Honda CM200T questions:

Discussion in 'Road Warriors' started by BubbaZanetti, Mar 13, 2007.

  1. BubbaZanetti

    BubbaZanetti for a corrector life

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    i've got a friend that has never rode before. he's looking at a 1980 honda CM200T that appears to be in excellent shape. he's not short but not an overly big dude (140lbs). he seems scared to try a bike bigger than a 350 and to be honest, i think he wants it more to have it than to use it a ton. its more an image thing (hippy) than a purposeful tool, so consider it in the same vein as me asking about a stella or a vespa or something. i just want to know if there are any terrible points about the bike like some poor engine design or anything. claimed top speed of 73, is that about accurate??? thanks.
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  2. Anorak

    Anorak Woolf Barnato

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    That's what became the 250 Rebel.
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  3. Photog

    Photog Charismatic Megafauna Administrator

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    huh?

    The Honda shop I worked in during that era didn't see many of the little Twinstars unless they had been totally ragged out by kids.

    80 was okay, I think it was 81 or 82 that went to the 12v electrics and CDI but otherwise NBD. It's late and I'm too lazy to check. There was a time I had the points p/n memorized for that bike. :gerg Priot to that it was the CM185...after that it became the CM250...Rebel, Nighthawk 250, and so on.

    They're outrageously easy to maintain. Keep clean oil in it, keep the chain lubed, have a spare set of plugs handy (or do the old italian tune-up trick).

    I'd be wary of one that's got over 25k miles with no maintenance history...but most of the ones I've seen are in the 8-10K range due to short-distance commuter lifespans.

    They're tough but susceptible to the usual issues of top end wear, and the usual caveats apply to a bike of that vintage in terms of dry rot. I'd budget to replace clutch and fr brake cables to be safe. If the carb is in good shape, great...but I'd source a kit for it soon. Same for laying hands on spare electrics bits and squirrelling them away.

    Four-speed bike so 70-75 sounds about right in the real world. Plenty of power for hippie-use around town.

    A note on the brakes--if your buddy hasn't taken MSF have him do so--but in any case make sure he uses all four fingers on the front brake. The drum fronts have quite a long pull, almost to the handlebar, to get full braking power so you want to make sure there aren't any fingers on the bar to restrict that full travel. (I teach on Nighthawk 250's that have similar drum brakes)

    PS - the CM-engined Rebels we run in MSF classes take the worst beating you can imagine...at most I see (aside from cosmetic stuff getting lunched ) fouled plugs, dead batteries (students leaving headlights on) and from time to time they'll eat a chain adjuster (I have no idea how that happens...). The exhausts from that era tended to rust fairly quickly but aside from sounding like a Briggs & Stratton it's NBD.
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  4. BubbaZanetti

    BubbaZanetti for a corrector life

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    thanks photog, by that i meant, he's buying it for the same reason most kids i know buy a vintage vespa, for its looks and unintimidating size/power. seems like a pretty good deal and i think the bike only has 5000 miles on it or so.


    any ideas on parts availability??? i'm hoping to use this bike to teach my friend about mechanics a little bit too.
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  5. Photog

    Photog Charismatic Megafauna Administrator

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    gotcha...it was late and I wasn't sure if that meant for usage or for collectability or what...thanks.

    I checked Ebay this am and there was a pretty good selection of things like turn signal lenses, a muffler or two, and so on.

    JC Whitney shows they have coils in stock ($20) so if you can snag some points at your dealer, you're covered for that if you need it.

    Same for Parts Unlimited...they seem to have a good selection of levers, cables, and so on.

    Battery = 6N12A-2D

    You might have to think about a carb rebuild kit eventually but usually a good soaking or shot of cleaner if it needs it will take of it. Check out that air filter, too.

    As with any older bike check the tank for rust. If it's been setting up plan on cleaning up the fuel system. Check the fuel valve for leaks. If the tank is badly rusted you may want to think about whether you want to deal with that or walk away.

    Check also for dry rot...not just tires but carb intake, etc.

    It would be a GREAT bike to learn basic mechanics on. Manuals are still available but it's one of those bikes that anyone with basic knowlege of theory can dive into immediately w/o the manual. :clap

    Random thoughts:

    The electrics on a 6v bike won't do him any favors at night so I'd suggest a reflective vest, reflective bits on his helmet, and so on, plus a bit of care.

    At 5K miles the cables are probably fine but have him squirrel away a clutch cable. You can run the idle up fast enough to limp home in 1st/2nd if a throttle cable breaks. BTDT on rebels.

    From my experience with these bikes, it's mostly a matter of having a charged battery, clean carb, fresh plugs, and round tires...easy stuff. Having the kick start on these things meant that if you had air, fuel, and spark even in odd quantities you'd get home anyway.

    It really is a cool little bike. :thumb The 250 variants are running around all over the world...literally...there's usually a ride report somewhere of some of our Indian friends her on ADV taking them into the Himalayas and back.

    Holler if you need any help.
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  6. Photog

    Photog Charismatic Megafauna Administrator

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    Bet you a beer that if it's running when you get it, it'll need next to nothing to keep it running other than gratuituous fiddling for the sake of fiddling around with it. :D
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  7. BubbaZanetti

    BubbaZanetti for a corrector life

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    looks to be the case, i checked again and it actually only has 3000 miles on it, glistening paint and shiny chrome. the guy said he put 50 miles on it this past week.

    adds up to about 120 miles a year though, hrmmm......well, at least it's close by.:lol3
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  8. FuriousGeorge

    FuriousGeorge Been here awhile

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    I've still got a 1981 CM200T out in the garage. They're just about perfect for a first bike. It was my first bike, my brothers first bike, my cousin's kids first bike, my friends first bike, and probably a lot of other before that. It's had a hard life. It isn't pretty but it still starts every time with just one or two kicks or the first try on the starter. It's lightweight, has a low center of gravity, and is a really easy and confidence inspiring bike to start out on. Plus it handles drops really well.

