The Impulse Buy: 1970 Honda SL350

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I didn't learn my lesson with the VW... I did it again. A couple of weeks ago I found myself in a friends truck, driving to Santa Ana to pick up a, well, "rough" motorcycle from craigslist that I had only seen that morning. I'm not entirely sure what happened. Fact no. 1: I don't know how to ride a motorcycle. Fact no.2: that's totally ok, because this bike is a LONG way from being ridden. Let me back up. I sold the VW for double what I had put into it, not including sweat equity. That wasn't the goal from the outset, but it sure wasn't a bad deal. The unfortunate thing about that sale was that it made me feel like an invincible restoration hero with money in my pocket for another project. I might be a savior of dying machines, CPR giver to the unoiled hearts of abandoned metal...heck, maybe I should quit my job and do this full time... I could build a shop and buy tools and install a lift...maybe I'll employ an old man called Sparky, he'll have a 3 legged dog called Alternator...my own Yoda... I'll need a bigger garage baby....  See how this goes? That's my brain right there, you should be scared, I am.

Wow, where was I?  Yeah, so, I saw a bike last registered in 1980, with title in hand and owner looking to get rid of it. I am now proud owner of a rusty hunk of awesome. For me, the first step of a new project is research and boy have I been reading.  My first realization is that all of my plans for this are pretty much sacrilegious in the minds of the vintage Honda illuminati. Apparently this little bike has somewhat of a cult following and was quite the little off-road performer in its day. Unfortunately I am going to be building it as an "on-roader" (assuming I learn to ride and ever get it running...) and my vision involves some considerable hacking and removal of parts. I'm not going full cafe racer style, it's a little cliché, I'm just going to make it the way I want it…we’ll see what that involves.

Currently she’s very slowly getting naked in my garage. I’m plodding through the disassembly making sure I learn each part I am removing.  My bucket of parts to sandblast is growing rapidly…

I’ve been madly investigating parts and enjoyed immensely learning the unique companies out there serving these bikes. It is fascinating.  Benjie Flipprboi owns one of these companies - BCR. He’s done some extremely pretty work and his site serves as a great example of someone taking their talent and passion for something and turning it into their income.  I’m hoping to work with him on a tank for the bike.

 Airtech Streamlining is another astonishing company. The owner is an avid racer and has just been at Bonneville putting down some high speed salt flats runs. Their shop is a bikers dream, they make OVER 5000 fiberglass parts for every conceivable kind of bike, including replica kits for some incredibly rare bikes. It is a dream for racers, who can take their prized possession, and kit it out with fiberglass bodywork to race in, without fear of damaging the valuable original work.

This new world should be fun!

Now what of a name for the bike? I wondered about Wee Bastard, but my wifey won’t like that one. Wee rascal, Bampot (for the scots)… help me out.. [gallery link="file" columns="5" orderby="rand"]