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Discussion Starter #1
I'm in the market for a japanese classic. I'm looking mainly in the 400-550cc (40-50hp) range because I'd like the bike to be capable of sustaining 75mph on the interstate and even taking a day trip with a light passenger.

My question is, how low can I go? The CB360 is listed at half the power of the SV. It seems like that would be sufficient for what I'm looking for, but I've never ridden anything with only 35hp so I'm not sure. I can't find much locally, so I'm considering flying to pick up a bike, but I want to know the capabilities of what I'm looking at before I guy a ticket.

On a similar note, I've never ridden a two-stroke. I understand that the CBs are four-stroke, but my number of candidates goes up considerably if I consider two-strokes as well, mainly Yamahas and Kawasakis. Are they messy? Is the powerband a handful? How are they for gas mileage?
 

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My wife has a 250 Honda Rebel and it will blast along at 80 even with my 230# in the saddle. It will almost hit 90 downhill lol. I would stay with a 4 banger unless you are pretty good with a wrench.
 

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Rider and passenger how heavy? CB-360s are nice bikes, but two up interstate day trips will be stretching it a bit. Interstates one up, yes, but for shorter rides I would think. The rated horsepower doesn't tell the whole story. If you can you should try a couple of older bikes before you consider buying one.

If you just want a classic for day rides then the CB is a good fit.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the info so far. To be a bit more specific:

The bike would primarily be used for getting around town on 30mph roads, ridden by my best friend, a college student, who is used to riding his bicycle. Interstate 2-up is probably not on the agenda. Anything 2-up would be 300lbs max; he's about 175. I'm 165, fwiw considering the following:

The interstate part would pretty much just be me getting the bike to its new home. I'm fully prepared to be blown around in the wind and not have passing power, but I at least need something that won't blow up if I go 75mph for a few consecutive tanks of gas.
 

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There is no doubt that a CB360 in good condition could highway drone for a few hours or longer.

Trusting a seller that his 30-something year old bike is up to snuff is, well, very trusting.

Tires fresh?

Brakes working well?

Horn and signals working?

Chain adjusted?

Fresh oil?

I'd get a rental van for the day myself ...

PS ... I would take any Yamaha RD over any CB360 any day of the week. Faster, lighter, better handling, more fun, cheaper to repair. They are very dependable if set-up properly.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
There is no doubt that a CB360 in good condition could highway drone for a few hours or longer.

Trusting a seller that his 30-something year old bike is up to snuff is, well, very trusting.

Tires fresh?

Brakes working well?

Horn and signals working?

Chain adjusted?

Fresh oil?

I'd get a rental van for the day myself ...
A van is the reasonable choice here, but I'm using this as an excuse for an adventure. I plan to cover the power issue by asking something like "will it do 85 as it sits right now?" I'd request high resolution pics of the tires before traveling. I'm happy to arrange for a local mechanic to change the oil and adjust the chain on my way out of town.

Come on RD, I was hoping for some two-stroke-specific info from you!
 

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If you leary about getting a 350/360 then look for a CB450. They're *way* faster and much cooler looking (IMO), especially the older ones...
 

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Come on RD, I was hoping for some two-stroke-specific info from you!
I like old 2-strokes obviously. So I am a bit biased. However, I have been around vintage racing long enough to have lots of close up experience with CB350s .. but not the later CB360T.

The CB350 is a better choice in my view because they are raced heavily in AHRMA etc and people are starting to make cafes out of them. Also, the early CBs seem to be getting somewhat collectible so, for all of the above reasons, there are parts and more importantly, knowledgeable people around, to get these old bikes going well.


1968 CB350


Another '68 (see how nice these early ones are)

A stock CB360 is a bit bland in my opinion. And like a CB350, it would take some considerable $$$ to make it handle well and add some HP. Carbs, cams, pipes, pistons etc.

RDs (250s, 350s or 400s) are good cheap fun. Compared to a 4strokes they are simple to work on, easy to rebuild and cheap to run. They do use more gas than a stock 360, but then they are also much faster. A stock RD350 will destroy a stock CB360 .. in a straight line and in the curves. Parts for RDs are plentiful as they still have a strong cult following and they are also raced heavily in vintage roadracing.

