A little organizing, finding all kinds of cool stuff.
When I was working at the shop as a mechanic, we used to take in a lot of bikes as 'get running' jobs. That meant we would spend one hour or less and use as few parts as possible to see if the bike would indeed run. If it did, we would then ascertain if the bike was worth putting anymore work into and write up a list of needs to make it truly road or dirt worthy, as the case might be. Sometimes all that would be brought in was the bare minimum of a bike. A BSA V-twin flathead came in once, that was little more than a frame with a motor bolted in to it. After we set it up with a temporary gas tank and an oil tank and played with the magneto, we got it to run. Tim the foreman, got this idea about seeing if it would run on one cylinder. So he pulled the head off the rear cylinder, since it was a flathead this was pretty easy. It started, and a bunch of us stood there with silly grins on our mugs watching the rear piston going up and down in the bore...and the valves popping open and closed.
So, getting back to the SL 350, it runs, now what? Well I've been making a 'to-do' list and acquiring and finding parts around the place. Have I ever mentioned how cheap I am? Well frugal, I like to say. I have a lot of parts ratholed away, just finding it or remembering where it's stashed can be a bit of a bother. So I made a list of 'to-do'. It runs, so now I tear it down for painting. Decided it's been a rat bike for long enough. Now I'm not doing a restoration here. In fact it won't resemble an SL 350 any more. Decided against a 'cafe racer' look. Going a bit more mundane and practical. Basically using parts I have laying around and spending as little money as possible, I'm going to build a basic street bike for commute purposes. Also with the idea of using it for medium long trips into the hills or to the coast for weekend camping. Originally I was going to use a bigger tank from a CB 500 twin I have somewhere. Last weekend,in my stash, I found an old 750 four tank and a seat off of a CB 550 and threw those on to see how they would work.
Back in the 70's I had a CB 350 that at various times and configurations, I ran a CB 450 tank and a CB 750 tank. As I recall, they both needed clearancing in the tunnel area with a ball-pein hammer, and probably had clearance issues with the petcocks. As I think about it the CB 500 twin tank probably would have some issues with the petcock location, As it turns out the CB 750 tank fits without hitting the tunnel on the SL frame, and it looks like the petcock location would work well, once I come up with a mount for the rear of the tank. The CB 550 seat has been 'scooped out' by a previous owner and is actually comfortable. I'll probably section the rear of the seat about 4 or 5 inches so it doesn't hang out so far. I'm planning on doing something similar with a CB 750 F model seat that I plan on running on my CB 550 which will have more of a 'Cafe' look....but that story is for another post. Kinda funny how I'm recreating to a certain extant bikes I had 30 years (or more) ago.
If I was 30 years old, I'd probably be building a 'Brat-Bike'. Taking a hammer to the tank and smashing in 'knee notches'...and fabricating a 'slab' seat that had about an inch of foam and looked like a Schwinn Stingray seat.....wrapping the exhaust in a blanket of fibreglass and rigging up a skull Jockey shift... Since I'm twice that old I'll probably go a different route, and did I mention I was Che..errr frugal. Yeah my plan is to try and stick to a plan and use mainly what I got.
I did go by a shop and picked up some Emgo 'Super Bike Bend' bars. After chatting up the guy behind the counter and finding out his mother had once bought a BMW R 60 from the shop I used to work at, he cut me a deal on the bars. Made in China I'm sure, but they have a nice bend I've run before and appear to have a quality powder coating on them. The K and N's are from my stash and will replace the rotten air cleaners. I need to come up with a replacement for the knackered carb to cleaner tubes.
Some of the junk that was in the Petcock bowl, so I'll definitely be cleaning the carbs out.
So tomorrow we tear it down, and hunt for more goodies...have an idea about coming up with a hi-level 2 into one exhaust system exiting through a Supertrapp muffler to be forest compliant...we will see...
My tomatoes are starting to produce...