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cb200t 06-26-2012 07:16 PM

First Resto Questions - Honda CB200t
Hey everyone, I'm new to this so bear with me. I just bought a 197x Honda CB200t for $50. It looks pretty rough, but that's what I wanted. Something to turn wrenches on and tinker with. I would like to ride it someday, but I'm not in any hurry. It is complete, engine covers, windshield etc all intact. The wheels are rusty, the left side muffler is rusted through and it looks to have a nice patina pretty much everywhere as it's been out in the elements. My question is where to start? I don't have it home yet, that will hopefully be friday. I also don't know if it turns over. Where would you guys begin with something like this? I want to eventually have something reliable enough to do a 3-day trip on. I realize that's a ways away. Thanks for any advice you can throw my way. Build thread and pix to follow.

bones_708 06-27-2012 12:53 AM

With a $50 bike? Two ways to go and I would lean to doing a total breakdown and rebuild. You could just try and get it running and go from there but if it's in to bad a shape sometimes that ends up being more work than just rebuilding the thing from the start.

rufusswan 06-27-2012 04:11 AM

I picked up a 74 CL200 a couple of years ago just to tinker with. It's been a total blast, and no I still ain't done :1drink

You will put more money in it than you will ever get back out so spend it wisely. Get a camera and document everything before you pick up a wrench. The fact that you started at $50 for a bike that is "complete" puts you way ahead of the game.

Check everything out and decide how many & what you might need so you can decide whether to shop at Bike Boneyard or start looking for a complete spare bike. There is tons of wisdom here, but join those folks are bonkers and know their stuff.

The forks contain 40 individual ball bearings :D and all the case bolts are JIC spec. The engine is way easy to pull from the frame. Seperate the bike into two projects - the engine and all the rest.

Have Fun

bagpiper22 06-27-2012 07:47 AM

Great bikes to work on...'ll have a lot of fun getting your CB200T running. I recently rebuilt mine (1975). Parts are readily available, and there are a lot of Honda Twin fans who can offer help. The instructions in this link can save your bacon. Read them before you try to kick start the bike for the first time.

Good luck! I'll be looking forward to your progress.


1975 Honda CB200T restored and riding
1976 Triumph Bonneville 750 under restoration

caponerd 06-27-2012 08:02 AM

A spare bike is always a good idea, provided the spare has any parts at all that are better than the same parts on your bike. (rusted out side covers would be one that makes a spare bike worthwhile)
Look around for a clean one with no engine, or with an engine out of the frame in boxes. Take the best parts from both to build your finished bike, then sell the usable left-over parts to recoup some of your cost.

You're going to be spending money anyway, so the price of another basket case or two won't make much difference.

Oh, btw, a windshield woudn't qualify as an "original part", none of those came with a windshield originally.

ThosMa 06-27-2012 05:46 PM


Originally Posted by rufusswan (Post 19002415)
The engine is way easy to pull from the frame.

IF you take the starter motor off first, that is! With the starter motor still on, it's a pretty snug fit. +1 on everything above, particularly about I recommend going through it reading all the CB200t posts. If I had done that _first_, I wouldn't have put the carb slides in wrong....

The only thing you won't readily find on Evilbay or the various parts sites are mufflers. Those can be hard to find. On mine, previous owner -2 (-3? Who knows) gave up and replaced them with generic Dunstalls and they work fine.

It's a great bike for a noob wrencher like me. Very forgiving - it will _try_ to run for you no matter what you screw up... DAMHIK. There's a PDF for the shop manual somewhere out in Internetland; you'll find the link on (wait for it) HondaTwins.
Have fun,


squish 06-27-2012 10:35 PM

Where to start to give suggestions where to start.

First and foremost. It's time to hit the books, find out everything you can about the bike. It shouldn't take too long.
Then get a couple of manuals, I like Honda's service manual if you can find one, they are a little funky to read but a good solid book of information. Some of the other manuals can be a little hard to read as they cover so many models.

Next, get a really good Impact screwdriver, with a wide selection of bits. Also pick up a JIS screwdriver (+)
and a can of Kroil, Best working penetration lube around, you will need it if you have to remove bits from the bike.

When digging into a new project, I like to make sure the engine is worth it, especially on a bike that isn't worth as much as an engine rebuild costs.

So does it turn over? If it turns over check the compression? Do the cylinders have decent compression and are they close to each other. While doing a compression check I look at the spark plugs.
Bad compression or lots of oil on the plugs, do a leak down, or have one done. If the bike's engine is gone.
Then it's time to make a choice, keep it and fix the engine, you will spend, on that bike I'm guessing close to 300-500 in parts, maybe less depends on how bad every thing is. I normally change fluids only after I know the engine is worth putting new oil into.

If the engine is decent the next thing is making sure there's spark and there's fuel, The carbs are the next place I work on.

They will most likely have to be pulled, and cleaned with out of spec parts replaced.
Once the carbs have been gone through then it's onto the most challenging part of these things
The electrical system.
The first thing is to find out how far from stock it is, and why. Then get it either back to stock or as close to stock as you want it to be. Cleaning and testing as you go, My recommendation, get the ignition system running first then the charging system then the lights and horn and other stuff.

