The Honda CT70 is looking beautiful after its Redline Rebuild treatment and, of course, it’s running like a top. Davin is not one to keep secrets about the work that’s been done and what challenges arose along the way. There were  plenty of updates along the way, but sometimes the best time to talk particulars is when looking at it reflectively. So Davin and lead videographer Ben sat down to talk through the nuts and bolts of this big little project.

First, Davin explains why he chose a Trail 70. “We’d been getting messages about doing something other than an engine for awhile, and motorcycles always rose to the top of the conversation. Between my personal experience with the Trail 70 and its nearly legendary status with enthusiasts, it was the perfect choice.” Of course, when it came time to pick up a restoration candidate, Davin fell back on an old maxim: Purchase the best example you can find to restore. In this case it meant a running and riding bike.

“That machine was pretty tired though. Complete, but tired.” That often makes things a lot easier for a restoration. Documenting how parts fit together during disassembly is a lot easier when they’re all there. Also it can make better financial sense to buy something with parts that can be restored rather than swiping the credit card for each missing piece. Davin guesstimates there are about as many parts into the entire Trail 70 than a single V-8 engine, which means this project might look fairly simple, but it  can also be deceptively complex—mainly to keep organized once it’s all apart.

In that blown apart phase it was all about cleaning and acquiring parts. Luckily, Davin had the experts at Trail Buddy on call to help find and advise on just what he needed. They also helped rebuild the front forks and sprayed the tri-stage candy paint, a paint that surprised Davin both then and now. “It really blows me away that Honda would have done such a complicated paint process on what amounts to a kids bike. These were often used and abused, and that paint makes touch ups really difficult.” No matter when he was re-spraying the entire frame.

Then it came down to assembly, which is where this man thrives. Between Davin’s trusty shop manual and the guys at Trail Buddy, the bike slipped together quite quickly. Now it’s ready for some off road adventures—right after someone puts the first scratch in that beautiful paint. Davin is still a bit squeamish, but he knows that after that first ding, all bets are off. This bike was made to have fun, and that’s what it’s going to do.

To keep track of this and other projects in the Redline Garage, be sure to subscribe to the Hagerty YouTube channel. — Kyle Smith

Thanks to our sponsor RockAuto.com, an auto parts retailer founded in 1999 by automotive engineers with two goals: Liberate information hidden behind the auto parts store counter (by listing all available parts, not just what one store stocks or one counter-person knows), and make auto parts affordable so vehicles of all ages can be kept reliable and fun to drive. Visit RockAuto.com to order auto parts online 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and have them conveniently delivered to your door. Need help finding parts or placing an order? Visit the Help pages for further assistance.

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The orange Trail 70 has been a real fancy workbench decoration for the last six months. All the new and refinished parts have been sparkling from their perfectly organized places in a corner of the Redline Rebuild garage. Now final assembly is underway, and the bike’s current is a unicycle. Davin thinks he could still ride it. We think he shouldn’t try.

Assembling the Trail 70 gives a real lesson in the thrift and cleverness that the Honda designers had back in the late 1960s. There are plenty of 10mm bolts clamping things together, but the gas tank is an example of effective cost cutting. Rather than clamping it in place, there are a few small rubber isolators that effectively wedge the tank inside the stamped-steel frame. A small top plate keeps it all snugly in place. Simple, relatively fail-proof, and easy to assemble.

The rest of the rear end is similar but has a few more fasteners. The swingarm bolts into place followed by the rear wheel, shocks, and brake pedal assembly. For once, things are sliding together easily. Could that continue through the rest of the Trial 70 assembly and first start? Maybe, but you’ll have to tune in to future episodes to find out. Be sure to subscribe to the Hagerty YouTube channel to never miss an update.

Thanks to our sponsor RockAuto.com, an auto parts retailer founded in 1999 by automotive engineers with two goals: Liberate information hidden behind the auto parts store counter (by listing all available parts, not just what one store stocks or one counter-person knows), and make auto parts affordable so vehicles of all ages can be kept reliable and fun to drive.

