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bayrunner

1971 Honda SL 350 ? ? ? ? ?

16 posts in this topic

Hey Guys _____ What do you think? ? ? Pros and Cons . Is it a good ALL around bike ,reliable.parts availabilaty etc.Can it hold its own with its modern counterpart.___THANKS BAYRUNNER

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Well, um, not sure what you're considering it's modern counterpart.

It's a vintage Honda 350 twin. Simple and reliable as an axe. A street bike at heart, with a mild off-road set of clothes. Not exactly a highway cruiser, but enough power to move you up to 75 ~ 80 mph.

It has 'high' fenders and 'high' exhaust pipe exits, which means thick mud won't clog the fenders and, if you stalled it in a deep-ish puddle, water wouldn't back up in the mufflers. That's about the extent of it's dirt capability. I guess it functions on smooth-ish dirt roads or trails. Not much worse than that.

The SL's, IIRC, did not have passenger pegs, so it wouldn't do for two-up puttering.

Otherwise, great bikes. Just kind of a really specialized niche... :-)

Kirk

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If it's anything like my CL350, the brakes are poor at best... Be careful.

Is the SL and CL 350 twin the same engine? I believe my CL is more street than the SL.

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An SL 350 is a prime candidate for setup as a mild streettracker. Swap the front wheel for a 19" with a disk brake an add a pair of decent tires. It'll be cheap to run and reliable as a rock.

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Whoa, there. That is a heavy, underpowered bike, with terrible brakes and suspension, and a flexy frame. Go up about 10 years and you will be happier.

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Well, um, not sure what you're considering it's modern counterpart.

It's a vintage Honda 350 twin. Simple and reliable as an axe. A street bike at heart, with a mild off-road set of clothes. Not exactly a highway cruiser, but enough power to move you up to 75 ~ 80 mph.

It has 'high' fenders and 'high' exhaust pipe exits, which means thick mud won't clog the fenders and, if you stalled it in a deep-ish puddle, water wouldn't back up in the mufflers. That's about the extent of it's dirt capability. I guess it functions on smooth-ish dirt roads or trails. Not much worse than that.

The SL's, IIRC, did not have passenger pegs, so it wouldn't do for two-up puttering.

Otherwise, great bikes. Just kind of a really specialized niche... :-)

Kirk

+1:thumbsup:

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Back in the day, Dirt bike tested the 350 and had good things to say about it as an off road machine. Lots of guys rode them stripped down and praised the smooth power and reliablity. They were heavy, though. On the street, I wouldn't have any problem tooling around on it. The bikes came with the low, upswept twin exhausts that looked cool. As far as I know, getting pipes for the bikes is the hardest thing to find. :lol:

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I've got a 71 SL350. Cruising at 70+ is no problem. The brakes while not incredible are actually fairly good. The 71-73 SL350's brakes are MUCH better than a 69-70 SL350 or CL's.

You'd be surprised at the braking distance compared to some well loved modern bikes:

1971 Honda SL350 .............60-0 139 feet

1997 Kawasaki KLR650 ....... 60-0 134 feet

2005 Harley Davidson 883 ....60-0 134 feet

Only 5 feet longer from 60-0 than a 1997 KLR650 or 2005 HD 883 both of which have front and rear disc brakes!

Since the 71-73 SL350 only weighs 315 pounds with 1/2 a tank of fuel ( well over 50+ pounds lighter than a 69-70 sl350 or a cl350) and has a low center of gravity it handles quite well. 71-73 SL's use a lightweight thinwall tubing frame that is sought after by vintage Honda 350 racers due to it's strength and resistance to flexing.

There are very significant differences between a 1969-70 SL350 or CL350 and a 1971-1973 SL350. 1971-73 SL350's were kick start only. The 71-73 uses a different frame (it has a stronger, lighter frame with thinwall double downtubes), wheelbase is longer, different headlight, fenders, seat, tank, forks, shocks, drivechain/sprockets (16t front, 40 rear, 520 pitch) chain cover, swingarm, sidecovers, toolbox, exhaust /mufflers, brakes (smaller, lighter, but more powerful), aluminum fenders, 27 mm. piston type carbs (better throttle response and low end torque). The 71-73 SL also uses a different head with smaller ports and a different cam both of which are once again geared toward more low end torque.

The 1969-1970 SL350 is more similar to the CL350, but there are still some significant differences. 1st the similarities: kick and electric start, exact same engine with the same head and camshaft as the CL, 32 mm. CV carbs, same chain pitch (530) as the CL, heavy (366 pounds), has a flexy stamped frame, steel fenders, same weak brakes. Differences: Side panels, seat, gastank, forks, shocks, frame is slightly different but still a heavy stamped one with single downtube, exhaust/mufflers.

P.S. Yes the SL350 comes with Passenger Pegs.:lol:

Here's mine:209313.jpg

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Pantera, that's an excellent summary. +1 on all points.

....guess we never heard back from the original poster, huh?

Kirk

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Hi Guys ______ I’m trying to decide weather to spend $2,500 on a Kawasaki Sherpa 250 (a little above my budget), disk brakes f/r, 6 sp. trans, (modern design) ,$1,500 on a TW Yamaha ,or $700 on the SL. I don’t want to compromise on performance (relatively)I want an enjoyable daily driver (all rounder)__Thanks for all the feedback ____BAYRUNNER

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The Honda SL 350 was and is a very reliable motor. I would change out all possible vbad actors like the coil, stator, new points plate assembly and a new battery ( a good one - no el cheapo's) that way you have the electrical suystem in new condition, this is of course given that the engine, compression etc is in good condition, if not a top end job is simple and wold provide many more miles of endless fun on a classic steed. I also like to replace chain, sprockets, and all cables on older bikes. Thoroughly check over the wiring harness to ensure it is not butchered up (prior to purchasing) and if it is bargain down the price and get a better harness off of flea bay. Clutch should be ok, but if it feels weak and or grabb bargain down in price again and replace the clutch plates later (again cheap and easy to do - just time consuming). But if you want to spend extsra bucks, newer technology is better, but ya get what you pay for. If I was in the markewt for a new DS I would look into the DRZ 400 from Suzuki , or a XR650L.

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If you're considering a classic bike as a daily commuter, I'd advise against it. Sure, the bike could probably do it...protesting all the way, but classic bikes have a lot of old parts on them, like crank bearings and rod bearings. I rode my old Motosport 250 as a daily rider/commuter for a year and a half and probably did some bottom end damage on my 60 mile per week commute into town. She vibrates like a cheap motel bed now. I got a DR 350 for my daily commute now and the XL wear "Collector" plates and comes out to go to church, around the block, or classic bike meets on nice days. That's how you're supposed to treat the old girls I'm finding.:lol:

If your commute is short, the T-Dub would be an excellent choice.:p

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Do some collectable reseach and you'll find it's at the top of the 70's Honda list

Most lists place it above the 400 four!!!

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