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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all,

I've wanted to restore a bike for a long long time and recently I was pretty bored and looking to buy a bike as a daily ride, but somehow instead convinced myself that it was a good idea to buy a non-runner instead when I saw this one advertised... (surely this is common? haha)

Land vehicle Vehicle Motorcycle Motor vehicle Car

So that's how I got my hands on what I am told (and seems to check out from what I've read) is a 1973 CB200. The bloke told me the previous owner (a mate of his) had it running about a year ago but was spluttering because of badly tuned points. Yeah right mate. Anyway I got suckered in and was having visions of a beautifully cleaned up bike not too far away in the future so bought it. It was missing the kickstart and had a rubbish battery so I couldn't turn it over but otherwise looked decent and complete so I took it home and got to work. I have previously done a little bit of mechanical and electrical work on previous bikes and cars so I'm not completely new to this, but had never done an entire rebuild, but I was willing to learn, and downloaded the service manual (the owner's manual was still under the seat! :) )

For the last month I have been taking the entire bike apart piece by piece and trying to keep everything neat and labelled. I am having a lot of fun and learning heaps so I am already happy with myself, but a few things do get in the way and are of course frustrating.

I discovered that the engine was seized, and after a while of soaking with WD40, acetone/oil, and other apparent penetrating fluids and whacking with a wooden post (I have read negatives about this but also a lot of positives so I gave it a go) I was able to free one piston. The other is still stuck in there fast (despite weeks of soaking), but yesterday I took apart the bottom of the crankcase and could flip the engine over, so have filled the barrel with an acetone/oil mix which will hopefully serve to free it. We will see.

Rust Auto part Metal

Apart from that I broke one of the holding tabs for the sprocket off the camshaft :( When I get to the stage of putting the engine back together I will have a look at whether this can be nicely welded back together or if I'll have to buy another.. One of the exhausts is quite rusty inside the baffles, and the seat pan was rusted through. Otherwise I think all the parts have been in reasonably shape, if not filthy.

As long as I stay unemployed I have time but no money, so am obviously trying to keep the project cheap. I have begun constructing a new seat pan out of fibreglass - I made a papier mache mould of the old pan and will fibreglass over that soon. I have washed the frame, and will remove the surface rust present and repaint it before I start putting the rest of the bike back together. I doubt I will rechrome the parts due to cost, and will probably rather remove the surface rust from them (using lemon juice and aluminium foil so far), should I then wax over this or put rust converter on to prevent re-rusting?

One problem I have is that I cannot get the chrome rear mudguard off. It seems to have maybe fused to the frame? Does anyone know if this could be true, or if it is actually welded (in which case I'll probably work around it), and how I can get it off?

Any other advice?

Sorry for the super long "intro" post, couldn't help myself and I hope it is interesting to someone at least. I figure it's in the correct thread for introductions, but if I should also start a "project log" in that forum let me know.

Premium Member
10,201 Posts
Welcome to the group. A project log would be good since it looks like you have one!
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