Flog ‘Em If You Got ‘Em: Jeff Thompson’s 1968 Honda CB160

Motorcycle enthusiast Jeff Thompson has restored a 1968 Honda CB160, and it’s now ridden yearly in the Rocky Mountain MotoGiro in Canada.

Photo by Grant Robinson

Since this magazine’s inception, its motto has been Ride ’Em, Don’t Hide ’Em. It’s right there, over the Motorcycle Classics title on the cover of every issue. 

Jeff Thompson of British Columbia, Canada, subscribes to that theory, as the machines in his collection get routine use. But, in the case of his 1968 Honda CB160 seen here, that motto could be changed to Flog ’Em, Don’t Hide ’Em.

While he’ll ride the CB160 on the winding roads around his Kelowna property, it’s a bike he enjoys using annually at the Rocky Mountain MotoGiro. Designed for motorcycles 1969 and older and 250cc and less, this MotoGiro consists of a 186-mile endurance ride and a timed 6.8-mile hill climb. According to Thompson, “The MotoGiro is a real test for machines, and for my CB160 that means continuous all-day operation at between 8,000rpm and redline at 10,000rpm.

“It never complains, and I really think the 160cc engine platform is one of Honda’s best.”

CB160 history

Essentially growing out of Honda’s 1959 CB92 Benly with its parallel-twin cylinder 125cc powerplant, the CB160 was released in July of 1964 as a 1965 model. While the Benly featured a pressed steel frame with pressed steel swingarm and leading-link forks, the CB160 was updated with a steel-tube frame and swingarm and conventional telescopic forks. With styling and chassis design very similar to the 305cc CB77 Super Hawk, the CB160 was every schoolboys’ dream — well, at least it was where Jeff spent his formative years.

3/25/2021 8:16:47 PM

I bought a new one the same red in Tokyo while in the military and had a great time until I got stopped for speeding. It resulted in me committing treason! My commander would not allow M/C's so to get around this I volunteered to be a forward air observer in SE Asia and we were not supposed to be engaged in hostilities so the military provided a civilian ID card. With that I got a drivers license. When stopped I told the Japanese patrolman I was a civilian. He was suspicious and told me to follow him to the police station. The Tachikawa chief of police flew Zeros in the war and did not like the military. He said I did not break Japanese law but if I would surrender my license it would save him a lot of trouble and he promised the military would not prosecute me. When I got back to base after being escorted by the military police, my commanding officer was livid and inches apart from my face he screamed did i know what I'd done? I played safe and said no when he said I had committed treason by denying to a foreign power I was in the military! But he couldn't do anything because of the police chief's promise.

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