1973 Honda CB350/4
98 mph 373 lbs 34 bhp
In its wisdom Honda decided to follow the SOHC 750 and 500 fours with a baby four. Released in 1972, the CB350 Four was the smallest of the family and it is questionable why it even got developed. With the small capacity engine it was relatively underpowered (34 bhp and under 100 mph top speed) and heavy (373 lbs), with the Honda 350 twin outperforming it. It was almost as if Honda just wanted to prove it could mass produce a four with tiny pistons (50mm stroke x 47mm bore), valves and carburettors (4 x 20mm Keihins). The bike was not released in the UK but in 1974 it was superseded by the 400 Four – which with its café racer looks and four-into-one pipe did become a UK icon.
The 350 Four had one-off bodywork and a four-into-four exhaust. This was extra light (under 25 lbs) and so very prone to rot. One of my best mates (Mike “Honda” O’Connor) had one back in the day in Johannesburg and hence this was the first four that I ever rode. All of this convinced me that this should be our next icon.
An EBay search revealed a US import as yet to be registered in the UK. Apart from the exhaust and an incorrect set of forks, most of the bike was there.
Using bits sourced mainly from USA EBay, David Silver and CMSNL we have been able to put together a very near to original bike. VJMCC dated it a 1973 model (albeit built in 1972) and we have an age related registration from DVLA.