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Hawk gets no respect when riding with 1968 CL350

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  • Hawk gets no respect when riding with 1968 CL350

    So today I got out for a ride with my friend Pete, who has been rebuilding a 1968 Honda CL350. He wanted to test things out over 30 miles or so. First, we stop for lunch at Clancy's pub in Sherwood, Oregon to lubricate the riders.

    Any love for my beautiful 1989 Hawk GT? No. But people did stop and take pictures of the CL350. Yes, a boomer in a new BMW convertible pulled over, jumped out and grabbed a bunch of shots of the 350 in front of his car. And several old guys with beards came over. "My girlfriend and I did a lot of miles on one just like that." And on and on. It seems they sold a lot of these for $695 and everybody had one. Not one comment or question about the Hawk.

    And then we rode on the twisties. Pete led. The CL350 is a busy, high revving bike, but it moves along if you keep it on the boil. Yes, with the Hawk's torque, brakes and handling, I was unintentionally running up on Pete's rear a bit. But that is due to 21 years of Honda development and twice the displacement.

    It is hard to believe, but the Long Beach Honda CL/CB 350 pictured at bottom, close to stock, won the Baja 1000 in 1968. I mean, overall, bikes and trucks. And set a new record. All I can say is Larry Bergquist and Gary Preston must have been amazing riders.

    Hawk GT CL350 5-4-22 MED.jpg

    CL350 1968 Baja.jpg
    Last edited by ricksax; 05-04-2022, 04:27 PM.

  • #2
    I'll give your Hawk some love - that's a clean bike!

    How do you keep your wheels, er, white? I have a bike with white wheels and they look filthy nearly the instant I roll her out the garage door!

    I appreciate the looks (and collective nostalgia for) older hardware but the riding experience just isn't for me. Give me a nice modern(-ized)(-ish) bike every time.


    • #3
      Keeping the wheels white is a constant job. (I use a spray bottle 10:1 Johnson's Baby Shampoo and water. That works for everything including bugs on visors, and is very mild pH.) Microfiber towel. The rear one shows exhaust (brown) on the right side quickly. I do not use hose and water. If you are not OCD, paint the wheels black.

      Of course, if it is a garage queen like mine, just don't take it to places where it can get dirty.