Parked in ’82: 1966 Honda CL77 305 Scramblers

This pair of Honda CL77 305 Scramblers has been parked since the early 80s, and remain in survivor-grade condition thanks to years of inactivity. These bikes were idled after the previous owner lost a friend in a motorcycle accident and subsequently lost interest. Known as a bit of a hybrid in that it retained sport bike qualities with some mild re-jiggering to support off-road riding, these classic motorcycles are very much back in style. Find the pair here on eBay with bids to $3,300 and the reserve unmet.

I’ve learned a fair amount about vintage motorcycles in my time spent with my friend in Georgia whose property we’re helping clear out here on Barn Finds. You may recall we listed his bike projects as a Barn Finds Exclusive, seen here, and there’s definitely an interest in period sport- and time trials bikes. These Hondas don’t run, but do come with clear titles.

Like most Hondas, these bikes featured lofty redlines and a distinctive noise when opened all the way up. The seller notes one bike has a period accessory known as a “snuffers,” or “snuff-or-nots”, which allowed riders to increase the noise of the exhaust by twisting an external knob. Here’s a YouTube video demonstrating the distinctive sound with the “snuffs” open.

Both bikes turn over with great compression, notes the seller. In addition, they retain their original tool kits. One has its original seat, and the other features a recovered saddle. Overall, the level of completeness is impressive, especially considering how many have likely been trashed over the years. I’m surprised to see a reserve on this listing, but hopefully, $5K buys the pair.

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Comments

  1. Nevadahalfrack Nevadahalfrack Member

    Most definitely one of the more iconic bikes of its time, challenging the European “scrambles” class with engine engineering. A big “splash” was made when Walt Fulton (a very classy guy) asked Bud and Dave Ekins to ride the Baja Peninsula on Honda CL72 (250cc) scramblers which were the largely unchanged predecessors..For the record, it was a very heavy bike for off-road use but still lighter than most of the other offerings at the time.
    Iconic personally, as an orange 1966 was the third bike I owned, one that attracted the attention of the local PD with the “snuffer-nots” rattling loose and blowing out; resolution was to use a pair of VW muffler tips by grinding down the end slightly and (using a rubber hammer)pounding them in, cold, while the bike pipes were hot!
    “To be old and wise, you must first be young and foolish”. Unless like some of us you just get older and MORE foolish…😜

    Like 17
  2. geomechs geomechs Member

    Definitely a heavy bike for its intended purpose. I believe the CL72/77 wieghed 365 lbs, almost as heavy as a BSA Lightning, with just over half the hp. Most of the guys I knew with these threw the muffler away and ran those ‘Snuff-Or-Nots.’ Nevada, I heard of VW baffles but never knew anyone who actually ran them.

    These bikes are definitely the last year of the CL77; these use the twin-cam front brake which was very effective on dry pavement but got you into a lot of trouble in the dirt. A friend of mine had a ’66 model with the single cam front brake. He could take that heavy beast through some challenging terrain.

    I always liked this model both the 250 and the 305. I squandered a lot of chances to own one, opting instead for something else, like a BSA 500 single, which wasn’t a bad purchase at all, I might add…

    Like 8
    • Nevadahalfrack Nevadahalfrack Member

      “Squandered”? Naw, geomechs, look what British bikes (and cars) taught us! For instance, we learned we’d wasted our time in the Science class learning about protons, neutrons and electrons when the truth was shown to us through the teachings of Lucas-“when the smoke gets out of the wire, you’re done.”! We’d’ve never learned that very valuable lesson without the help of ‘ 64 Bonnevilles, a sundry of Spitfires (both 2 AND 4 wheeled), ‘61 Midgets, and whatever other rolling ‘60’s and ‘70’s vehicular fire pits our minds have deliberately shut out…😱🤣
      And we wouldn’t have changed a single thing, I suspect…

      Like 3
      • geomechs geomechs Member

        LOL! Lucas, the Prince of Darkness. I recall a passage from‘Motorcycle Electrics Without Pain’ “The Japanese are kind enough to label their diagrams in English while the Germans arrogantly label theirs in German, and the English label theirs in Martian. I well remember‘light’ and‘medium’ and‘dark’ wires. And‘Earth to frame. Who all remembers ‘Big End’ and‘Small End?’ And what the heck is a ‘Gudgeon Pin?’ But after the smoke cleared away from another shorted Zenor Diode, the circlips were in place, the sparking plugs were properly gapped and the correct tyre pressure, us‘Yanks’ had a ball on those English works of art. It must have been worth it because we kept buying more…

        Like 7
  3. On and On On and On Member

    I’ve owned 5 or 6 of these, they are awesome bikes. I remember seeing them at the Honda dealer back in 1965 and going ga-ga. I was only 14 then. I still have 1 left, it runs and drives and is an original 1965 model I found in a garage in Lodi, Wisconsin. I bought it from the original owner in 2014. This winter I may refurbish it a bit, and drive it enough to keep it exercised.

    Like 10
  4. ccrvtt

    My personal motorcycle consciousness began with the Honda 50, progressed to the Super 90, and reached its zenith with the 305 Scrambler. As you guys are calling them ‘iconic’ I think you’re understating the case. They were almost mystically legendary.

