Sunday, December 20, 2009

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Honda Releases More Details About the EV-Cub

Click here or on the image above to view an official Honda discussion of the EV-Cub, which had its debut at the recent Tokyo Motor Show. It's very interesting - if slightly flowery - reading, indeed! If Honda carries this vision from their concept department into production, the Super Cub will truly be the most unique mode of transportation in human history - it's already the only vehicle introduced in the 1950's that is still being manufactured today, and the EV-Cub takes it across the paradigm shift into the age of electric-powered transportation!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Electric Super Cub in the Works?

Honda recently revealed a prototype Super Cub that is powered by dual electric hub motors and (I assume) a lithium battery. If this is more than just an engineering exercise, we may see the venerable Cub lead the way to the next paradigm in 2-wheeled transport! More details here.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The First Honda Cub Advertisement

This is the first advertisement in the USA for Honda motorcycles - featuring, naturally, the '58 Super Cub.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

A Brand New Honda Cub for $245! (in 1965, that is)

That kid looking out the back window could have been me. I was 8 years old in 1965. In recent years I bought one of those hitch-mounted motorcycle carriers for hauling around my Super Cub, but it just didn't work: the suspension on my Outback wagon couldn't handle the weight. I guess I could have installed stiffer shocks, but I decided to go with a trailer instead, which worked fine.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

"Little Honda" performed by "The Hondells" - 1964

I had never heard of the "Hondells" before I ran across this video on YouTube. Apparently, they were one of those fictitious groups formed by a producer (in this case, Gary Usher) using studio musicians. They recorded and released Brian Wilson's "Little Honda" in 1964, before the Beach Boys did, and it was a hit. It looks like they used four white C100's, brand-spanking-new! I would have preferred a bit less bouncing, but I guess they were trying to give the impression of youthful kinetic energy or something, within the constraints of a studio stage. Did they rehearse? Not much, apparently - they don't all seem to be together on the lip-synching or choreography. Who did the lighting? Terrible! Nice balancing, girls - sort of, well, not really. Oh, and, "CUT! Girl on bike no. 1, TAKE OFF THOSE GLASSES!"

If you'd like to read more about the Hondells - here's their Wikipedia page.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Commercial Photography - Can It Get Any Better Than This?

This is probably my favorite Super Cub advertisement of all time. What simple genius - to put the bike and riders in focus against a motion-blurred background! The photographer must have been riding on a vehicle that matched the speed of the bike. Wonderful. It creates a fascinating effect: the Super Cub seems to jump out from the page, like one of those old "3D" photos. An invisible (but visual) force anchors the viewer's eye on the graceful lines of the Cub and the attractive young couple as they happily zoom past it all.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Elegant Simplicity

Observe and enjoy for a moment the above advertisement from the mid-1960's. Can you imagine any other motorcycle underneath that stylish, intelligent-looking girl that would have the same effect? It's strange - the Super Cub is not very masculine but it is not feminine, either. It is something that very few, if any, other motorcycles can claim to be: handsome. The lines are elegant, the colors - red, white, and black - are simple yet bold and appealing. Elegant simplicity might be another good description. Put a cute co-ed on top (and note, one that looks elegantly simple herself - smartly dressed - pretty but with class and a pose that seems to say that she has brains in addition to good looks), and the combination is quite pleasing. Contrast this with other motorcycle ads that feature bikini-clad bimbos straddling or garishly posed on top of bikes where the message seems to be, "Get this bike and get laid". What a difference!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

New Super Cub Video from Rob in Japan!

Rob is an American young man living in Japan. What makes him a one-of-a-kind among the human race is, in addition to his talents with a video camera and editing console, he has a heart for the Honda Super Cub! Naturally, as he resides in a country where the Cub is not only ubiquitous but is also still available brand new in Honda dealerships, he bought one a few years ago and has shared his happy experiences, often via video, on his "Adventures of a Super Cub" blog ever since. For this, his fellow American Super Cub lovers are eternally grateful (and jealous)! He recently posted the above short. Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

1970 Super Cub Engine Ready to Run!

We're getting to the good parts of this 1970 Super Cub restoration! Tariq at sent me a new set of pictures from his shop that show the engine completely back together and looking as though it did when it rolled off the assembly line 39 years ago. He's going to run it for a while to make sure all is well, and then ship it back here for mounting on the frame, etc... This may be the first time ever that a C70M has been both increased to 90cc and had a 4-speed transmission upgrade (standard is 3-speed, like all early Super Cubs). I can't wait to open the crate and get to work!

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Happiness is a Clean Engine!

My friend Tariq Shah at just posted a new set of photos of my 1970 C70M engine that he is rebuilding. Wow - what a difference from the way the engine looked with 39 years of gunk build-up! For the complete photo series (at least so far - there's still some work left), go here.
Once the engine is back on the bike I'll post some pics. I'm anxiously awaiting the results of this rebuild, because it includes an 88cc upgrade and the addition of a 4th gear to the transmission. I'm hoping that with the combination of the added power and gearing, plus a 15-tooth primary socket, I might be able to get this baby up to 55 mph! Maybe I should also lay-off the apple turnovers: that would probably help considerably.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Latest Project - 1965 CA100

Well, I did it again! I bought a 1965 Super Cub that runs, has a title, but needs significant work. My wife, who loves me in spite of it, thinks I've got a screw loose. She's probably right. But, somehow, this bike really appeals to me, and I got it at a reasonable price. One thing I learned early in this restoration hobby is not to buy a bike that has no title - getting a replacement title in the State of New Jersey is kind of like - impossible.

