Honda C90 Cub – A Hell of a Way to Scramble Eggs.

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    The Greatest Bike of all Time?

    This is not the story about one of the greatest bikes of all time, rather this is the tale about the GREATEST bike of all time; of course it can be none other than the Honda C90, the king of the “Crunchies”! The Yamaha R1, the Ducati 916, the Manx Norton or Triumph Bonneville all have their place in biking history, but the C90 has been bought by in of excess of 20,000,000 people around the world. Now that is true greatness.

    The Moped that attacks castles!

    The subject of this little ditty is the unlucky example (a 20,000,000:1 shot for God shakes!) that had the great misfortune to be sold to my sister. The beginning of this story is a pretty normal scenario: My sister needed a cheap, reliable commuter and a Honda C90 seemed to fit the bill perfectly. So rather than throw herself into the shark infested pool that is the used bike market, she bought herself a brand spanking new model, resplendent in cool blue from Fewsters of Alnwick in Northumberland. This dealer is long gone now, but it had the odd distinction of being the only bike dealer I know of that also sold tractors! If you exclude BMW and HD dealers that is!!!

    Now if you think that the “step-thru” was in for an easy life then think again. The route that my sister took to work involved a 17 mile run along the bumpy coastal roads of Northumberland ~ stunning views and some very challenging corners. All very demanding for a bike that was meant for chugging around town. The situation was exaggerated by Mary (my sister) having a total absence of mechanical understanding or sympathy. The poor Honda was relentlessly thrashed to within in an inch (25.4mm ~ for youngsters), of its life, not because she is a speed demon: No, it was just because she thought that as the throttle went all the way around that this was where it had to be! Good job she couldn’t afford a big bike…

    Even medieval castles were not safe!

    Early in the Honda’s life Mary was charging through the charming little village of Warkworth which, apart from Eric Burnden of the 1960s band “The Animals” living there for a while, is most notable for it’s semi-ruined medieval castle. Throughout the centuries this castle had endured various attacks, sieges etc., but in none of these had prepared this imposing monument for what was about to happen next. The castle sits proudly overlooking the village main street, then one quiet afternoon my sister aboard her flat out (as usual), step thru appeared heading straight for the castle’s outer wall! The throttle had jammed open and with the engine and my sister screaming in unison, the C90 bravely launched its attack. In a scene straight from a Laurel and Hardy movie bike and sister speared the castle, and landed in lump of twisted leg-shields and top-box! As if to prove just how tough these things are the damage was limited to some slightly bent forks! Mary stopped screaming after a couple of days! The castle was ok. Dennis, the star (CBX1000 riding), mechanic at Fewsters soon wielded his magic spanners and had the battered Honda all straight again. Ready to be handed back into the hands of its still shaken owner. Right then, if it could talk, the Honda probably would of said “HELP ME!”

    The thrashing continued as the bike bounced across Northumberland each morning and evening without so much as a murmur of protest. Just as you would expect from the machine that seems to of transported half of the world. The Honda just took it all in it’s stride whilst continuing to make that sewing machine like thrum they all do. One evening I tried to follow her home in my car and wound up being amazed at the way she rode. The step thru would only do 57 mph, but this speed was maintained absolutely everywhere!

    Then, when the trembling Honda thought things just could not get any worse – it did. I borrowed it for a few weeks! What on earth had this bike done to deserve this, in a world where some believe there is a God?
    This was the summer of 1982, I had just turned seventeen and the Honda was the first bike I ever rode legally on the road. The suffering for the Honda cranked up a notch in my clumsy, inexperienced hands. Not knowing any different, my only reference points up to now being my own C50 “quarry bike”, a 5 speed racer pushbike and an elderly Ford Cortina, I thought the ‘big bore’ 90 was quite quick. Over the next few weeks I had a brilliant time blasting around all over the lanes that surround Alnwick, Warworth, Alnmouth, Amble and Boulmer to name but a small selection. All the time a look of glee was spread across my face and I generally took any excuse to use the bike to go somewhere.

    How do you take your eggs?