Once it goes, then you have to make sure it stops, normally that's just a clean and readjust or if it's got a disc brake, maybe a new brake line and a rotor cleaning and pad deglazing.

Once it goes, charges and stops then work on making it look like you want it to look.

cb200t 06-29-2012 08:43 PM

Having read everyone's VERY helpful responses, I'd like to say thanks. I have spent a good bit of time over on hondatwins, very useful stuff. The manuals they have are invaluable. I made arrangements with the seller to pick the bike up next Monday after I get back from vacation. I'll take some before pictures of it then and post them here...which will be where I'll do the rebuild thread as well. I haven't had the opportunity to really look the bike over thoroughly. I do know it is 100% complete. I don't know if it's seized or not. Hopefully not. I'm probably going to start out removing the plugs and gently turning the motor over with the kick lever to see if it'll move. If it will I'll start trying to figure out hot to check the compression. As long as compression checkout I'll begin taking it apart. I'd like to get the frame, chain guard, fork crown powder coated, rebuild the fork and rebuild the wheels, brakes and swing arm this up through winter. Over winter I'll do the engine, and come spring I'll paint the gas tank and side covers. I'm still deciding about the fenders. I would like to have them re-chromed, but I have no idea what the cost will be.

General questions:

If the stancions on the fork are rusty, am I screwed? Will the fork always leak?
Are rear shocks cheap? Are they universal?
Does the plan I laid out sound nuts regarding checking out the engine, then building a rolling chassis with frame, fork, wheels this summer?
Chrome, or painted fenders?
What tires, since they have to be replaced anyway?
Am I wasting my time with a 200cc bike? I'm a brand new rider.

squish 06-29-2012 11:01 PM

Answers in blue

Originally Posted by cb200t (Post 19024653)
If the stancions on the fork are rusty, am I screwed?Maybe Will the fork always leak?Depends on how bad the rust is and where it is.
Are rear shocks cheap? Define cheap, you can find sets for around $100 Are they universal? not really, But that doesn't mean you cant find something to work, you need to know length, bushing style and size and spring weight.
Does the plan I laid out sound nuts regarding checking out the engine, then building a rolling chassis with frame, fork, wheels this summer? Sounds intense and expensive
Chrome, or painted fenders? That a subjective and money call, on this bike I'd go with painted
What tires, since they have to be replaced anyway? Round and black that fit... Again it's a subjective question with as many answers as answerers...
Am I wasting my time with a 200cc bike? I'm a brand new rider. Well let me put it to you this way. I wouldn't take on the project. As a brand new rider, I'd suggest something that runs and looks decent, You will spend more money up front but at the back end you will be more happy.

cb200t 06-30-2012 04:45 AM

@Squish the more and more I'm thinking about this, the more I'm thinking I had better find a different project. I could probably buy this thing for $50 and turn around and part it out to make more. That might be a better bet anyway...

rufusswan 06-30-2012 08:17 AM

Sounds like normal "Anticipation Anxiety" to me. You'll feel better in a couple of days when you get your hands on the bike, then you can slowly see what you really have as a starting point. Then you can decide what the "scope" of the project is, or shit-can the idea.

At $50 you ain't gonna lose.

MacNoob 06-30-2012 01:11 PM

Title? Would suck to spend a billion $ fixing it then not be able to get it licensed...

batphluke 06-30-2012 02:08 PM


Originally Posted by cb200t (Post 19025810)
@Squish the more and more I'm thinking about this, the more I'm thinking I had better find a different project. I could probably buy this thing for $50 and turn around and part it out to make more. That might be a better bet anyway...

Now don't get me wrong here, I've owned and loved a number of small capacity '70's Honda twins in the past, I'm not putting them down in any way, they are really nice bikes, but when it comes to restoring old bikes, in my opinion it can and will cost as much to rebuild a small bike as a big bike (and be just as much hassle/ fun). The engine capacity does not dictate the restoration cost, so if you are just looking for a cheap project rather than a labour of love then bear this in mind when starting out.
Two things that come to mind about the CB200, If its the model that had the weird cable operated disc on the front, that will probably need replacing with a hydraulic unit. It was a crap design when new, I doubt if the years will have improved it any. Also if you replace the mufflers with dunstalls as someone suggests, you will need to rejet the carbs, the bike will not run well otherwise.

Whatever you decide, have fun


cb200t 06-30-2012 03:13 PM

@MacNoob the title is clean and clear, I expressly told the seller, no title, no sale. I do plan on riding this thing when I get it running.

@batphluke I have pretty much decided it's a labor of love. I can really only afford to take my time anyway. I've pretty much budgeted $200/month for however long this takes. This is assuming there is some hope, which I will decide when I have the bike in hand. I think the dunstalls are going to be what ends up happening. Hope I can get a set of new jets!

@rufusswan You're probably right. Just nerves right now. I'll wait until its in hand.

Thanks again everyone!

rufusswan 06-30-2012 04:34 PM

Without a title it is just a 'box' of parts. Period.

I have a clearly defined 'scope' to my project so when I try to start it for the first time I'll have less than $400 into it. I Hope :D

None of which matters, I've had a gawd awful good time twiddlin' wrenches on it.

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