I love single-cylinder "thumpers," and this is a nice one. I purchased it from its second (possibly thi" />

Cafe Racer - 1978 Honda XL-350

1978 Honda Other

Price: US $1,950.00
Item location: Walla Walla, Washington, United States
Make: Honda
Model: Other
SubModel: XL-350
Year: 1978
Mileage: 9,999,999
Engine size: 350 cc

The perfect "around town" bike. Light, ell built,maneuvers like a ferret. A true head-turner.
I love single-cylinder "thumpers," and this is a nice one. I purchased it from its second (possibly third) owner, ho had ridden it on streets and off-road for years until he parked it 20 or so years ago. I bought it because it is a lightweight thumper with great handlingpedigree (XL-350s were raced successfully back in the day). I was pleased that the bike had been well maintained, as properly stored, ad great compression and had almost no rust.
I spent the better part of a year tearing this bike down to its bones and rebuilding into my vision of a cafe racer. Along the way, lmost every part was stripped of paint, leaned and either repainted or polished. Worn parts were replaced right down to the bushing on the kick-stand. The previous owner had maintained it to high standards (he is a machinist by trade), o I inspected the engine, nsured it had good compression, hanged the oil and cleaned the filter, hen I cleaned it top to bottom. I painted most of the motor with high-temp engine paint (a General Motors color, hich has just a tinge ofmetallic and looks great in the sun). The frame and swingarm were sprayed with Eastwood Chassis-Black. As you see in photos, polished some parts and filed the edges of cylinder fins for nice effect. Motor-case fasteners were replaced with stainless steel allen-head bolts. I cleaned and polished the points, djusting them to factory specs, et the timing and installed a new spark plug. It started up nicely, id not smoke and sounded wonderful.
So why am I selling? I built this bike for my own pleasure. However, ue to an injury and subsequent recent surgery, will not be able to ride for an undetermined length of time. It is my loss, nd your opportunity to own a really neat machine.
I'll list all the modifications below, ut you'll want to know the philosophy behind this creation. First, wanted a thumper-powered bike that sounded right. For the sound as well as performance, he very heavy original cast iron muffler was replaced with an aluminum Supertrapp -- and the result, o my ears, s perfect. It will not blast your neighbors out of their chairs, ut they'll hear you. Because Supertrapps are adjustable, ou will be able to tune the sound to your taste by removing discs (easily done with an allen wrench). And tuning this muffler allows you to control back-pressure, hich affects breathing and performance. This muffler is a feature you'll come to love.
I also wanted a light bike, ne that was designed for quick moves on asphalt or off road, hich this bike is. And because I wanted a light machine, ne lighter than factory weight, stripped off all the heavy stuff I could get rid of.
I also wanted a bike that is easily started. I did rebuild the stock carb, ut with the Keihin carb, hese bikes were never easily kicked. So I quickly abandoned it and bought a new Mikuni VM-32 (popular with racers). With a Uni foam filter, he bike now breathes far better than stock and starts easily (sometimes on first kick, ore often on the second). Nevertheless -- and please note this -- the carb still needs final jetting for best performance.
Other modifications:

  • Frame was stripped and all excess tabs were cut away. The hoop at the back was cut away, hortened and re-welded into place so the seat line is now straight and aligned with the bottom of the fuel tank. It was painted with Eastwood's Chassis-Black paint. (Tough stuff, ut not as tough as powder coating. The plus is that dings are easily repaired with Eastwood paint.)
  • Electrical was converted from 6-volts to 12-volts using a trick new regulator/rectifier from Oregon Motorcycle Parts. The regulator and a fuse panel are both accessible under the seat. A small sealed battery is tucked under the seat-bump.The headlight is still wired directly into the generator system and comes on when the bike is started. All other lights are 12-volt LEDs, hich put almost no drain on the small battery.
  • A new tail section was fabbed from fiberglass over foam and plywood. It covers an aluminum pan that hides wiring connections (see photo). Inside the hump is a compartment for the small 12-volt battery which sits in an aluminum tray. And tucked into the back of the tail section is an LED brake light/running light (see photo).
  • Rearsets were fabricated from modern sets I bought off eBay and modified for this machine. The brake peg and lever fold out of the way for kicking. You'll see some so-called cafe racers that have not moved foot controls and pegs aft, nd riding those with low handlebars puts the rider in a very uncomfortable position (and looks silly). The rear brake and shifter both work correctly. (And I should note here that the transmission shifts through all gears as it should.)
  • An aluminum inner fender keeps mud and crud from the rear wheel off the engine and electrics. This is a feature left off many modified bikes, nd unless you love cleaning and re-cleaning engines, t is something to look for on any modified bike you contemplate buying.
  • The speedometer is a small aftermarket that I mounted on a custom mount. It now tucks down out of the wind. It is calibrated in kilometers per hour, ot mph. Why did I want this? Well, his bike will likely never do the ton when measured in mph, ut it will read 100 about the time you shift from fourth to fifth gear.Quirky? Yep. The odometer reads just 25 km right now.
  • The previous owner had replaced the original fuel tank with a plastic tank, ut he kept the original. It was in near perfect condition and is back on the bike. It is clean and straight. I put a new petcock on it.
  • I welded up a stainless-steel grill for the headlight. Not really functional (Oh, t'll keep baseballs and butterflies off the lens), ut to me it looks cool and is better than an X of electrical tape across the lens.
  • I formed and then smoothed a small front fender from a piece of aluminum. It'll keep a little dirt off your face, ut the real function is that the brace adds a bit more stability to the front forks.
  • The bike has been lowered about 1 1/2 inches in front. Clip-on bars put the rider in the proper low stance. Bar-end mirrors and new grips tidy up that area. New cables ensure the clutch and front brake work well.
  • The former owner replaced the rear shocks with Mullhollands, hich are far better than stock. I cleaned them up and repainted them. They seem to work fine.
  • The front forks were disassembled and cleaned, ith new seals and fresh oil. The lowers were polished.
  • Finally the paint: My neighbor ran an auto body shop for 14 years and he and I spent tons of time and labor on the tank and tail section. He did the shooting with expensive auto paint. I color-sanded down to 2,000 grit, hen polished it with various grades of buffing material. The result is flawless!
  • The seat upholstery was sewed by me. It is of a heavy vinyl from the cover on the seat the former owner had made. Good stuff. Padding is two densities of foam. Look closely at the photos. I'm proud of this part of the build.
  • In one of the photos you will notice I formed a heat shield to keep my ankle cooler. It does not show in some of the photos, hich were taken before I found it was needed.
  • In another photo you see the pan under the seat that hides much of the wiring.
Other features:The license pate is on the rear of the bike (where I like them to be) and is on an angle that allows it to also act as a back fender extension. It is mounted on rubber, o it will deflect and absorb abuse. There is no ignition switch, ut there are two toggles more or less hidden that need to be properly positioned for the bike to start. The rims have been painted with Eastwood's Extreme Chassis Black (tough stuff) and the spokes have been left bare; I like the contrast; it is more work than just shooting the spokes with the rims. The sprocket is slightly lower gear than stock for better off-the-line performance. The previous owner said it still handles highways geared this way, ut I have not tested this.
Disclaimers: This bike needs new tires. I could have bought tires for it, ut I am certain a new owner will want to make to make this choice. If it is to be a machine for asphalt driving, ou'll want street tires. If it is occasionally going onto dirt, hen something closer to the tires on it now might be the choice. But do not buy this bike and leave the current tires on it -- even for a little while. They are very old and hard and not suitable for any kind of riding.
Also, s mentioned, he carb needs final jetting. Once the new owner decides on what tune the muffler is to be in (that is,how many discs in or out), hen jets on the Mikuni need to be replaced with jets that match the improved breathing of this machine. As it is now, t seems to be starving (lean) a bit at full throttle under load. If I had not suffered an injury, 'd have tuned it and be riding by now. So, o know that this bike's carb -- although brand new -- needs to be tuned to this particular bike for best performance.
There is no tachometer, nd the drive orifice on the engine case right now is sealed with masking tape (which will do for a while). But it should be closed with a proper plug or cap. I have not researched a source, ut know they are available.
I do not know the mileage, ut you should assume it is far, ar above the 25-or-so km on the speedometer (which is new). I put a huge number in eBay's form, ecause it required a number.
I do not like the fuel line now on the bike, o I ordered a better grade of line, hich I have not installed. Because this dang injury keeps me from bending down, cannot replace it now. I'll include the new line with the bike. And also because I cannot work on the bike, cannot remove the seat structure (it is screwed on from below) to get to the wiring pan. The left rear LED signal has stopped working, nd I am certain it is a bad connection in that pan. It is an easy fix, ut I just cannot do it (and that is very, ery frustrating).
Finally, now that I am not an engineer. What you see in the photos is what you get. There are no warranties or guarantees. This is a specialty bike, ustom built and sold as is. If you want the safety and reliability of a new bike from a factory and dealer, y all means buy one of those. Please don't expect this (or any other modified or custom-built bike for that matter) to be hassle-free and as safe as a stock machine. In other words, xpect to give this bike some love, specially during it's first few months. And ride it safely.
As you can see from my rating (100%), make every effort to disclose everything about whatever I am selling in advance. I do hope I have not forgotten anything, ut if you have any questions, lease ask. You will get an honest and thorough answer.
I will include an owner's manual, workshop manual and that new piece of fuel line. I have a clear title in my name. If you have read all this to here, hank you. The reserve is not unreasonable and should ensure a sale. Good luck if you do bid.
Shipping: Buyer is welcome to pick up the bike here in Walla Walla, ashington. Or arrange your own shipping. If you ship it, ou may have your trucker come to my place and I will wheel the bike to the truck's ramp. At that moment it is yours, nd you and your trucker will have responsibility from there.
If you do not have at least ten eBay transactions with a good rating, lease contact me before entering a bid. And please do not bid unless you have the funds or proper financing lined up in advance.
Payment: Within 48 hours I need a non-refundable deposit of $250, nd within ten (10) days I need your cashier's check for the balance of your winning bid amount. I will not release the bike or its title until the funds have cleared.

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