A stock RD may have been considered a handful in 1975, but by todays standards they are pretty tame.

Check out these sights for some RD info:

http://www.2strokeworld.com/forum/index.php

http://www.hvccycle.com/

PS .. While I admire Kawasaki and Suzuki 2-strokes, I would stay away from them for now.


75 RD250


1977 RD400


And RD on his RD350 racer back in the day ..
 

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Also ... The 360 had its design problems, most notably the cam chain tensioner. Early models also suffered from a rocker arm shaft problem. Both of these issues were corrected through parts updates, but you need to be sure that the bike you're buying was, in fact, updated. Many were not.
 

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The cb 360 was a good bike in it's time. I'll bet someone, took one around the world.:)
IF you get a good one,it should be ok for your use.
 

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I have owned many 2-strokes, and set up and tuned properly they can be very reliable. Still, they are more fiddly than the typical Honda 4-stroke. Certainly the RD-350 and 400 Yamahas are the 2-strokes of choice if you decide to go that way, particularly the later models. Kawasaki triples are loads of fun, but need more attention. Some Suzukis were on a par with the RDs (like the GT-380).

In 1973 I was at Lake Atitlan in Guatemala (a much-delayed honeymoon trip). As we drove into the beautiful town of Solola we stopped at a small shop selling local textiles. Parked outside was a pair of RD-350s with Washington state plates. Two brothers in their 20s on their dream adventure. They had made it that far replacing only spark plugs and a couple of tires.
 

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Since you're talking historic stuff here , i refer to what i remember from my "good ol days" i had a suzuki gt 185 as a first motorcycle and i remember it being a blast,coming off a garelli moped with 8000 miles on it ,it was amazing ,it had automatic oil injection that never let me down, i didn't have it that long ,maybe a year before "moving up" to a yamaha sx 400 , which seemed to have more grunt off the bottom,but i bet it wasn't a whole lot faster and i dragged everything on that bike in turns, a suzuki gt 380 might be a nice classic.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Also ... The 360 had its design problems, most notably the cam chain tensioner. Early models also suffered from a rocker arm shaft problem. Both of these issues were corrected through parts updates, but you need to be sure that the bike you're buying was, in fact, updated. Many were not.
Do these problems cause catastrophic failure or is it more of slow failure? Are they easy to diagnose by someone who is mechanically inclined though not an experienced mechanic, like myself? If I were to buy a smooth-running bike, what are the chances that one of these problems would leave me stranded in the middle of the cornfields somewhere? Are these things a cheap fix? You've got me a bit spooked.

I have owned many 2-strokes, and set up and tuned properly they can be very reliable. Still, they are more fiddly than the typical Honda 4-stroke. Certainly the RD-350 and 400 Yamahas are the 2-strokes of choice if you decide to go that way, particularly the later models. Kawasaki triples are loads of fun, but need more attention. Some Suzukis were on a par with the RDs (like the GT-380).

In 1973 I was at Lake Atitlan in Guatemala (a much-delayed honeymoon trip). As we drove into the beautiful town of Solola we stopped at a small shop selling local textiles. Parked outside was a pair of RD-350s with Washington state plates. Two brothers in their 20s on their dream adventure. They had made it that far replacing only spark plugs and a couple of tires.
Since you're talking historic stuff here , i refer to what i remember from my "good ol days" i had a suzuki gt 185 as a first motorcycle and i remember it being a blast,coming off a garelli moped with 8000 miles on it ,it was amazing ,it had automatic oil injection that never let me down, i didn't have it that long ,maybe a year before "moving up" to a yamaha sx 400 , which seemed to have more grunt off the bottom,but i bet it wasn't a whole lot faster and i dragged everything on that bike in turns, a suzuki gt 380 might be a nice classic.
You guys are making me pretty bummed that I'm buying this bike for someone else instead of keeping it for myself. I think a 4-stroke suits my friend better, but I'm intruigued for myself. I often consider selling the SV and getting something a little more expensive, but now it seems like a 2-stroke classic would be a lot more fun for my money. Once the current search is over, perhaps a similar 2-stroke quest is in order.
 
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