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41 comments

Honda CA160 Motorcycle – Restoration Part 1

Posted January 18, 2007 11:58 AM by stilljester

Hi Everyone

I wanted to share a project with the community I picked up last week, a 1966 Honda CA160. I first saw the bike several years ago when I was at friends house. The bike had been his brother's main form of transportation some 20 years ago back when gas prices surged in the 70's. Since then it's a lived next to the families old birch tree – gently resting against the trunk as if it have been lovingly parked there just yesterday. However that's about where the fairytale ends…Decades of sitting uncovered beneath the tree has really taken it toll on the old girl – the bike has a considerable amount of rust, broken lights, speedo, torn seat and it certainly isn't in running condition – however it looks to be complete. So I paid my friend the only price a fine ride like this would command- a six pack of Heineken (his choice not mine) and up into my truck it went. I'm going to restore it this winter in my "garage" I'll post more pictures as I get them and keep everyone updated on the progress. If you have any questions, comments or stories of your own please feel free to post them.

For those who might not know the CA160 Touring was sold in the US from 1966 to 1969. The bike was essentially the less know less popular bike step-brother of the CA95 Honda Baby Dream which was immortalized by the Hondells in their hit "Little Honda" The CA160 came in four colors: white (mine), Scarlet Red, Blue or Black. The bike came with an enclosed drive chain, intergraded speedometer and those white walled tires. Powering the CA160 is a 161cc engine with a single barrel carburetor mated to a 4 speed transmission. Honda's CA160 production began with serial number CA160-1000001.

Time to start tearing it apart….

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Commentator

Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Quad Cities Illinois
Posts: 56
Good Answers: 1
#1

Re: Honda CA160 – Restoration Part 1

01/19/2007 7:17 AM

I just completed a restoration of a 1967 S90 Benly, very satisfying project. Prior to that project I restored a 1947 Farmall Cub tractor to like new condition. I found a process that made both projects far easier to complete, reverse electrolosis. I was able to save many rusty parts using this technique. It also made paint removal and metal prep much easier. It is fairly simple and straight forward. You take the part to be rescued, a fender for example, submerge it in a slightly base PH solution, attach the negative lead from a battery charger to the part, and the positive lead to a sacrificial piece of sheet metal also submerged in the solution. Make sure the two parts are separated from each other. After a small period of time, the part to be cleaned will be free of rust, old paint will be very easily removed, and the part will be ready for priming after just a little cleaning with a wire brush. I used the process on everything from battery boxes to fenders, guage bezels, cast parts, anything made from ferrous metals. It works so well it is unbelievable. There is tons of information available online on how to this process works. It is not intimidating, it's hard to screw it up if you take basic precautions when setting up your tank.

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Power-User
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#2
In reply to #1

Re: Honda CA160 – Restoration Part 1

01/19/2007 11:23 AM

Very cool - My plan is to disassemble the bike and sandblast all of the parts which are salvageable and replace the rest. You should post a couple pictures of your S90 project I'd love to see them.

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Anonymous Poster
#26
In reply to #2

Re: Honda CA160 – Restoration Part 1

01/23/2008 7:01 PM

Hi. I saw your bike on internet. You did a great job on bring bike back. I just got one. 1966 CA160, pretty much there, needs a battery cover and battery. Didn't come with one. I know it 6 volt, but don't know witch one to buy. Help. Your shows a 6 volt.

Paul Bucklen. Also need ignition switch, with keys, do you know where to buy.

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Anonymous Poster
#29
In reply to #26

Re: Honda CA160 – Restoration Part 1

08/11/2008 12:51 AM

there is a good cheap replacement battery here for a CA160:

http://www.apexbattery.com/honda-ca160-battery-sealed-lead-acid-batteries-honda-batteries.html

Hope all the restorations go well.

-- Dan Mazzei.

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#3

Re: Honda CA160 – Restoration Part 1

01/20/2007 9:13 AM

What is a Ben(t?)ly S90?

