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Discussion Starter #1
Hey there everybody, I'm new to the site, and to the hobby as a whole. Been looking at getting a bike for the last couple months with the Summer quickly approaching. I found this one via craigslist only about an hour away from me so I made the move and went and picked her up. She's a 1969 CL350 that's stock minus a few little things like the CB exhaust, and the cheap clubmans that were just put on recently. She's got 3300 miles on her and was last registered in 1976! She fires right up with the push button start and everything seems to work and run pretty fairly. Tires should be here tomorrow along with some new brake shoes, carb kits, and some new points in the next week or so. I plan on doing a few little "cafe-ish" mods to her eventually, but plan on just riding her through the summer essentially as is, and then tearing her down this winter.

So, thats where you guys come in... haha.
Being my first bike, i've already got the usually "newbie" questions, and I'm sure will have tons along the way...

My first being fork tube diameter. I want to start the rebuild at the front. I've already ordered all new cables, some simple levers and perches, and a throttle assembly that I've heard works with stock throttle cable, to clean the front end up. I want to swap the clubmans in favor of some nice woodcraft clip-ons. But thus far, haven't found a definite answer as to sizing... I've seen the list/chart that is floating around the web that lists 72-73 CL350s but not the 1969. Are the 1969 CL's the same as CB's or do they differ like is common for the other years. I've kind of narrowed it down to either 31mm or 33mm from my readings on the web, but I am still unsure.

-So, can anyone confirm what size clip-ons I need for a 1969 CL?

I look forward to sharing my progress, and learning from the boards! Seems like an addicting hobby that I can't wait to get further into!
 

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7/8" handlebars, and our own Steve Lohmeyer can answer your questions about fork size.

Steve is our resident interchangeability expert, not to mention leader of the HondaTwins Glee Club........
 

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Sensei
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The fork tubes will be 33mm's, but are likely to be pretty rusty under the covers... Most Cafe' enthusiasts tend to swap out the 350 forks with 360 forks (much cleaner look), but this also will necessitate 350 G or 360 triple trees.... They'll bolt right on.... I can post pix of 360 forks if it will help your learning curve...... Welcome to the wonderful world of parts swapping... :lol: :lol: Steve
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I'd love to see some pics. I just browsed some on ebay and can't see much of a difference... I'm guessing the 360 tubes are larger than 33mm, thus requiring the matching triple tree like you mentioned?
 

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Sensei
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Nope...they are 33's as well, but the spacing and top clamp are slightly different in the way they attach.... The early 350's use a "top" or "through the tree" bolt... 350G and 360 use a "pinch" set-up... If you WANT bigger diameter, Many Cafe' bikes use the 500/4 or 550/4 front ends......
Here's a good view of a 360 fork and top tree

somewhere in the inspirational pictures on this site is a red 350 built by students... It has the 500/4 fork set...... If I find the link, I'll edit it in.... Steve

Here it is!... The "bike I love" posted by SSCR....
viewtopic.php?f=23&t=112
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Okay, I think I see it now. The 360 top tree is more like the lower tree, allowing the entire fork tube to slide through the opening, rather than the 350 style that simply butts up to the top tree and has a bolt down into the tube. I will definitely look into that, as it does look cleaner. I'll go ahead and order 33mm clip-ons, which it sounds like will work with my stock front end, and with the 360 front end when/if it comes time to swap!
-Thanks for the help thus far!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Alright, So i got my bike back from getting the tires mounted(had to have the front brake rebuilt as well). And now it appears the starter solenoid went out. I get a slight "click" when I push the button rather than it firing up as it did a couple weeks ago. This wouldn't be a problem, as I plan to remove the electric start when I throw on the clip-ons and new controls and cables.
But... My kickstart doesn't seem to work either. It bump starts no problem, but that will get old quick... I had never tried the kickstart it in the month I've owned the bike because the electric start has always worked. It seems as if the kick start doesn't "engage" anything until the last inch or so of throw, it pushes down very easily and feels like there's nothing mating. And at that point, it's just about hitting the pipes. I looked at a schematic of the kickstarter and it doesn't seem like it's too complicated of a mechanical part, meaning it doesn't seem like there is a lot that could even go wrong with it. Where should I start? What should I look for? Has anyone had this problem before? I searched this forum and two others and can't come up with anything... I'm guessing that maybe one of the gears that mates the kickstarter shaft to the tranny is stripped? is that even possible? If so, how hard is that to replace? I'm hoping it's a matter of pulling the cover off and removing the shaft as a whole, or something along those lines...
 

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Sensei
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Bad news.... You have to split the main cases to remove the kickshaft...
Good news...It's not hard to do, and can all be done from underneath.... No top end disassembly required....
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Ok, thanks Steve. I guess that's good and bad news... Have you heard of this happening before? Or any idea what might be the culprit?
 

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JDReno said:
Ok, thanks Steve. I guess that's good and bad news... Have you heard of this happening before? Or any idea what might be the culprit?
I think you'll find that the starter will work fine with a fully charged battery. My '68 CL350 has the same issue with the electric starter. If it sits for a couple of days it won't turn over with the electric start. After I ride it for a few miles and the battery charges it works fine. My batter was new a few months ago so I don't think it's the condition of the battery. Try jumping it with the car and see if the elect. start works then.

