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The Toad
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17,461 Posts
In '72 it was still the CB500, right? I almost bought one when I got out of the Nav in '71.



If it's a CB350 I wouldn't give more than $300-400. CB350s were designed and built as cheap throwaway motorcycles. As a typical Japanese multi, it is reliable but atrociously expensive to rebuild once it wears out.. Old Hondas are best thrown away. Or you buy 3 or 4 of the same bike so you can keep one running. Sort of like you had to do with brand new AMF Harleys.



I guess in your case you buy a couple dozen CB350s. Then you can keep them running for years. If anyone would want to.
 

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MODERATOR X
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5,449 Posts
I dunno, my '71 CB350 runs like a top, and the 71 CL runs pretty darn good too.



Just keep the oil and oil slinger clean. Can't imagine a more reliable motorcycle than the venerable 350 twin honda.



Stay off the crack Dr.
 

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Super Duper Mod Man
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10,479 Posts
"Federal law only requires importers to provide parts for 7 years, I believe."





Don't think this law really existed. I think it was possibly one of the biggest lies ever told next to "The check is in the mail"!!!!!!
 

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The Toad
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17,461 Posts
No no. Not crack. My ex-brother-in-law gave me a well thrashed CB350 twin years ago. Another friend asked me to sell his old thrashed CB350 when he was suddenly transfered to another town. Both bikes (they were WELL used, like 40,000 miles used) were pretty pathetic and the costs of new engine parts (valves, guide, carb boots,pistons, etc) were far more than the bikes could ever have been sold for.



That's generally been my experience with old Japanese multis. Engine rebuilds are exceedingly costly.
 

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The Toad
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17,461 Posts
All they have to do is provide the parts. So, sometimes it takes 7 years to get them after you order them.
 

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MODERATOR X
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Do you agree that "well thrashed" is not "well maintained"?



Admitted, the cam bearings on a 350 twin (or should I say lack of them) are something to watch, but the rest of the bike is pretty much idiot proof.



I've got 24000 miles on the CB, and 7700 on the CL. Both bought from the original owners (who kept them up). With regular maintenance they should last a long time.



Only bad thing about 30+ year old Japanese bikes, parts are getting scarce. And expensive.



Now if I could just wear out the KZ750 to see if you're right...
 

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MODERATOR X
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5,449 Posts
I don't think your argument hold true anymore. The older these bikes become, the more they'll be worth (ones in good shape that is).



In 2001, I sold a 1967 CB450 (Black Bomber) to some guy in Japan for $2,500.00. Another guy in Scotland is willing to pay $3K for a decent example of an early CL350.



And I just sold a 1968 DT1 Enduro in OK shape that needed engine work for $1,300.00.



So maybe there's still hope for your old IT.

 

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The Toad
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17,461 Posts
I defer to your opinion on the CB350 twin. You obviously have better karma with old Hondas. Mine have had a tendency to blow up.



The old Kwacker though.... you may find that you'll wear out before it will.
 

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The Toad
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17,461 Posts
Yeah, you're probably right about some models.



I don't think I'll invest in any old KZ400/440 twins though.



Maybe I should look for an old Titan or two.
 

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47 Posts
Look at the sticker on the headstock (the part of the frame that holds the bearings that the fork rotates on); it will tell you the exact day Honda cranked it out. Square gauges? Late 70's. Round gauges? Not a CB650.



My first street bike: '71 CB350. Rode it through college (year round in Kansas), and had a blast. Totally pinned, it would indicate a buzzy, frantic 90 mph with my 180lb ass in a full tuck.



Caveats: I paid $350 for it ( a fair price for both buyer and seller), put in new points, plugs, and battery, and rode the snot out of it. Sold it after three years of oil tight, tireless service for $500. For comparison, my rommate's brand new Sportster (1998), leaked oil from day one. No worries, the mechanic said they all do that...



The drum brakes on old bikes suck. If you guys live in an urban area with intense traffic, get your wife a newer bike with real brakes. Honda Hawk, Kawasaki Zephyr 550 (watch for oil leaks), EX500, Buell Blast. Some great suggestions have already been made. Any of these (well, not the Hawk in San Francisco, nor the Blast), can regularly be found for under $2000 in decent shape. Just ride until you're bored, then step up a bit. I'm currently an MZ Skorpion Sport Cup with a 660cc single and plan to take a few more steps before GSXR1000.....



If you guys love the nostalgic look of the 70's faux Triumph Bonneville Japanese stuff, pay as little as possible, freshen the rubber and fluids, and have a great time, just at a mellow pace. All old bikes need are smooth, easy inputs and regular basic maintenance to remain trusty friends for years. Pass on a fixer-upper though; parts are rediculous for most.











 

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Geeezzzeee - do a little shopping, get something smaller for learning. Cycle trader has over 80,000 bikes listed....... a CB 650 is nothing special that price is way high. Once you get into riding you can always trade up.... go slow, enjoy but let your neighbor keep the CB......
 

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8 Posts
Turns out it's a 1981 CB650. After I sent in the questions, I did some snooping around, and the year didn't make sense to me either. The seller changed his sign to the right year as well. I took the bike for an other ride, and it starts vibrating through the handlebars right at freeway speeds. Also, he won't come down on his price much, so I think I am going to skip on this one, even though it is in great shape.
 
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