    My college roommate had one that I was dying to ride. He let me drive as he rode on the back. It was a wet day and the front fender was missing. SOB knew exactly what he was doing, but I loved it anyway.

    Later he trashed the bike and spent a summer with his jaw wired shut. Karma.

    Snuffers as I remember were just washers you could twist vertically to keep the noise down and horizontally to really piss people off. Fun stuff.

    Like 4
  5. stillrunners Stillrunners Member

    Yes rare to see one with the factory silencer/muffler on it. Have had both the CL72 and CL77 scramblers….lot of folks don’t believe they had a 250…my brother has the CL77 now and I have a 1964 Super Hawk from my paper route. Great bikes in the day – hard to find nice ones.

    Like 1
    • Marshall

      This is my first time commenting on motorcycles on Barn finders. I owned a 1977 Yamaha 360 back in 1982, which I got for delivery of newspapers. It did not work out. Later, I had three Honda scooters (2 1986 elite 150s and one 1985 elite 250) that worked out much better for paper delivery. I knock on wood that I never had a serious accident. But back in the day, a friend of mine did. To hear him tell it, he said that he “flew like Superman” into the oncoming lane, but a car coming in that line saw him coming and dodged out of the way at the last moment. He was not wearing a helmet, but “fortunately, I was wearing gloves“(as he told it) as his head did not hit the ground. But instead he had it buried in his gloves which did hit the ground. What amazed everybody at the scene was when he got up, first thing he said was “now I know what it’s like to fly like Superman!“ He amazingly was unhurt, but swore off motorcycles ever since then anyway.
      I believe his bike was totaled.

      Like 2
      • Nevadahalfrack Nevadahalfrack Member

        “Motorcycling is not, in itself, inherently dangerous. It is, however, extremely unforgiving of inattention, incompetence, or stupidity.”
        Anon.. A wise rider.
        To dovetail off of that, we all have come to realize that “A smart man makes a mistake, evaluates his mistake, learns from his mistake and never makes that mistake again. But a wise man finds a smart man and learns from him the lesson thereby avoiding the mistake altogether.”
        Having gotten a motorcycle license at 14 I’ve tried to be the wise man with regards to riding but have partially succeeded at being the smart man occasionally..

        Like 2
  6. Bob McK Member

    I assume that arts will be hard to find and it will cost a lot to get these running again. But they are really cool bikes.

  7. Howard A Member

    Oh oh, and this is what’s cool about BF’s that I miss, a vintage Honda, a pair, no less. How did they know? Since I’ve given up my search for any more classic cars, the Jimmy is enough, a classic bike is still doable, and these were some of the best. I was introduced to the 305 Scrambler as a kid. in HS. The guy across the alley bought a brand new yellow one, with snuff or nots. It did neither job well. A so-so street bike and a not so hot dirt bike, yet, many riders got their 1st taste of dirt riding with these and it took off from here. I bet just the sight of these for some, makes old injuries ache once again. I’ve been looking and the bids are more what these go for, running or not and yes, parts are expensive, but they are plentiful, and the sellers are going to want a premium price. How many lighting coils ( or whatever) they gonna sell for these? Nice bikes, Honda began their great reputation with these. They could dust a Harley, didn’t leak oil and never broke. Nice find.

    Like 2
    • geomechs geomechs Member

      I think the 250/305 Honda was about the most indestructible motorcycle engine made. Worked on lots of them years ago but never owned one myself. Had one in a CL77 just like these ones, cracked a liner just under the flange. It was low enough to catch the top ring which tore the crown off the piston. The rod was ruined and the crankshaft was out of alignment. I remember the Honda dealer wanted $125.00 for a new block and $150.00 for a new crankshaft. This was back in 1970. Found an outfit in CA that sold new liners for $19.00 ea. Another outfit in CA supplied a new rod and fixed the crank for $45.00. New pistons and rings were $34.00 for both. I can’t remember what the gaskets were but it was around $10.00. It was the first time I ever had a crankshaft out of one of them. My manual consisted of an article in Cycle Guide magazine. I remember a Honda mechanic telling me that it was impossible to get the old sleeves out. He obviously never saw what you could do with a welder.

      Like 4
    • On and On On and On Member

      Great to see your post Howard, your writing skill and knowledge are always welcome on my screen. I have always loved this model of Honda. They are tough machines and fun to ride at the 30-50mph range. Click on the file to see my latest purchase. Been having tons of fun with it………there still are bargains out there depending on your tastes.

      Like 3
    • Nevadahalfrack Nevadahalfrack Member

      Spot on, Howard A.! I loved mine but picking it up off oneself after doing a Flying W in the dirt made me miss my Bultaco 200..and later appreciate NOT having to do that with something bigger and heavier like the 1951 BSA 500 found years in a herd of Hudson’s…

      Geomechs, it’s apparent you had a good mentor, especially in the field of physics, notably applicable to the world of mechanical workings, at an early age!

