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Boner or Goner?

  • You must surely have it!!!

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  • Walk away before it's too late!!!

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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
28870363_1791092677578051_4893165782550214277_n.jpg 28870363_1791092677578051_4893165782550214277_n.jpg It's so beautiful, I had to post it twice. Beauty, however, is only skin deep; anyone who owns a bike nows that! The lines and the look of this particular year model CL should give any vintage motorcycle enthusiast a boner, but I have also read some horror stories about cam chain rollers getting stuck and big end rod bearings being a goner. And having been unable to source an improved version, with only 4k miles this should not have happened so that I'd expect for it to happen again in a few thousand miles, what the ? I've decided to poll the question of yay or nay on this one to the people that understand my overwhelming urge to get this bike and put it in the shed between the CL360s and the SL125s until I get to it.
Pro: Not just low miles, but also stored the right way for the last 40 years in a dry, dark and rodent and insect proof container, and the difference shows in all the bikes we are starting up: They all don't just have air in their tires (meaning all the rubber on the bike is good), all of them started up without much effort and run great!
Con: Even though it only needs tank badges, a fender that's not bashed in from jumping the bike and a little bit of paint to freshen it up to be complete, straight and clean, it was put away because of the timing chain making noise. By someone who knows machines so when he says it's the timing chain guide, it probably is. So as beautiful as it is, I don't want anything to do with a bike that will only last 4000 miles before I have to tear it down and put another one in, and I've just not had any luck finding a modernized upgrade, even though we know this innocent little CL isn't the only one....

Looking for a friend, I have other projects but this one is just really in exceptional original, complete and straight condition and it's not a big deal to swap out the cam chain guide, once. If I want to do stupid **** like that every four thousand miles, I'll get a Harley and I just can't afford that.
So tell me brothers: Boner or goner?
 

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That is one fine, complete find! Definitely a keeper!
j
 
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Looks like a good start, but that's a CB160 front fender and forks. Odd looking rear fender, is it cut off? 160 Honda crankshafts typically run a lot farther than 4000 miles between rebuilds, it must have been run out of oil or terribly abused. What is the frame/engine number prefix?
 

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I'm pretty sure you'd just need two 14mm wrenches, a 10mm wrench and a JIS screwdriver (maybe an impact driver for the case screws) to pull the engine and top end, they're very easy to work on. You could always just hammer the dents out of the fender as well if it's just dented.

Also you can buy a metal cam chain roller or mod a used metal one from a kawasaki z1 (google it). Replacing bearings/rubber etc. is a good idea after 50 years including many sitting
 

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How's about posting an actual picture of the bike? The bottom end of all the smaller twins are pretty much bullet proof so I'd like to read the horror stories that you're talking about. They don't have timing chain guides they have rollers but if the cam roller we're consistantly worn out at 4k Honda as a company would have gone belly up.
That's a new roller every 10 oil changes.
 

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My 160 has about 11K miles on it, about 7K of them since '72 when it was torn down and rebuilt. Back on the street now for the past two years after periodic plugs-out roll-abouts in gear to keep its innards oiled and not rusted. Haven't run it up past 9K RPM--doesn't burn or leak oil and pulls like an SOB in all gears.

It's a relatively easy engine to work on and many parts are available through Honda dealer warehouse stock or elsewhere. If it runs well I'd snatch it up and just do a timing chain adjustment then enjoy the ride!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Wilson I 095.jpg Sorry about the snapseed moment, gotta take new pictures first . Anyway, thanks for clearing that up about the roller and the Z1 sprocket. This isn't my first vintage Honda and so I know what it is. The CL160/175 engine was in a class of its own for a long time because it's just always in the sweet spot of the power band. I've put money down on it and am looking forward to getting it running. Because it had been stored dry and dark, all the rubber, wires, connectors, everything is in excellent shape but I'd appreciate it if someone else could confirm that that's a CB front end?! Not that I care, it looks fine to me but it's good to know since it is a collectable bike. It's all there, and the only question now is that since everyone agrees that it's unlikely the roller is bad after 4k miles on a vintage Honda, do I simply adjust the cam chain tensioner? Wilson I 081.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
pics below
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
So your vote is that if the cam chain is making a noise after 4k miles, it's not a worn roller but a simple cam chain adjustment? I don't mean to sound ignorant and this isn't my first vintage Honda, but I have to check because the old man is one hell of a mechanic and I'm just not sure why he would say the "cam chain guide" was worn out when all it needs is an adjustment? Gotta listen to those old coots, they didn't have computers to tell them what is going on in an engine!

Say, you wouldn't happen to be the kid that talked me into peeing on the electric fence by any chance, would you? I just wanted you to know I kept right on going and am now at level high voltage towers! ;-)
 

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There is a bolt/lock nut in the front center of the head. With the crank rolled over to TDC, loosen the bolt briefly and re-tighten it. There is a spring loaded plunger in there that moves to take up the slack. Very small diameter bolt, tighten it carefully, it doesn't take much torque to hold the adjustment.
This is a CL160 front end, rubber gaiters on the forks and a slightly different shaped fender:
262.JPG 263.JPG
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Vin

Wilson I 091.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
There is a bolt/lock nut in the front center of the head. With the crank rolled over to TDC, loosen the bolt briefly and re-tighten it. There is a spring loaded plunger in there that moves to take up the slack. Very small diameter bolt, tighten it carefully, it doesn't take much torque to hold the adjustment. Wilson I 089.jpg
This is a CL160 front end, rubber gaiters on the forks and a slightly different shaped fender:
View attachment 236554 View attachment 236562
Nice bike you got there, gets me excited about cleaning this one up! You had us both going there for a second, damn digital photography is more like pixie dust than actual representation of facts, the old adamage "pictures don't lie" doesn't hold true anymore: I totally saw that as being a CB metal front end but it actually does have the rubber gaiters, phew. On the chain adjustment, just top dead center on either cylinder is the most relaxed spot on the chain?
 

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Yep, TDC on either cylinder. Just blew up the image to have a better look, those are CL legs after all, the bottom legs should be painted silver gray, they looked black in the picture, must be really greasy/dirty.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Yeah you could say they're a little cruddy! On the bright side, I suspect there's a very clean and straight motorcycle hidden underneath that protective film :)
 

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Hardly a kid, Motocyguy. More likely considered an "old coot"! Try transformer boxes next...
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Hardly a kid, Motocyguy. More likely considered an "old coot"! Try transformer boxes next...
That was around 1965 when I took someone's word for it that peeing on the electric fence will have absolutely no consequences. I've not done it since!
 
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