Stephen Cox blogs about collecting stuff and his passion for Honda’s CB350.
I collect old Fords. I also collect racecars, knives, aviation books and those old plastic NFL helmets that you could buy in vending machines for a quarter in the 1970s. You know, the ones with the team stickers that always peeled off. I also collect Evel Knievel videos, ELO record albums and concert ticket stubs. I have other collections that I cannot recollect. Maybe I just collect collections?
The last thing I need is a collection of motorcycles. But after my experience with a Honda CB350 Super Sport, I think I could use a few more bikes!
A smattering of motorcycles has blessed my life from time to time, but none has captivated me like the little Honda 350. The fact that it became one of history's best selling motorcycles demonstrates that I am not alone.
But what really attracted me to the CB350 was it's classic styling that replicated the great British bikes of the 1950-1960s. The ‘69 BSA A50 and the ‘60 Triumph TR6 are perhaps the most beautiful bikes ever built, at least to my amateur eyes. Trouble is, they don't run very well. Since I am not a mechanic and have no plans to become one (I'm too busy collecting stuff), a classic British bike with its classic electronic problems is not in my best interests.
Fully restored models are affordable and easy to find. Three to five grand will get you a low mileage, early example in excellent condition. My ‘71 model is not entirely period correct, but I am slowly converting it back to original condition and having a ball doing it. In the meantime it makes a great daily rider for short commutes, does not require leaded fuel, and delivers 37 infinitely enjoyable miles to the gallon.
You don't have to be a collector to appreciate that.
Stephen Cox is a racer and co-host of TV coverage of Mecum Auctions (NBCSN), sponsored by: http://boschett-timepieces.com/