      Like 1
      • geomechs geomechs Member

        Thank you, Nevada. I was truly blessed to be in a region with talented mechanics/machinists. There was one farmer who worked for Great Northern Railroad as a machinist before he got RIF’d shortly after the First War. He had this monster metal lathe in a shed on the farm and took on repair jobs to supplement the farm income. I swear he could make anything from nothing. And then there was this old Ford mechanic who was another wizard. There were actually four good mechanics who taught me well, and one old Russian blacksmith who could make a chisel that could hold an edge longer than anything you could buy from the exclusive tool vendors. They’re all gone now; the Ford mechanic just passed on a couple of months ago at 90. As they say: ‘Good things never last.’ That applies to people too…

        Like 2
      • Nevadahalfrack Nevadahalfrack Member

        That’s true, geomechs, the only thing that doesn’t change is change, but they passed on to you as no doubt you’ve passed on to many others-not to mention the many, many good people you’ve educated here on just this forum. Folks like you, Howard A., Wayne and so many other regulars (Joel, Adam and many, many other good folks herein) educate folks like ChevyFan (and me!) with your knowledge and first-hand experiences to keep the internal combustion flame burning long after the batteries run dry elsewhere.

  8. James Turner

    My first motorcycle, ( Brand new ) was a 1976 360 cc Honda scrambler. First of all, The cam chain tensioner broke at the little shepherds crook at the top of it. It was repaired under factory warranty. Several months later the tensioner broke again. It cost me around $200.00 to repair it at a Honda dealer. ( A different county dealer as the one I bought the bike off of closed down In Hershey. Pa.) That tensioner lasted about 2 months before the same weak spot broke off again.I BOUGHT A REPAIR BOOK ND INSTALLED THE 3RD. ONE MYSELF AND THAT ALSO SNAPPED OFF I had constant problems with the dual point system and carbs., and other issues. The 360 cc. engines were garbage. Honda should have continued using the reliable, proven 350 cc. engine back then. In the small cc. category, they also made a 400 cc. super sport touring model. I do not know how well they operated.

  9. Nevadahalfrack Nevadahalfrack Member

    Bidding ended, last shown at $3300, doesn’t look like anyone bought them!

    Like 1
  10. Anthony Tellier

    The ride to La Paz was Bud Ekins and Bill Robertson … (“Honda of North Hollywood” / “Hollywood Honda”)) … not Dave Ekins. Bill’s dad bought a handful of Honda step-throughs (CL-whatevers?) to use for hunting … he bought enough so Honda made him a dealer.

    • Nevadahalfrack Nevadahalfrack Member

      To my recollection, Bud was riding for Triumph and though it was his idea to ride with his brother Dave, Triumph threw a fit and said they would not allow their best rider to ride a competitors bike, so Walt approached Bill and Bill Jr with the idea to ride with Dave…
      The best writeup I’ve found is attached below, but a lot of us were disappointed Bud couldn’t do the ride.

      https://www.budanddaveekins.com/a-ride-down-the-peninsula/

      Like 1
  11. Nevadahalfrack Nevadahalfrack Member

    Re-listed on eBay: $9000 OBO…WOW. I wouldn’t go any more than $7000 at the very most if I were in the market as the restoration parts alone will be $1500-$2000 and original, exceptionally clean CB versions go for $5500-$6500!! https://sfbay.craigslist.org/sfc/mcy/d/bend-honda-super-hawk/6998020342.html

    • On and On On and On Member

      Nevada, Got to be a misprint or error don’t you think?

      • Nevadahalfrack Nevadahalfrack Member

        Y’know, you’re right On and On-upon closer inspection these would need a lot more work than I thought; re-reading this, I see that though they have titles and are just up the highway some miles away from me (a savings on freight costs), there are a few closer in better condition for less money.
        Besides, I need to sell the now recently refurbished 1982 V45 in my garage to make room for any more projects…

  12. On and On On and On Member

    Just sold an 84 V65 that was in great shape and scary fast for $1500 and I think I was lucky to get that. I was up to 10 motorcycles in my basement (lower level walk out doors) and just don’t ride that much anymore. I’ve kept 2, an 82 Honda Ascot 500 and a 67 Honda CL77 that starts and drives. I’d sell the 305 Scrambler and for a lot cheaper than these 2. I’ve got new projects and I’ll never sell the Ascot, got to have at least 1 to look at!!!

    Like 1
    • Nevadahalfrack Nevadahalfrack Member

      I saw a new Ascot when they first came out that someone had decked out like a flat tracker and thought “Too cool! What a great sleeper bike that could make!” Good choice, On and On. When I sell this exceptionally clean V45 I hope to be able to talk with you about your 305 although the CFO of my household may require the sale of my ‘84 KZ1000P and (MANY) assorted NOS and used parts therein, creating a really hard choice!
      PS
      I can empathize with your dilemma of bikes-when we moved into a new house years ago I too had to rid us of 9(?)bikes..that hurt..

      • On and On On and On Member

        You bet, it’s good to change and downsize, I bought a convertible to replace the bikes, I have a garage heater being delivered Saturday so I can work on it all winter here in Wisconsin. Plus, now sweetie pie can ride along as I never took passengers on any motorcycle.

        Like 1

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