Motorcycle Forum banner

1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Vintage Rider
Joined
·
420 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I decided it was time to land a "big one" from my most wanted list. So when the opportunity came around again (first time in 3 years) it was time to get out from under the porch and make it happen. These CB92's only go up for sale about once or twice a year, and you've got to be in the right place at the right time to score one. The one I got was titled in '62 but is a '61 which is a year of many small changes for that model. Only 246 were imported to the US.
Once the dust from sitting in a warehouse for 39 years was washed off, it wasn't as cosmetically pleasing as I had hoped, but I figured if I ever planned on getting one it probably should be now, and then work at making it better if and when I can find the stuff to do it.

So after a road trip to Iowa and the Davenport meet, where it was so hot and humid I thought I was about to croak, I hit an auction that had this Honda.
Had to put the thing on the back carrier because I was just too hot and tired to rearrange my load as I had left my trailer home to save on fuel cost :frown: . Here it is loaded for the long haul back to Colorado.


If I was smarter or richer, I'd just get a hauler like this one I saw on the trip home. (even stole my name :p) Picture taken at 75 MPH ;)


Got home at 3 AM and crashed for a few hours, then unloaded her and cleaned up the fuel system a bit. I was sure glad and relieved when she fired up on the first kick and sounded healthy. :biggrin:




I guess you could say it's the only cafe racer looking bike I like, especially the tank style, which is very unusual.

It has the early seamless mufflers with quite a bit of pitting as well as on the rims. It came with an alloy front fender. Tach drive gear is there but no tach. I know there are a few things that aren't correct, such as tank badges and tail light which wasn't used until '63 that are on it. What caught me off guard was that it had the early reverse shifting pattern. 1 up and 3 down, like my Hodaka. Supposedly that can be put back to normal by turning over the shift lever as it goes to a linkage setup.

Here's a link to the first running of it. It is easy to hear the higher lift cam than that which came with the regular C92.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WoR1IGEfK4o
Still running so rich it makes my eyes water. Will most likely need to re-jet for my altitude.
 

·
Retired twice: Navy and as a govt contractor
Joined
·
14,359 Posts
I got "this video is marked private"

Nice looking bike.
 

·
Retired twice: Navy and as a govt contractor
Joined
·
14,359 Posts
Worked great thanks. Sounds good no strange noises
 

·
Aging & Worn
Joined
·
4,516 Posts
You mentioned something about a "Cafe Racer," and I had heard a little about that type of bike, but not a lot.

Was a "Cafe Racer" an exclusive brand description, or where "Cafe Racers" certain styles of bikes that were made by a number of different manufacturers?

I'll have to study up I guess! Nice retro bike!!

-Soupy
 

·
Retired twice: Navy and as a govt contractor
Joined
·
14,359 Posts
Google is your friend Soupy
 

·
Aging & Worn
Joined
·
4,516 Posts
from Google:

http://oppositelock.kinja.com/why-a-cafe-racer-makes-a-terrible-first-bike-1688355535


“.....Let me start off with what make these attractive to new riders.
1st: Low CC
Everyone knows that you dont start on a big bike. The best starter bikes are all sub 500 CCs. and back in the old days, no one NEEDED more. a 750CC bike was considered BIG. So lots of companies made bikes in such a way that there was almost always something offered in 100cc increments. EG. Honda made the CB 350 and the CB 450 and 550. Kawasaki made the KZ 440. I think Yamaha had a 400CC. point is, if you really wanted to, you could step up from bike to bike VERY incrementally. and this choice of small sizes makes these bikes VERY appealing.

2nd: Light weight
This is another BIG plus for these bikes. Because they had small CC motors, they didnt need huge frames or beefy gear boxes to handle them. this led to some lightweight (ish) bikes. Of course, they also had lower tech, so the frames were made of steel, so the difference might not be as much as you would think.
3rd: Low prices
There was a BIG cafe racer bubble a little while a ago, but it seems to have died down now. this means you can pick up a decent, running cafe racer for ~2000 if you know where to look. 2K for a running, driving motorcycle thats NOT the usual beaten up ninja250/cbr250? Sign me up.

4th: Looks
While this really depends on opinion, cafe racers are undeniably cool. MUCH cooler then a beaten up ninja 250. and there is less body work to fix when we drop it right? win win for all!


So. with all of those plus points, why are they bad motorcycle to start learning on?

1st: Old brakes
Biggest thing. The brakes are from the last century. I dont care if it was the top of the line super bike from 30 years ago, brakes have come a LONG way since and even the tiny-teeny brakes off a CBR 125 will be better then those. And I'm not just speaking in terms of out-right stopping power. Old brakes feel very numb and funny in comparison to new brakes. It is FAR easier to lock up the brakes on an older bike simply because the brakes aren't as communicative with you. And this is assuming the brakes are in 100% perfect condition. Who knows what 20/30/40 years have done to those things. OH, not to mention, on a brand new CBR300R, you can get ABS. Good luck finding a bike made in the 80's with that.

For a more experienced rider, this isn't a problem. You have the mileage and know how to compensate for it. For a new rider, it could spell disaster.


2nd: Old chassis
To further compound the braking issue, we have the chassis (frame) of the bike. Decades old designs and technology will not turn in as fast or as nicely as something made this side of the 21st century. Again, this is before we even talk about how old the bike is and what time has done to those parts. The suspension is also a BIG point. Even modern bikes sometimes have problems with incorrectly set up shocks. How about one that's 30 years old? How worn out is the suspension? Does it need a rebuild? Which leads nicely to our next point...

