer than a 700c road tire (or a 29" mtb tire), so tire irons or spoons may come in handy.

Hope this helps!

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EDIT: ***make sure the valve stem is exactly perpendicular to the rim where it protrudes through the rim hole. Any deviation from a 90° angle can cause chafing at the base of the valve stem as the tire rolls, usually resulting in a slow leak from a pinhole at the valve stem.***
 

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Thanks! I knew about lightly inflating the tube from the several bicycle tires I've mounted in my yout. The front tire went on relatively easily. I had a heck of a time mounting an Avon Roadrider tire on my BMW airhead rim. Used soapy water for lube. Then had a hard time getting it to seat properly/straight.
 

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Oh yeah, there's always going to be those random ones that fight you the whole way through. I've had a few that took many, many repeated attempts and a couple of times just walking away from it to cool down, before I finally got it right.

Some tires just don't *want* to go on some rims hahaha. "Gentle" persuasion is the name of the game. (I put gentle in quotes because there have been times that I've nearly broken both my thumbs just trying to get that last few inches of bead over the lip of the rim! )

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"...there have been times that I've nearly broken both my thumbs just trying to get that last few inches of bead over the lip of the rim!"

Wow! You do that with your thumbs? Respect! ;)
 

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For road bike and mtb tires, yes. I don't think I would try that on an 18" MC tire though!

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