Sweet Survivor: 1967 Honda CB160 Sport

It’s vintage Honda week here at Barn Finds and I, for one, can’t see anything wrong with that. Most of us have good memories associated with either learning how to ride on a now-vintage motorcycle or own one or more of them now. This beauty can be found listed here on eBay in Mentor, Ohio and if that sounds familiar, it’s because they also have the ’84 Honda Z50R that we just saw. The current bid price on this CB160 Sport is $2,500.

These vintage motorcycles are always fun to see, especially nice ones like this 1967 Honda CB160 Sport. I grew up with Japanese motorcycles which I know aren’t the most popular thing with some readers, but there’s no denying their popularity and for the most part, their reliability.

The Honda CB160 was made for three years, 1965, 1966, and 1967 and Honda replaced them with their new CB175. I like the oddball factor of a non-even CC number if that makes any sense at all. Not that I ever make sense. I mean, that I prefer a bike with an unusual CC like 160 over a 125, 150, or 175. I didn’t say that it was rational or anything like that, it’s just the way it is.

They came in red with silver accents, blue with silver, white with silver, or black with silver accents such as on this bike. I would have to believe that like everything else in the vehicle world, the color (or, tone) black rules so this would have to be the most popular color combination. That’s just a guess, which one would you choose? They have a 4-speed transmission and it sounds like this one is pretty much all original, at least paint, chrome, and seat-wise.

The yellow gas lines aren’t original, but the engine looks fantastic for being almost as old as I am. It’s Honda’s four-stroke 161 CC parallel-twin with 16.5-hp. The carburetors were rebuilt and it has a new battery and it runs great and everything works as it should. Hagerty is at $2,800 for a #3 good condition bike so this one is getting close but there are still two days left on the auction. Have any of you owned a CB160?

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Comments

  1. Howard A Member

    Once again, the king delivers, although, there was nothing oddball about the CB 160. It made Sporty riders nervous, and just about any other motorcycle at the time with 3 times the displacement. While some sources say they had 5 speeds, I believe they only had 4, but still, gave impressive performance and handling. It had a top speed of 71 mph, and did the 1/4 in 19 seconds. Not blazing, but remember, these set the standard for bikes to come. Great find. I watched Mecum’s bike auction on tv, and vintage bikes were really cheap, some starting at $500 bucks and no bids. The pristine ’75 Z1 did bring $18,500 however.
    BTW, I always wondered what “CB” stood for too. I read, there were many ideas, “city bike”, “cool bike”, “cross beam”, “citizens bike”, even “chokusetsu baiko” ( personal motorcycle), but none have ever been confirmed by Honda. They claim, it was merely a model designation, like C100.

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    • Scotty Gilbertson Scotty Gilbertson Staff

      Thanks, Howard. More like the court jester, but that’s darn nice of you. I believe you’re right on it being a 4-speed, my apologies for the typo.

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    • Moses

      Used to have one of these and drove it to school. Thought I was really cool then. Used momma’s vacuum cleaner extension pipes which were chrome on the bike for straight pipes. We would pass the school bus on the bridge with those pipes and really shake up the kids and make them hold their hands over their ears. Any way, from the old 160 to the 550 to 750’s the CB was two carburetors instead of a manifold and just one carb. Easy to adjust. the equalness of the pull on both carbs. This brings a lot of memories seeing this bike.

  2. RayT Member

    My first “real” bike (after a Trail 55) was a CB 160, just like this one. Seemed fast enough for me, and certainly handled well, at least for someone with limited experience. As Howard A says, mine (like every other 160 I’ve ever seen) had a 4-speed transmission.

    Much, much later, I bought a CB 305, and was not so pleased. Didn’t seem as nimble, and wasn’t all that much faster. Probably shouldn’t have ridden other, more modern bikes in the intervening years….

    Still, the 160 was a lovely little ride, and while I can’t quite see paying $2.5K for one, I still like them.

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    • Howard A Member

      For a short time years ago, a guy owed me money, and I got his ’67 CL450. It was a tank, and unusual up pipes, haven’t seen many like that. These were probably the 1st Hondas that people drove coast to coast with. There were certainly faster bikes, but none as reliable as the CB160. You could literally go coast to coast full throttle and not hurt it.