    I'm pretty sure 1981 was the first year for 12v, so you're looking at 6v on that 1980. Parts still seem to be widely available and lots of Rebel parts interchange. I've always been able to find parts on ebay cheaply. Not that you'll probably need to replace much. Only major problem is the suspension. No adjustment at all, not even rear preload. I think that was added in 82. For your friend it probably won't be a problem. For a fat ass like me there isn't a lot of suspension travel left.

    The best I can do is about 65mph and that takes a good long run on flat ground. I have a friend who's closer to your friends weight and he was doing at least 70 or 75 so 73 sounds like a reasonable expectation. Up to about 45mph or so it's plenty fast. Past that things start slowing down when you hit 4th gear. Using it for mostly short distance commuting with a mix of 55mph backroads and in town traffic I was regularly getting 70mpg. I could get about 150 miles before reserve and could have probably gone over 200 miles without refilling.

    For what your friend is looking for the CM200T is pretty much ideal. It should be cheap to buy, cheap and easy to maintain and operate, and perfect for the type of riding they want to do.
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  9. FlowBee

    FlowBee Just me.

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    Just to add a little color: when I was in college, there was some really old, eccentric guy down the street who had a Twinstar with a full Vetter fairing and hard luggage. If you didn't look too closely, you'd think it was a 70s 'wing.

    He'd ride that thing rain, fog, cold, wind... the only thing that grounded him was snow. One day I asked him what the top speed was, and he replied "I don't know. I've never found out. But it will do the speed limit and that's all I need." :thumbup
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  10. Photog

    Photog Charismatic Megafauna Administrator

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    One of the guys who brought his in to the dealership I worked at in '88 or so was an older guy in his 70's. Never said much, just dropped it off for the occasional oil change or tune, and it never needed anything out of the ordinary. The bike was spotless and mileage was IIRC in the high teens. He lived east of the dealership in a little rural town; about a 60 mile round-trip on back roads for him to bring it in. I remember we used to eyeball his bike and marvel at how clean it was. Even the most squidly employees had nice things to say about it.

    Musta been late 90's when I saw him out in the countryside on the same bike. :eek1 :clap Just buzzing right along...both of them handling the years just fine. :D I think I had been through 10 bikes by then, so it was cool to see him and his Twinstar still happily rolling up the miles.
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  11. rolln89

    rolln89 n00b

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    i have a 78 twinstar it needs work, like new exhaust and rear shocks and misc nuts and bolts that the kid that gave it to me lost. so what other hondas, year or model can i use to fit what i need? also how hard is it to clean the carbs or rebulid? the bikes been sitting for sometime b4 i got it last month any info will be grateful
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  12. Putts

    Putts Gettin' there.

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    V, you're fucking brilliant! :bow

    n00b, (yes that's you rolln89) nice bump. :thumb

    And welcome. :wave

    You got any pix of that beater?

    And for the rest of you guys, is that really a 'Road Warrior" bike?

    Or, should it be in regionals ... like India or somewhere?

    :poser

    Sorry... a littl pui.

    Here's some pix:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
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  13. rolln89

    rolln89 n00b

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    yeah i have a few pics but having trouble getting them onto my computer from camera. just imagine an old bike sat in ran for ever and seat and tank not bolted on and doesnt run yet
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  14. MutantSith

    MutantSith n00b

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    Hey, I've got a question about the CM200T. I've never owned a motorcycle before and this is my first one. There's no tachometer on it, and so I'm always a little bit unsure about my RPMs. I don't want to "redline" but I'm not even sure what that would be since I'm not familiar with the sounds a motorcycle should be making. Does anyone have any tips for me? Thanks!
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  15. FuriousGeorge

    FuriousGeorge Been here awhile

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    I wouldn't worry too much about it. If it makes you feel better there should be some markings on the speedometer to indicate which gear you should be in. It should have 4 lines that goes around the speedometer for each gear that end in a hash mark to tell you the maximum recommended speed of that gear.
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  16. fargodroid

    fargodroid Banned

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    I can see how that would make me happy seeing an oldman and his bike, and perhaps it's not only the bike but the way he handled it, maybe it didn't pushed it out too far.
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  17. Bald Kirk

    Bald Kirk Dances with Dirt Bikes

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    I agree with what has been said earlier.

    These bikes used to come into my shop all the time for a beginner to get running and learn to ride. They are easy to work on and don't take mutch to keep them happy.

    Plus, I think hippies that ride Twinstars are incredibly sexy.
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  18. mikesova

    mikesova Michigander

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    Here's a CM250 Custom, the Twinstar's big brother.

    [​IMG]
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  19. IheartmyNx

    IheartmyNx Ihave2draft

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    Please, give that thing some nuts back....


    Drop the bars, get a lean or stock seat, and clock the screen back a little...

    :D I'm j/k...
    #19
  20. Impulse 101

    Impulse 101 Crazy Guitarist

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    That bike is the spitting image of my first bike. It brings back so many memories. Riding to high school damned near year round in Wisconsin because it was my only ride. Chasing my friends on their dirt bikes on dirt trails because it was all I had to do it. I beat the hell out of it and it kept running. Eventually it started to pop out of gear due to the excessive beatings and I sold it when I joined the army in 1988 and got stationed in Alaska.

    I would love to ride one again, just for old times sake.


    JT
    #20