Is that bike a Canadian model? I've never gotten a good answer re: the tank stripe below the wings. I've only seen pictures of the striped tank but all US version of the '68/69 I've seen have always been solid color like mine.

 

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Discussion Starter #11
My initial thought was that the battery might be low, but the shop checked that and said that wasn't the problem. I'll give riding it a shot tomorrow and then trying the electric start after that. I might order one of the many used solenoids off ebay, or even a new universal one if the battery being fully charged doesn't seem to do it. Now that i've learned of the problems with my kickstarter, I'm considering keeping my electric start, but wondering if I can simply use a momentary push button style switch mounted in say the headlight housing or something? I plan on ditching the factory perches/lever/switch housing and just wondering if it's as simple as wiring an aftermarket switch inline for the two correct wires for the factory push button switch.

Regarding the canadian model, I honestly couldn't tell ya! haha
I'm new to these old bikes and see what you're talking about, and it seems the paint job like yours is more common for sure.
 

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The K0's have no stripe (both 68 and 69), but the 69 K1's got the stripe, a pleated seatcover (K0's are smooth), and misc. other small changes.... :D
 

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66Sprint said:
The K0's have no stripe (both 68 and 69), but the 69 K1's got the stripe, a pleated seatcover (K0's are smooth), and misc. other small changes.... :D
Well, that sounds like a definitive answer. If that's the case, the K1 must have been a very short run since the '70 model was different. Maybe that's why I haven't seen any in person.

Also, I see where the rectangular tail light was introduced in the K1 too.

I think I get it now.
 

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JDReno said:
My initial thought was that the battery might be low, but the shop checked that and said that wasn't the problem. I'll give riding it a shot tomorrow and then trying the electric start after that. I might order one of the many used solenoids off ebay, or even a new universal one if the battery being fully charged doesn't seem to do it. Now that i've learned of the problems with my kickstarter, I'm considering keeping my electric start, but wondering if I can simply use a momentary push button style switch mounted in say the headlight housing or something? I plan on ditching the factory perches/lever/switch housing and just wondering if it's as simple as wiring an aftermarket switch inline for the two correct wires for the factory push button switch.

Regarding the canadian model, I honestly couldn't tell ya! haha
I'm new to these old bikes and see what you're talking about, and it seems the paint job like yours is more common for sure.


Take the starter cylinoid apart. There's a copper plate on the top contact that can be removed and cleaned. This will be corroded on yours and any used one. Clean it up and put it back together. It's just an electomagnet so, not much can really go wrong.

Ifnthat does work out buy new. Used electronics are liable to have unknown issues.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Well I'm stumped. I got a used one off ebay after trying to clean my stock one to no avail. And installed it and still nothing. I get a solid click sound when I press the starter button, and can feel movement in the solenoid, but the starter wont turn over. And Got it to kick start once today, but that took about 40 tries. I tried advancing the kick starter arm forward to compensate for the lack of "grab" until the bottom of the throw, and it helped but as soon as I kicked it, it ended up back to feeling the same. Insured it yesterday and planned on getting to the DMV today but I can't justify paying all this till I can actually ride the bike. No idea what to try next...
 

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Sounds like a bad battery to me - regardless of what the shop says.
Only way to know is to replace it with a known good battery.
I bought one last fall that was bad out of the box.
 

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First rule.... eliminate the simple possibilities...... IF the starter motor is good, a direct "jump" from a car battery (eliminates the "weak motorcycle battery" possibility) should turn the engine over....
Ground the Negative jumper from the car battery to the bike frame ...
AFTER making sure the bike is in neutral, carefully touch the positive jumper directly to the starter motor terminal (You may want to remove the heavy wire for access/clearance)
The starter motor should roll over...IF it does, the engine should also roll over
IF you get starter roll, but not engine roll, the starter clutch is bad...
IF the starter does NOT roll, you have a bad starter motor
IF the starter rolls, either the solenoid, or the wire to it (from the battery), or the wire from it (to the starter) are defective....find out which...
 

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Discussion Starter #18
That's my next step... Thanks for the encouragement guys. I'll try the "jumping" of the starter. Or pull the battery out of the cb175 that I know is full of juice. Had a crazy downpour of rain that cut my wrenching time short, so I'll get back on it tomorrow.
;)
 

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clean both ends of both battery power cables, ground cable connection to frame is critical also both posts on starter solenoid and connector on starter motor itself, if battery drains down when setting for several days check the rectifier, the diodes can break down allowing the battery to have a low voltage/current drain to ground even with key off
 

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jayel said:
clean both ends of both battery power cables, ground cable connection to frame is critical also both posts on starter solenoid and connector on starter motor itself, if battery drains down when setting for several days check the rectifier, the diodes can break down allowing the battery to have a low voltage/current drain to ground even with key off
That's the problem I have with my CL350. It's a good thing it's a "one kick wonder". After riding for about 20 minutes the electric start works fine.
 
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