Oh Hai! 1964 Honda CB160 Motorcycle Build

The tappet covers above the carbs? I haven’t pulled those yet. Or are you talking about the covers that I’ve pulled off? Those were a pain in the butt. Apparently the PO had stripped the head. So had to pull the whole side off, lay it down, soak it in PB Blaster and then lean into it as I was unscrewing them. Eventually they came off but I have to find replacements for them as they’re essentially useless now.

I’m not sure what grade exactly. I just grabbed some Ryobi buffing compound tubes while I was at Home Depot the other day. It’s listsd as jeweler’s rogue.

Yeah, the tappet covers over the carbs; with the big hex on them.

A word from a previous owner: If you haven’t already loosened those cast aluminum tappet covers be really careful; they would “round off” even when they were new if you didn’t use a good 6-point socket on them (don’t use the one in the tool kit (if you were thinking of using it (or even have it))). At least some PO replaced those damned Phillips Head side case screws with Allen socket heads; it used to take an “impact driver” to get those screws out, again, even when new.

You may want to pick up a good quality (snug fitting) 6-point socket to use on them. It you have a 1/2" drive, I’d use it. It will be a little more stable (when putting the torque to it), than a 3/8" drive ( the handle would be a bit longer too). I can not emphasize strongly enough … do not use a standard 12-point socket if the covers do not immediately break loose. The amount of “threaded surface” compared to “hex” is large … and the die-cast metal is low grade.

hard to see clearly in the photos … how are the teeth on those sprockets?

Just like on a bicycle; if the sprockets are worn there’s no point in putting on a new chain until they have been replaced (countershaft and wheel); the chain will try to ride up the face of the worn out tooth/teeth and slipping will eventually destroy the chain.

yer kick’n ass… wanna do my BMW?

I have a 1/2" breaker bar I was planning on using is they get stuck as well as soaking the area with some PB Blaster before doing so. Thanks for the reminder about the 6 points. As this is my first motorcycle build it’s nice to have some additional insight along the way. :smiley:

I’ll take a closer pic of the sprocket for you to review. I did check it for wear but was thinking about the length of the teeth as opposed to the hooking. I’ll look at it again next time. That sprocket does have a little bit of play in it. You think that’s ok?

Thanks, I felt kinda slow lately on the project. I had a finance paper to write for class and work has gotten pretty busy lately (working on a neat lil thang for Anheuser Busch)

To bad you’re not closer, I would take you up on that offer. I’m having more fun building this thing as opposed to the idea of riding it. Once it’s done, I may ride it for a season and then sell it to buy another project.

Something to keep in mind on those rusted/stuck bolts. You are eventually (maybe not this time, but it will happen) going to hit a wall where even a breaker bar is going to have no effect on the bolt, or simply crack the head off. The absolute best way around this is air tools. Unfortunately there’s really no cheap way to get the benefits of air tools from lower cost items. Some people will try running smaller compressors, or cheaper guns, but that just compounds the downside to both of those. Smaller compressors = less cfm to the gun, where cheaper guns = more cfm required for less power. I’d really recommended getting a nice mid range compressor and some good guns from northern tool (the review section on their site is very good for identifying the crap from the gold). The pulse of the gun does wonders to remove stuck bolts and will almost eliminate the fear of snapping bolts or stripping older bolts off.
Sorry if you already know this, I always feel like an ass giving suggestions on builds, its always impossible to tell how much people already know.

Plus, there’s nothing cooler than owning more power/air tools than you did the day before.

one more thing, be careful on which media you select for blasting, some of them can get pretty nasty when inhaled, and the blowing around of the material can be pretty horrible if you have an open engine components near it. I had enough nights of sneezing/coughing out different colored paints, sands, and dust to learn that a good mask is invaluable.

I don’t know anything about bikes, but am totally in awe following your project and the details.

FWIW, I saw this bike while traveling in Berlin, so figured I post a pic, perhaps for some additional inspiration/love.


Triumph Speed Twin… … totally cool old iron… . spooge, spooge, gush. … :blush:

Here’s another one :wink:

Hehehe, that makes two of us. :laughing: I’ll be going to an MSF course after the build to get the basics down. At the end of the day though, I think I’m going to sell it after it’s built so I can buy another project. :open_mouth:

Mrbanks, don’t worry about what you suggest. I actually didn’t know that plus with this build, I’ve been so focused on certain aspects that I completely forget about others. As I get further into the motor I’ve noticed a huge amount of stripped philips head screws. I’ve had to drill a few out and remove them with a screw extractor.

