1974 Honda CL360 - "Chicken Little"
Purchase Date: November 2016
We recently sold my girlfriend's BSA and she has been without a motorcycle for a few months. We've both agreed that an early CB / CL would be the perfect bike for her. One of the main reasons being the electric start option they have, kicking over the single cylinder BSA had proven to be challenging at times. Hillary also likes the style of the early Honda's. This is when I started watching the motorcycle listings for a CB/CL.
Not long after, I spotted a lime green 1974 CL360 Craigslist ad. The listing was short, the bike complete although had been sitting for a long time. I contacted the owner and he acquired the bike from a friend of a friend where it was found sitting in a chicken coop for 27+ years. This is where the nickname "Chicken Little" comes from. The trouble has already been gone through to get the title in hand, which made the bike more desirable to me; dealing with the DMV can be a difficult process.
Hillary and I made the 1 1/2 hr drive to pick up the bike. Upon arriving, I was immediately sold; with Hillary's blessings of course. The CL is 100% complete, it's all there including the tool kit. The bike looks great with exception to the rust that is slowly eating away at the bike.
The Honda 360 was only produced from 1974 through 1976. The "CL" model was the scrambler model with motocross handlebars and high, left side exhaust pipes. The air cooled parallel twin cylinder Honda has a 356cc engine with a single overhead cam. Power is meager with only 34 HP @ 9000 RPM. Top speed is a claimed 102.5 mph. The CL has a six speed gearbox with a chain final drive. Fuel capacity is 2.9 gallons and the bike's weight is 392.4 lbs wet.
I've finally had time to start working on the CL. I've sprayed the bike down with WD40 to help with the aged gunk cleanup. I've ordered a series of rebuild kits and parts in preparation for getting the bike to run. First thing on my list is to drain the 30 year old gas and rebuild the carbs. I've found the Common Motor Collective out of Texas to be a useful resource for good quality rebuild kits and parts that I need.
Clutch: Upon receiving the CL, the clutch cable was broken. I replaced it with a new cable from D2 Moto. Working near the clutch area, I cleaned up / greased the springs and push rod bearing assembly.
Carburetors: I rebuilt the carbs with a set of rebuild kits from Common Motor Collective, they did a nice job putting a quality kit together. Unfortunately I had a gas leak from overflow tube on the right side bowl. After taking the float bowl apart and putting it back together over and over again hunting for a solution, removing and cleaning the float needle + testing the floats, I finally noticed a hairline crack in the brass overflow tube. I soldered the cracks and sealed the leak.
Gas Tank: The tank exterior is in good shape, although the interior was full of 30+ year old gas which had since turned into varnish. I drained the tank and found lots of rust inside, although no soft spots on the tank itself (this is a good thing). I flushed the rust and crud out of the tank with soapy water, followed by a rust removing chemical soak, final flushing and then a final rinse with acetone. This was a lengthy and messy process that I put off for several months. After the tank dried, I sealed the inside of the tank with Red Kote fuel tank sealer. I have worked with this sealant before with excellent results, just as I have this time.
Misc: I've replaced the cables, chain, condenser, petcock and the air filters before setting off for a maiden voyage where I test the shifting and general functions of the motorcycle. In the meantime, I also adjusted the fuel/air mixture screw while riding (and pulling over) to the correct "not too lean / not too rich" adjustments. The bike runs pretty darn good.
Unfortunately the bugs hadn't been completely worked out of the CL, although it is close. The bike runs good, there is some hesitation mid throttle and the suspect is some leftover sludge seeping from the gas tank. The "sludge" must've been stuck, hidden somewhere in the tank. The sludge made its way through the fuel system clogging the new petcock and the mid-range needle jet passageways.
I've decided to sell the Honda instead of going back into working on the gas tank and carbs. I lost interest in the bike, and Hillary has changed her mind on wanting to ride it as well. - Confirmed, it's time to sell.
I recently put the CL on Craigslist and sold it within a few weeks. The bike sold to a good owner whom had one when he was younger, before marriage and kids. He's looking forward to working on the bike with his nephew and riding it around reminiscing the past.
Sale Date: June 2017