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General Information

Year
1969
Make
Honda
Model
CD175
Color
Burnt orange and silver
History
I bought this bike on Craigslist in January of 2016. I paid cash for it. It wasn't in the best shape ever, but it ran and it had a clear title. I've been wanting to do a vintage Honda bike project since owning my first bike - a 1975 Honda CB750 Super Sport. That bike would have been an excellent candidate for a project, but when I owned it I didn't have the means or the space to work on it.

This 1969 Honda CD175 is my first bike project. It started out black, and I've been doing a bolt-for-bolt restoration on it since purchase. A day after I bought it I immediately started tearing it down, bolt for bolt, to the point where it was 100% disassembled. From there I began cleaning up, polishing, powder coating, and/or painting each individual part. Not a single rusty or dingy part has been put back on the bike since reassembly started. The process is slow, but it's been worth it.
1969 Honda CD175 (Burnt orange and silver)

Modifications

Drivetrain
The engine was removed from the bike, all aluminum covers were removed and hand polished, and the block itself was painted with a high temp dark gunmetal engine enamel with a metallic flake. Exhaust headers were too gone to save, so they were replaced with some NOS units. I'm still in the process of cleaning up and rebuilding the carb, so that's not on the bike yet.
Interior
The original seat was complete, but cracked and worn. There were several rips. The seat was something that I was putting off, because I thought it would be expensive to have someone do, and I didn't think it was capable of doing myself. I found a replacement custom cover with an OEM look by a small shop out of Florida and I thought for $35 I might as well try to re-cover the seat myself. I'm glad I did. It turned out great.
Exterior
T-frame, swing arm, center stand, tank, fork tubes, headlight mounting brackets, and chain guards were all powder coated a base silver metallic flake with an orange candy applied as a second process.

Every part of original chrome on the bike that was worth saving has been polished, parts that were not (gas cap, exhaust, headers) were replaced with new old stock parts.

The original headlight bucket was cracked and broken, and has been replaced and painted silver. The original side body covers were the large "North American" covers, and have been replaced by the smaller Japanese style side covers and pained silver. I am in the process of restoring and painting the plastic front and rear fenders. They will be painted silver as well.

Every piece of aluminum on the bike was painstakingly sanded and polished by hand. I hardly have any fingerprints left. The pictures show the triple tree, for example. I cleaned up and painted the bottom, restoring it to OEM black, and polished the top. OEM chrome bolts were very pitted and were replaced. This same treatment was given to every external piece of aluminum on the bike.
Audio
I'll use this category to describe electrical. The original bike was 6V. This means weak lights, inability to use any modern accessories, etc. I decided to convert the bike to 12V, which meant replacing basically anything electrical, and adding a combination regulator/rectifier like modern bikes have in place of the old rectifier. The bike originally didn't come with a regulator at all.

Components replaced - 6V regulator replaced with 12V regulator/rectifier, 12V condenser, 12V coil, 12V starter solenoid, 12V flasher relay (LED compatible), 12V LED bulbs in gauge cluster, and all other bulbs replaced with 12V halogen bulbs to keep the retro look. I completely stripped the stock wiring harness of all of the original plastic sheathing, which was rock hard and all broken. I replaced it with flexible braided loom. All electrical connections were soldered and heat shrinked. All ends and junctions of the wiring harness were heat shrinked as well. Picture shows an example of this with the rear brake light switch.

Still working on what I'm going to do for a 12V headlight (stock 6V headlight was a sealed unit). Front and rear blinkers replaced with smaller chrome blinkers.
Suspension
I had originally intended that this bike be a cafe bike, but am now swinging more towards "could be OEM" restoration with some modern touches. The rear suspension in the above pictures does not fit well with the spirit of the project (and it's 40mm too tall), so it will be replaced. Front forks were in great shape without leaks, so those were cleaned up.
Wheel and Tire
I completely disassembled the stock wheels, cleaned each of the spokes, and painted the spokes black. I polished and cleaned up the stock wheel hoops, polished the front and rear hubs and brake components, and re-laced the wheels myself. I had a local shop do all of the wheel truing and mount/balance of new tires. Tires are Shinko SR714s front and rear. They don't look vintage, but they are made of modern compound and should be much stickier.

Gallery

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