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#4
In reply to #3

Re: Honda CA160 – Restoration Part 1

01/21/2007 11:19 AM

I figured (s)he meant one of these - (Honda S90)

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Anonymous Poster
#25
In reply to #4

Re: Honda CA160 – Restoration Part 1

09/24/2007 2:15 PM

Hello, I have 1966 s90, any chance you know how to set the timing chain on the sprocket? I noticed a "0" on the sprocket.

thanks

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Anonymous Poster
#5

Re: Honda CA160 – Restoration Part 1

01/21/2007 4:04 PM

Gee,

another person who likes the old Hondas! I've restored a CB200, CB175 and CD175 and have a nearly running CD 175 stored down at the Westfield factory in Victoria. If anyone is interested in a CB450 twin, I have one which needs the engine put back in!

Parts are easy, Honda still make most parts new. The Banjo for the fuel connection on some models of carby are only available with the carby. But you can get one from SU Midel or the SU/Solex/Zenith manufacturer in the old Dart (England).

Enjoy the restoration!

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Power-User
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#6
In reply to #5

Re: Honda CA160 – Restoration Part 1

01/21/2007 6:33 PM

Sounds like you've been busy with all those restorations. You should post some pictures of the bikes...

CB450 is a pretty fun bike.I think my next project will be a NSU or BMW, but I guess first things first.

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Active Contributor

Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: NSW Australia
Posts: 19
#12
In reply to #5

Re: Honda CA160 – Restoration Part 1

02/04/2007 3:35 AM

I have a Honda CT125 AG BIKE, which I still use ever day on the farm. I bought it at a sale from an old farmer who left it at the back of his shed after he fell off it. What year would that be?
Instead of restoring I like to just keep old machines going, why do people abandon them so easily when they probably just need a bit of TLC or a set of rings.

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#13
In reply to #12

Re: Honda CA160 – Restoration Part 1

02/05/2007 7:11 AM

Does it look like this?

If so then 1976 - The date of manufacture should be on a tag attached to the frame. Normally its located by the headset.

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Active Contributor

Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: NSW Australia
Posts: 19
#18
In reply to #13

Re: Honda CA160 – Restoration Part 1

02/07/2007 12:43 AM

Yep that's the one, but out here they call it an agricultural bike. The plate says 6/80 so it's not quite as old as I thought.

Here it is somewhat modified for the dog, and the light (which wasn't working) replaced with carry all.

Anyway the point is it goes well and starts easily, it seems to me its worth spending the money on to keep it going well, although many people seem tohanker after the new model, which costs a lot more (over $3000 Australian)

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#19
In reply to #18

Re: Honda CA160 – Restoration Part 1

02/09/2007 1:47 PM

Sweet ride

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Member

Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Hobart, Tasmania Australia
Posts: 6
#32
In reply to #5

Re: Honda CA160 – Restoration Part 1

03/18/2009 9:21 PM

Hi,

I am also restoring a CB450 ex police bike. Still has the original speed camera/indicator on the speedo :)

Is yours an ex police bike? Having trouble finding any history.

Regards

Tazz4wd

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Anonymous Poster
#7

Re: Honda CA160 – Restoration Part 1

01/29/2007 8:34 AM

Good Morining CA160 Restoration,

I also just yesterday acquired a CA160. At this point I don't know the year, the color is blue. However, unlike your sweet looking ride, mine came without a gas tank, seat, spark plugs, and the engine is froze.

My sons and I just finished rebuilding a Triumph TR3, and a Prosche and wanted a winter project. This will fit in our basement. But I'm really in need of a parts vendor. I've been looking on line and have not found anyone yet. I'd really appreciate leads on reliable suppliers of parts for these bikes.

Thanks

RL

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Commentator

Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Quad Cities Illinois
Posts: 56
Good Answers: 1
#8
In reply to #7

Re: Honda CA160 – Restoration Part 1

01/29/2007 9:00 AM

You can find every part for that bike on Ebay. Even if it means buying a "donor" bike.

