Vicious Cycle CB160

Honda CB160 custom cafe racer by Vicious Cycle
By guest writer Scott of Pipeburn. There’s a bit of a Honda CB160 racing craze taking over America, and one shop is leading the charge. They go by the name of Vicious Cycle, they built the machine in the picture above, and they’ve been working on these pocket rockets in the Portland area for over ten years. There are several reasons why the CB160 is the weapon of choice for many vintage racers, but it’s mainly because loads of them are still around: Honda manufactured hundreds of thousands of them between 1965 and 1969. They’re also light, handle brilliantly, and are surprisingly fast. Top speed is around 80 mph, which isn’t bad for a twin-cylinder, overhead cam of just 160cc. American magazine Cycle World first tested the CB160 in May 1965 and said, “We cannot tell you how impressive the Honda CB160 is to everyone who knows motorcycles and has ridden it. Honda have achieved perfect balance between engine and frame”. Motorcycles have progressed by leaps and bounds since then, but the CB160 still holds up today. Vicious Cycle owner Joe Pethoud is a bit of a legend in the west coast CB160 racing scene, originally making a name for himself by taking 22 decaying CBs and turning them into nine fast track bikes. They have been running bikes in the AHRMA, OMRRA and WMRRA race series and have created many championship winning motorcycles. To see what all the fuss is about, check this video of vintage CB160s in action.

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