Category Archives: Honda CB / CL 160

A long time promise, kept and enjoyed…

Remember back in this post when I talked about – after 20 1/2 years of waiting – handing over the 160 to Owen?  Well, since that time he and Olivia have done a LOT of clean up and annoying / maintenance work on the bike getting it running perfectly and without oil leaks.  (Who knew that 40 year old gaskets would drip oil when called back in to service!)

Well, Owen and ‘Liv brought the 160 up on this visit and on Saturday, Owen and I fired up the 160 and the 750 and took them out for a cruise around Campbell.  Owen correctly pointed out that this was our first, joint individual bike ride together – ever… and how fitting that it would be with him driving the 160 (and to a lesser extent, me on the 750) around Campbell in the spring sunshine.  We headed downtown and grabbed a coffee and, in the process, brought back lots of first-time bike memories for the old guys sitting outside, drinking their coffees.

From there we cruised through the old neighborhood – always good for a walk down memory lane – and caught Al just as he was heading out the door for the day.  We tooled around a bit more after that, really enjoying the moment of just cruising along together, a coupla Honda guys riding classic Hondas.

So, the 160’s in excellent hands and we’ve ridden together… a good thing, no?

I’m thinkin’ that some time before the year is over, I’ll trailer up the 750 and head down to So Cal to ride in the Venice Beach Classic Bike Sunday ride… seems like a pretty good way to go, doesn’t it?

TwoBigCats Honda shop…

Owen and Liv were up for Thanksgiving, so Owe and I did a bit of housekeeping in the garage, lined the scooters up and took a few pics. (I’ll post a few more over the next day or two).

Following the little red one, a ’71 CT 70 that used to belong to Pop (it’s only got 1,600 miles on it) is Owen’s (just handed over) ’69 160 that I bought back in March of ’89 from the founder of the software company I worked for. When I brought it home, Owen could surely imagine he would be driving it someday so I gave him a bag of steel wool and told him to polish the shiny things until they shined, then wash the bike until the non-shiny things shined and THEN when I thought he was ready for the bike, I would give it to him.

He turned 34 last week and I think he’s ready for it now, so I headed down to the DMV and transferred the title and personalized license plate to him so it’s his now. Turns out Owen has taken to riding his motorcycle with a group of guys who ride over Mulholland in LA, then meet up @ place where hundreds of mc’s gather on Sat/Sun. It appears the “in” thing nowadays is to ride a “classic” motorcycle, which the 160 certainly is (it turned 40 this year). Owe’s bike has just over 7,000 miles on it as it sits.

The next bike in line is the ’76 CB 750-4, THE classic superbike that started superbike’s… inline 4 cylinders and pipes – the first production bike with a disc brake – electric start combined with Honda reliability. That bike has just over 5,400 miles on it.

The last bike, the purple grape-thingie is my ’95 Gold Wing 1500. Big Bike, 900 lbs dry, six cylinders, ~100 horses, reverse and air shock suspension. I skipped the hot tub upgrade on it 🙂 Typical Honda – runs like a top, never had a second’s trouble w/it in the 18k miles I’ve put on it.

Owe’s 160 is heading south w/him and Liv tomorrow. I have a little bit of sadness in seeing it go – it’s been w/me for 20+ years now… but I’m thrilled to hand it off to him for him to fire up and enjoy.

I hope Owen has as much fun on the 160 as Jim and I did on his back in ’69.

Unexpected Thanksgiving surprises…

Owen, Chrissy and – surprise #1 – Olivia joined us for a Thanksgiving holiday… and Ellen was able to join us for T-Day Dinner.

Ellen brought green bean casserole, Chrissy made butternut squash (mashed) and Chrissy, Olivia and GrandmaCat made pumpkin pies… a whole raft of them due to an excess of ingredients. I did the turkey and dressing (regular and oyster) and the mashed potatoes and gravy. We had a nice toast at the beginning of the meal and lots of good conversation around the table and before we knew it, most of everything was history. After cleaning up, we all got around to the pies and coffee and the evening was pretty relaxing (as usual after a big turkey dinner).

The next morning, Chrissy headed out early for a bit of shopping and I got in a bike ride. When everyone was back at home, we all headed down to the Tech Museum to see the Leonardo DaVinci exhibit we’d arranged tickets for. (If you get a chance to see it, don’t hesitate – grab a ticket and go!)

Not three steps in to the exhibit, who did we run in to but (surprise #2!) Dr. Robert and Wendy Watson – our family doc for many years… who retired all too soon (in our minds) about 8 or 9 years ago. They were up visiting family in the Bay Area. Lots of big hugs all ’round, chattering and catching up on “things, then lots more spontaneous hugs and smiles. Bob and Wendy had been in our lives for many, many years before they retired and moved to Palm Springs and we’ve missed them so… so to run in to them like that left us all smiling like Cheshire Cats as we all worked our way through the exhibits. It was great to see them… such a time warp for all of us, I’m sure.

Owen and I got our (er, his) Honda 160 running on one cylinder yesterday so I’ve written Dr. Jim to see if he can make a house call to help me with the remaining cylinder issues 😉 The kids left this morning just after 8 and called us about an hour ago to say they were safely at home. Needless to say, the pack on this end of the wire has been in decompress mode most of the day and I’m predicting we’ll all sleep well tonight.

A great thanksgiving with surprise visits by Olivia and Bob’n’Wendy.

That’s it for now. Be well and write when you get work.