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Power-User
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#9
In reply to #7

Re: Honda CA160 – Restoration Part 1

01/30/2007 9:17 AM

"Guest"

Congrats on your purchase it sounds like you have a good winter project ahead of you. I'll be posting an update to my progress shortly but as pointed up below eBay has a great selection of parts. I think you'll find that many sellers are large enthusiasts themselves and a quick email to them will get you any part not currently listed. Also a parts bike isn't a bad idea. I can tell you the tank for instance is going to be expensive.

Now lets see some pictures!!!

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Commentator

Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Quad Cities Illinois
Posts: 56
Good Answers: 1
#10

Re: Honda CA160 – Restoration Part 1

01/30/2007 3:45 PM

Has anyone tried the reverse electrolysis process on their restorations yet?

This is a good place to learn the basics. http://www.treasureexpeditions.com/Reverse%20Electrolysis.htm

I have saved many parts that I believed would be completely unusable. I was even able to find stamped identification numbers that were completely covered and marred by corrosion. Valuable technique for anyone trying to restore old iron.

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#11
In reply to #10

Re: Honda CA160 – Restoration Part 1

02/01/2007 8:36 AM

I haven't but if you have before and after pictures of the parts you did I'd like to see them. I think I'm going to sandblast the parts off my CA160.

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Anonymous Poster
#14
In reply to #10

Re: Honda CA160 – Restoration Part 1

02/05/2007 2:43 PM

I have a CA160. Can you tell me where to get Mufflers for it? Thanks, Gene

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#16
In reply to #14

Re: Honda CA160 – Restoration Part 1

02/06/2007 8:02 AM

eBay is probably the best place to find a set of pipes with out paying $$$$. I just won a set off of there. If the pipe itself isn't in to bad of shape you could try to get it re-chromed.

Also I'd give these guys a call: http://www.apexcycle.com/

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Anonymous Poster
#22
In reply to #10

Re: Honda CA160 – Restoration Part 1

07/24/2007 3:54 AM

I am sure that someone locally is using this process to clean the inside of tanks. I assume they suspend the stainless electrode inside the tank somehow and submerge it. I have been told it does not bother the outer paint at all. I would suggest this for whatever you have the patience to clean over sand blasting. Especially sheet metal. If you "COOK" the sheet metal by harsh abrasives in one spot it will warp the sheet and deform a good piece so bad it is hard to hide it with hours of putty and primer. I also made the suggestion on the valves. Have a sweet time in the wind. ALL GOOD!!

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Anonymous Poster
#15

Re: Honda CA160 Motorcycle – Restoration Part 1

02/05/2007 10:55 PM

I restored a '67 CA160 about 3 years ago. I got lucky and found one in excellent condition. I live in the San Diego area and have seen 3 of these for sale (local papers, Craigslist, etc.) since I found mine. They go for about $1600 in nice running condition.

Apparently Elvis Presley had this model or one very similar.

You have a real challenge with this one. Have fun.

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#17
In reply to #15

Re: Honda CA160 Motorcycle – Restoration Part 1

02/06/2007 8:05 AM

Nice!!! Yeah if I was really serious about this buying a bike in better condition certainly would have been a better idea. I guess I just couldn't pass up a free bike. So far I have to say the projects been a good time. Post a picture of your bike if you get a chance.

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Participant

Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 1
#20

Re: Honda CA160 Motorcycle – Restoration Part 1

03/01/2007 8:27 PM

Hey,

Goodluck on your restoration work on the CA160...

I am a newcomer to the world of restoration. I actually inherited a CA160 from my father. I remember he used to ride it back and forth to work when I was a kid and years later I tested with it to get my motorcycle license. It has been sitting in his garage for years. When he offered the bike to me I jumped at it. Unfortunately I know next to nothing about bikes so will need to learn a bit. I took the bike to a local Honda shop and asked them to see if could run. They did minimal work for me to get it running. It needed new points, new battery, throttle cable, dryrotted hoses replaced and timing reset. I stopped by today and it looks like she's running well. I will pick it up next week and hopefully start cleaning it up. I'm interested in learning what I can about these bikes. These forums are a great way to learn. I'll post a picture of it when I get it back.

