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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'd been looking for some time, without success, to find a 1971 CB175 K5 Super Sport worthy of restoration and haven't been able to find one. So, after thinking that it might well cost me $500 to $800 to buy a non-running bike worthy of restoration, and probably another $2,000 (or more) to restore it to like new condition, what would it cost, and what would it be like to build a bike from parts, buying as many NOS parts as possible? Since I had a bit of time (and excess cash burning a hole in my pocket) I decided to give it a try.

Over the past week, I have purchased as many components to build the bike as possible from numerous sources, and have been buying as many NOS parts as possible along the way. I even discovered that Western Honda Motorcycles, 4717 E. McDowell Road in Scottsdale, AZ had numerous gromets, bolts, and other stuff available that I didn't expect to be able to find easily or get new (like the Honda name badges for the side of the fuel tank).

The stuff started arriving this week and I will be clearing out a work area in my garage. I plan to document everything in photos along the way, as I found Ray's (CB2NR) project report enlightening, inspiring, and very useful. Like Ray did, I'm getting the frame components ready for powder coat and will begin my regular reports shortly.

Glad to be here and I look forward to hearing from you as I begin this grand experiment and adventure. I'm keeping a spread sheet of everything spent, so I can give you an accounting of what it costs to build a 1971 Honda CB 175 SS K5 from parts 43 years later!
 

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Sounds like a great project.

Remember, if you don't have pictures it didn't happen! :lol:
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
CB2NR said:
Good to see another 175 coming back to life. Look forward to following your progress. Good luck!
Ray:

Your restoration was a huge inspiration for this project. I may bug you from time to time with questions, if you don't mind. My goal is to turn out as nice a bike as yours.
 

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Hi Dick, thanks for the kind words. Candy Ruby Red was the color of my first 175 also. Good luck on your project. Ask all the questions you'd like; there's plenty of experience & knowledgeable people here.

-On a side note; I responded to your Parts Wanted
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Well...as Ray said, part of the fun of this project is the search for parts, and learning the subtle differences between models. I've been doing a lot of eBay shopping for parts and can tell you that, already, this project is costing more than I'd expected or anticipated.

There are a lot of vendors on eBay selling parts I need for my build, and I am anxious to attempt to make the bike look as close as possible to having just come off the assembly line, so I've been attempting to buy a lot of NOS (new, old stock) parts. (I worked for several years as a docent at the National Air and Space Museum, helping to restore airplanes in the collection. I'm attempting to follow the same practices that they do, and hope that, unlike them, I won't need to fabricate anything. The other difference is, with my restoration, I intend to make the bike run and be able to be driven.) As Ray did with his restoration, it is my intent to restore each part to like new condition.

One of the problems I've encountered is that there are many vendors of parts on eBay who are asking outrageous amounts of money for some parts. For example, there are some fairly common bolts such as part number 92000-06032 -- a common 6X32 hex bolt -- that, because it is supposedly NOS, the seller is asking $14.99! When readily available back in the day, that bolt certainly cost less than a dollar! So, it creates a dilemma. Do I truly attempt to recreate the bike from all Honda parts, or do I go to the local auto parts store and buy a 6X32 hex bolt for $.70? Needless to say, I've not bought a lot of $14 bolts!

Another thing I've discovered on eBay is that there are several vendors who tear down bikes and sell them for parts. One in particular sells every item, regardless of how small (it could be a rubber cushion or grommet) for $39.99! That's absolutely absurd. I guess he's banking on people willing to pay through the nose for a legitimate part.

I've found several sellers, too, in Thailand and Indonesia, who advertise NOS parts, which I suspect are really made locally. (Some of them are very honest and report the parts as reproductions.) If they're made to the same quality as the Honda OEM parts, that's fine. But what seems to happen is that with some of these vendors, they take a photo of the part with a Honda parts bag or box, which has the part number visible, implying that the part was in that box or bag. When you purchase it, and it arrives at your house, there is no Honda bag or box, and no Honda manufacturing marks on the part anywhere. In those instances, I'm pretty certain I just paid a higher price than I should have for a local knockoff when I thought I was buying a NOS part.

I managed to purchase a NOS engine case that looks fantastic...so good, in fact, I thought I might not need to paint the case. The case was advertised as being for a 1971 CB175K5, but when the case arrived, I could tell by the serial number that it is actually from a K6. So, again, another dilemma...do I use this marvelous looking case, which would help me reach my goal of making the bike look as if it had just come off the assembly line (particularly since one of the goals here is to enter the bike in Japanese Vintage Motorcycle contests), or do I go looking for another case with a K5 serial number?

