Honda CD200 Benly – Adventures of a Puncture Repair Man

A highly amusing tale as recounted by our newest guest writer Mark Truther Hardy:

After a short unsuccessful time with a Suzuki X5, which involved teenage tuning attempts and broken cranks. A mate offered me a tidy Honda CD200 Benly

Even a Honda is Better Than no Bike!

” Er thanks …but I can’t afford it!”  was my initial response to him.

I was skint after the X5 fun and games and geez it’s a poxy Honda 200 thought I. But then my mate said:

“£10 a week?”

Ok I have no wheels and this is all I can afford: Oh God, I found myself agreeing to buy the Honda. Keys handed over and logbook sorted I took my first ride: Bouncy, soft suspension, crap spongy drum front brake and flat out at 70 ish mph.

Man, machine (and topbox) in perfect harmony

Better Than I Thought

However, it was actually nice to ride! If I avoided looking down the twin cylinder engine sounded like a small Triumph. To my 17-year-old head at least. This made me feel better about my purchase. Summer was here and a week off work booked so why not go for a long ride on the bike with my girlfriend? The bike was quickly way overloaded with a tent, clothes, boom box (remember those?), etc.

We set off and the soft suspension was now virtually on the bump stops. However so long as I did nothing silly like take a corner, it was ok. Only the occasional weave to contend with. The bike was pointed towards South Wales with a plan of riding along the coast and then back to the Midlands after reaching sunny Rhyl.

Weebles Wobble!

As we crossed over the Severn Bridge, I noticed even light winds gave us a wobble. The resultant weave made me grip the bars with terror! This wasn’t helped by my fear of heights! But once across all was well and the throttle wound to the stop; 70mph towards Cardiff.

However, the weave came back and got worse, much worse. My pillion was gripping me hard knowing something wasn’t right. Slowing down and pulling over to a wobbling halt on the hard shoulder I now see a flat rear tyre. Rats! But thinking ahead I’d bought tyre foam! Once I had managed to get at least some of it in the tyre (and the rest of it over the wheel), we set off at 50mph as per instructions on the tin. All was well at first: For about five miles: Then BANG! Instant flat tyre and the overloaded bike went across all three lanes of the carriageway! Cars braking, horns blasting and the girlfriend screaming from the pillion.

We Survived and a Stranger to the Rescue!

Somehow, we crossed back to the hard shoulder avoiding cars. Whilst stopping I saw a car trying to drive with the contents of my rear tyre across his windscreen! We got off the bike and stood there shaking looking at the bike: The whole back end was covered in tyre weld. Immediately I began to wonder what the hell to next. I had no breakdown cover and this was long before the dawn of the mobile phone. Shit!! Then from nowhere a guy with an old estate car pulls over and we explain what happened. Then he pronounced in a strong Welsh accent

“Well, we best get it in the car then ”

I removed the petrol tank and then this allowed us to man-handle the CD into the back of his estate car. What a top guy! This really amazing chap took us all the way to Swansea to a relation of my girlfriend. After stopping there over-night, we took a bus into Swansea to find a bike shop and get a tube and a puncture repair kit. This done and bike repaired we went off to continue our tour.


The ride went well until an hour or so later I had puncture #2! Ah feck! This time I was lost down a country lane and nobody was around. I suggested that we walk to village and sort it out there. Many years on I can’t remember the logic of that but I’m sure a 17 year old could explain it…

I set off pushing the CD. It wasn’t long before it became very hard work and I started the engine and in first gear, it was possible to walk alongside the stricken Honda. A couple of miles in and I was knackered trying to keep the bike upright with flat tyre. I suggested to my long-suffering girlfriend have a go. What could possibly go wrong? Quite a lot as it happens! The poor girl took the controls and let out the clutch, then as she proceeded to open the throttle, slipped and opened the throttle wide open!

You’ve Been Framed?

The Benly, revving its little head off, dragged my trainee bike walker across the road and after 20ft,  promptly dived into a ditch. Oh fook! I ran over to get her out and drag the beleaguered Honda from ditch. But at this point cars begin to arrive. We soon become the highlight of the day for two old dears: I overheard them telling other drivers they saw us crash after riding badly! Hmm odd that. On a positive note, at least now I had help to drag out the bike.

The only damage to the tough little Honda was a broken headlight and twisted forks. Running repairs done, including the tyre, we got on our way again. We had a puncture every day that week and although it wasn’t smart overloading the bike, it wasn’t helped by hedges being cut everywhere we seemed to go. The last puncture came as we were leaving Wales for home. By now I was a dab hand at repairing tubes and soon ready to go but the tyre now had a bulge in the side wall! This was so bad the bike wobbled constantly.

Desperate Times Call for Desperate Measures

We spotted a bike shop on route home, so I pulled over to try and effect a proper repair. However, on checking my wallet I found that I was skint and only had enough money left for fuel. What to do? I go in shop and plead my case. They had heard sob-stories thousands of times before, so were not really interested. However, the skip at the side of the shop had old tyres in it! Right, well here goes nothing!

Skip diving isn’t my normal idea for finding spares, but needs must when the Devil drives! I jumped in the skip.  I look around and holy crap, I spy a 17″ tyre of the right size! Ok it as bald as Yul Brynner. However, it might be ok to cover the last 100 miles home. By now the bike shop was shutting for the day. A guy I’d spoken to earlier came over and asked how I’d got on and congratulated us  for spotting a tyre and good look for the onward journey.

I fitted it and we set off once again. It actually felt better than the last tyre! As long as it stayed dry, life was good. I couldn’t be that Lucky twice in day. Dark, heavy rain clouds could be seen. They were closing in fast. The poor little Benly had to put in a speedy ride to keep us ahead!

Fast Food…Literally

By now with all the ‘fun’ we had been having we were both starving. Just then a chippy/cafe came into view at the side of the road. I stopped and screamed at the girlfriend

“Run and get a bag of chips!”

I kept bike running watching the clouds closing in on us. But my super-fast pillion jumped back on from the chippy/café. I said feed me as we go, and we shot off with chips being dropped in my mouth. Slight problem; What the feck? In her eagerness to return she had mistaken a sugar shaker for salt! Chips in the nearest bin.

We Made it!

I slowed down as rain had caught us up and we slid into corners at 45 mph now. The broken (no glass) headlight gave a dull glow as night descended which didn’t help. We arrived home cold and wet, but you know what? We had a great adventure and more CD200 based fun was to follow…

Story & Picture: Mark Truther Hardy

Editor: Tony Donnelly

Based on a Facebook post originally posted here, The Unloved and Worthless Motorcycle Group.

Edited and used with permission.