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      • RayT Member

        I used mine for commuting to work for a while, a 50-mile round trip across L.A. Freeway driving wasn’t bad, mainly because I was usually in peak commuter traffic, so speeds were low-ish. But on the open road, I remember seeing an indicated 80 more than a few times, and never had any issue with the engine. In fact, I never had an issue with anything on the 160. It seemed bulletproof to me.

        Right around that time, L.A. County started cutting grooves in the freeway lanes. The 160 didn’t like that, and neither did I. Soon after, I got my 600 sedan, and it didn’t notice the grooves at all.

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      • Nevadahalfrack Nevadahalfrack Member

        Was that the “Black Bomber” 450, Howard??? The lust so many of us had for that bike! More than once I remember seeing a Bonneville or Sportster rider handed a plate of crow to eat after a a race with someone’s sweet running 450.

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      • Howard A Member

        Hey Nev, apparently, it was a ’67 CL450D Super Sport Scrambler and probably a couple more names, I never heard of “Black Bomber”. I’ve seen the ones with both pipes going up the left side, but very few with the one pipe on each side. Like I say, it was a tank, I pity the fool that took THAT bike off road, but you had to start somewhere, I suppose. It was pretty fast, tho, I got my 1st and only speeding ticket on that bike. 80 in a 55. I think the cop either felt sorry for me or liked the bike as he wrote the ticket for 19 over and saved me some bucks.(20 over was more money and points)
        https://www.pinterest.com/pin/509188301596597014/

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      • On and On On and On Member

        Howard, you had a rare bike for sure. I’ve never seen one in person, I looked it up in my Honda Identification manual and actually it was officially a CB450D. One year only at least in the US. The opposite side up-pipes is the key. I just sold a 1968 CL450 with 1800miles on it. A collector from France sent a truck and picked it up in Wisconsin. It was 100% original and near pristine. When I bought it several years ago I rode it over to Peter Egans house, I lived near him for awhile…… The French buyer paid the BIN price, no questions asked. Yours would have been worth twice as much.

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      • Nevadahalfrack Nevadahalfrack Member

        All the 450 Scramblers I remember seeing had the pipes up the left side-never saw one with pipes shaped like a ‘67 Triumph Catalina scrambler! Very cool bike, Howard. And you brought up a good point about riding them offroad-within 5 feet of getting in to a sand wash it’ll be apparent that those were a carryover design from the late ‘50’s and more about styling by then than function, but dang they looked good! Still think so IMVHO..

        Here’s a couple links talking about the Black Bomber:

        https://www.motorcycleclassics.com/classic-japanese-motorcycles/honda-cb450-black-bomber

        https://www.smartcycleguide.com/L49212941

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      • geomechs geomechs Member

        I often heard of the Honda 450 as Honda’s answer to the Edsel. It weighed as much as my BSA 500 single but was still classed as an intermediate bike. The original ones had the ugliest gas tanks I’d ever seen, a huge bulbous ‘blowfish.’ Some called it a pregnant 90. I always thought that the 450 engine was a work of art though. It was the only regular production engine that used torsion bars for valve springs. I saw some with 40K miles and were still running fine…

      • Moses

        Go figure. Broke my back on a bike when a woman did a left in front of me in 78. After getting out of the hospital, way too early, should have listened. My buddy came to see me on a 450. He thought the yard was right off the road and cut through. Right into the half full ditch. He had a bad knee. We left the bike there all night, got the neighbor to hook up his car to pull it out of the ditch. me, back- him, knee. when he picked it up to 2 wheels you could hear the water draining from it. glug glug. 2 months later he took off from Florida (central) to California on that 450. Made the trip, bought some coors, that was before they were on this side of the Mississippi, sold the bike and took a bus back. After being all night in the ditch full of water, he took that old bike all the way across the country.

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  3. Peter

    Mine had a wndhield!

  4. Peter

    Pulled wheelies with mine with a windsheild.

