Title muffler

The planning of the next phase for the 65 Revive project continues to take place. When I build projects that require raw materials, like metal, I can usually obtain everything I need locally and therefore the collecting of the materials do not consume much of my time. In the case of the CB160 cafe racer build I find myself having to work 3-4 weeks in advance since many of the components need to be ordered and shipped.

GFTP Parts

GFTP order. The “ears” on the front fender will get trimmed up.

Rock guard placement

Rock guard set in place. The portion that extends above the frme will get trimmed down.

Well I am getting closer to being able to cut, grind, and weld since most of my crucial “fit” components have showed up. Previously I had done my “best guess” as to the proper seat dimension required to give the “cafe racer” look but also ensure that the bike fits me and is comfortable to ride. I had put in an order from Glass From The Past for an upholstered seat, a front fender, and a rear rock guard. The parts arrived and passed initial inspection. The fibreglass finish is fairly rough and will certainly require some high build primer, and maybe even some glazing putty, to smooth things out before painting. The front fender and rock guard will also require some trimming to give them the required “look”. I had chosen to have the seat upholstered and spent the extra few dollars for the genuine leather cover. The upholstery work looks great, super clean, and nice lines. I am not qualified to critique stitching however I have no negatives to report.

Seat upholstry

Seat pad unbolted

The seat pad unbolts from the fiberglass seat pan to allow for pan body work and painting.

Part of my planning process involved spending lots of time mentally designing the custom exhaust. The plan is to change the factory dual exhaust into a full custom 2 into 1 setup. When it comes to planning out angles I do much better if I can physically work with the components to make them fit. Unfortunately, in the case of the exhaust, I need to order all my bends therefore I did what I could to design the system using Vise-grips, angle gauges, and protractors. I did the best I could to pre-determine all my required angles and then took a deep breath and put in an order with Columbia River Mandrel Bends. I opted to go for 16 gauge stainless steel pipe. The plan is to build a race style system and leave all the TIG welds exposed to give the set up a real raw look to it. All my exhaust components showed up as ordered. It will be interesting to see if my grey matter design will turn into a reality.

SS mandrel bends

My complete order of 16 gauge stainless steel mandrel bends. Hope I guessed right.

Another crucial component required to finish off the exhaust is a muffler. I stumbled onto Megs Mufflers website and was immediately sucked into all their products. They offer everything in order to build your own custom mufflers and look to supply quality components. The CB160 will eventually have to go through a mandatory government inspection before I will be able to register it. Part of this inspection involves the muffler and its noise level. My intent with the bike is to make it 100% legal as well as have a finished product that won’t annoy my neighbors. I opted to go with Megs “Quiet Core” Street Series muffler. It is the quietest one they have plus it sports the “look” I want. It’s a brushed 304 Stainless steel unit. The build quality looks great and the size should match the bike great.

Megs muffler

Megs quiet core muffler. 18 inches over all length.

So as I was waiting for all my orders to show up I decided to start working on the first actual bike modification. The center kick stand is going to interfere with the way the exhaust system is going to be routed. I expelled a substantial amount of mental energy trying to come up with a solution that will allow me to maintain clean lines yet still serve a purpose. In the end I decided that the center stand has to go and get replaced with a side stand. Unfortunately the CB160 lacks the typical “down tube” that most bikes have. The down tube on my Honda is the actual engine therefore custom building a side stand and welding it to the frame was not an option. Instead I decided to incorporate the old foot peg mounts on the lower engine case casting. Since I am relocating my pegs the original cradles on the engines underside were no longer required.

Side stand components

Roughed out side stand components.

So away I went with not much of a game plan. I have never custom built a side stand and therefore needed to brush up on the physics surrounding the operation. Once I knew what requirements would have to be met I started to cut, grind, and mill. Normally I would have dedicated a complete blog post to the build however my head was more into building than picture taking. So basically all you get is a glimpse of the unfinished side stand. There are still some angles to figure out and final welding to do but it all seems to be coming out fine. The stand looks as though it will tuck up out of the way very cleanly yet still be allowed to maintain full functionality.

Side stand mock up

Kick stand idea

Still lots of work to do on the stand.

So it looks like the new year will allow me to make some progress now that I have the necessary material to perform the tasks at hand. I am looking forward to seeing the bike begin to morph into my own creation. I welcome the challenges that will come and the hurdles that will need to be jumped.

