MODEL SPECIFIC QUESTIONS
- Honda CB350 / CL350 / SL350 Specific Questions
- Honda CB360 / CL360 / CJ360 Specific Questions
- Honda CB450 / CL450 / CB500T Specific Questions
- Honda CB550K / CB550F / CB500K Specific Questions
- My clutch is "popping" when I squeeze the lever, and I've adjusted the cable at lever as much as I can. How do I adjust the clutch?
- What type of cleaning products should I use when rebuilding my engine/carburetors/bike?
- When do I use anti-seize, and when do I use Loctite?
- How do I know what model or year bike I have?
- What's with the two different headlight kits?
- My bikes not charging/holding a charge. Is my stator bad?
- I would like to use a capacitor, lithium ion, a smaller or no battery. What do I need to do?
- My 360 air filters are different that the ones you carry. Will yours work?
- Why does your fuel like look different than mine?
- How do I install my new carb diaphragm?
- What size jets do I need?
My clutch is "popping" when I squeeze the lever, and I've adjusted the cable at lever as much as I can. How do I adjust the clutch?
The cable housing barrel adjusters are used only to remove or add slack to the cable, not to adjust the clutch itself. The clutch adjustment is made where the clutch cable enters the engine. The precise adjustment for your bike differs from model to model so reference our 'Manuals' page.
- Page 152 of the Honda CB350 Tune Up and Adjustment Guide
- Page 22 of the Honda CB360 Tune Up and Adjustment Guide
- Page 153 of the Honda CB450 Tune Up and Adjustment Guide
First, we turn the lever barrel adjuster all the way in to give us slack in the cable. Next, down below where the clutch cable connects to the engine block, we set the clutch per the manuals (listed above). Finally, turn out the lever barrel adjusters to remove some slack from the cable until 1/4 to 1/3 of the lever's overall travel is free play. You want your clutch lever on the looser side than too tight.
For general degreasing we use Black Scorpion and Purple Power, but any water-based degreaser should do the trick. Our parts washer uses specific parts washer fluid that is a petroleum-based industrial strength solvent. The fluid is similar to mineral spirits, which is also a good general solvent to use. It is very important that you use nitrile gloves in the parts washer and replace them if they tear, as solvents will cause chemical burns. For the ultrasonic cleaner there are a number of different solutions that will work, but we've had good luck with water, vinegar, dish soap, and salt.
In general, apply an anti-seize compound to threads of bolts that need periodic removing, particularly in the case of steel bolts threaded into an aluminum casting, and bolts that experience extreme temperature fluctuations such as engine side covers and exhaust mounts.
Often referred to by the brand name "Loctite," thread locking/retaining compound is used less often than anti-seize, and mostly on parts that experience intense vibration. Any screw, nut, or bolt that needs an extra level of security and will not require periodic removing is a good candidate for Loctite. There are several varieties (colors) of Loctite; we tend to use the blue flavor.
The sub-model (k0, k1, k2, etc.) is a far better indicator regarding part fitment and sub-model specific specs. Production year is loosely affiliated, but doesn't necessarily correlate to a certain k model. It's good to know your year (bragging rights or whatever) but for parts, know your sub-model. We try to keep our model charts accurate in our part descriptions for help.
The VIN number should be stamped in the ID plate riveted to the steering tube behind the headlight, along with the production month and year. The VIN should also be stamped into the frame near the ID tag. Every engine stamp will have the bike model and E for engine ex: CB350E-xxxxx. This number was not matched to the frame from the factory, so it shouldn't be used to identify your bike.
Each model has different rules for determining the sub-model from the VIN number, but they all share the same structure with the model, followed by a dash, then a series of numbers (ex. CB450-3008956). Below refers the the first digit AFTER the dash in the VIN number:
- Honda CB / CL / CJ 350 k0 - k5 (ex. CL350-3003456)
- k0 and k1 begins with -1
- k2 thru k4 begins with the submodel -2 for k2, etc.
- 350G is the k5 and begins with a -5
- Honda SL 350 k0-k2
- k0 begins with -1
- k1 begins with -2
- k2 begins with -3
- The Honda CB / CL 360 did not have many variations. It mostly remained the same throughout the production run. The exception being the early 1974 CB360 identified by a front drum brake. These are pre-recall chain tensioner models, and are identified by two dots above and below the dash in the engine stamping if the recall HAS already been done.
- Honda CB /CL 450 k0-k7 (ex. CB450-3008956)
- k0 is the black bomber and begins with -1
- k1 begins with -3
- k2 begins at -3008956 including higher numbers
- k3 begins with -4
- k4 begins with -41
- k5-k7 begins with the sub-model -5 for k5, etc.
- The Honda 500T was built in one batch and sold for 2 years. They're mostly all the same.
- Honda CB500 (4 cyl)
- k0 begins with -1
- k1 begins with -2
- k2 begins with -21
- Honda CB550 k and F (ex. CB550-2106456)
- k0 begins with -1
- k1 begins with -12
- 1976 CB550k2 begins with -123 (in 1976 Honda began designating models by year)
- 1977 CB550k3 begins with-20
- 1978 CB550k4 begins with -21
- The CB550F did not change much from year to year.
It depends entirely on the number of teeth on your existing sprockets and the number of links in your existing chain. Start with counting all of that. This video may help.