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  5. Rodney - GSM

    The original “chick magnet” when you were 16 years old. Mine worked perfectly. And it ran well to…

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  6. 370zpp

    Suffice to say, Honda made some incredible bikes over the years; CB, CL, F models, on an on. I always loved the sound of a Harley, but never owned anything but Hondas including three 750s. No disappointments.

    2
  7. Peter Atherton

    My first bike was a Honda Cub,from which I graduated to a a CB160,and then a 305 Super Hawk;had fun with all of them, but the Super Hawk scared me a couple of times!

  8. geomechs geomechs Member

    In ’67 when Honda redesigned the 125 I thought that they’d come up with something great. But they kept on going with the 160 and then the 175, which were all variations. Interesting that out west, this was NOT a popular bike at all. For the price difference it was more economical to just go all out and get the Super Hawk. If I recall correctly the dealer in Great Falls had them on for something like $150 spread. Whatever, he sold a lot of Super Hawks and 305 Scramblers where he had difficulties getting these on the road. Of course the 350 took over the next year. But at least on this one they did away with the stamped steel backbone (T-frame). It still took them a while to wein themselves off the gas tanks and go onto something more stylish…

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  9. dougie Member

    So I had a 1963 Honda 250 Scrambler in eighth grade. A lot of bike for a 13 year old kid. But I had grown up with Doodlebugs and Totegoats.
    I rode it to school one day. My girlfriend, Helen. The best looking and most popular girl at Hopi Elementary School. She asked if I would give her a ride home. Well, duh.
    As a typical 13 year old boy (well males in general), I was quite a horndog. So there was some activity on that ride. X-rated and not quite appropriate for this forum. A lot of action at 25 mph. Not quite “Gone in 60 Seconds”, but you get the idea.
    So the next school day, as you can imagine, that travelled like wildfire. From that day forward, she carried the moniker “Honda Helen”, one that stuck with her from that day forward. Including 4 years of high school. She loved it btw.

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  10. Will Owen Member

    I got a CL160 “Scrambler” from my brother; its only real difference from the CB was high side-pipes and wide bars, but John had already put Super Hawk bars on it, as he was primarily a street/road rider too. I’d put many miles on a 150 Benly years before, and the better suspension and frame of the 160 made for an exceptionally sweet commuter. I was living in a rural Nashville suburb and commuting into the city every day, and especially in the long, sweet springtime I loved leaving early enough to take rural roads. One bridge along the way was a dip of the road down and over a creek whose banks were covered in iris, and the scent of those in the moist chilly air was almost enough to knock me off the bike …

    We had a few minor drops in slippery gravel, and I once hit a dog that ran in front of me and did a somersault off, but it all went wrong one evening when a car pulled out from between traffic in the right lane and the one I was in. No, a Honda 160 cannot knock a Datsun wagon off the road; the impact jammed my foot between the frame and engine, and we both flew over the car and onto the pavement. Serious bruising, a big slice wound below the knee and a broken collarbone gave me a week or two in the hospital, and then crutches for a while, but the 160 was a total wreck … except for the handlebars, which John took back.

    And then I met a woman who informed me that marriage would mean that my two-wheeled motoring days were over. I said “Yes”, and so did she, and that was that.

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    • Moses

      Loved your story! I was in Al. at the time. The road we used to get to town was a 2 lane twisting hi way. Most of it was trees across the road like a tall tunnel. With bridges and lots of turns in the hills. We were only about 12 miles out of town, and, some times the ride was so nice it felt like 2 blocks. Ended way too early. I had a lot of old cars then too. Mostly 51 Chevys. $15.00 was the most we ever paid for one. I went on bike riding and had everything you could imagine for a bike until I got my 78 1/2 FXE Super Glide. Still have that one. Soy beans didn’t have much of an aroma, but there were wild flowers in the spring if you were up early enough.

  11. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    My brother has a few of these along with some NOS cylinders and stuff he got from a closing Honda store…all going to shi…t….along with a running 305 Scrambler I bought him eons ago….it’s been sitting maybe 20 years ?

  12. Dale

    My first bike. Bought it clapped out, rusty mufflers, Bondo filling a hole in the side case where the foot peg had punched it out. I didn’t treat it very well, but that bike would not die. It did end up with so little compression I had to roll it down a hill to start it.

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