I bought a Honda C90 last week. Hired a van and drove down to Wigan to collect it. I am really pleased with the bike as it exactly met my specifications; post 1982 so it has CDI ignition, sub 20K miles and sub £500. This one is 23 years old first registered in 1988 and has done 19,000 miles. This year it has had a new exhaust, suspension, front fork linkage and the seat has been recovered.
Before I went to collect it the owner contacted me to tell me that whilst all the time he had worked on it, it had idled perfectly but that day it was not idling. He had stripped, cleaned and rebuilt the carb but he still could not get it to idle. He said he was going to find the settings for the idle mixture screw and give it another go. No need for him to find the settings as I already had a workshop manual and I read them out to him. The next day it was still not idling but it was a bit better after he had taken it on a run. Since the bike seemed very good in every other way I told him not to worry and I would sort it myself. I got home late on Sunday and had a poor night’s sleep but had to take the van back to the hirer. Filled the tank and was pleased to find the Vauxhall Combo van had given an average 47 mpg on the run of 407 miles. By the time I got back home I was really tired and after lunch I slept on and off for the next 20 hours so it was Tuesday before I could try the bike.
Now let me explain; the last bike I had owned was a Yamaha FJ1200 and this C90 was 1/13 the engine size, further it was an semi-automatic, press the gear lever down once for first then down again for 2nd and down again for 3rd which was totally unlike a conventional bike where you press down for 1st and then up for all the remaining gears. The ride was quite frantic as I found myself concentrating too much on the gear changes and not enough on the riding.
Lying in bed that night I thought about how I had been riding. The next day I checked the spark plug (could do with a new one) and the air filter (could do with a new one). I took the bike out again and having spent the previous night thinking about my performance I managed the gear changes much better and rode the bike with proper attention to the road.
I ordered the spark plug and filter. After I have fitted them I will set the idle air/fuel mixture and that should cure the poor idling problem. If not then it will probably be due to the petrol being too old. In any case nothing to worry about.
I have never ridden a bike with this kind of performance, I swear the Microsoft customer service line moves faster. From 0 to 30 it is about the same acceleration as a car but that is fine for me as that will do for riding round town and maybe it will be a wee tadge better when I have finished working on it. What is great is the weight. 78 kg makes it a doddle to manhandle onto its’ centre stand.
All in all I am well pleased with my purchase. It has been running for 23 years and I can easily see it lasting me for another 16 years without spending much money. The main problem is that when you have a C90 other bikers expect you to take it on a round the world trip for which they are ideally suited as spares are everywhere. After all Mr. Honda sold 60 million of them making them the world’s most popular bike. Alas, while the bike is capable of that round the world trip I am not so sure about myself.