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Jumping into the fray with a barn find

291 Views 7 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Capt'n Ash
Greetings new friends,

Eric here from northeast Massachusetts (Gloucester).

I was on and around bikes in my pre-high school days (circa 82), which means bombing around Missouri farms with friends on whatever country dirt bike would carry us and helping my dad work on his CB750K (read polishing chrome...forever). I took the 40 years family/sea service hiatus until 2021 when I got back on a 90's Korean V-twin that needed the fuel system rebuilt to start..that was fun sourcing parts in Covid...I'm now on a CRF300 L-Rally that I've decided I will never sell. That all being said, I miss working on bikes and went looking for an old Honda. Here is where I've found you...

I need a long term project to keep me entertained and frustrated, and hopefully ride it to local club events or something, but not a trophy collectors item. The bike I've found was advertised as a '63 CB160...but they must have that wrong since the first run didn't come out 'till 65. I visited the beast recently and it will certainly fit the initial frustration but long term reward...winner! It last saw daylight in '83 and was parked with 7,661 miles. Most all bits and pieces that removed are in boxes. I'm not scared, but I do need help identifying the actual year of this bike since the title is long gone.

It is, in fact a CB160 (161 cc stamp on the engine). The frame number is legible with B160-106... Can anyone tell me how to determine the year? Is it a '66?

Lastly, I can't imagine I need to offer more than a few hundred considering the total disassembly it will take (kickstart does not budge...), but the seals and gasket areas are wet so that's a plus. I'll thoroughly clean up the chrome but leave whatever rust patina I can't get off (not a trophy...) If someone has any insight on a fair offer, please message me.

Thanks in advance and I look forward to doing A LOT of research for this classic AMA hall of famer.

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NO title . Not running . $1. 00 a CC. The year should be on the wiring harness under the gas tank . White tag taped into the harness . Month and year .

Bill H
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Release date for the CB160 was 07/01/64, frame numbers started with B160-1000001, they were titled according to the year sold. Frame number B160-106xxxx is a ways down the list, production-wise, possibly shipped in '65 or '66 and titled the date it was first sold. I used to have a set of cases with a CB160E-108... number, that's the latest 160 number I've seen.
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Is that swing arm cracked or dirt split apart from moving it?

A cocktail of PB Blaster, Mystery oil, WD40, Sea foam into the sparkplug holes and wait a few days. Bike sat for a reason. If not seized pistons from lack of oil or what, I wouldn't tear it apart until it's unfrozen.
Do as PoiPio suggests then put it in gear if you can and rock it back and forth see if you can break it free . Doesnt always work but worth a try..

Bill H
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Hi ca,

Nice find, hope you can sort out paperwork etc. so eventually you can ride her around.

You have a manual and know of

Do your research.

40 years in hibernation !

I am sure you know that machinery in hibernation can suffer with things sticking solid like Speedo's, cables, brakes, carb slides, clutches, kick starter shafts, gear selection mechanisms, pistons in bores, rings in pistons and VALVES in guides !

So, a very considered, carefull and patient approach needed to free this engine needed in my view, else turn a viable unit into scrap in one stroke.

Take your time and be methodical, step by step. 2 well spent hours now can save many many hours and dollars in the near future.

Perhaps it's a godsend that the engine is solid at this stage.

Assume a valve is stuck ( open usually ) untill you know otherwise, else risk a bent valve and broken guide, or worse.

I wonder what you will discover when some covers are removed...
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@Bill H , @DD23 , @PoiPio , @mike in idaho - Thank you all for the consideration and thoughtful responses and suggestions/advice! I know the family that is selling the bike and I believe the father was incapacitated in the 80's before his passing in early 2000's. It's never actively been offered for sale, I just saw it when I was visiting.

@PoiPio - I think that might be the camera angle on the center-stand, but I'll double check everything next time I go visit to start prepping to free it up, to your point @DD23 "So, a very considered, careful and patient approach needed to free this engine needed in my view, else turn a viable unit into scrap in one stroke. "

The owner and I are both looking into getting a duplicate title with the frame number search. I don't think it has ever left MA. Bike isn't going anywhere so I've got plenty of time to assess before I make an offer.

Thanks again. - E
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