View Full Version : My little 1969 Honda CL70 Scrambler - back for a tune up

12-21-2008, 10:18 PM
The story starts in the not too distant past. Somehow I came across this little Scrambler when I was in high school and I rode it all over hell and back. Yeah I had my 1990 CR250 that was my baby and I would race it and ride it all up and down the riverbed and from town to town with my buds. But we also were a bunch of kids that would work on engines just for fun and we would stuff 70cc Honda engines in Honda 50 frames and ride the hell out of them. Well my buddy had a 3spd 70cc Honda ATV and I found this bike to ride around with him. Eventually I sold it to a friend of my dads to use on his ranch to putt around. I knew it was a good new home for my cherry condition Honda 70.

Fast forward: the bike was really never used and has been stored ever since. A couple people have tried to buy it and their offers were declined, thank goodness! So a couple people have tried to get it running but they really didn't put the effort in. So I inquired about the ol 70 one day and the owner said he still had it and it hadn't been used at all. Time to do a quick tune-up, new seat cover, new CHAIN, new battery and she'll be a runner again!


12-28-2008, 11:46 PM
A shot of the speedometer just for kicks. Check out the gear - speed relation printed under the glass. It says she'll do 50mph! Woohoo!


12-29-2008, 12:05 AM
I got a little scare when I was checking the bike over the other day. When I went to confirm the spark plug was the correct one I could see that the exposed 3/8 inch of rubber between the wire jacket and the spark plug cap was completely deteriorated and falling off the wire it was insulating. Looking back on a "before" you can see the kink in the wire where the rubber wire insulation simply has let go and no longer can hold it's shape. The spark would simply jump to the path of least resistance which would just let the energy dissipate to the cylinder head.


The wire spark plug wire connects straight to the coil and cannot be replaced so easily. Usually the whole coil and wire needs to be replaced and that isn't cheap. The first thing I did was pull back the wire sheathing to check to see if the rubber underneath it was in ok condition. Yep I have something to work with. The rubber wire is still good so I can shorten it and be on my way.


12-29-2008, 12:13 AM
As you can see the protective wire jacket was cut back to expose the rubber wire covering. I cut the wire jacket back just enough to match the recessed area that the wire will fit into the spark plug cap. The wire had enough slack in it so that an inch could be easily cut from it and it will still reach. Thank you Honda. I'm sure this is done so the slack would help dampen the engine vibration.

Now have a look inside the spark plug cap.

I used a pick to scrap away the rubber scraps from inside so the fresh cut wire would fit all the way back up inside. The spike that you can see is actually threaded like a screw so as it is installed you should twist it on the wire. Make sure and leave a little bit of wire 1/8 of an inch exposed and try to thread the spike right into the middle of the wire strands. With the plug cap secured back on the wire the spark was as good as new. Problem solved.

12-29-2008, 12:25 AM
All it took was a simple handful of tools and the spark plug wire should be good to go for another 40 years. :)



12-29-2008, 12:39 AM
On to the next point of interest. The carburetor always needs to be checked out for corrosion or contaminates. If either is present you will simply have a problematic bike that will not be a joy to ride. With a clean carb the engine will run perfectly provided you keep the oil changed. It's pretty basic but as long as you keep fresh fuel and oil circulating in an engine it will last forever under normal operating conditions. Let the fuel get old (a matter of a couple months) or let the oil level drop and the fun is over.

Being how the bike has sat for years I wanted to shake the dust out of the old carb. I knew I would see some sort of crud inside and I wanted to check the mainjet for blockage as well. I took the float bowl off and low and behold I found a little tiny bug. That would have easily blocked things up when the body started to separate upon contact with the fuel. I simply brushed out the bowl with a couple small brushes and then blew out the dust and dead bugs out with compressed air. I was happy to see the bowl gasket still in operable condition so I put some grease on my finger and coated it with a thin layer to keep it fresh. Any rubber seal you see should be coated with a little grease or oil to preserve it for as long as possible. That way it won't be so dry as to lead to a crack or further deterioration. The grease and oil keeps air molecules away from the rubber which is a good thing, even inside a carb. I would much rather take a carb apart that has freshly oiled rubber gaskets in it than dry old crusty ones. Sorry for the restoration 101 tips. On with show.


Once the bowl was placed back on the carburetor I put a new length of fuel line from the fuel petcock and clean fuel was a'flowin again. Of course this is after I removed the fuel tank and drained the old fuel.


12-29-2008, 12:50 AM
The fuel tank basically comes off without any tools once the seat is removed (which is a matter of 2 bolts). When draining old fuel from any motorcycle save yourself a whole bunch of time and do it right. Remove the tank and shake it upside down. Doing this takes less than 5 minutes and gets it over quickly. Draining it from the fuel petcock won't get all the fuel out and will have you on your knees smelling fuel for a half hour.


Don't lose any of the fuel tanks rubber grommets. They aren't so easy to make and will cost you $15-$30 and your time waiting for the new ones to come in the mail. It would be nice to have some new ones but I could re-use the old ones luckily.

09-05-2010, 06:37 AM
Have you replaced the seat cover yet? The 1969 model of cl70 is different than all the later ones. I ordered one and found it to be to short. It must be for a 1970 or newer. Thanks

09-06-2010, 10:05 AM
No I haven't messed with the seat much. I just bought some of that black Gorilla Tape (as in Gorilla Glue) and covered it up and it's holding great.