SL350


This is my 1970 Honda SL350. I was busy doing the disassbly and didn't take any pictures of what a basket case this was. Now I wish you could see what the honda looked like before I rebuilt it.

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This picture is near the end of reassembling. The Black and Decker Workmate made an excellent lift and allowed me to work on the bike without having to get on my hands and knees. Although it looks nice here. I repainted it using rattle cans. It's pretty close to the original color. The stripes on the side are decals with a couple of coats of clear sprayed over them. On the original SL350 the stripes are painted.

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In this picture the rear wheels look pretty good. The chrome on the wheels wasn't too bad, but the spokes were really rusted. I sand blasted the spokes and sprayed them with silver paint. It took me about a day to mask the wheel. If I knew how to relace the wheel I probably would have disassembled the wheel. it took forever to get the hub cleaned after years of greese from the chain had accumulated. The whole 3 day process was repeated on the front wheel.

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The really hard parts to find for this 1 year manufactured honda are the side covers. They're worth their weight in gold. These ones were in pretty rough shape and I had to really work to get them to attach properly.

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Another part that is hard to find is the seat. The one you see here is brand new. It languished in a warehouse for 30 years. The seller originally had 10 of them but had sold all but 3. They were stacked on top of each other and it created a permanent dent in the foam. It's slowly working itself out and it looks pretty good now..

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The last hardest part to find is the exhaust. Most of them have rusted out long ago and the few you can find cost more then the price of the SL350 without exhaust. I was fortunate enough to get the bike with some pretty decent exhaust. They even have the leg guards. They do have some rust and I will eventually have to get them repaired and painted. I hear BBQ grill paint works really well.
During construction of this SL350 I bought a second parts bike. They're weren't a lot of good parts, but the few I was able to salvage went a long way toward completing the project. If you're a purist you'll notice the this SL350 has the wrong carbs. The parts bike had the correct (Black) carbs but I were so corroded I couldn't use them. You also may notice that all the engine bolts are stainless steel allen head bolts. I didn't buy the SL350 to be a trailer queen. I bought it to ride on all the two track roads and trails around the Manton/Mesick area of northern Michigan. I know it isn't a high tech dirt bike and that fits me just fine. Besides, I would need a booster chair to get on one of those new dirt bikes. They sit way to high.

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Now the frame looks beautiful. I'm not bragging because I didn't have anything to do with how it looks. I took it to a local sandblaster and had it blasted, along with several other parts. It was also powder coated. The parts that are black were powder coated with semi-gloss. everything looks brand new and it is a lot more durable then regular paint.

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I had to completely disassemble the rear shocks and bought a spring compressor that worked really well. They were total rust and dirt. Cleaning them and reassembling them took a few days. I kept buying shocks on eBay but they were either for a newer SL350 or they made several different ones in 1970. I managed to piece a pretty decent set together out of all the spares.

For you purists, you'll notice the front fender is from a K1 or K2 model SL350.


I really like the way this turned out. I've had it up to 70 MPH (7000 RPM) and other then a lot of normal vibration it felt pretty good.
If I were starting this project today I would have shot for an SL350 K1 or K2 model. They were completely different. Gone was the heavy frame the electric start and the engine had a different cam that gave the 350 better low end torque. Those are important changes for a dirt bike.

I would be remiss if I didn't thank Barry for much of the inspiration in rebuilding my SL350. If you have one of these get it on Barry's registry. His web page is full of great howto information.

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This is my everyday driver.