In the interest of not dragging this resto out over several posts, I’ll give you a 1/2 year of highlights reviving this “complete” first year 1964 Honda CT90 Trail bike. I fixed it. Stay tuned next week.
As you may recall, it was one of two bikes I picked up. The other one was a 1972 (first year for the auxiliary gas tank) and was supposed to be a parts bike. I decided it needed another life too but more on that later. This “complete” ’64 was missing:
- The points cover plate
- Side covers
- Side cover knobs
- Nuts to hold on the foot pedals
- Bolts to hold on the gas tank
- Light bulbs
- Screws for the points cover
- Screws for the stator cover
- Gaskets for the above two
- Chrome cover for the air filter
- One long screw to secure the rear tail light lens
Some items are trivial but when we are talking about an almost 60 year old bike, things cost more on eBay than I liked. But before I bought all the little pieces, I wanted to make sure it would run. First I looked for spark. I printed diagrams then traced botched wiring that blew out the coil. Yeah, I tested the coil to see if it was in spec with my multi-meter and it failed. Then after much trial and error to set the timing and points, I got spark and a quick run on starter fluid before the winter. Satisfied and moderately proud, I put it aside until the spring.
On a warm day in March, I thought it would be a no-brainer to hook up the gas tank and get it going. 30-50 kicks later, it wouldn’t run. It would however cough on starter fluid. That was on kick three hundred, twenty-four two days later. My calf hurt. Clearly something was a miss in the carburetor. I pulled that apart and blew it out. It looked clean. The previous owner probably pulled it apart like everything else on the bike. Little did I know until checking the petcock, he lost a screw, go figure, to put it back together and stripped out the petcock with a larger one. It was literally hanging by a thread that broke when I went to screw it together. Fuel leaked, I scrapped the original carb and went aftermarket.
The after market carb with elbow intake from the ’72 (ok so I used the ’72 as a parts bike for like one thing, jeez) still wouldn’t start. What the crappy crap? I would kick the thing for hours until I found the magic formula. Turn the choke on. Dah. Twist the throttle halfway. Two kicks. Let off throttle. Kick. Run. This came after many trials. I would just go out into my garage and randomly try different combinations of choke and throttle when the bike was cold. Sooooo, Groosh. It runs great right? Nope.
The next problem was popping in the carburetor. Tracked that to a leaky intake gasket. After making a gasket out of a cereal box, that went away. Now I’m getting popping at 3/4 to full throttle. That is a main jet issue mi amigos. Too small. I’m running a #60 and according to Mike who wrote a killer blog on everything Honda CT200 and CT90, I may need to go as large as the original #75. I’m going to buy a few different sizes to see what works.
After that was all done, it was a simple thing to pull apart the front wheel to fix the brake. It was full of grease because they juiced it too much and blew out the seal. The grease was liquid goo all over the brake shoes. Cleaned and fixed. Plus cleaned the brake cam and lubed it for good brake lever return. Then, pulled apart the twist grip to grease that for smoother action. Plus:
- Made sure the running lights worked
- New 6V 25W bulb for the headlight
- Recovered the seat
- Adjusted handle bars
- Polished out chrome
Oh, and registered them because he didn’t have titles. Luckily for me, the moped rule in Michigan is now under 100cc. It used to be under 50cc. So to register them for the road I took in my bill of sale and filled out additional paperwork. Now I have road registration and can sell/transfer ownership when I’m ready. Probably in a couple weeks. NEXT!