January 10, 2005 at 9:52 pm #9346
My first honest to goodness motorcycle!
Back in bleak days of 1981 £25 represented nearly one week’s wages for me. The joys of life in “Maggies Britain”. However it was enough for me to buy my very first honest to goodness motorcycle, a 1972 Honda C50. That’s right; the ionic “stepthru”. Widely regarded in the UK as a commuter hack for factory workers. They would be wearing yellow oilskins, a Hi Tec open face crash helmet and welly boots for riding gear. But elsewhere in the world the Cub is an institution responsible for mobilising millions .
This is my C50, sadly much abused
Santa Pod? No Crossway Lane….
The nine years the little Honda had spent in the world since squirting out of Honda’s sprawling factory in Japan had not been too kind to it. Things like a valid MOT and road tax were a long distant memory. However, I did not let this stop me having the maximum amount of fun on my “chrunchie”.
The poor machine suffered terribly at my hands. This was before I let a multitude of my similarly brain dead mates have go on her too. One favourite trick for the group was to see how fast we could torture the Honda to go. My parents street was the venue, the challenge to go as high a speed as possible by the time it had reached the bottom of the road. This leafy Birmingham suburb had seen (or heard), nothing like it before: The Honda hurtled past their lace-lined windows with a variety ache ridden teenagers at the controls.
The Honda’s exhaust had more holes in it than your average Tetley teabag, and emitted a screaming wail that reflected the unrelenting abuse that was been dished out to the poor thing.
For the record 41mph was the highest speed ever claimed by one the lads before he had to go on the almost completely ineffective brakes! Thus sending the leading link front forks lurching upwards (!) as the balding front tyre squealed for mercy. I Only ever managed 40mph myself!
Walking the Dog
Another popular stunt was forcing the Honda to pull huge wheelies. All very silly I know, but great fun all the same. The C50 was fitted with a semi-automatic 3-speed gearshift with no conventional clutch, but the gears had to be selected manually: One back for 1st and then two forward for 2nd and 3rd respectively.
I soon discovered that if the gearlever was held down in first that the nuts could revved off the engine without the bike going anywhere. Then by taking my foot off the lever the gear would suddenly engage. The C50 would then leap up into an enormous wheelie. But the clever bit came when I stepped off the back of the bike and walked along behind her, just keeping hold of the bars. Huge amounts of fun, this little trick was called “Walking the Dog”. Try that on your R1! On second thoughts DON’T try that on your R1!
The Honda continued to suffer terribly at my hands over the next few months, as I experimented on it like some mad Nazi scientist. For example the quivering Honda was the first machine I attacked with my very first socket set. The results were scary. Bits of Honda lay randomly strewn across the garage.
I used to hammer the Honda around the roads surrounding my parents’ house, all the time ignoring a myriad of legal ‘details’. Looking back now it seems crazy, stupid even, but then I was just a kid having fun, so what the hell!
On one hair raising expedition of the lads agreed to be my first ever pillion passenger: I nearly killed the pair of us as I clipped a kerb while trying to take a bend as fast the Honda would go, but just about kept control. My mate was really impressed…
Meeting the Boys in Blue
My first brush with the boys in blue also came with the C50. The Honda had spent all morning doing the lap of the local houses when just as I got home the engine cried “enough!” and packed up. As I pushed the bike the final few yards a Police car appeared from nowhere and out popped two of HM’s finest;
“Have you been riding this son?” One bellowed in his best ‘Bill’ voice.
“No” I croaked, praying that they wouldn’t notice the engine was so hot that it was virtually glowing! Boy was I bricking myself!
But just as I thought I was about to be hauled away and introduced to Norman Stanley Fletcher up popped the cavalry. This came in the shape of my rampaging Mother!
“Leave him alone and go catch some criminals!” she screamed at the somewhat startled rossers.
“He’s done nothing wrong!”
Before you could mutter “Hello, hello, hello what’s all this then?” they hopped back in their Jam Sandwich and buggered off. Clearly wise men, choosing not to take on an Irish mother protecting her blameless (!) son.
Finally I released the Honda from purgatory and sold it for the same amount I paid. However, I sold to another 16year old mate nicknamed ‘Mad Dan’, a case of out of the frying pan and into the fire if ever there was one! That poor, poor bike…
The Tale of the Honda C90…
January 11, 2005 at 9:55 pm #21601Wild01Participant
LMAO, nice one Rad’s!!!
Wilba Wild 01January 12, 2005 at 8:25 am #21602GixParticipant
That poor bike! Hope your kinder to your Thundercat!July 16, 2007 at 1:04 pm #21603spanish bikerParticipant
my first bike as such was a honda 50 but it was a sport, wow,!! it would really shift if you laid on the tank and put your feet behind you on the seat!!, before that i had some sort of moped afair that litteraly had a small petrol engine that driv the front wheel, (shiiiit)i did have a go on a scooter once but it wasnt for me i wound the throttle back spun the hand gear shift and shot through the the kitchen of my mates house scared the shit out of his mother who kept bashing me round the head till i took it out of her cupboard, they were the days e.h.July 18, 2007 at 7:55 pm #21604
Originally posted by spanish biker
my first bike as such was a honda 50 but it was a sport, wow,!! it would really shift if you laid on the tank and put your feet behind you on the seat!!, before that i had some sort of moped afair that litteraly had a small petrol engine that driv the front wheel, (shiiiit)i did have a go on a scooter once but it wasnt for me i wound the throttle back spun the hand gear shift and shot through the the kitchen of my mates house scared the shit out of his mother who kept bashing me round the head till i took it out of her cupboard, they were the days e.h.
They certainly were!April 30, 2008 at 2:48 pm #21605imperialdataKeymaster
Just re-read this and thought it worthy of a bump!April 30, 2008 at 7:43 pm #21606GixParticipant
Originally posted by spanish biker
before that i had some sort of moped afair that litteraly had a small petrol engine that driv the front wheel,
a solex???May 1, 2008 at 8:42 pm #21607
I know somebody else with a Solex…March 19, 2011 at 10:00 pm #21608
bumpMarch 18, 2013 at 7:55 pm #21609
Just re-read this, made me smileMarch 19, 2013 at 11:12 am #21610imperialdataKeymaster
And you STILL haven’t ‘grown up’ any more!March 22, 2013 at 11:30 pm #21611
And you STILL haven’t ‘grown up’ any more!
I pride myself on that!
Luckily all of my mates are really mature!November 25, 2019 at 12:07 am #21612
Amused to see the mighty Step Thru for 2020 on the Honda stand at the Motorcycle Live show at the NEC last week. I wonder if you can still pull monster wheelies on it in the same way??December 29, 2019 at 5:22 pm #21613elessimoParticipant
Yeah – great bikes!!
Check out the stylish dress senseDecember 30, 2019 at 1:53 am #21614
Yeah – great bikes!!
Check out the stylish dress sense
Great pictures! Is that you on the bike?
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