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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm about to start work on a 1972 CL350. I finally talked my wife into letting me get a bike and I got this one from my brother in law and it needs some minor work to get it up and running again, namely the points and carbs need some attention, a tune-up, and it's been sitting in the storage shed for quite a while so it needs cleaned up in a bad way. It's my first bike (been riding my bro's) and I figured why not do something fun with it since I'm gonna be wrenching on it anyway, so here I am, seeking wisdom.

I've been looking around at the cafe bikes and bobbers and all the stuff in between, and one thing I know I want to do is change the tank. I have a vision in my head of what I want this bike to look like when I'm done, sort of cafe-ish, and part of my vision involves the tank from an early 80's Suzuki GS 1100. Aside from being a bigger tank (more fuel), I just love the look of it, seems like it's not only longer but taller as well. I'm sure this will need some sort of custom work to make it fit, and since it's a longer tank I plan on making a new seat to compensate. But aside from length, will the width cause fitment problems? I'm not going with clip-ons, they're just too low for me to be comfortable. I'll most likely go with a drag bar setup so it's clean but still sits up a bit higher. I would think they wouldn't hit the tank, but I guess I worry about the trees having clearance.

If the GS 1100 tank won't fit, are there any other suggestions for different tanks that will?

And while I'm here, I plan on going with cone filters for the carbs, and I'll probably change up the exhaust, though I still don't know if the CB-style exhaust is better, or if I could just lob off the muffler and open it up. Anything else I can or should do along with that to wake the motor up a bit? I've ridden the bike before, and it scoots pretty good, but I'm sure it could do a little better.
 

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Re: About to start my first project, have questions.

J. Thompson #5150 said:
I'm about to start work on a 1972 CL350. I finally talked my wife into letting me get a bike and I got this one from my brother in law and it needs some minor work to get it up and running again, namely the points and carbs need some attention, a tune-up, and it's been sitting in the storage shed for quite a while so it needs cleaned up in a bad way. It's my first bike (been riding my bro's) and I figured why not do something fun with it since I'm gonna be wrenching on it anyway, so here I am, seeking wisdom.

I've been looking around at the cafe bikes and bobbers and all the stuff in between, and one thing I know I want to do is change the tank. I have a vision in my head of what I want this bike to look like when I'm done, sort of cafe-ish, and part of my vision involves the tank from an early 80's Suzuki GS 1100. Aside from being a bigger tank (more fuel), I just love the look of it, seems like it's not only longer but taller as well. I'm sure this will need some sort of custom work to make it fit, and since it's a longer tank I plan on making a new seat to compensate. But aside from length, will the width cause fitment problems? I'm not going with clip-ons, they're just too low for me to be comfortable. I'll most likely go with a drag bar setup so it's clean but still sits up a bit higher. I would think they wouldn't hit the tank, but I guess I worry about the trees having clearance.

If the GS 1100 tank won't fit, are there any other suggestions for different tanks that will?

And while I'm here, I plan on going with cone filters for the carbs, and I'll probably change up the exhaust, though I still don't know if the CB-style exhaust is better, or if I could just lob off the muffler and open it up. Anything else I can or should do along with that to wake the motor up a bit? I've ridden the bike before, and it scoots pretty good, but I'm sure it could do a little better.
Congratulations on the new bike. It will be nice once it's running to have your own ride and not have to rely on your brothers.

I encourage to keep up the dreams and visions of what you want your future bike to look like but, for now, I'd focus on getting the bike running and increasing your knowledge of what it takes to get these things to run right, it's not always that easy especially if they've been sitting. They don't look complicated (and typically they are not) but try not to put the cart before the horse and make sure you've got everything running well before you tackle more advanced stuff like using parts from other makes/models to arrive at a finished product.

Congratulations.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Re: About to start my first project, have questions.

It will be nice, yes! The bike does run, we had it running the other day, it just needs a little maintenance and like I said, it's really dirty from sitting. I knew the points were going bad last time I rode the bike, but I didn't realize the carbs were leaking until we pulled her out of the storage shed to check everything out. Setting myself ablaze while riding isn't something that appeals to me :roll: so I've already got the parts on order.

I think it's going to be a fun project, definitely looking forward to it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Re: About to start my first project, have questions.

Okay well I finally got her loaded up tonight, took this pic for now and I'll have more once I get to work. The tank is there, and it's actually clean, the inside was epoxied a few years ago so it's rust free inside. THis is going to be fun. And yes, that stupid front brush guard or whatever is going far, far away.

 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Re: About to start my first project. NOW WITH PICS!!!

Got her cleaned up a little bit and I took some pics just to show where I'm starting:












I think for a nearly 40-year-old bike, it's in pretty good shape, especially considering it was sitting in a shed with very little protection from moisture and other crap. I'd say I've got a diamond in the rough here.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Re: About to start my first project. NOW WITH PICS!!!

Well I have good news and I have bad news. The good news is I got the bike started tonight. I haven't gotten the carbs done yet but I put in the new points and I wanted to see how she ran. The bad news is she only ran for a few minutes before the engine had itself a meltdown and refused to start again. A compression test showed about 40psi in the right cylinder :? and that was clearly a sign of bad things. So an hour later I had the engine torn apart on my garage floor and upon close inspection it seems the piston rings in the right side cylinder took a dive and pretty much let the compression in that cylinder go buh-bye. What started as minor repairs has turned into a full-on rebuild, but I'm looking at it in a positive light, because now I can at least get to all the little odds and ends a little easier. Repaint the frame, clean up the wiring, all the fun stuff.









