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Honda Dream CA160 The old black horse

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  #1  
Unread 08-01-2011, 01:48 PM
JasonandMichell JasonandMichell is offline
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Default 1969 Honda CA 160 Restoration

All,

Ok, so I'm new to this. Posting and restoration, for that matter. Here's a bit about me and what I'm trying to do. I'm 27, and have been a motorcycle enthusiast for about 9 years (wasn't allowed to ride until college). I love tinkering, and am a mechanical engineer by degree. I love the look of the old Hondas and have found a 1969 CA160 for $650. I plan on restoring/fixing it, but I don't have the slightest clue where to start. I thought the forum was a great place to look.

I plan on purchasing it this weekend (already looked at it once). Anything I need to keep in mind when negotiating/asking about it? I'm pretty excited, but I want people who have been here before to give me some tips/tricks before I get started.

Thoughts, anyone?
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  #2  
Unread 08-01-2011, 07:13 PM
Spokes Spokes is offline
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The 1969 CA160 was the last year this model was made. The CA160 is a pretty strong bike, but not for the freeway. One of the reasons the stamped frame Honda's were discontinued was due to instability at high speeds. BUT, the stamped frame Honda's like the CA160, CA95, CA77, CA72 are becoming collectors items.

Expect to do some repairs on the bike your looking at.

Check for rust at the battery holder (under the right side cover). Make sure there is no major rust holes.

Check for cracks in the frame at the engine mounts. yes: Bike needs to be torn down and cracks welded by a pro. Consider walking away from the deal.
Check the inside of the tank for rust. yes: The bike will need the tank cleaned.
Check the underside of the engine...Look at the oil drain plug, is it buggered? Yes: Could mean that the oil has not been changed in a while. Find out when the last change was. If more than 10 years, there might be some internal damage. Motor rebuild optional at this point.
Check for cracks in the frame at the rear fender Yes: Could mean that the bike was ridden pretty hard.

Does the engine start? If so, check the exaust out of each muffler...Oil Burn? Yes: Cylinder bore and pistons are in order. Valve job is usually done at this time.
Check the operation of the lights
Check the condition of the tires.

Can you ride the bike?
Check for clutch slippage Yes: Clutch could be bad, or the wrong oil in the tranny
Does the tranny shift smooth? No: Motor teardown

Check for missing spokes
check the condition of the rims.

These bikes make great project bikes. Please be careful about old bikes. They need to be checked over and critical items replaced ie: tires, tubes, cables, brakes, fuel lines and the like.

If your new to riding, maybe a newer bike would better...only my opinion. Years ago a friend of mine bought an old 125cc bike, he was an inexperienced rider, one quarter away from his mechanical engineering degree. The throttle cable broke and he lost control. John is forever 21 years old.
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  #3  
Unread 08-02-2011, 05:36 AM
JasonandMichell JasonandMichell is offline
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Thanks for the reply, Spokes. From what I've seen, you've been here before!

I checked about everything you mentioned except for cracks in the frame. I'll have to take a look at that.

My intent with this is to tinker and see if I can get it running. If so, then possibly tear it down, clean it up, then put it back together. If it isn't, then tear it down, fix everything that's "broken", then clean it up and put it back together.

Everything on this bike *seems* to be in great condition, although it doesn't run. The previous owner said the points are bad so that might be the first thing I check. Overall, though, it seems cosmetically to be in good shape.

One thing I notice up front that someone might be able to answer. I shifted through all the gears, and it made it through all four. When in neutral it rolled smoothly with the clutch lever all the way out. When in gear, it didn't roll with the clutch lever out (correct). However, it still didn't roll when I pulled the clutch lever in and the transmission was in gear. Any ideas?

I will probably have picture of this bike Saturday, assuming no frame cracks.

Thanks again for the response. I'm by no means new to motorcyles (ridden 2500 miles in one week, taken motorcycle safety course twice, etc.), but I am new to "restoration". Having help with troubleshooting and "how-to" work will be immensely helpful!
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  #4  
Unread 08-02-2011, 08:48 AM
Spokes Spokes is offline
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Good to hear that your an experienced rider. The clutch sounds like it is not releasing. Very common on these old wet clutch bikes that have not been running in a while. Once you get the bike, change the oil (30 wt) then when you get it running, try the clutch again. The problem could be an adjustment or sticky clutch plates. The problem may go away when you warm up the engine with fresh oil in it.

Although, if the clutch plates are glued together with old oil, removing the engine side cover and cleaning or replacing the friction discs is a fairly easy, but sloppy job.

Welcome to the forum. You will find almost every answer you will ever need. Check out the Honda 150 Restoration Thread. The CA160 is nearly the exact bike as the CA95 with the exception of the engine, mufflers and wiring.
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  #5  
Unread 08-03-2011, 12:31 PM
JasonandMichell JasonandMichell is offline
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I checked out the CA95 thread and it had a TON of information. I think I scrolled through all 16 pages.

I am picking up the CA160 on Friday after work. My buddy and I are heading to pick it up. I'll post some pictures, probably Saturday morning.

One question: I saw a lot of posts about people determining their model year by the S/N. How does that work?
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  #6  
Unread 08-03-2011, 07:52 PM
Spokes Spokes is offline
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Here is where you may be able to help! The CA95's model year serial numbers were pretty easy. CA95-5xxxxx meant that the bike was a 1965. The engine numbers ran the same as the frame, CA95E-5xxxxxx...1965 engine.