If you're keeping your gear ratio the same, simply order replacements that match the tooth/link count on your current parts. If you're changing your gear ratio there are a few things to consider.
As each link alternates between an inner and outer link, any variation in chain length will be a multiple of two.
A larger sprocket (either front or rear) with the same length of chain will pull the wheel forward in the axle dropout. The opposite applies for a smaller sprocket. Depending on where your wheel sits in the slot, you may be able to go up or down in sprocket size without changing your chain length.
Chain length and wheel position varies bike to bike. The good news is you can return the unused chain if you end up needing a different size. You can error on the longer side and cut the chain down if need be. We carry chain breakers if you don't have one already.
There are a few known factory sizes that might help:
Factory Chain Lengths Based on Factory Sprocket Tooth Count
- CB350 - 16 F / 36 R = 94 link
- CL350 - 16 F / 38 R = 96 link
- CB360 - 16 F / 34 R = 94 link
- CL360 - 16 F / 34 R = 94 link
- CJ360 - 16 F / 33 R = 98 link
- CB450 - 15 F / 35 R = 92 link
- CL450 - 15 F / 35 R = 92 link
- CB500T - 15 F / 33 R = 96 link
- CB550K - 17 F / 37 R = 100 link
- CB550F - 17 F / 37 R = 100 link
Unfortunately there's no way to remove the starter without removing the side cover, as the starter drive gear and chain will just drop into the engine. Consider the side cover gasket when doing this job, as you may need a fresh one depending on how it was treated the last time it was removed.
So the 3043 kit ($90 with bucket) is a universal aftermarket kit that fits a large number of bikes, may require slight mounting modification, but still looks pretty darn stock. The parts aren't necessarily interchangeable with the factory headlight assembly.
The 3044 ($100 kit without bucket) fits in the original factory bucket replacing the sealed beam with a lens and a replaceable bulb. The lens requires some modification on our end to fit the stock side-to-side adjustment screw hole in the factory trim ring, hence the additional cost. We made a video explaining how we do it and why.
In short, you need the $100 one to keep your stock bucket.
Stator coils are not the most common culprit in the charging system. The two most common gremlins in the charging system are a faulty battery (common with Lead Acid batteries) or a bad regulator/rectifier. See if this video doesn't answer some of your questions.
There is always a chance you have a bad battery and that your stator is fine. The best way to test this would be to fully charge your battery, measure the voltage. Put it in the bike and get it running, and measure the voltage as the bike is running. If it keeps going down well below 12-13v it's the charging system not performing. If it stays fairly constant while it runs your battery might be faulty, which is not uncommon.
Similarly, if you fully charge the battery and let it just sit for a few days and the voltage drops considerably, then you should replace the battery.
The truth is these ignition systems were designed for use with a battery. We prefer AGM (absorbent glass mat) type. Unless you really know what you're doing, we don't recommend a capacitor (or battery-less) system for the bikes on our site.
We get a number of questions regarding the use of Lithium ion batteries in the old Honda twins due to their small physical size. Li-ion batteries are generally more sensitive to charging voltages. For this reason we do not recommend the be used for these specific bikes. If you do choose to try a Li-ion battery, make sure to test the charging voltage range on your bike and consult the battery manufacturer to ensure your bike does not exceed their specs.
The regulator/rectifier combo unit we offer is not MOSFET, in case that is a requirement for a specific battery you may want to use.
If you really want to go smaller, the closest, working, approach we've found is getting a physically smaller SLA battery, generally used on alarm systems, etc. It can be fastened up under the seat where it's out of sight. Anything over 5 Ah should work.
There were two, slightly different, filter boxes used on the 360's - an early and a late style. Many folks swap out the late style boxes for the early style because the filter elements for the late style are no longer available.
The filters we have are the early style, which have a simple flat sided metal cover that pops over them. The late style filters use a convex shaped two piece box with a smaller rectangular filter that rests inside the box.
A late style bike can be converted to use an early style filter. You'll need both filters, early style covers (used) and requires fabricating a small bracket for the rear bolt to mount to the frame.
The fuel line we carry is a nice clear/yellow polyurethane tubing that stays stretchy and is more crack-resistant than the black automotive line. We all use it on our bikes, usually held on with squeeze-type hose clamps or small zip ties.
It is NOT the same clear vinyl tubing you would get from the hardware store, which will crack over time.
With each carb diaphragm we sell we email you, the customer, a PDF instruction sheet on how to install them. Should you have more questions this video shows the installation process.
As for jetting... there is not one universal answer for your bike. Think of your bike as a birthday cake... Jetting is like lighting the candles; the very last thing that you do. Carb rebuild, sync, standard tune up (cam chain, valves, ignition timing) must all be done first. Only then can we start to tackle the jetting question. Some quick tips on jetting tips.
The main jet has an effect on the top 1/3 of the rpm band (6000 to 9000 RPM). The bike should pull strong from idle to 9k without any issue. If it revs hard then hits a wall, say at 7k, then you are too lean. This can be verified by checking the color of the tips of your spark plugs. They will be fairly clean and almost white. If the bike pulls to about the same rpm but has trouble doing it then it is rich. If you put the choke on 1/2 way you will get the same effect. Spark plug tips will be black and sooty. Ideally the plug tips should be tan in color for a proper mixture and the bike should pull to top RPM smoothly.