Happy Monday boys and girls, ladies and gentlemen…I just flew in from Philadelphia…and boy are my arms….just kidding.
Welcome to Motorcycle Jeopardy..
In 1971 I bought a brand new Honda SL350. I had been riding my step dads Bultaco Matador 250, his was still street legal, mine wasn’t (I was racing mine in the desert at the time). My friend Eddie had bought a new Yamaha DT1 250.. a neat little bike and a lot less of a pain in the fanny than the Bultaco. We rode all over the So Cal area..before fences and lawyers. But as motorcyclists tend to be, it came to who can outdo the other?? So, I just had to have a bigger bike! Next stop, the local Honda dealer…an hour later I rode off with a new Honda SL350…”hey Eddie..try to keep up now!!” I rode that bike everywhere, even took a date to the Drive-In on it, she carried the lawn chairs, I think we saw Fritz the Cat…it was a great bike.
One race, my not so trusty Bultaco stranded me in the desert. Next thing you know, it’s in the deepest darkest corner of the garage. Wait…I have another race in two weeks…now what?? Hey, the Sl is supposed to be on AND off road bike…off come the lights, blinkers, mufflers (hey, I should have kept those..they’re worth a lot of $$$ nowadays!),replace the fenders with Preston Petty plastics..you have to have an AARP card to remember those…a pair of little shorty muffler/spark arrestors and a better skid plate. Ready to go. A bunch of races, a few trophies, that SL350 was a great motorcycle.
The SL eventually went to another owner. I guess I should repent for that one…
Twenty Five years ago I was talking with my dad about motorcycles and Honda 350’s came up. Well, a week or so later my dad called, he had found one, a yellow CB350, in a back yard in Riverside and they wanted to sell it. A few hours and $100 later, I’m back on a Honda 350. The biggest selling motorcycle of all time.
I have ridden that little motorcycle somewhere in the vicinity of 30 thousand miles. All over California..the Sierra’s, the coast, to the US GP at Laguna Seca (back in the 2 stoke days). These bikes won’t die..change the oil once in awhile, clean the points, new plugs and some tyres.
“The Mighty 350”, as it’s known in our family, is still in the garage and still runs great. Both our kids learned how to ride on that bike and still like riding it. Heather and I took it for a ride with friends just yesterday…when we arrived at the Cactus Patch Restaurant for breakfast even a couple of Harley riders commented on what a cool little Honda it was.
In this time of $5 gas (remember, I’m in California), small motorcycles are the perfect vehicles. Motorcycle Daily.com recently conducted a poll asking readers what they think manufactures should make now in light of gas prices. I sent my response…they already are, look around the rest of the world..small displacement motorcycles. Simple.
‘The Mighty 350’ lives, proving that ‘Cool’ never dies…and I love riding that little bike.
Ride safe, ride fast, I’ll see you on the road…on ‘The Mighty 350’