    On one memorable occasion I was despatched on the orders of my sister into the nearest village to buy some eggs. So I hopped aboard and zapped into Warkworth, bought a nice tray of free-range eggs, stuck them carefully in the ‘Top Tek’ top-box; a compulsory fit to a C90 obviously. I then turned for home. After a couple of uneventful miles I decided to go the long way back and headed off into the wilds. I bounced out towards RAF Boulmer to take a look at the old EE Lightening fighter jet (XP745) that was on display there near the entrance.
    About a fun filled hour later I got back to the house and suddenly thought “Shit, the eggs!” . It was much too late: They had been scrambled at 57 mph! Gingerly I opened the top-box lid to be greeted by the sight a right old mess. All the eggs had long since escaped the confines of the tray and were now a beautifully beaten omelette mix! There was however a slight problem; my sister waterproofs and whole manner of other junk and detritus had shared the top-box with the eggs. Everything was now completely covered in the mix. Some was even dripping out of the bottom through the mounting holes. Oh dear!

    The Honda returned to my sister full time not long after that and continued to be tortured at 57mph for several more years. It was dutiful, reliable and cost pennies to run. Eventually after the better part of a decade of abuse the by now near derelict Honda was stolen from her backyard. So not even an easy retirement was in store for this brave little bike. It’s last days were probably spent being thrashed across fields bereft of its leg-shields and its dignity.
    KNL 702X, if any of you is still out there, you have my respect – you were one hell of a way to scramble eggs!

    The Tale of Honda C50…

    Walking the Dog. Honda C50.




    Artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity.


    Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, But rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, Vodka in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming…….WOO HOO, what a ride!


    Radar – you really are the Jackie Collins (or maybe Phil Collins) of the forum!

    Donut – I mean DONATE!


    speedy claire

    What an eggstrordinary story Radar…….. had me gripped with eggcitement from the very beginning. Am now drying my tears of sadness at the ending to your story. What happened to Mary?? did she get another bike

    Don`t ride faster than your guardian angel can fly!


    Mary (incredibly) is still alive! She has not returned to biking, much to the relief of C90s (and ancient momuments), everywhere!

    Donate – Or Imperial Data will have you sorted!


    What a fabulous story!! You are quite correct in thinking, that I must know some/all of the roads mentioned in the omlette-stroadinary (well, that sounds better then egg stroadinary, hee hee hee) tale.
    I too once had a C90, but it was about 500hand (rather than 2nd hand!), but it got me to work for a while, in times of need. Well until the piston decided to say hello to the front wheel!).

    BLOOP!!! BLOOP!!! BLOOP!!!


    Great story as always Radar. We still have a C90, metallic red ‘B’ reg; used to be my wifes. We bought it 499th hand for £70. I put a new exhaust and rear wheel and tyre on the old girl and treatd her to a new chain and sprocket. It was, and still is, totally reliable and can even be started by the kickstart with your hand, when in daily use. I start her up about twice a year now, the battery has long since died, but she still starts, normally on the second kick with no choke. Its not worth selling her as I always think she’ll come in use one day; suppose I could use it when I’m retired in 2025?

    Are you sure it only does 57 mph? I used to have a C70 and that done 50+, I reckon the C90 must be in the high 60’s flat out?

    PS first crash was on a C50 field bike (not stolen) flat out on grass (the green stuff that grows on the floor), with Digger on the back. Lost it cornering flat out, ended up in a heap, blood pouring from a deep gash on my left shin; but all I was concerned about was my little brother, Digger who was only 8 or 9 at the time….I think?

    Be seen and be Safe!


    ye when u landed digger must have landed head first explains a lot of things
    I had and old honda 90 snazzy white farrings when i was 16 i used it to go to work in Wigan trouble was running out of fuel it was so good i always forgot to fill it up, only ever had to fix 1 thing on it, the clutch or rather my dad did he put a second hand 1 in off an old scrsper and i never had another problem.


    Talk is cheap

    Dont forget to Donate !!!



    Originally posted by Scouser

    Are you sure it only does 57 mph? I used to have a C70 and that done 50+, I reckon the C90 must be in the high 60’s flat out?

    Be seen and be Safe!

    I tried and tried, but 57 was all it would do!

    Donate – Or Imperial Data will have you sorted!


    Yep, even with a tail wind mine wouldn’t hit the 60 either. And just like Radar I tried very hard. You’re right about it being possibly the greatest bike of all time, it must have introduced loads of people to biking.


    50,000,000 Honda step thrus world wide and still in production! This doesn’t even take into account all the recent Chinese copies


    Yeah… but look at the f**king state of it :D lol


    Worthy of a bump

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