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On September 30, 2011, I bought a really rough, 1965 Honda CA95 Benly Touring 150 to restore. The bike had 6149 miles on the clock and was last run in 1983 ... perfect! It's no fun restoring something that runs already.



The cheesy aftermarket rear luggage rack would not be included in the restoration. The US-spec CA95 wasn’t built with turn signals, but the general export C95 was, so I hunted down the proper turn signal switch and lights to ensure that I'd have working turn signals on the final product.

Since this bike was stored in a shed for nearly 3 decades without being used, I was prepared for surprises and challenges. I got out the tools, reviewed my handy list of swear words, set the box of Band Aids within reach, then started to work.

I started by draining out all the engine oil. There was exactly one half cottage cheese container of oil in the engine, which is the universal measurement for “not enough oil”. It had the consistency of melted mozzarella cheese, another bad sign.



Below, I found a mouse nest inside the frame, behind the carburetor ... where much of the wiring resides. Oh oh.



It appeared that the mice enjoyed the air cleaner, which oddly looked like a piece of firewood when I removed it.



Below, my Benly is a rolling chassis.



The engine is free.



Below, the mice did some wiring work. Since I was adding the turn signal switch and lights anyway, I decided to replace the harness regardless with the C95 general export version.









 

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On October 23, 2011, I completed the tear-down of the 1965 Honda Benly, reducing the motorcycle to a rusty steel frame. I power washed all the body parts, eating away at the decades-old mud and crud under the fenders and inside the frame cavity.

The speedometer appeared to be in pretty rough shape. There was lots of aluminum oxide corrosion on the face plate, so I feared that I’d need to get a reproduction plate decal. I disassembled the speedometer and found the worm drive mechanism to be frozen. Perhaps that’s why the original speedometer cable was broken, and it certainly would have broke any new cable. After some lubrication, I was able to get the gears to move freely. Fortunately, the paint on the face plate was not pitted, and the corrosion cleaned off rather easily. Over the decades, the speedometer needle had faded to a pale orange, so I used a red Sharpie Paint Marker to give the needle back its color. I’m pleased with the results.



Below is the ancient selenium rectifier. This was replaced with a modern silicon-based rectifier.



Speedometer refurbishing below.









 

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Continuing the work, the engine and transmission were disassembled. Everything was in good condition, although the cylinders were a hair out of spec. I had purchased .25 mm oversize pistons and rings, and had the cylinders bored and honed to match.





A NOS headlight bezel replaced the original:



On November 28, 2011, I rebuilt the starter. Below is the starter disassembled and spread out on some paper on the kitchen counter (since my wife is at work and I have the day off, the kitchen counter is perfectly suitable).









The replacement air filter looked a whole lot better than the original:

 

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Sometimes I cringe when I think that my bike's previous owner had intended on just cleaning the carb and seeing if he could get the CA95 to run. Based on what I now know, he'd never have succeeded, but as I dig deeper with this restoration, it's clear that he would have only made things worse.

I found what used to be a thrust washer, all ground up and settled into all the corners and between some gear teeth. This just reinforced my belief that everything needs to come apart for inspection before these vintage machines go back on the road.

Fortunately, the worm gear teeth were in decent shape, so I found a replacement thrust washer and put this back together with some new grease.



In March 2012, I reassembled the engine.













 

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After a few months of scrubbing with steel wool, sand blasting, filling, sanding, priming, and repeating those steps, the parts were ready for the paint shop in June of this year.













 

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On June 10, 2012, I picked up the parts from the painter. I'm quite pleased with the work. I went with a nice metallic black with a clear coat, so it'll shine nicely and provide a great contrast with the chrome and polished aluminum parts.





On August 25, I had the wiring finished and the engine was getting a strong spark, so I was able to test run the engine.

 

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On September 16, 2012, I finished the project and took my maiden voyage on my 1965 Benly.

I've absolutely got to swap out that ugly yellow fuel line with something more fitting, either a black rubber line or a nice braided metal-covered line. Anything but that yellow.

















 

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Very Nice!! It's amazing to see the before & after pictures. Quite a lot of work you have put into this but it looks like it was so worth it. I'll bet you get some second looks when you ride that around. Thanks for sharing. :)
 

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Outstanding job....Kudos to you!
Ahh, the Benly. The creme de la creme of '60's small touring bikes! Great job on bringing it back to life!
Not to alarm you, but do you have any idea what that thing is worth??!!! Tell me it's insured, please. Because it's worth quite a bit, according to my Honda book.
 

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That looks really great! It puts all my projects to shame!

Any trouble finding parts for that thing?
 

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Not to alarm you, but do you have any idea what that thing is worth??!!! Tell me it's insured, please. Because it's worth quite a bit, according to my Honda book.
The C95/CA95 Benlys are not as collectible as the larger 250/305 Dream models. Based on recent sales, my guess is $1800 to $2200, but that's just a guess. I'm not concerned about resale price, though. I restored it to ride and enjoy.
 

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Any trouble finding parts for that thing?
The hardest parts to find were the replacement front fender and the chain guard, but diligent hunting on eBay eventually paid off. Most everything I needed was available without much work.

The CA95 (American export) lacked the turn signals from the C95 version, so the correct right-hand aluminum turn signal switch was a costly part to acquire, too.

27 parts were purchased from Thailand, 38 from within the USA, 2 from Canada, and one from England. The 38 parts from the USA came from 20 different states.
 

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Excellent, EXCELLENT work! My 1965 Benly 90 and yours would look great sitting side-by-side at some motorcycle rally.
Really fine work, my friend! The big white wall tires really add to its vintage look.
LOVE the yellow gas line . . . ha!
 

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If you ever get those side by side please let me know so I can be there too. Missouri is about 1/2 way between you...right? I think I would have to go to where ever it might be, if not MO. :) :)
 

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That's a really nice restoration!

I'd like to know where you got white wall tires to fit the bike. I'm in need of some myself.
 

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Help

hi first i want to say that the restauration is very good , my father have one with 50 year also c 95 150 i need some help trying to solve a problem. the c95 is ready and is running but e we pull the accelarator to rapid the engin shuts down he try changin injector on the carburator , he try changin for a nw coil , i know the bike have a piston with 1.00 mesure so means is in the last measure of 150cc if some one experience same problem and got it solve plese tell us. many thank cheers:71baldboy:
 

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Sounds like your timing is off to me. The points are under the left chrome side cover above the shift lever. Check the points surfaces for pitting, that is a big problem with these bikes after they've been sitting for a long time.

Another thing that needs to be done every 500 miles; you need to adjust your valve tappet clearance. This kid is doing both on a CT90, but it is essentially the same. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kvj79kY4Nhc The clearance should be .1mm cold.

Find yourself a service/shop manual. It'll be your best friend.
 

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Beautiful restoration ! Value-- priceless . I have one ,if i can get it to 50% of your resto ,i will be pleased.
Bofud
 
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