3rd: Parts availability
So, you bought that awesome rat-bike CB350. Nice. But you dropped it on the ground and found out the hard way that the starter has seen some better days. So, you go online to order a starter. If this was a newer bike, it would be 10 minutes on the commuter, 3 days waiting for it to arrive. On an older bike, it more like 3 days on the computer, trying to find that god forsaken part, then finding threads about how you can 'upgrade' it to the starter off a CB550, and then spend 2 days trying to find THAT starter, then find one you need, buying it, waiting for 4 weeks while it makes its way over from Asia, only to find out that its for a 83 Honda and you have a 82 Honda. and its back to the start. Not fun. And in the end, you sell that CB350 as a "project bike" on craigslist and buy another one.

ALSO. Remember how I said there were less body panels to break? yea, if you end up breaking one, you are SCREWED when it comes to finding replacements. And getting them repair aint cheap, as they are metal pieces, not plastic.
4th: Temperamental motors
Yes, these motor have less HP then their modern counter parts, but how do they act? The power and torque curves are very peaky. Not only that, but in the morning, when its cold, I can walk into my garage, turn the key on my SV650, hit the starter, and the bike will fire right up and warm its self up. No struggling to start a old carb'ed machine and waiting for it to warm up and fiddling with chokes for me. I just get on and ride. Fuel injection also means I dont have to take apart the carbs and re-tune it every time the season changes.

5th: Where they came from
And old cafe racer is just that. Old. What could have POSSIBLY happened to that bike in those 30 years? How many times has it been down? Taken apart and not put back together right? Lots of cafe racers COME from crashed bikes because it was cheaper to rebuilt it as a cafe racer then the bike it was before the crash.

6th: LIGHTS
While the head light on a starter bike doesn't really get much attention as your not riding at night, your tail light DOES get a lot of attention, Cafe racers usually have incredibly small or dim lights, sometimes even off set to one side, so you cant see it from the other.

Turn signals is another thing you may forget. Lots of cafe racers DO NOT have turn signals! Very VERY few of them do. Depending on your state/local laws, you are able to get away with just arm signals.

Again, for an older guy with more experience, this may not pose much of a problem. For someone who is just learning how to ride, taking your hands off the handle bars for ANY reason while riding is, well, moronic at best. "


-Soupy
 

·
Retired twice: Navy and as a govt contractor
Joined
·
14,359 Posts
and you posted that why? you were the one asking
 

·
Aging & Worn
Joined
·
4,516 Posts
I thought the OP'er might enjoy reading some other guy's opinion about Cafe Racers...........for entertainment, if nothing else.

-Soupy
 

·
Gone.
Joined
·
17,857 Posts
You mentioned something about a "Cafe Racer," and I had heard a little about that type of bike, but not a lot.

Was a "Cafe Racer" an exclusive brand description, or where "Cafe Racers" certain styles of bikes that were made by a number of different manufacturers?

I'll have to study up I guess! Nice retro bike!!

-Soupy
No original cafe racer was ever built by a manufacturer.
 

·
Vintage Rider
Joined
·
420 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Looks like this thread took a slight turn to cafe racers;) I did bring up the fact that this bike has similar styling as what is considered that look, however I didn't want anyone to think I am in any way caught up in that culture. In fact I despise what it is doing to what's left of the vintage bikes I enjoyed so much during my teen age and early twenties. I've discussed that topic many times on other forums so won't go there on this one, but do take solace in the fact that with each machine destroyed for someones own personal version of art, only serves to increase the value of the bikes I own in their original state.

Some facts about the CB92.
They were made from '59 to '64 with an average of about 3,000 per year world wide.
US sales were: 14 CB92s in 1959, 288 in '60, 246 in '61, and 51 in '62. At the same time, the CB92R sold 148 in '61 and 268 in '62. None were imported in '63 and '64. The only difference between the "R" and the CB92, are dealer installed pieces such as the seat on mine, as well as few performance bits I won't bother to list here. So if parts were available today, one could take a CB92 and create a CB92R and no one would be able to distinguish it from a dealer supplied racer.

Here is a cropped picture from the '61 dealer brochure of the two versions.

So you can see that the seat on mine, which is cafe style is a genuine Honda product from '61. Which is very valuable and I have no problem with leaving it attached.
I can understand why so many people aren't familiar with this model, due to the scarcity of it. Only about one or two change hands in any given year in the US, with most going to collectors to take care of until passed on again. I really didn't think I would ever get a chance to own one, and am thrilled to have it.
Bill Silver aka MrHonda, a guy I know from San Diego, has written quite a bit about the model as well.

Here's some links to a few articles if you wish to learn a bit more about this iconic Honda. To a collector, such as myself, this model is the 2nd most sought after Honda production bike, only outdone by the '69 CB750 sandcast version.

http://www.examiner.com/article/honda-s-incredible-cb92-benly-super-sport

http://www.examiner.com/article/cb92-treasure-hunt-a-search-for-wheels-and-other-stuff

http://www.examiner.com/article/how-to-ruin-perfectly-good-motorcycles
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
26 Posts
That's a wild design. Real nice shape too.

Off topic, hows the hitch carrier working out? Any complaints about it, or problems? I've been considering picking one up myself.
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top