 

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Re: About to start my first project. NOW WITH PICS!!!

Congratulations on the new bike! Looks like you are well on your way to runner. As far as the tank is concerned, a GS1100 might be a bit too wide to have the 'right' look. Back in the day Suzuki had a GS450 that was styled similar to the 1100. Check it out.
Impressed with the way you have jumped right in. Keep us posted.
Jim
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Re: About to start my first project. NOW WITH PICS!!!

Well just a quick update on what's happened in the last couple weeks. We gave the internals a nice bath in the solvent tank and everything looked good. Cleaned up the cylinders, replaced the rings, and just for giggles put it back together real quick with the old head gasket (was the only seal that survived disassembly), and much to our delight, the compression was spot on. So we took it all apart again, ordered the parts, and there it sat until this week. We have all the new seals, a new petcock, pod filters, new rubber, all we need are the floats. I cleaned up the frame, treated what little rust there was, prepped for paint and gave it a nice new coat of flat black. New rubber is mounted as well, and I must say it's looking good.







Still debating on what to do with the fenders. The front side of the rear fender is pretty much trashed. I thought it was just heavy grease and dirt build up but even under all that it's pretty bad. Since this is going to be more of a mild trail bike/country gravel bomber, I might go ahead and do an SL fender. I think it'd just need a custom support made, and the grab handle would be a good attachment point.

I originally wanted to throw in some cafe-inspired elements but I've had a change of heart. I'm going to keep with the old school scrambler look, with a few things here and there. Since I want to take this bike to the local trail parks, the exhaust has to comply with the regulations regarding spark arrestors and sound levels. So it's getting a 2-1 similar to the aftermarket exhaust you see on Triumph Scramblers, and it's going to use an FMF pipe. It won't have a true old school look, but it's cheaper than a stock muffler if i could even find one and it should still look okay.
 

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Re: About to start my first project. NOW WITH PICS!!!

Looking good, J. What kind of tires are those? Likin' that knobby profile!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Re: About to start my first project. NOW WITH PICS!!!

Shinko Golden Boy. I've heard they work okay, and they were about the only thing I found to fit that had the tread I wanted.
 

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Re: About to start my first project. NOW WITH PICS!!!

Looks good!! I like the tires, I put Shinkos on my CL90 and liked them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Re: About to start my first project. NOW WITH PICS!!!

Thanks! I had only heard a little bit about them, but I figured for less than $60 for the pair, even if they turned out to be junk, oh well. :lol:

I'm looking forward to getting her dirty. Everyone says the CL350 won't go off road, but I saw a video on youtube of some motocrosser riding one on a track, and this pic, too, and I was inspired:

 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Re: About to start my first project. NOW WITH PICS!!!

Alright well the engine is back together (hopefully for the las time!), timed, and the compression test showed 120psi both cylinders. I know the book says it should be around 130, but considering all we really did was clean everything up and replace the rings and seals, I'll take it. We still haven't adjusted the valves yet so we'll probably pick up a bit of compression there.

Ordered the floats today (finally), and that's literally the last thing we need to fire her up, so I'm hoping to have the motor set this week. I'm still working on an exhaust solution but I think I may have found my holy grail, provided I can get in touch with someone at Supertrapp tomorrow and confirm it'll work:



A bit of fiberglass baffle, weld up a casing, fit it to the stock pipes, and it should work out all sexy-like.
 

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Re: About to start my first project. NOW WITH PICS!!!

Hate to inform you, but normal "running condition" compression for a 350 is 170 PSI.....
Your 120 is well below rebuild spec (153 PSI).....
Did you run the test warm with no choke and throttle wide open?
 

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Re: About to start my first project. NOW WITH PICS!!!

Excellent work. I'm especially impressed with your time frame. Quite a lot of work in not too much time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Re: About to start my first project. NOW WITH PICS!!!

66Sprint said:
Hate to inform you, but normal "running condition" compression for a 350 is 170 PSI.....
Your 120 is well below rebuild spec (153 PSI).....
Did you run the test warm with no choke and throttle wide open?
Well the numbers my brother has is 130 is normal. That could be cold, and the engine hasn't been fired and we still haven't adjusted the valves yet. My brother took the motor over to his shop and tested it on his work bench. He's rebuilt plenty of Honda twins, and he's a mechanic by trade so I trust his judgement.

Keep in mind, I'm no mechanic and I'm far from an expert on motorcycles :)
 

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Re: About to start my first project. NOW WITH PICS!!!

this looks like an awesome project. congrats and continued good luck...
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Re: About to start my first project. NOW WITH PICS!!!

It's been fun! I'm learning quite a bit, and the payoff is going to be well worth it. I'm doing all of this just so I can learn how to ride, and have a cool bike to learn on :D
 

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Re: About to start my first project. NOW WITH PICS!!!

Compression at 120psi = ticking time bomb to roadside breakdowns.. Steve and Bill (66Sprint, TPBMusic) both members here, have been working on/riding/racing these bikes since the day they left the showroom floor. TRUST THEM.



GB :mrgreen:
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Re: About to start my first project. NOW WITH PICS!!!

I'll look into it, I mean it hasn't even been fired yet and the valves still need adjusted. Maybe it'll pick up.
 
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