I don't mean to be badmouthing all vendors on eBay. I've found some fabulous sellers who are going the extra distance to be helpful with my project and identify sources for needed parts. I've also discovered reputable vendors in Europe -- particularly the U.K. -- where I can still get needed NOS parts or quality replicas that are so good that it is tough to tell them from the originals. As Ray mentioned during his project, there are some parts that are dogone near impossible to find, and if they truly are NOS parts, the owner wants a fortune. Probably the hardest to find and most expensive are mufflers and shocks. There are lots of rubber parts that are near impossible to find, too, and the ones coming on parts I've purchased, or often which have been harvested from donor hulks, are no longer serviceable (torn, hard, cracked, painted over, etc.), but are still being offered for sale. Among these are the rubber cushions for the mounting of the battery box to the frame, and the cushions that go on the battery box itself.

I've been organizing the parts into large transparent storage boxes as I've received them and checking them off in a copy of the parts manual. Thus far, I've been separating parts into a box for engine parts, frame parts, electrical parts, wheels/shocks/steering parts, controls. As I receive items without part numbers or identifications of any kind, I've had to go back and research what they are, then put them in ziplock bags with the part numbers marked on the outside with a Sharpie.

I nearly have all of the stuff together that needs to be powder coated and have identified a local source for doing the powder coating. To get a quote, I borrowed Ray's photo of all of his parts that were going to powder coating as I anticipated mine would be close enough to that to be able to get a good estimate. I contacted three local firms within 30 miles from home, which all had excellent reputations within the local biking community. One didn't answer at all. FYI, here's the info I got from the other two:

Price: Blast and Powder Coat:

(1) Motorcycle Frame = $390.00
(2) Muffler Mounts @ $10.00 ea. = $20.00
(1) Swing Arm = $85.00
(1) Battery Tray = $20.00
(1) Chain Guard =$20.00
(1) License Plate Bracket = $15.00
(1) Center Stand = $30.00
(1) Tool Box w/Cover = $15.00
(2) Motor mounts @ $15.00 ea. = $30.00
(1) Triple Tree Bottom = $20.00
(4) Motor Mount Brackets @ $10.00 ea. = $40.00
(7) Misc Brackets/Mounts = $ 40.00

Total = $725.00 - $108.75 (15% discount as parts are smaller than average size motorcycle parts) = $616.25 + 36.98 (6% sales tax) = $653.23


and:

Around 600.00 for the whole job. Thanks in advance.

The first vendor has been tremendously helpful and has at least 150 colors of powder coat, including several shades of black, so I'm expecting to go with them. I don't know how this $653.23 price compares to what Ray paid for his powder coating work. (As I recall, you had yours done for less that that.)

Anyway...I'll be back to report more soon, and will share the spreadsheet I'm working on that will give you some sense of what has been spent, thus far, to build my 1971 CB175K5 Super Sport.
 
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I would check Honda availability before buying NOS off Ebay. I use this sight for that http://www.servicehondapsn.com/fiche_se ... &mfg=Honda
If you were doing a 100% "Concours d'Elegance" restoration then every nut, bolt and washer would need to be correct for that specific model, even the normally unseen ones.
But since you seem to be doing period correct rider restoration I would only be concerned with the visible pieces being correct or very close to correct.
Say you need a bolt that the head is 1/2 the normal thickness. Get a similar bolt and ally the grinder to the head to get it very close. Lots of the bolts are either Zinc or Cad plated for which Eastwood makes a kit to do that or you can find a plater to do a batch of them. Chrome can be redone by a chrome plate shop, usually by mail since there are fewer of them.
 

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I am curious as to your goal here. I will venture to say that you WILL NOT be able to build your dream bike from 100% NOS parts. Barring that, are you trying to keep the percentage of NOS parts above some self-imposed content level, say 80% NOS? What is the advantage to this, other than to run up the cost?

If you were somehow able to source 100% NOS parts, have you considered how you would get a title for said machine? Would the title be important to you, i.e. is the bike to be a static display item in your den, or ridden on the street?

If you are buying a mixture of some NOS parts, some used parts, some aftermarket parts, and some hardware store items, you are building what's called a "bitsa". There is nothing wrong whatsoever with a bitsa, but if that is the goal, it would be so much easier (and far cheaper) to go back to where you started and continue that search for a used bike that has at least a frame and a title. There would still be parts to locate, just not nearly as many. Trying to see how many NOS parts you can buy as compared to used parts that can be stripped and painted (or plated) would seem to me to run up the cost for no apparent advantage.

