Again, the C90 Cub’s chassis isn’t built for speed – all it does is connect the wheels, engine and rider. The leading link forks rise under braking, and even with the standard drum brake the unloading of the front wheel can lead to a crash on slippy surfaces. But treat it as a commuter rather than a sports bike, and it’ll comfortably carry you about town – the suspension and full-size wheels give a much more comfortable ride than a scooter.
The C90 is slow. Breaching a real 50mph is good going, and the semi-automatic three-speed gearbox’s high ratios are good for fuel consumption, not acceleration. But it does what it needs to – gets from A to B simply, cheaply and reliably. The heel-and-toe clutchless gear change is easy for a complete novice to understand, and doesn’t mark your shoes either.
The C90’s build is simple – a handful of tools will cover most maintenance tasks, though the robust nature means little repair is needed. The pressed steel chassis is prone to rust on old, neglected or high miles bikes around the rear wheel arch – check it hasn’t got near the rear suspension mounts. The swingarm is susceptible to rust too, the header pipe rots and the wheels can give out – all of which are easily inspected, preventable or curable, so you can afford to be choosy when buying. The engine should need little more than faithful oil changes (it can easily burn through the tiny capacity) and valve clearance checks.
In the current harsh economy, the C90 will win a lot of friends. They cost little to buy, insure, fill with fuel, service or repair – there’s no reason a C90 will ever leave you out of pocket, and as long as you accept it’s built for one purpose, you’ll be happy with it. A complete bike in any state rarely fetches less than £100 – you can really run them in to the ground and still sell them on. Find a Honda C90 for sale.
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There is very little too a C90 – leg shields, a fuel gauge and a decent seat are the extent of the luxuries, but then it is built to do a simple job on the cheap. Owners often add screens, top boxes and boards for the taxi driver’s ‘Knowledge’ – if you want any of these, it shouldn’t be a problem finding the spec you want.