I’ve been insanely busy the past couple days (stupid marketing mid-term, finance paper and innovation meetings!). I did manage a few hours today to polish this piece. I also had some company from a little butterfly, who hungout right next to me the whole time.

a shop butterfly … totally appropriate I’d say.

Here’s the tool for getting those $#@&* phillips head screws out.

1/2" square drive Vessel® Impact Driver. You place the hardened driver point into whatever is left of the screw head and smack the back of the tool with a hammer (preferably a brass one); the cam action in the tool rotates the head as it is simultaneously driven into the screw head; absolutely no slippage. To tighten a screw you just give the end of the tool a slight tap.

the one pictured above is NOT a Vessel® (see the links below). If you buy one, buy a Vessel.

The best $25 you will ever spend. I still have mine, after thirty years.




You do not want to sell this machine until after you’ve ridden it for a while… by comparison to most motorcycles, this one will ride like a bicycle. Any chance you weighed it before you started to strip it? They weighed 295 pounds stock; 125 pounds less than my old '73/5 BMW.

Are you following this website?

I got one, but it’s pretty crappy and I don’t think it worked. Most of the screws I’m running into, have nothing to grab onto. :cry: No, I didn’t think to weigh it before tearing it down but it was farily light for a bike.

Yes, I’m actyually posting my build updates in that thread. :smiley: It’s turning out handy, some guy on there saw my busted rear brake plate and is sending me another one.

more updates now.

In the next few days. I promise! I’ve been bogged down lately with a Coca Cola innovation presentation for some of the execs there which is now complete. However, I still have a finance exam which I’m about 6 hours into and maybe another 3 hours to complete as well as a marketing proposal that I have yet to start. After that, I’ll get back to the real work… this bike. :smiley:

well, at least you have your priorities straight… :wink:

Now you are just being cruel.

Bringing this back from the dead. After 2 years and some big changes in my life, I have my workspace and tools up and running here in Milwaukee. After not touching this bike for that long and looking at all those parts in boxes, I think I’m getting a little overwhelmed. There’s so much I want to get done with this bike that I’m thinking about everything at once. I went to a local shop to help with the rebuild portion of the motor. I got a quote of $900 to rebuild/refresh the motor (labor only). I just want them to make sure everything is in proper working order with new parts if needed. I already have new contacts, points, bolt kit and gasket kit which I would provide them. Is that too much?

Aesthetically, I will be spraying the top and bottom end of the motor bright silver and mounting the polished sides back on.

I was debating on going with a big bore kit, but the complexity is a little over my head. Not to mention, I will not be racing it; only commuting to work on a nice day. So I may just go with larger carbs and call it a day.

On the frame front, I think I’m going to disassemble the front end and take the parts/frame I’d like painted and blast it with plastic media in order to get it ready for paint. I did find this pretty neat shop locally that let’s you media blast your parts yourself. For the color I’d like to use Audi’s Nimbus Grey and get a satin or matte finish on it. The cafe seat pan will have some rich brown leather wrapped cushioning.

For the wheels, I would like to get them powder coated black. I have not figured out what I want to do about the damn muffler. Any ideas, post them up.

Lossa apparently has built a nice little cb160 exactly as I’d like to complete mine, so you can get an idea of what I’m going for. Nice to have a visual point of reference to keep me going during this build.

I’ll be posting pics of this project again shortly.

Glad to see this project is back on the scope!

If you’re building this rascal to commute, I’d leave the engine as close to dead stock as you can ( I know, it’s hard not to). But why tempt fate?

Yes! I’m excited about starting it again. I’m hoping to have it completed by the end of this year. My stretch goal would be to have it completed while it’s still riding weather up here. Yeah, since I was evaluating my use for this bike, closer to stock is the way to go. I am thinking of ways to get it to accelerate faster though. I figure if I can get it up to 55mph in the milwaukee area, I should be able to ride it easily in about 90% of the area.

There is a certain rider philosophy that says if you don’t accelerate rapidly, people won’t know how fast you can accelerate … aka: is it a “sleeper”, or not?

And then there’s my signature below… :wink: