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Thread: My (very) Smallblock 350

  1. #1
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    Dec 2007
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    My (very) Smallblock 350

    As temperatures have been dropping here in upstate New York, motorcycle prices have inevitably followed. With my freshly-won motorcycling permit that I got while I was home for the summer, I felt like I should probably take advantage of this so as to not only have a runabout, but to also begin truly understanding how this whole "internal combustion" thing works.
    Due to living in California and going to school in New York, I tend to stay here during all but the longest breaks, so I wanted something to occupy my time during them.
    Having found that browsing Craigslist during class is far more productive than any of the drivel that our professors usually seem to spout, I've been observing pricing trends and figured now, right before Thanksgiving break, was my time to pounce. I'd seen a few things that minorly caught my fancy, but nothing special or cheap enough. Unfortunately I had to sacrifice the former for the latter, but the bike is just about the perfect engine size for me, it's nice and light, and it was quite cheap. A CB350 should also be easy to find parts for.

    Unfortunately, all my friends have vacated for break, so I don't have access to any pictures other than the one below.

    The bike is currently in pieces, because if I hadn't shown up when I did the owner was going to part it out. I haven't quite assessed all the work I need to do and catalogued all that I need to buy, but this should be fun!

    EDIT: I have all the (unpictured) large pieces aside from the handlebars. The engine, lights etc... are in a number of bins.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    "Kimi, can you improve on your [race] finish?"
    "No. My Finnish is fine; I am from Finland. Do you have any water?"

  2. #2
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    Beauty! You don't have any experience wrenching right?

    It should be pretty fun to figure out all that stuff.

    I figure you want to have it running by spring?

  3. #3
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    Good luck mate, should be fun!
    Life's too short to drive bad cars.

  4. #4
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    I demand that you document every part of this build!
    I'm dropping out to create a company that starts with motorcycles, then cars, and forty years later signs a legendary Brazilian driver who has a public and expensive feud with his French teammate.

  5. #5
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    Also SBC 350 swap...

    You scared?

  6. #6
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    That is excellent.

    And in the process you'll probably learn how everything works.

    Genius.
    Lack of charisma can be fatal.
    Visca Catalunya!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
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    New York City
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    CAFE!! i want one.
    Gone:
    09 Ducati Monster 696
    09 Audi Q5 3.2
    03 Infiniti G35 Sedan
    07 Honda Civic Coupe LX 5spd

    Current:
    10 BMW 335d
    12 Audi Q5 2.0t
    10 VW Jetta TDI
    11 Ducati Monster 796

  8. #8
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    Inspection of the VIN and engine block reveal a displacement of 356cc; that in conjunction with the front disc brake means I actually bought a CB360.
    I feel like this is the first of many surprises...

    Am spending the rest of the day cataloging parts to hopefully catch any more surprises early.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kitdy View Post
    Beauty! You don't have any experience wrenching right?

    It should be pretty fun to figure out all that stuff.

    I figure you want to have it running by spring?
    I joined our FSAE team this year, so that should prove a good resource, but aside from that and taking shop freshman year, I have no experience.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ferrer View Post
    That is excellent.

    And in the process you'll probably learn how everything works.

    Genius.
    In theory...
    "Kimi, can you improve on your [race] finish?"
    "No. My Finnish is fine; I am from Finland. Do you have any water?"

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2010
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    430
    You could have a pretty sweet cafe bike when this is done! Good luck, and keep us posted!
    "Don't think your time on bad things
    Just float your little mind around"
    Jimi Hendrix

  10. #10
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    Sorry for the lack of updates, almost as soon as I'd bought the bike I was immediately swamped by final projects and exams, so nearing on nothing has been done to it.

    Until mid-January the bike is 3,000 miles away so no progress will be made on that end, though I hope to accrue parts and information while in slightly more bike-friendly Southern California. Any ideas cool bikes you see floating around the web or things to watch out for would be much appreciated.

    I will also try to get a digital camera of some sort so I can document this better.
    "Kimi, can you improve on your [race] finish?"
    "No. My Finnish is fine; I am from Finland. Do you have any water?"

  11. #11
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    Nice, have fun.
    Speed has never killed anyone. Suddenly becoming stationary, that's what gets you."
    Jeremy Clarkson

  12. #12
    I wish now you will start updating here,
    I am waiting,

  13. #13
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    10
    Very nice.
    Im Im Impossible!

