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Vintage Rider
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A few outtakes from a photo shoot and article I'm working on
about Commuter bikes from the '60's. Thought there might be some interest in these odd style bikes from that era.
These bikes were often referred to as "commuter" bikes (typically around 150cc's) and each of the "Big Four" from Japan had a model to compete in this class with. Of course the term "Commuter" would still be thrown around in later decades, but there really is no comparison to this design from the early to mid sixties.

Here's the selection I chose from my personal collection to show the similarities of these competing models from the big four.
From left to right.
1965 Honda CA95 "Benly"
1965 Kawasaki B8S "Super 150"
1964 Yamaha YA6 "Santa Barbara"
1966 Suzuki S32-2 "Olympian"


These models were all available in the mid '60s ( '64 - '66) and shared many traits with each other, such as pressed steel frames, fully enclosed chains, heavily flared fenders, 3.00 x 16" tires (except Suzuki's 3.00 x 17") and high rise handle bars. The main design purpose of this obsolete class was transporting people to work and back with a high degree of reliability, while requiring minimum maintenance and riding comfort.


Whether you were a hard core rider taking your bike to work in rain or shine, or just someone who enjoyed using 2 wheels to run all your week-end errands, These bikes were reliable and efficient in getting you from point A to point B. Although not built for speed or sport riding, they were definitely fun to ride and comfortable as well.


As you can see, there is a lot of similarity between each brand, but let me know which is your favorite. If how much I ride each is any indication as to my favorite, the Honda is top dog followed by the Yamaha, Suzuki and lastly the Kawasaki For those of you my age, I hope you enjoyed a little reminiscing as well, as I sure like giving these mid-size bikes from "back in the day" a good spin every so often.
 

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Mid sixties many were still riding British 650s. Bikes like yours were appearing tho. By 1968 I had a 350 Kawasaki 2 stroke twin.
The Honda four strokes, and the quick Yamaha, Suzuki and Kawasaki 2 strokes were making large inroads. The 69 CB750 and the HI was the beginning of the end for British.
All thru that, BMW, Moto Guzzi had bikes for touring.

UK
 

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Vintage Rider
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Chain guards made a lot of sense.
They were great for adding life to chains just by keeping them cleaner. Unfortunately they had to be removed to change a tire, and most were never put back in place. It's not a very easy job getting them back on properly.
 

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It keeps your skirt away from the chain, which is nice. Oh wait, I do not wear a skirt. Never mind.
Keeps the oil off the surrounding parts. Unless it is British.

UK
 

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Retired twice: Navy and as a govt contractor
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I rode a CB160 in those days and thought I was hot stuff. Was the Bentley also call a Dream?
 
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Vintage Rider
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I rode a CB160 in those days and thought I was hot stuff. Was the Bentley also call a Dream?
The CA95 Benly is still often referred to as a "Baby Dream". The CB160 is sometimes called a "Chicken Hawk" now.:wink2::smile_big:
 

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You've got me drooling here!

What a beautiful line-up. I have difficulty determining what makes them more beautiful, the bike or the nostalgia.
I'll bet that Kawasaki had much more giddy-up than all the others. :)

This photo is exactly what I had as my first motorcycle, the '64 Honda C200, 90cc, in the same color. I'd love to have another!:

View attachment 52050
 

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Retired twice: Navy and as a govt contractor
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Maybe if you are a good boy winger, Riz may let you see behind the closed door (his shop is AWSOME)
 

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If ya shop n the right dealerships, you still can get `em... note the front brakes; much of the third world never heard of disc brakes even on new stuff... (actually, the pics are about 6-7 years old as I recall -- note the passanger arrangement on the one so the wife can ride side-saddle)

-- LB
 

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View attachment 52052

View attachment 52054

If ya shop n the right dealerships, you still can get `em... note the front brakes; much of the third world never heard of disc brakes even on new stuff... (actually, the pics are about 6-7 years old as I recall -- note the passanger arrangement on the one so the wife can ride side-saddle)

-- LB
I thought a semorge was a combo of graham crackers, marshmallows and Hershey chocoloate!
 

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On The Road Again!
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You've got me drooling here!

What a beautiful line-up. I have difficulty determining what makes them more beautiful, the bike or the nostalgia.
I'll bet that Kawasaki had much more giddy-up than all the others. :)

This photo is exactly what I had as my first motorcycle, the '64 Honda C200, 90cc, in the same color. I'd love to have another!:

View attachment 52050
Me too! Exactly like that! White, just like that one.
Rode the heck out of it until I moved up to a 305 Dream.
 

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Me too! Exactly like that! White, just like that one.
Rode the heck out of it until I moved up to a 305 Dream.
I got mine in 1967 or '68. That pushrod iron head was indestructible! Loved that bike. One bad incident I will never for get...went over a dirt mound a little too fast, bike went slightly airborne, so did my butt, never lost grip on the bars, but I landed directly on the tank. Didn't dump the bike, but got a hint of what it might feel like getting a vasectomy without anesthesia. :(

Wow, you moved up fast. I then went to a SL90 Motosport (very rare), then a scrambler 175, to a scrambler 350...and it continued. ;)
 
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