I'll look forward to hear how your restoration project goes.

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Anonymous Poster
#21
In reply to #20

Re: Honda CA160 Motorcycle – Restoration Part 1

07/24/2007 3:39 AM

A hint to be wize about from an old 70's era wrench at a honda shop... If no-one has set the valves after the unit has set years you may burn them if they sat open and had moisture pass the faces... They could be tight also which is not good with the newer oxygenated fuel which burns leaner. Too loose and ratlling is better than tight. you can pop the large socket cap off and turn over the kicker slowly and feel them. They should be free on a cold motor. This above all else is the most important step.

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Participant

Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Indianapolis
Posts: 1
#23

Re: Honda CA160 Motorcycle – Restoration Part 1

09/07/2007 4:40 PM

My 67 had a leaky gas petcock. I found a rebuild kit on ebay. My problem is that I damaged the three screws mounting the assembly to the tank. I haven't been able to find any replacement screws. I'm sure they're metric but for some reason, the thread pitch seems to be off just a bit from ones I've located at hardware stores and such. The screw will turn in about three turns and bind up. Has anyone had a similar experience? I'm starting to think the metric standard has changed since 1967. Thanks! Tom

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Participant

Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 1
#24

Re: Honda CA160 Motorcycle – Restoration Part 1

09/22/2007 12:30 AM

I like your bike its looks sweet!! I have a real pretty ca160 I bought from the original owner some years back.I love it its like riding an illegal mini bike on the street.I must look real stupid allways smiling when I ride it.The ser.# reads CA160-1007547 It was first titled as a 1970 he bought it from a dealer.I allways thought this was weird but when I changed over the title back in 1999 It to is listed as 1970 on the newer title. Do you think this could be wrong? Where or who might have the right info? Thanks Greg

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Participant

Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 2
#27

Re: Honda CA160 Motorcycle – Restoration Part 1

05/10/2008 10:36 PM

Nice job! Maybe you can help me. I just aquired a 1966 CA 160 Honda Dream in excellent condition. What size battery do I need and where do I get one. I saw the one on your bike but can't make it out by the picture. I've tryed every where and have come up short. Also I need a air filter do you have a vender you use for other parts?

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Participant

Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 1
#28

Re: Honda CA160 Motorcycle – Restoration Part 1

05/21/2008 5:50 PM

Hello all.

I am the proud new owner of a 1969 CA160. The bike is in very good condition. The only issue I am having with it is it just can't seem to get enough fuel. Once I hit 3rd gear the engine dies.

I am searching for a carb rebuild kit however I am unable to find anything for the CA160. I can find them for the CB160. Does anyone know if the carb on the CA and CB are compatible. So far I have not been able to find anyone who can tell me.

thanx for any help anyone can provide.

Kraigb

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Anonymous Poster
#33
In reply to #28

Re: Honda CA160 Motorcycle – Restoration Part 1

03/19/2009 10:56 AM

To find parts for your CA160 or S90, check out BikeBandit.com.

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Anonymous Poster
#34
In reply to #33

Re: Honda CA160 Motorcycle – Restoration Part 1

06/22/2009 10:17 AM

Another great place is ohiocycle.com

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Anonymous Poster
#30

Re: Honda CA160 Motorcycle – Restoration Part 1

01/27/2009 2:19 AM

You bikes looks like it will be fun to restore! Sure is nice when you can get a bike for a pack of beer :) I have yet to get a bike for a six pack, or even a case, but Im hoping that day will come!

I noticed some people were looking for NOS parts and wanted to let you know I have an NOS speedo for the CA160 that is mint and in the OEM Honda box. It's not cheap, but if you're restoring your bike to OEM standards then you may be interested. I have other NOS parts also, but they're a little off topic :)

Thanks

gottahaveahonda@gmail.com

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Anonymous Poster
#31

Re: Honda CA160 Motorcycle – Restoration Part 1

02/18/2009 10:30 PM

nice ride stilljester little work ahead. I picked up 67 cb 160 to try to get running then restore, first one had a question thought you could help if not i understand cant find point gap or plug gap, also cleaned the carbs and is there a rule of thumb on turns of adjustments on carb to get started

Thanks Shorelineac@yahoo.com

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Anonymous Poster
#35

Re: Honda CA160 Motorcycle – Restoration Part 1

11/24/2010 4:36 PM

I just bought a 1968 CA160 to restore. It only has 2,200 miles on it, but it has a transmission problem that you might be able to give me some advise. When taking off in 1st gear it will sort of jump out of gear and jump back into gear. The other 3-gears work fine. Any thoughts?

