Title rear wheel

The game plan with the 65 Revive Honda CB160 cafe racer build was to perform as much of the fabrication work before tearing the entire bike apart. Lots of people choose to strip the bike down first then perform the modifications. I want to keep the bike together as much as possible therefore I can ensure everything will work in harmony with one another and that way there will be no unwanted surprises during final reassembly.

The finishing stage will be the final chapter in the rebuild however in the case of the wheels I was forced into performing the detail work now. The reason is that fender mounting requires that I have the proper, and properly inflated, front tire on the bike. Since I didn’t want to mount up my new tires on old rims I opted to tackle the rim rebuild at this stage in the game.

The plan was to abandon the factory chrome look of the rims. The hoops and hubs will get powder coated matte black and then will be laced back together using stainless steel spokes and nipples.

I have already collected all my parts including tires, tubes, rim strips, spokes, nipples, bearings, bushings, and brake hardware. Therefore all that was required was some time and labor.

I’ll run you through the details using visuals. The rims turned out fantastic. The powder coating went as well as I could have expected. Some parts had some minor flaws however the result equalled my experience. The hoops trued up and tensioned up and I was able to mount the tires without causing damage to the finish. Now I can continue on with more fabrication.

OEM front wheel

Here it is, the stock front wheel. The plan is to powder coat the hoop and hub matte black and then replace the OEM spokes with stainless steel Buchanan spokes.

Front de-laced

Front rim getting de-laced. The hub and hoop both inspect to be in good shape.

Front drum touch up

Set the drum up on the lathe to clean up the brake friction surface. No cutting required, light sanding did the trick.

Hoop blasted half n half

Initially I thought I would have to strip the chrome from the OEM hoops before powder coating. After doing some research I figured there was no reason I couldn’t powder over top of the original chrome. None of the factory chrome was flaking off and it was still all intact. I took the sandblaster to the bare hoop to rough, and clean, the original chrome. The left is sandblasted and the right is factory.

Wheel prepped 4 powder

All the wheel components have been prepped and blasted. Just need to be cleaned and then the power fogged on.

Hoop jig

The 18″ hoop just barely fits in the powder coating oven. It needs to be held at just the right angle in order for it to fit. I constructed a crude jig to hold the rim just right for baking.

Hub fogged

Here the front hub has been fogged with matte black powder just before it gets placed into the oven.

Hoop baked

You can see the tight fit of the rim in the oven. The rim has been baked and is now in cool down stage.

Hubs matte black

Completed front hubs. Looks good.

Buchanan's

I was in the area of Azusa California so I took the opportunity to stop in at Buchanan’s to order and pick up my stainless steel spokes. Great service and great product. Very helpful staff.

Buchanan's spokes

Spoke set for the CB included double butted spokes with stainless nipples. Front and rear rims use the identical spoke lengths.

Front rebuild

Starting to lace and rebuild the front rim.

Front laced

Initial lacing complete, onto the trueing and tensioning.

Front trued

The rim trued up and tensioned up beautifully. Worked out great.

Before and after wheels

New matte black front rebuilt wheel compared to the OEM rear wheel.

Cutting out bushings

With the front rebuilt it was time to complete the rear wheel. The sprocket is mounted into rubber bushings and I had new ones to install. The factory bushings are pressed into a blind hole. I opted to mill the old bushings out.

Pressing in bushings

With the rear hub prepped and powdered I was able to press in new sprocket bushings.

4 new bushings

Rebuilt rear hub with new bushings and new bearings.

New factory brakes

Front and rear both got a new set of brake shoes. I was able to score some NOS shoes for the rear.

New tires

The rubber was harder to find then I initially expected. I settled on some Duro tires which had similar tread patterns to the factory tires. I went with a 2.50-18 front and a 3.00-18 rear.

Rear wheel complete

The completed rear wheel with the new rubber mounted.

New wheels

Final shot of the wheel rebuild. I had to sweep out the shop so the bike got to see daylight for a brief period.

Comments
  1. The Stu says:

    Love the lacing pattern of the spokes. I always wanted cooler patterns when I was mountain biking back in the day, hahaha. That is gonna be one mean machine when you get her all done!! Looks awesome!

  2. meetlucille says:

    Hey Gord.
    Curious about blasting the chrome. For the small pits that were rusty, did it create any low spots in the finish.? I have collected some antique rims for Sophia the 160 Ducati, and I am trying to determine how much prep work is going to be necessary. 50 year old chrome is pretty tough and with a couple of flaky areas, I my need to fill the surface some how to even it out.

    • gordsgarage says:

      Hey Andrew, my rims were in really good shape, a few rust spots but not bad. After sandblasting I ended up using a 180 grit flap wheel on the die grinder to clean up any uneven areas. The powder coating does a nice job of filling small imperfections and so I had no issues. I have, in the past, used JB Weld to fill in some small areas and then powder coated right over it. The only trick is making sure the JB Weld gets feathered out properly.

      Thanks!
      Gord

  3. Ben says:

    Amazingly beautiful wheels! Pro work.

    • gordsgarage says:

      Thanks Ben, these were my first set up motorcycle rims, I have done bicycle rims in the past. With all things considered I am pleased with the results and wouldn’t hesitate to do it again.

      Thanks!
      Gord

  4. Steve says:

    Buchcanan’s !
    Now there’s a name I haven’t heard in many years. I could tell you some “back in day” Socal stories!
    Thanks for the jolt. I needed that.
    steve

    • gordsgarage says:

      Hey Steve, Buchanan’s has been around for a long time. The have a good reputation for a good reason. Sounds like you’ve experienced the legacy (in a good way).

      Thanks!
      Gord

  5. karl says:

    were the spokes custom made or a pre-packaged kit?

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