What I plan to do in this project is rebuild the motor, add a 4th gear to the transmission, add turn signals and a corresponding turn signal control to the handlebar, install new rims and tires, replace the exhaust, re-cover the seat, and maybe even paint the frame. Then I'll ride it around for a while and pass it on to somebody who will take care of it for the rest of its "life".

Parts/services sources:

Engine rebuild: CT Trail Bikes -

Seat cover, blinkers, blinker handlebar switch: Ebay (most items from East Asia)

New wiring harness (that supports blinkers): Apex Cycle -

Tires/tubes: Beatrice Cycle -

Other parts: Ohio Cycle -

Frame painting: TBD (probably a local auto paint shop - one who's motto is, "No job too large or small".

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Great Minds Think Alike...

The above photo is one of my all-time "Celebrity + Super Cub" favorites. Two unique examples of intelligent design - the Honda Super Cub and William F. Buckley. Perfect together, aren't they? In my opinion, only a free society could produce a design like the Super Cub, and Buckley seems to "get it". Could anything so simple, practical, and pleasing to the eye ever come out of the Soviet Union, Cuba, Communist China, or any other place where the human mind and spirit are (or were) repressed?

Review - Super Cubs I've Known and Loved...

In order to re-constitute the blog, I'll make an entry today that summarizes the Super Cubs I've owned in the past - some of which I've restored and/or customized.

How did I get interested in Super Cubs in the first place? I can still remember the day, back sometime in the mid-1960's when as a 3rd or 4th grader I first caught sight of a Super Cub. A bunch of us were waiting for the school bus one morning as usual, and as it happened, the bus didn't show up that day (this was not so unusual in my home town in those years - today it would probably result in a lawsuit). As we started to drift away back to our homes, one little girl's dad rode up to the bus stop on this really unusual motor bike, stopped and said to her, "hop on", and off they went!

I was impressed by that handsome, quiet, and dignified machine - so attractive and elegant! Very much unlike the Harleys and Indians that thundered through town occasionally, typically in packs; straddled by burly dudes with beards and tatoos, frightening little kids and old ladies and looking as if they enjoyed it.

I was always hoping for the bus not to show up again so that maybe he'd come by the bus stop. I don't remember it happening again, but I did see him drop her off at school once or twice when she had missed the bus. Boy, did I envy that kid!

Years later, when my son suddenly announced he was going to buy a motorcycle, I decided to go with him to the training course (it was the only way I could get him to agree to it - being 19, he was convinced he didn't need any "training"). Afterward, I thought getting a small-displacement bike to ride around the neighborhood, and of course that little Honda from long ago came to mind. I looked it up on the Honda website and found it's name - "Super Cub". A quick search on Ebay turned up multiple Cubs for sale.

First I bought a 1981 C70 Passport (still a Super Cub, just a different model name), then a 1982 C70, then a 1969 CM91. By this time my wife was getting concerned. I sold two of the bikes and kept the '82, and had a great time re-styling it to look more like the original Cub of the early '60's. Then, due to some sudden financial pressure in 2008, I sold it as well.
Our finances improved, thankfully, and now I have two Cubs - a '70 C70M, and a '65 C100. Both are in need of restoration, so that will be my weekend hobby for the next several months.
Sometime this year I'm going to purchase a new, 2009 SYM "Symba". This is a Super Cub made by a company in Taiwan that used to make them under license from Honda for the Taiwan domestic market. The quality of the Symba is even better than the original Honda, and SYM has updated it in some key areas (suspension, engine, transmission, etc...) that make it probably the best, most advanced Cub ever. If you're interested, check out my other blog dedicated to the Symba:

OK, here's my first Cub:

This is an '81 C70. It was mechanically sound, and all I did was to clean it up and style it a bit to look like the bike in the "Look of Love" Youtube video. It was a lot of fun, though.

My 2nd bike was a '69 CM91. The photo above is not the actual bike I bought off Ebay - I owned it for so short a time I didn't get a picture taken. It was in fair shape - not nearly as nice as the museum sample above. Right after I won the auction I saw an '82 model that I really preferred as a project at that time. So, I sold the CM91 only a few days after I got it (for the same price) to a fellow Cub-lover who had lost out to me on the original Ebay auction.

This baby was my first real restoration project. I did all I could to re-style this '82 to look more like a '60's Cub: had a custom seat cover made, replaced the stock muffler with one that looked more retro, changed the front turn signals, the emblems on the front fork and on each side of the gas tank, put on a new chain guard, and added a center stand. In addition I installed new: cables, tires, chain, sprockets, kick start lever, shift lever, hand grips, and (as a final touch) added a rear hard-case.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Oof! Accidentally Deleted the Blog!

That's right, I thought I was deleting just an old entry and wound up wiping the whole blog clean! Sorry friends! New posts coming soon about my 1970 C70M restoration, and news about my latest Cub acquisition - a 1965 C100 in rough but running shape. These two bikes should keep me busy for the next few months!