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Old 12-31-2012, 03:53 PM   #227
ibafran
villagidiot
 
Joined: Apr 2007
Location: chicagoland
Oddometer: 1,281
circa 1964. Honda CA-95, Benly Touring. 16hp@10,500rpm, leading link suspension controlled (hah) by rubber donuts similar to what hangs modern cage muffler systems today, Stamped steel (welded) frame and forks surprisingly strong for how much abuse this bike suffered. Kinda square plastic rear shock covers. Square sealed beam headlight requiring dealer specific replacement (Suzuki x-6 Hustler had an odd shaped headlight too which is another story). Bike might hit 80mph downhill w/tailwind and rider under the paint when the speed wobble started. Might reliably hit 70mph otherwise. BITD, people actually toured 2-up on such a bike or so I am told. All my budds' 90cc bikes would eat this bike everywhere except on very long straights.

UPs: Peter Egan of Cycle World has/had one and liked it. Enclosed drive chain never wore out, hardly needed lube or adjustment, and could be ridden in the worst dirt/mud/water/snow/salt without damage. (Harley made a big bike with an enclosed chain that ran in an oil bath. I know of one example that the plain roller chain has 80k miles on it with no sign of wearing out. Says a lot for the idea of an enclosed chain.) Jewel of an engine. Very sturdy bike crashed a lot and actually hit once with only cosmetic damage. Rode a lot of dirt with the bike and it took it pretty well. Big (ugly, flared) mud guards kept me and the bike pretty clean. Springs in the seat were pretty comfy compared to the usual foam seats of the day. Honda electric start in the day when a lot of big bikes were kick starters.

Downs: Worst suspenion/handling that I have ever encountered. Gave me personal riding tics that I have yet to conquer to this day. Ugliest bike that I know of. Internal throttle mechanism had the cable exiting the bar thru a little hole in the riser. That hole caused the bar to bend/break on every fall to that side. Mufflers, centerstand, solid pags dragged at such shallow lean angles as to make harley dressers of any era look and be more nimble. The mufflers/pegs always lifted the rear wheel off the ground during the most minor touchdowns.

Bike has my nomination for the 'most disposable' UJM ever made. BITD, I might have known/seen 2 other examples besides my own. Nowdays, I see one every once in a great while at shows or museums or collections. As rare as it might be in the States, the 'unsual' (scary part) doesn't really happen until it is ridden briskly while trying to keep up with a period Super Cub. I have no idea how Egan might like this bike as a sum total experience?
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"beware the grease mud. for therein lies the skid demon."-memory from an old Honda safety pamphlet
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