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Participant

Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Syvania Georgia
Posts: 3
#36
In reply to #35

Re: Honda CA160 Motorcycle – Restoration Part 1

11/25/2010 10:07 PM

Your shift shaft is worn out. You can install a replacement unit (new or a good used one) without removing the engine. You do have to remove the clutch and oil pump to get at it.

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Anonymous Poster
#37
In reply to #36

Re: Honda CA160 Motorcycle – Restoration Part 1

11/26/2010 11:21 AM

Many thanks. Glad to hear that I won't have to pull the engine.

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Anonymous Poster
#38
In reply to #37

Re: Honda CA160 Motorcycle – Restoration Part 1

11/28/2010 7:40 PM

Spokes,

I started my disassembly to remove the shifter shaft, but noticed something that I'd like you opinion on. Can I assume that you deduced a worn shifter shaft by that the trans wasn't going all the way into 1st gear hence it jumping in and out of gear? After removing the countershaft sprocket cover, I could see the left end of the shifting cylinder(?) --- more specifically the phillips head screw on the end of that shaft/cylinder where the neutral switch is located. I put a phillips screw driver on that screw and manually selected all gears to which each gear seemed properly selected with each detent. The gear shift lever positioned this shaft/cylinder in the very same detent positions. Since the shifter is putting the trans firmly into 1st gear, how could the shifter shaft be the culprit?

I sure don't want to have to split the cases if I can avoid it. Again, many thanks for you taking the time to help me out.

Doug

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Participant

Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Syvania Georgia
Posts: 3
#39
In reply to #38

Re: Honda CA160 Motorcycle – Restoration Part 1

11/28/2010 10:14 PM

Great Question!

My opinion regarding the shift shaft comes from experience. I rebuilt a CA95 engine a couple of years ago. (am working on a CA95 & CA160 engines now) The engine was seized and kept in a barn (on the bike) for 29 years. I tore the engine down and rebuilt it to a "T"

My newly built bike & engine ran nice, but, it would not shift into 3rd or 4th unless I tapped down on the shifter before shifting. I removed the shift shaft and reversed the spring. Then it would not go into 1st or 2nd gear without lifting up on the shifter before shifting. The transmission also jumped out of gear.

I replaced the shift shaft and all of the problems went away.

The phillips screw your talking about is part of the neutral switch and is positioned by the tranny. I cant' say that the gear is fully engaged based on that aspect.

I have a good shaft if you want it, shipping only cost. I don't know how to do a PM at this site. I also write in one of the best blogs for the Honda Dreams. It is www.fourwheelforum.com/forum You will find loads of good info there as well as being able to PM me (spokes) once signed up.

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Participant

Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 3
#40
In reply to #39

Re: Honda CA160 Motorcycle – Restoration Part 1

11/29/2010 3:37 PM

SPOKES,

I have just registered on both CR4 & fourwheel forum --- user name = vmax05. Many thanks for the generous offer on the shift shaft. Just let me know how much $ to send and your address.

Regards,

vmax05

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Participant

Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Syvania Georgia
Posts: 3
#41
In reply to #40

Re: Honda CA160 Motorcycle – Restoration Part 1

11/29/2010 6:59 PM

PM me at fourwheelforum.com/forum with your address

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Andrew (2); Andy Germany (1); Anonymous Poster (16); kraeszt (1); Kraigb (1); madscientist (3); maxhold (1); REHorner (1); spokes (3); stilljester (9); Tazz4wd (1); theboyd (1); vmax05 (1)

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