Building a CB160 with my daughters

Hello! Long time lurker, finally getting around to posting a project.

I'm a Canadian from outside Toronto, been riding for 26 years or so, and been tearing down and fixing bikes for pretty much the same amount of time (shade tree mechanic only... no formal training.)

Not long after the covid crisis started up, a good friend of mine called me and said "hey, you know that old CB160 that you're always drooling over? Do you want it? It's all in boxes, and I need the space." So I said to my daughters (aged 7 and 10) "Hey girls, do you want to build a motorcycle with daddy? Just know that you will never ride this motorcycle..." They were both very excited over this possibility.

So the next weekend, we drove into Toronto, picked up a bunch of boxes, and brought them all home. It was a barn find 1968 CB160 that was ridden for one summer in 1998, then disassembled back into boxes. It's in remarkably good condition, except that it's missing a set of front forks (tubes and stanchions)

Most of the bikes I've worked on in the past were 80s Japanese bikes, and honestly it's refreshing how simple this little 68 is. So far we've reattached the motor (and learned how socket wrenches work) and reattached the rear shocks. My only two rules are this: ask questions, and touch everything.

I might need some help from you all for figuring out stuff like replacing rubber bushings, or fork seals (I don't think anyone's still making them.) And of course finding a set of replacement forks. Build thread to follow!
 

teazer

Well-Known Member
DTT BOTM WINNER
Go for it. They are such simple bikes to work on. Not so easy to get a different tank to fit, so stay with stock if possible.

Forks are easy as long as you don't mind not being 110% stock. Any model Cb/CL 175 or CB200 will fit but to fit the 200 forks you must get matching triple clamps.

And if you are feeling daring, you can slip larger pistons and race cams and electronic ignition and so on, but a simple stock build is good too. Things like mufflers are probably no longer available from anywhere but most parts are obtainable. Cracked side covers can be welded, engine parts are readily available.

Back when we were racing a pair of CB160s, we collected them from all over the place for free or not much more and some of those parts are still in crates here - road only parts went in the recycling bin, but I never planned on a full CB160 resto, so that was never and issue.

Good luck and let's see some pics please.

Some fork seals are available but Honda changed the size and design. We had a batch imported but I don't recall which legs they fitted. 68 used alloy sliders and I think they were the seals that are NLA but I'd have to check my notes.
 

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carnivorous chicken

Active Member
Great bikes, and as teazer stated super easy to work on. One thing I'd add is getting a modern rectifier/regulator -- the charging system is pretty anemic.
 

teazer

Well-Known Member
DTT BOTM WINNER
Good point. SparckMoto sells one that is ideal and very reasonably priced.
 

Rider52

Active Member
I thought a set of Honda CB250 Nighthawk forks might be easier to find! But the EBay prices are insane for them. I used a set of CL175 (sloper motor forks) on one of my CL160s. The lowers were polished and looked very nice. I think mine were from a 1968 model and were a bolt on to the 160.
 

50gary

Under the Limelight
Love the CB160, I have rolling chassis and that it! Might put a YZ125 in it some day.
Cheers, 50gary
 

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