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						Honda Cb350 1
Motorbike for the Masses — 1969 Honda CB350

1969 Honda CB350 Project Bike

By Dean Larson

Photos: Seller, Craigslist

The motorcycle scene in America had gone nuclear by the late 1960s, especially when it came to affordable offerings from Japan. Brands like Suzuki, Kawasaki, Yamaha and Honda flooded American ports with every conceivable option, from small cc trail bikes, on up to multi-cylinder speed machines. Fueled by lower MSRPs and greater reliability than domestic offerings, Japanese bikes became motorcycles for the masses, forging new factions of the sport on road and off. But out of all the cheap bikes built in the 1960s and ’70s, one stands out from the bunch as arguably the greatest affordable bike ever built — the Honda CB350.

Honda debuted the CB350 in 1968 as a replacement for the outgoing CB77 Superhawk, and the bike received only minor changes until the end of its production in 1973 when it was replaced by the CB360. The recipe for the CB350 was simple, combine a versatile chassis with bomb-proof OHC, twin-cylinder engine that was capable of sporty backroad performance and acceptable highway speeds. The 325cc engine provided 36 hp and would turn 10,000 rpm all out, and a standard five-speed transmission made the most of it. Flat out, the bike was capable of over 90 mph, and would return 70 mpg if you were easier on the throttle. Weighing in at around 370 pounds, the bike was heavier than comparable two-strokes, but was plenty light enough for sporty handling and riding around town.

Savvy in design, Honda was able to sell three variants based on the platform. The standard Super Sport CB variant was equipped with low-mounted twin pipes and road tires, while the CL Scrambler variant featured more aggressive rubber and high-mounted scrambler pipes. The SL Motorsport Trials version rounded out the fleet with high off-road fenders and trials rubber suitable for light dirt use.

With an MSRP of right around $700, the CB350 provided excellent value for the average buyer, and filled the gap between smaller cc bikes and pricier freeway flyers. In its first year of production, the CB350 was already the best-selling motorcycle in the world, and Honda would go on to sell roughly 626,000 across all variants, with the CB accounting for nearly half of those numbers.

Interested parties should expect to pay around $4,000 for the best examples these days, while parts bikes and projects can go for less than $1,000. If you’re on a budget and looking for originality, this ’69 CB350 listed on Chicago Craigslist is a tempting prospect at $2,500. Beyond the affordable price, the bike checks a lot of important boxes, with nice presentable tins, a clean title and an acceptable odometer readout at 5,667 miles. The seller reports that the bike was running in 2019, but now requires carburetor servicing to run. The seat cover is also showing some age, but it’s original and gets the job done for now. Additional items included in the sale are a pair of replacement side covers, new OEM Honda air cleaners, a new battery, extra front fender and shop manuals.

It's been eight years since I last threw a leg over a CB350, and considering the great experience I had with that bike, I wouldn’t stress too much over this one. It looks to be presented honestly with some nice extras, and it’s priced $500 to $1,000 cheaper than comparable runners. I’d have a thorough look at the inside of the tank, check for spark and see if the man would bite at $2,000. But even at full ask, this CB is certainly a good-looking use $2,500.

See this 1969 CB350 here on Chicago Craigslist.

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