You are here:

Motorcycle Repair/1971 (or 2) K4 CL 350... 7800 miles


QUESTION: I have a few different questions about this bike. I bought in nicely restored conditioned last year from a mechanic who did quite a bit of work on it, though I really can't be too specific, being brand new to motorcycling myself.  Everything is very clean and it runs very nicely as far as I can tell ...except:

1) On start-up it just began making a sound that I have read on a forum being described as "the wounded goose".  It makes this sound on every start- not just the first start of the day.

2) Sometimes I find myself having a hard time getting the bike into gear at a stop light.  And when it does, there is a clumsy feeling sound that I interpret as the chain doing something funky.

3) The right foot-peg is extremely far forward and the left foot peg seems pretty far back.  They are very solidly attached so I can't figure out how to make adjustments. This seemed minor to me, but my right foot is really starting to bug me from all the vibration that I think must be coming from the peg sitting on the brake lever (?)

Thanks so much for your help and attention.  There is a mechanic in my town who works on these bikes ...I am just getting to know what kind of small things I can do myself and when it is really important to take it to him.

Thank you thank you,

ANSWER: Brenda, in response to your questions, see below:

1. The wounded goose sound is the starter clutch rollers skidding on the hub. There are three springs which hold the rollers in place and they collapse and lose tension, allowing the rollers to skid instead of grab.   #2 you will need three of them unless there is damage to associated parts.

2. It sounds like the clutch needs to be adjusted. Not the clutch itself, but the linkage to release it. You should have just a small amount of freeplay at the lever.

Usually, the procedure is to loosen the cable adjusters on both ends, turn the adjustment screw in until it stops, turn it back about 1/16 of a turn, then lock it down. Make the first cable adjustment at the engine and the final adjustment on the handlebar lever. IF the bike sat for a long time, the clutch plates can stick together and that lack of release is causing drag on the transmission gear mechanism. Get the clutch adjustment done first and see if it helps, before digging into the clutch assembly itself.

3. The footpegs are mounted to a removable cross bar and should be pretty even from side to side. You may have to remove the whole assembly and have a shop heat and bend the brackets back to where they belong. The brake pedal does rest on the peg assembly, as I recall.

You might be able to change the contact by adjusting the brake linkage at the back wheel.

One of the ways to reduce some of the vibration is to change the front sprocket to more teeth or the back one to less teeth. CB and CLs are geared differently. A couple less teeth in the back will be helpful for the overall gearing and lowering rpms on the highway. Still, these bikes DO have a lot of vibration, so check everything over, periodically for loose bolts, screws, nuts and any vibration-related cracks or component failures.

Bill Silver

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: I have indeed experienced the disappearance of a rear turn signal due to the vibration.

Could you please just expand a bit more on the teeth?  You mentioned the effect of less teeth in the back...what would be the difference if any, in effect, between that and more teeth in front?

Anyway thanks so much for all of this info.  What a cool thing to have access to!

Brenda, you just divide the number of front teeth into the number of back teeth to see how the ratio changes when you change the teeth on one sprocket or the other.

Honda found out that there is less chain wear if you have a 16-17t front sprocket.
shows 36t for a CB350

Similar searches for CL350 sprockets seem to show 38 teeth sprockets as an average display.


23801-344-000    SPROCKET, DRIVE (16T)

2.375 ratio standard....    2.235 with a 17t front sprocket

41200-344-000    SPROCKET, FINAL DRIVEN (36T) (NOT AVAILABLE)  CB350

23801-344-000    SPROCKET, DRIVE (16T)  CB350....

2.25 ratio with stock sprockets....  2.11 with a 17t front sprocket


So, just changing the front sprocket to 17t gets you geared slightly higher than a stock CB.

USUALLY.... if the chain is in good shape and the rear axle is somewhere at 1/2 of the chain adjuster marks, you can just changed the front sprocket and move the axle up to give enough slack to be used, as-is. If the chain is worn out or was cut a link short, so the axle is in the front half of the chain adjuster marks/slot in the axle, then you will probably have to buy a new drive chain. If that is the case, get one with an extra link than specified for stock gearing on a CL350. Stock links are listed at 102 for a CB or CL350, according to Honda's parts illustrations.

If I was forced to commute on a CL350, I would put 17t front and 36 rear, just to keep the vibrations down to a minimum. It depends upon how you are going to use the bike, though.

My 1961 CB77 305 Honda Super Hawk is carrying 16/30 gearing which comes out to 1.875. The bike is running about 6k rpms at 70 mph. It has less horsepower than a 350 and only has a 4 speed transmission, but it does okay on the highway.

Bill Silver  

Motorcycle Repair

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Bill Silver


Need help with vintage Hondas from the 1960s? I am an expert with 250-305cc bikes in particular and most all of the other pre-91 models, in general. I do NOT claim to have a great deal of experience on Gold Wings, Cruisers, ATC/ATVs and dirt bikes.


I have owned/ridden/maintained Honda motorcycles for 35 years. I have written five books on Honda repairs and collecting. I was a service manager for two Honda shops back in the 1980s.

VJMC (Vintage Japanese Motorcycle Club) of North America

VJMC newsletter, as editor for two years and as contributing editor currently.

3 years auto shop in high school, teacher's aide in Automotive Technology in Jr. College, Diesel mechanic course in college, self-taught mechanic and automotive writer.

©2016 All rights reserved.