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We all have when been waiting in suspense for the return of the Redline Rebuild CT70, and Davin is breaking the suspense with a suspens—ion project. The front end of the little Honda is pretty simple, but there is one special tool that—in true Redline Rebuild fashion—Davin elected to build himself rather than wait for the mail.

The first steps are a mock-up of the front-end assembly. A small amount of paint needs to be removed to allow the fork tubes to slide into place in the triple trees, but a small flap wheel makes quick work of that. From there everything slides together and confirms not only that it all goes together as designed, but also that Davin has all the parts ready for final assembly onto the frame. He might have all the parts, but he doesn’t have all the tools.

That’s right, his massive shop full of ratchets and drivers lacks the tool he will need to torque down the triple trees on the Honda. Rather than wait for a tool to arrive in the mail, Davin fires up the Bridgeport to make his own. Some tubular steel chucked in the vice followed by a few careful measurements allows Davin to mill away just enough to create the perfect four-prong tool to engage the top nut of the steering stem. A lug nut welded in place gives him something to put his torque wrench on when it comes time to assemble.

The project is rolling now—well not quite—but at least progress has returned. To never miss an update on this or the other projects in the Redline Garage, be sure to subscribe to the Hagerty YouTube channel.

Thanks to RockAuto.com for sponsoring this week’s video. RockAuto.com is an auto parts retailer founded in 1999 by automotive engineers with two goals: liberate information hidden behind the auto parts store counter (by listing all available parts, not just what one store stocks or one counter-person knows), and make auto parts affordable so vehicles of all ages can be kept reliable and fun to drive. Visit Rock Auto to order auto parts online 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and have them conveniently delivered to your door. Need help finding parts or placing an order? Visit our Help pages for further assistance!

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The small scale of the Honda Trail 70 means updates and progress happen fast. For example, Davin took a trip to the machine shop to get the precision bits cut to size and ready for assembly. Then he couldn’t help but go ahead and put it all together too.

The cylinder was the first thing to get mounted into the machines at Thirlby Automotive. A quick pass with one of the smallest boring bars in the shop brought the bore not only to properly round, but also to the size appropriate for the new piston. Final size was set with the hone to make everything just perfect. From there the attention shifted to the cylinder head.

The valve seats and corresponding valves were not in the worst shape, so the team decided to cut the valves and give a quick grind to the seats. This created fresh sealing surfaces to make sure the small valves won’t leak. It’s a simple process that requires a careful hand when dealing with parts this minute. The team at Thirlby provided that steady hand, and the finished product was soon ready to head back to the Redline Garage for final assembly.

That assembly went fast, but it was important not to miss any of the precision checks in the flurry of assembly excitement. Take the piston ring end gap, for example. The shop manual laid out the specs, and Davin got lucky that the new rings were perfectly in the middle of the range that was called for. Some oil and the cylinder slid down over the piston, followed by the cylinder head and valvetrain.

A couple of final touches and the engine was complete. It’s now ready to be slipped back into the chassis. If you want to see that, you’ll have to tune into a future Redline Update. Make sure you never miss an update by subscribing to the Hagerty YouTube channel.

Thanks to our sponsor RockAuto.com. RockAuto.com is an auto parts retailer founded in 1999 by automotive engineers with two goals: Liberate information hidden behind the auto parts store counter (by listing all available parts, not just what one store stocks or one counter-person knows), and make auto parts affordable so vehicles of all ages can be kept reliable and fun to drive. Visit RockAuto.com to order auto parts online 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and have them conveniently delivered to your door. Need help finding parts or placing an order? Visit Rock Auto’s Help pages for further assistance.

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It should come as no shock that Davin has little resistance to a bit of wire-crossing. The Honda Trail 70 restoration proves that. The engine is on its way back together, which means that the charging system needs a bit of love before things can get finalized. Luckily, it’s only a few tools and a dab of solder to have this stator ready charge.