There is nothing wrong with powder coat, unless if you are building a concours level bike, in which case it would be inappropriate. For a bitsa, it is an excellent choice.

So again, please don't be offended by my questions, I'm simply curious as to your final goal.

Ray
 

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Hi Dick,

Good luck as you source parts. They can be frustrating to find, but rewarding as well when you finally put your hand on the "impossible" part. I chose to powder coat (80% shine, urethane blend). The thought was to have a finish that looked good and lasted with use. PC costs vary quite a bit. I paid $325 for the frame and parts.

Most Honda bolts can still be had. Its best to check the on-line catalogs before Ebay. Most OEM bolts run $1.00 - $7.00.

Plating bolts & misc parts. OEM bolts were Cad plated. Cad plating isn't available in the USA. Clear Zinc is a good alternative, and can be very reasonable.

Other Parts. IMO, if there is more than one Ebay vendor selling the same NOS vintage part(s); its likely available from the dealer at a savings. Once you know your part/part#; check to see what other years/models share the same part. Then expand your search. Ask your local dealer if they have a separate web business for parts. Most do and you'll save 10-40% off retail.

Good luck with your project.
 

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I agree with all that the other Ray said, except that white cadmium plating certainly is still available in the USA. It is not as readily available as zinc plating, but it is available nonetheless.

Ray
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Wow...now I have two Rays! Ok, Ray (fxray), I wanted to have a motorcycle that looked brand new, was roadworthy, and could be built in a way that would allow me to compete in Japanese Vintage Motorcycle contests. So, powder coating the frame would eliminate it from competition? Again, attempting to get NOS parts was to make it look as new as possible, and to allow it to compete in vintage competitions. I can get a title for the frame I have; however, in Virginia, it will apparently be listed as a custom-built motorcycle rather than as a 1971 Honda CB175K5.

I wanted to buy a good, restorable CB175K5 and couldn't find a decent bike at a good price over a period of three months and decided to go this route to give me something to work on through this winter and into the summer months. (I had one person in Florida willing to sell me a CB175K5, but wanted nearly $4K for it! Others were complete basket cases and I thought this might be another route to the end goal. (By the way, once I started buying lots of parts, a Candy Ruby Red 71 K5 came up for sale on eBay. Before I could even call the owner to ask a couple of questions about his willingness to help me ship the bike, it was sold!

I also wanted a project that would be a technical challenge and help me build some of my skills. I figured I wouldn't be able to sell the bike for what it would end up costing me to build, but if I'm not going to be able to place it in competitions, I'm wasting a lot of time and money. Is there a guide book or rulebook somewhere that will help me know what is OK and what isn't when restoring a motorcycle for competitions? I rather thought I would probably end up leaving the bike to one of my three grandsons.

One last question... of course when I owned my K5, we were running on leaded regular gas. What do you folks do about running classic motorcycles in this day of unleaded E10 fuels? Are you putting in some sort of additive, adjusting timing, some other coping method?

Thanks for being willing to share your experience and expertise!

Clearly this is all new territory for me and I'd never heard of a bitsa!
 

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dickc1853 said:
Clearly this is all new territory for me and I'd never heard of a bitsa!
A bitsa is usually a bike that is made from bitsa this and bitsa that. But in this case it refers to an inconsistent build. Part NOS part modified (powder coating).
A bitsa isn't necessarily a bad thing. See Simo's build viewtopic.php?f=5&t=19295 this might be the ultimate bitsa. While it would deserve to win some category it won't win best original.
 

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Dick,

Thanks for taking the time to explain your project goals. I understand a bit better now. LDR's suggestion sounds like a good one. It would come down to how pure the judges want it to be. I think attitudes have changed a lot re: powder vs paint, but you still might check before you get it done. It's going to be a challenge, but it sounds like you are up for it. It'll be interesting to see how the bike takes shape.

Ray
 

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Kawastoney said:
See Simo's build viewtopic.php?f=5&t=19295 this might be the ultimate bitsa. While it would deserve to win some category it won't win best original.
:lol: :lol: :lol: LMAO I don't know what you're talking about its all OEM Honda :lol: :lol: :lol: do they give prizes for least original bike in show? :lol: :lol: :lol:

Some OEM parts just don't seem to exist NOS anymore like the swing arm bushes. So you'll either pay through the nose if they do pop up or use second hand ( dubious ) or aftermarket bronze ones
 

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Cool idea! Max BMW recently built a brand new 1976 (2013) R90S FROM catalog parts. there were only 5 parts they couldn't source NOS. It only cost $47k
 
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