The CA160's where a bit different. My CA160 build listed in this thread is a 1966, but the serial number is CA160-1xxxxxx. My 1968 CA160 (in my album) serial number started with 1 as above. Hmmm.

Let us know what the first number is after the CA160-? No need to add anymore numbers. It will be interesting to find out what the first munber is for the final production year 1969 for the CA160
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  #7  
Unread 08-04-2011, 05:41 AM
JasonandMichell JasonandMichell is offline
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The guy sent me a text and email picture of the title, which reads 1969. He also verified it with what was on the bike. I don't know if the title is correct or not, but he stands by the fact it's a 1969. VIN is as follow:

CA1601XXXXXX

I wonder if the numbers after the 1 mean anything?
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  #8  
Unread 08-04-2011, 08:39 AM
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Hey J & M glad to see ya around these pages! Being an engineer I'm sure you can handle any repairs the bike may need or troubleshoot if need be. We'll all give you a hand if you need some advice of course. Don't stress about the numbers. As long as it says CA160 on the engine and frame then you are good to go. Anyone can go to the DMV and get a change of model year on their registration so I don't trust what's on any paper. As long as you have the model (CA160) then you can easily buy parts and not have to worry about any year model variations really. They are all the same. -Spokes don't rip me if the tank pads have a different pattern between the first and last year of production :-) - But yeah like Spokes said it will be fun to know exactly what the numbers are on your frame and engine for the archives.

Here is a video of me cruising mine around just so you have an idea of what it's like to go through the gears and the speed at which they travel. They are smoother and have more power than the 150 that's for sure. And if you want attention while driving through town you picked the right bike. I call mine a "Dream" in my Youtube description strictly for search engine purposes. All of us educated Honda Guys around here know that Honda didn't designate the 150 of the 160 with the "Dream" name.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: No media files are hosted on these forums. By clicking the link below you agree to view content from an external website. We can not be held responsible for the suitability or legality of this material. If the video does not play, wait a minute or try again later.
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  #9  
Unread 08-05-2011, 07:11 PM
JasonandMichell JasonandMichell is offline
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That was an awesome video! I didn't realize how high they wind up. I can't wait until mine is flying down the road.

So I got it tonight! I don't know the year, but let's go with 1969 CA160! The guy had the original owners manual and a Clymer's manual too. He had a bunch of spare parts, plugs, and a coil All for $650.

Anyhow, I have a 15 month old son, so time this weekend to tinker will be limited-not to mention it's 100 degrees every day.

My question to everyone: how should I go about seeing if it will start? I need to buy a battery (spare was/is dead/old), but will it die if I don't have this project wrapped up in six months? I need to clean out the tank and clean out the carbs then throw some oil in the SP holes, but then what?

I'm new to this whole "bringing it back from the dead" scene. How awesome though. My camera is broken, but I'll upload pictures soon.

Thoughts?
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  #10  
Unread 08-06-2011, 10:32 AM
JasonandMichell JasonandMichell is offline
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So I know these aren't the best pictures, especially considering they were taken by my Blackberry, but they give you an idea:
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 1969 Honda CA160.jpg (138.0 KB, 38 views)
File Type: jpg CA160 2.jpg (173.2 KB, 29 views)
File Type: jpg CA160 3.jpg (146.7 KB, 21 views)
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  #11  
Unread 08-06-2011, 11:31 AM
Spokes Spokes is offline
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I would buy a new battery, change the oil, squirt some oil in the cylinders, turn on the fuel petcock and try to start it up!
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  #12  
Unread 08-06-2011, 01:49 PM
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Chaingaurd, decent set of pipes and near new tires on that little Honda!! woohoo! You lucky dog you.
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  #13  
Unread 08-06-2011, 04:33 PM
JasonandMichell JasonandMichell is offline
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Everything seems to be in place, but I have two questions as of now.

1) What size spark plug wrench should I use? I have two, but neither work. I think it's 18mm, but I have no idea. I'll search the CA95 forum for this in the meantime.

2) Gas tank: there are three fuel "outlets". Petcock, and two on either side at the front. The previous owner used the front two, teed them together before an inline fuel filter, then ran it to the carb. The petcock had no hose running from it. I assume the original configuration ran from the petcock to the carb, but how were the two in the front originally configured?

Thanks in advance. I apologize for the elementary nature of my question, but I hope this to be a learning experience.
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  #14  
Unread 08-06-2011, 08:12 PM
Spokes Spokes is offline
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The spark plug is 18mm.

The two front "outlets" are to be connected to each other. Only the petcock outlet is to be connected to the carb. I buy my fuel line and clamps from my local RC Hobby store, nice fuel resistant tubing. If you want to install an in-line filter, use one made for the Briggs & Straton engine from your local big box or hardware store.
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  #15  
Unread 08-12-2011, 01:40 PM
JasonandMichell JasonandMichell is offline
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I know probably the only two others who will read this are Smithers and Spokes, but in the event people are interested:

I'm currently fighting leaks in my tank. S&S have helped me in the CA95 forums, and I'm having a co-worker weld up some gear on my tank. He said hopefully Monday morning he'll bring in a sealed, non-leaking tank. The petcock "hole" in the tank was welded shut by a previous owner, but I think I might use the front outlets and put an inline filter (or at least until I get it running).

Otherwise, I'm planning on picking up a battery next week. My dad's coming in town Sunday and is going to stay for a couple weeks, and he has expressed interest in helping me with the points (and generally trying to get the beast to run). I think I'm close to at least trying.

Anyhow, more pictures and updates to follow.
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