|Lou, getting ready for a ride!|
The ’69 CB160 just turned over 15k miles on the odometer, another motorbike milestone.
Got this bike for $100 in 2009. Was trolling craigslist when it popped up. The ad had just been placed, I was at work (where things can be a little flexible if they need to be) and called right away. Rode straight home, borrowed Colby’s truck, stopped by the ATM, got to the guy’s house. I was the first one there, took a quick look at the bike, and paid the $100. This one had a title, too. It’d been sitting in the guy’s yard for a year or two, since he moved here from Washington. It was his grandfather’s bike, and had sat in a barn up there for a while. Remarkably, there wasn’t too much rust, and the rubber was in good shape (tank, etc., not the tires) as was the chrome. The original red paint was a little faded but looked super good. Loaded it up, and as we were signing the paperwork I asked how many calls he’d received. “At least 20 since I talked to you, but you’re the first to make it. How much is a bike like this worth, anyway?” Didn’t want to make him feel bad, so I told him if I could get it running it might be worth $200 or $300. At the time I knew that was way low, but I had no idea about the whole CB160/175 vintage racing scene in the Northwest and how it had driven up the value of these bikes. I just though it looked cool.
Brought it home, changed the plugs and points, new battery, and rebuilt the carbs, and it started on the first kick – ask Hoss, he was there! (Hoss also helped me unload it from the truck…). Next stop was figuring out what to do with it. I stripped it off unnecessary stuff, side covers, rear fender, handlebars, mirror, seat, etc. Sold all of that stuff for $350, so I am up on the deal already. Shaved some tabs (but was careful since I am didn’t paint or powder coat the frame – I just used a little touch up paint and left the weld marks). Repositioned the battery box and wiring, rigged up a café seat, and then bought new tubes and tire. The thing ran, but blew some smoke, and the stock exhaust had a few holes in it. I found some cool exhaust on craigslist in somewhere like Minneapolis for $20, with removable caps on the end. I also got the valves done (Short Block Charlie's in Tempe). Now the thing ran like a top. Final piece was having my buddy Brock (Dunlop Customs) fab up some rearsets using pieces from a CB400f set up.
Thing is a blast to ride, and will hit 65 if I peg it. I took it to the Love Cycles show a couple years back and it won best Japanese bike, despite the somewhat janky homemade seat. It helped a little that there were only about 5 or 6 Japanese bikes there. The charging system is a little weak, especially with the headlight on and a new rectifier, but if I keep the revs high it does OK and I can take it across Phoenix and back pretty easily. I just got a cheap café seat and cover ($65) and redid that – I still need to do a little sewing and mounting work, but it’s getting there.
|15K on the odometer|
|With the original exhaust and working on fabbing the first try at the seat|
|This is what it looked like when I got it.|
|Here's the lovely wifey Meggers in a studio shot we did (thanks to Joe Hammeke!) -- based on the album cover "The Girl Most Likely" by Jeannie C. Riley (check here)|
|And getting some love at the Love Cycles show!|