Seat resting rear

Seat resting

  1. Larry Webster says:

    Gord, you didn’t happen to make an extra side stand did you? I’m going to need one too. Your bike is looking great. Can’t wait to see it finished.

    • gordsgarage says:

      Hey Larry, I can barely get through the first stand never mind a second. 🙂 I am not feeling the love with the kickstand build, I spent a few more hours this afternoon working on it and made some really good progress, it’s all starting to come together. I’ll post pics later.



  2. Alfonso says:

    im really liking how the motorcycle is turning out. Great Job as always

  3. Keven C says:

    Great work Gord, as usual! I see you’re really having fun with the powder coating now! I like the red wrinkle paint. Where did you get it?

    That Porsche stand is fantastic! Wow. That’s what I often miss. I can fab it all, given enough time, but the artistic touch is what really sets it apart. I can’t seem to come up with that part!

    I recently lost my job, but got another better one! To celebrate, I bought a plasma cutter. Wow, that thing is fantastic, but does require some practice to get the speed and consistency right.

    I’ve been thinking lately about building a brake press. I’d like something to compliment my finger press (some bends you still can’t do) in sheet metal, and maybe the occasional thicker bend too (1/4″ bracket type stuff). Do you have any insight into that? It looks easy enough.

    Thanks for posting your stuff! Great work Gord!

    • gordsgarage says:

      Hey Keven, good to hear from you. Yes I am having a blast with the powder coating. I have been brainstorming larger oven ideas however I am nowhere near making any kind of plans or decisions. The red wrinkle is cool; you need to make sure you bake it to spec in order to achieve the wrinkle. I got it from Powder365 Canadian site however Powder365 also distributes out of the US. You can view the powder here.

      Thanks for the thumbs up on the Porsche stand. The artistic design aspect of projects can sometimes be challenging. Often I have a base idea in my head but then I allow changes to develop as the project morphs into reality. I find it a fun challenge to try and consider all aspects of the project and then blend it together. I did end up building some components for the Porsche stand that I ended up scraping. It’s hard to toss aside work that I spent time fabbing however sometimes it’s the best decision.

      Glad you were able to make employment improvements. I like you celebration style. Makes me want to lose my job so that I can treat myself to a sheet metal roller. Hmmm……

      The plasma cutters are fantastic; sounds like you are enjoying it. Since I am not set up for CNC (yet) I often make plasma guide templates out of 1/8″ MDF. The MDF is cheap, easy to cut and super easy to sand into shape. Only trick is that you need to compensate for the plasma “kerf” and the plasma tip nose radius where it will contact the guide. In my case I need to build the templates to accommodate a .170″ nose radius plus kerf.

      I have not spent much time brainstorming brake presses. I see many of them that others have built; it looks like a good solid garage project. I would poke around the WeldingWeb forum looking for ideas I am sure many of the members would have good advice to offer. You taught me well with the powder coating so maybe you can keep the ball rolling and educate me on brake presses. Good Luck!



      • Keven C says:


        Thanks for the tips and the powder coat source! I haven’t been able to find good crinkle, and this place has many different kinds, which is great.

        I have also thought about larger ovens. Two problems often come to mind, power consumption (in that you don’t have an infinite number of 220V circuits that can be on at the same time!) and how to contain the size. I think you and I are on the same page concerning this, noting that your other paint booth folds up (what a great design!).

        My thought is that if someone made a design that used heaters on both sides in a vertical line, then that may solve several problems. The heater unit would move from one side to the other (right to left, or vice versa), and roll lengthwise down the part(s), keeping a constant distance. This way the part cooks as the heater very slowly rolls past it.

        You could have, say, two 18″ heater units on both sides, made up of two of those long and thin electric oven elements (with a shiny metal reflector/concentrator) to make a 3′ “line heater”. It would take two 220V circuits. As it moved, it would probably heat up about 5″ at any given time, from the top of the part to the bottom, so just make sure it moves at about 0.5″ per minute. Then every section would be heated for 10 minutes (longer on larger parts that need more heat soak).

        I’ve often thought about something like that. I’ve done this manually, and it works great, but it would be so much nicer to have it automated, but that’s probably just the engineer in my talking 😉

        Using just radiated heat isn’t as efficient, but it does have a nice temperature regulating effect. It’s hard to overheat something this way, just depending on the element and reflector, it does have to maintain about a 4″-6″ distance.

        You could also do something like a cinder block oven lined with aluminum foil. The hard part would be getting it heated up and keeping the heat constant over the whole part.