The stator of a motorcycle is akin to the alternator of an automobile. Because motorcycle engines tend to be compact, the stator gets tucked inside the case rather than bolted on the outside. Like its bigger, automotive relative, a motorcycle’s stator is comprised of just a few parts: copper windings, a large magnet, and the wiring to direct the created current. The Trail 70’s stator was actually in acceptable shape when the bike arrived on Davin’s workbench, but that is not good enough for the Redline Rebuild expert.

A couple screws and a dab of solder to make the final connection, and the Trail 70 is ready to charge again. Assembly continues next week and if you don’t want to miss an update, be sure to subscribe to the Hagerty YouTube channel.

Thanks to our sponsor RockAuto.com. RockAuto.com is an auto parts retailer founded in 1999 by automotive engineers with two goals: Liberate information hidden behind the auto parts store counter (by listing all available parts, not just what one store stocks or one counter-person knows), and make auto parts affordable so vehicles of all ages can be kept reliable and fun to drive. Visit RockAuto.com to order auto parts online 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and have them conveniently delivered to your door. Need help finding parts or placing an order? Visit our Help pages for further assistance!

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Like many of us, Davin often finds that progress on his many project cars gets delayed. This week, he’s hung up with the ’37 Ford dirt-track racer—and, for once, that’s a good thing, because it’s time to build the Ford’s rear suspension.

Davin customized the leaf springs a few episodes back and now they are mocked up in the car. There is a second part to the suspension puzzle, though: The shocks, which keep the springs from bouncing wildly and thus help with chassis stability and traction. Two very important things in a race car.

Davin could simply bolt on the shocks between the axle and chassis and let “good enough” suffice, but we all know he isn’t that kind of guy. Instead, he takes the time to locate the shocks at the proper angle and distance, trusting that the additional time will pay off in the final build. For dirt-track cars like this one, the suspension is intentionally uneven in an effort to keep all the wheels in contact with the ground. The driver’s rear tire needs to droop while the passenger rear needs more compression, and the shock location and setup need to reflect that attitude. Davin makes the process look easy by fabricating a couple quick mounts that allow him to get all the components located easily.

After realizing he lacks the raw material to fabricate the final bits of the Ford’s shock mounts, Davin takes the delay as an opportunity to grab some parts for the Honda Mini Trail and head to the body shop. The frame is completely sandblasted, but that doesn’t that mean the Honda’s ready for paint.

The crew at Traverse Body and Paint make quick work of removing the one small dent in the pressed sheetmetal, and then add a quick glaze-coat of filler to smooth out any sanding marks or small imperfections. So many people hear “filler” and pucker up, imagining giant chunks of Bondo falling out of quarter panels, but that’s not what is going on here. In fact, the glaze-coat that Dave puts on this Honda is sprayed on and, once dry, mostly sanded off. Its sole purpose is to smooth out sanding marks and other minuscule imperfections. The final coats of color will be done by the experts at Trail Buddy in the coming weeks.

Stay updated on these two projects and many more to come by subscribing to the Hagerty YouTube channel. We promise there are some projects on the horizon you won’t want to miss.

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Probably the smallest project on Davin’s 2021 roster is this orange Honda Trail 70. It’s a running and riding bike, but it’s far from perfect and could use some love. Teardown time for the air-cooled single-cylinder moves quickly, so let’s get to it.

The Trail 70, or CT 70 as it is also known, came stateside in 1969. It was the perfect bike to get those curious about motorcycles absolutely hooked on riding. The diminutive size made it approachable and comfortable for just about anybody, and the peppy four-stroke, single-cylinder engine was both quick and easy to handle, especially with the three-speed transmission behind it. The Trail 70 is a machine that bike people often say “gives room to grow,” meaning that it’s forgiving enough to learn on, but remains entertaining and rewarding as the rider gains experience.

The orange model Davin is going after looks to be in pretty good shape at first glance, but with each step of disassembly this little machine delivers some piece of hidden bad news. Luckily, none of the items found are catastrophic and each can be easily rectified. Before those fixes can take place, however, everything is going to need a good bath and scrub-down.

That’s for next episode, though. For now, go forth and heed Davin’s call to go work on your projects. And if you don’t want to miss the next Redline Update, subscribe to Hagerty on YouTube.

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