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I've been offered a 350cc ex army Harley, its an out and out off roader, build like a tank and looks like it wants some serious job to do. I'm thinking of using it for my SEA tour, anyone got any exp[erience of these machines? Any comments?
It sounds like an armstrong to me - they have produced bikes for the army for years, then Harley provided fairing/luggage (hence the sticker on the side - which actually isn't anything to do with the bike itself!!). Yeah they are built like tanks and armstrong as far as i know, still produce parts which are easily accessible.
the 350 is built by harley davidson in the usa using a rotax engine and lots of good bits they sell surplus inn england for around 1500 to 2000 pounds they are the replacement for the armstrong i don't know about the paint colour if going into sensitive areas ,they may think you are miliatary and shoot you or on the other hand they may leave you alone
Hi my mate had one of the 500 armstrong versions It is a nice motor but all crammed very tight into the frame not too easy to work on compared to say a bmw.
his broke a conrod although that is the only case I have heard of remember these have been ridden by G.I/squadies,not there bike why should they care.but 350 should be less stressed.. known common probs were getting a reliable tick over (no matter which carb was fitted),and a fragile clutch release bearing.take spares. tales of 100 miles through the desert stuck in second gear were common after the gulf war.
harley bought the design from Armstrong /ccm and some shares in rotax so it would pass the requirement for american ownership in defence procurement,also they used rotax lumps in their flat trackers. Originally an Italian design Frame bolts together above the engine. Dont remove center stand It acts as chain tensioner.dont remove paint from engine magnesium cases rot in salt air.
hope that is of some help.
ride free sg88
I think I'm now qualified to submit an authoritative report on the MT350
My wife and I have just completed a 3 month tour of West and North Africa on 2 MT350's
We trailered them down to Banjul in the Gambia as part of the Plymouth-Banjul Challenge , then unloaded them for the return journey through Gambia , Senegal , Mali , Niger and Algeria.
We covered about 8000km on all kinds of road , good bad and downright non-existent. We dropped the countrless times , we flogged them hard in soft sand , we overloaded them , we threw them off rocks.
they survived remarkably well, the only serious things that broke were:
ignition coil (heat failure)
clutch cable (snapped through wear)
indicators x 2 ( erm... dropped repeatedly)
rear brake seized ( sand in master cyl , fixed at roadside)
tyres and chains destroyed. ( whadda you expect?)
1 weld failed. ( and it was one of mine...*sniff* , but on the jerry can holder, not the actual bike )
The bikes performed brilliantly in the sand, and hauled their excess baggage well on the road. The only niggle was the gearing was wrong for good tarmac - a different front sprocket with a couple more teeth would be a good idea for road miles.
We worked the bikes hard in the Sahara, we took 8-foot drops onto rocks at about 60kph ( no we didn't see it comimg , yes we should have bee more careful, and no we didn't fall off....) the bikes handled it all with good grace. The washboard corrigations were horrible until we got above 40kph when the suspension just soaked them up.
We survived 6 hours or more in the saddle day after day without massive bum cramps ... try that on your KTM
The bike is still too tall for the wife , even with the forks lowered, the seat slimmed and the rear shocks wound down. It was fine for me , but I'm 6 foot 5.
The little 350 was a touch underpowered. It's fine solo, but would be too weedy 2-up.
The fuel tank is MUCH too small for touring. We carried a 20L jerrycan in a frame on each bike , this gave us a range of about 450-500 km each , but a bigger tank would have been a much better option.
all in all we were very impressed with the little MT's . We really put them through the mill and they didn't miss a beat. It's also worth pointing out that both bikes came from Witham as ex-military surplus , and mine is still marked 'u/s' across the rear mudguard from the army.
I reckon with a clean and an oil change they could do it all again tomorrow and still come back for more.
I may be quite wrong but was the 350 not a rotax engine with H&D badges on it? I lived near Aldershot (army base) and used to watch the army riders on the common, the Armsrong and H&D bikes were defintly made for a hard life. Skip
Hey Ray, you mentioned that the MT 350 is a bit high for your wife. I was wondering if you could tell me the seat height is. I am thinking of buying one, but I am in the US and would have to buy it unseen (it will be bought from a reputable dealer, with a warranty...plus I figure I can always pass it along to someone else if it doesn't meet my expectations).
I am on the short side, my last bike was a BMW F650ST, and although I could not lay both my feet flat it was okay, and I had positive controls when stopped. Do you know how the MT 350 compares to a F650, by any chance?
This MT 350 seems exactly what I am looking for, and at a good price. Any other people out there that have had first-hand experience with these?
the Buell has the Roxtax lump in it but thats about it.
The MT350 was built by harley davdson in the USA using the Armstrong patten cos us army wouldn't want to ride a british bike and thats what NATO had with the armstrong. Harley put disc brakes,better shocks, ele start and hard poly panners on it but they thought the 500 rotax lump form the Armstrong was to powerful for the us army so stuck in the 350 lump.
The army still use them as they not found anythig as tough.
I had mine for a year now and its great been crashed and trashed off road and it just keeps on going!!!
you can get a bigger better carb for it so its got a bit more pull.
As for hight i'm only 5'4 and i can just get my feet on tip toes.
Hope this all helps. see link for more info.
Well let's set this straight shall we? MT,s were built with Rotax motors,air cooled, single overhead cam four valve per cylinder units also used in Can-Ams in twin and single shock versions,KTM 4 strokers before they started to build their own 4 strke lump. Also used by MuZ in their Country,Tour and Silver Star models.The prototype Scorpion was built around one ,then changed to the 660 Yamaha unit. In the U.S.A. in Utah a range of bikes built by ATK used 350,560 and 605 sized motors.
At the local Harley dealer there is a MT for sale but not really as it is priced at $10,000.00.It is a 500 though.I don't know where some of you get the idea that Americans don't like or can't handle big bikes, thats just bougus B. S. The new American military bike is a KLR 650 converted to run on diesel,kerosense,or jet fuel,and I want one.
Sadly the air cooled Rotax is no longer in producton.
Now about the Buell Blast. This is a modifided single [front] cyclinder unit based on the Sportster. It has a shorter stroke and lighter flywheel to allow higher revs relativly speaking. It is an air cooled ohv design with seperate intake and exhaust cams and uses pushrods to open the valves.
Sorry to rattle on but I hope this clears the air.
Since my last post about a year ago, I now own 2 MT350's. They are as fabulous as everyone says although a bit underpowered for Tarmac. Check out MT Riders Club Forum for a web forum/ club specialising in MT350 and MT500's.
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