        Thanks for the mdf tip. I’ve also thought about that. I’ve got a few aluminum guide bars for straight cuts, which works well, and I’m modifying a speed square (the triangle type) to work too, but I’d like to make a hole cutter like this one: http://www.swagoffroad.com/Plasma-Circle-Cutter-_p_45.html. So far I haven’t had any cuts complicated enough to make a template, but it looks like it works well as long as the torch is held at the same angle all the time and the speed is constant.

        Have you tried cutting aluminum? I was a little dissapointed at the cut quality, even with 1/16″ stuff. I’m not sure if my 40 amp Thermal Dynamics unit is not heavy enough, or if air is just the wrong gas for aluminum. I may try argon if I can get a cheap bottle regulator.

        Have a good one!

      • gordsgarage says:

        Hey Keven, you have some good ideas, and starting points, with your vertical compact oven design. I have no experience using the radiant heat method yet however I think you are onto something using automated oven elements and reflectors. I’ve been mulling the idea over all day and what I like is that a compact design could be built and even made adjustable to allow for specific sized items.

        One idea I thought of was to build a box, with internal dimensions the same as my current kitchen oven, insulate it and install another heating element in it. I would then have sit on top of my existing oven and make it so it would hinge. Stay with me here. Instead of having a conventional oven door that is hinged at the bottom, the oven “door” hinge would be at the top and hinge to the new upper box. The new box would act as the new door and flip over from the top of the oven to create the new “door” for the existing oven. Still with me? I know I am making a mess of explaining this. Anyway…the new heater box would double to size of my existing oven and take up no more of a footprint in the shop since it would sit on top of the main oven when not in use. Another, and maybe simpler, way to look at this is it would be like taking 2 kitchen ovens and removing the doors then placing them face to face. Get it?

        One of the other concerns I have with going to a larger oven is my sandblast cabinet capacity. I feel as though the blast cabinet should match the same capacity as the oven. Since I typically blast everything before I coat I may have to start farming out my sandblasting just so I could powder coat larger items in house.

        The plasma circle cutter looks like a good idea. I notice the pivoting center has multiple holes to allow for finer tuning of the desired diameter. I had built this one here. It works well.

        I have great success cutting aluminum with my Hypertherm. In fact it cuts aluminum better then steel. I fabricated the BMW M Tek award sign all out of aluminum using the plasma. I am not familiar with your unit however I can give a huge 2 thumbs up with all my past aluminum plasma experiences.

        Thanks for getting the brainstorming ball rolling. Gives my grey matter something to do.


      • Keven C says:


        That’s a very good idea on the ovens. My impression of what you said is that you’d end up with a taller oven, right? Good idea, why not build up instead of out? Less floor space is good, and things will fit fine vertically instead of horizontally. I think what will happen is you’ll end up leaving the top on all the time. Why not? I can’t think of a time when a shorter oven would be a benefit unless you need the space above it.

        Depending on how you insulate it, it may not even need an extra element. The oven may just run the existing one more to keep temp. It would be better if it didn’t need an extra, since adding one to the existing thermostat would most likely overload it, so you’d have to have another thermostat, but it would have to be synchronized with the first one, or you could get one that handles more power, which would be better. Most likely running just one element would only slow your preheat time, since in operation the element doesn’t run that often.

        I like your circle cutter. Putting the outer pin (which I assume is for setting a good standoff height?) on the inside circle of the torch holder is a good idea, but what if you had two pins, one on either side of the torch, and they were at the same radius from the inner pin as the torch tip? Then you could simplify measurement since you could measure just from pin to pin instead of measuring to the torch, and they’d help keep the torch at 90 degrees. Just a thought.

        I understand your point about sandblasting cabinet size. Currently I don’t even have a cabinet (takes up too much space!), but I’ve thought about making a fold up one. The only important parts are the bottom funnel, which could store vertically, the top plastic/glass, and the glove wall, which could all fold.

        I’ve also used a trash can before, but it didn’t work that well! I’ve also just blasted stuff outside in the yard, but of course you lose all your media unless you do it on a tarp.

        My plasma cuts aluminum fine, but the edge looks kind of mangled. It’s straight, but rough. Perhaps it’s just that I need more practice. I’ve thought of making a kind of chop saw setup with the plasma, where the torch goes into an arm that runs about 12″ front to back, perpendicular with a fence. Not sure if I’ll do that yet though.

        Always good talking, Gord! Have a great weekend!

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