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sanjeev12 View Post
    I wish now you will start updating here,
    I am waiting,
    Wait no longer, Sanjeev!

    The 360 has magically and mysteriously gained sixteen years, a pair of cylinders, and forty cubic centimeters transforming it into a 1989 CB-1 (CB400F)!

    The 360 proved more trouble than it was worth; I got it just as school and my involvement in FSAE really began ramping up and destroying any semblance of free time I might once have had. Though I still have the scrambler pipes from it because they look cool, the rest of the bike has been split up among various craigslist carrion feeders.

    The CB-1 offers a number of advantages over the CB360: most importantly, it runs! With the exception of a small issue finding the fuel petcock to switch it to "reserve", the bike has run flawlessly in the two weerks or so that it's been in my possesion. Secondly, it has a little more power than the '360. Honda claims 34hp for the 360 and 55hp for the -1, though magazine testing puts that closer to 50hp at the crank (45hp at the back tire). This means, if I don't mind buzzing around between 7,000-9,000 rpm I can it take on the freeway for the 10 minutes or so I need to get to work. Thirdly: 100cc per cylinder! (See: fourthly) Fourthly: 13,500rpm!

    Unfortunately it is about 30lb. heavier (at 410lb.) than the 360, but I'm about 10lb lighter that I was when I bought the 360 so mass has been centralized!
    The kid I bought it from threw a Kerker exhaust on it, which sounds nice, but is far too loud. I wear earplugs when I ride, but even with those in my ears start ringing after rides longer than half an hour. Fortunately, the seller gave me the stock exhaust, so I'll be reinstalling that for a little more stealth and sanity. A quieter exhaust should also let me hear fun things like the whine of the gear-driven cams and such. In addition to the pipe, I would like to service it with new plugs and fluids, but otherwise it's in great shape for something as old as it is.

    As far as riding goes, it is pretty similar to all the smaller-displacement stuff I've ridden up to now. I'm no expert rider by a very long stretch so this is an amalgam of what I've experienced andwhat I've read, especially regarding the handling. The engine pulls adequately from 2,000-8,000rpm for pootling around town and is a level of power that isn't dissimilar from the small stuff I've previously ridden. Above eight grand, it really starts screaming and moves quite rapidly to the 13,500rpm redline. The bike steers quite quickly, which is nice for tight maneuvering, but it is hard to get it stuck into a groove on a long sweeping corner; you always have to make small corrections. From what I've read, the geometry of the bike, with small rake and trail, makes it slightly darty and is a commonly-adressed issue by backyard engineers. The suspension is suprisingly soft, absorbing Connectishit's shitty pavement with ease, though the amount of frond-end dive under braking is a bit unsettling. Those who build their CB-1s to the nines tend to swap over forks from more performance-oriented bike, so if I choose to keep it, that might be a path to consider. It brakes well enough, my fear of endoes being more of an issue than the strength of the single discs front and rear. The transmission works well enough, though I've managed to tear up my toe pretty badly from all the upshifting, despite wearing boots, which sends a fair amount of pain my way whenever I chose the five-up side of the one down/five up equation. Once a callus forms, I'll be able to judge the 'box a little better. All in all, it's a pretty nice little cycle for a quasi-beginner like myself. It can play the docile scooter-'round-town role, but it can also blast to 60 in 4 or 5 seconds when I get a little more advanced and adventurous.

    In the future, if the bike is too slow, putting the freer-flowing exhaust back on and rejetting the quad Keihins is worth about 5hp, which is a not-inconsiderable 10% rise in power. Honda sent the bike out of the factory with a slightly-lean setup for emmisions (but still no catalytic converter) so richening it up a bit should help keep things cool, especially near the redder parts of the tach, and make some more power up there as well. Aside from that, revalving the shocks is the only modification I would realy consider as it is such a good compromise between all things in stock guise.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    "Kimi, can you improve on your [race] finish?"
    "No. My Finnish is fine; I am from Finland. Do you have any water?"

  15. #15
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    I'm not much of a bike fan, but I do like my Hondas.

    Cool purchase nonetheless.

    Coolieman1220 has a bike too, but I don't think he's around this forum much anymore.

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