Whether you’re on the market for a first motorcycle or an urbanite with an affinity for all things vintage looking for a better way to navigate city streets, you’d be hard-pressed to do better than a classic Honda. The CL350, the scrambler version of the CB350, is historically reliable, mechanically simple and chock-filled with timeless style. Even by today’s standards, the CL350 holds its own as a solid ride.
This particular 1972 CL350, currently up for auction on Bring a Trailer, lived with its original owner until 2017. It’s now up for sale by its second owner, and at the time of this writing, the bidding sat at a temptingly low $2,050.
From 1968 to 1973, Honda sold a staggering 250,000 CB350s, making it one of the most successful motorcycles in the brand’s history. And with good reason: A few years before a single CB model left the factory, Honda redefined what it meant to ride a motorcycle with the Honda Cub. Considered one of the most important motorcycles in history, it challenged the rebellious outlaw culture that defined motorcycles in America and opened up the idea of life on two wheels to the masses. Then, with the CB family, Honda redefined the way a motorcycle should be built, streamlined the process by simplifying the engineering — and in turn, making its bikes more reliable and affordable than most.
The CL350 up for grabs today is from the latter years of the production run, which means it benefits from the lion’s share of updates and improvements Honda added throughout the model’s life, such as an improved suspension and brakes. The current seller notes they rebuilt the carburetors, replaced the side cover gasket and clutch cable, and changed the oil. That might not seem like a lot of maintenance for a 47-year-old motorcycle — but then again, a Honda with only 8,300 miles on the clock is barely broken in, so it shouldn’t need much at this point.
Between the fuel efficiency that comes with a small-displacement engine, extremely low maintenance costs and its compact size, this CL350 is begging to be a new rider’s first bike. But if you’ve been riding for years and need something to slice through the urban jungle, don’t write it off; it’d do right by you, too.
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