Once more the C90 has been resurrected and MOT'd, this time only requiring a rear tyre, an oil change and a rear brake rebuild. It's easy to forget the charm these wee bikes have, I came pretty close to selling the wee bike when I was offered good money for it but I'm glad I kept it.
I've decided to use the wee Honda as an "Adventure bike".
"What the fuck is an adventure bike Mike?"
Exactly, what the fuck IS an adventure bike?
For me its a bike you go on adventures on. It doesn't matter how big it is, how long the suspension travel is, what size the wheels are or how nobbly the tyres are. There's a few folk on the internet that get seriously confused when a bike is given the "adventure" title.
I first knew of these adventure bikes as "big traillies", big machines designed to take you and your gear to lesser visited areas, often involving dirt roads. Somewhere along the line this has resulted in people thinking their 230+ kg GS, Africa Twin or similar "dual sport" is a motocross bike or Dakar Rally machine, Youtube evidencing several entertaining, but extremely expensive crashes. Dirt roads have now became off road. If you're not battering through some track on your touring, sorry, adventure bike you're not living. I even read about some guy asking for recommendations for an aftermarket seat to make his motorcycle more comfortable over distance, only to be told he had an adventure bike so he should be standing up. I dunno about you, but I wouldn't fancy riding to the south of France without even the occasional sit down. For me if I'm going to go off road, I'll be using an off road bike. My expensive, heavy Africa Twin will be used for touring and holida... I mean adventures! Aidan has recently got his hands on a trials bike which I've been getting to use in exchange for help maintaining the bike. The plan is to get my own once I've restored and sold my KDX200. Shots of Aidan's Sherco 290 will have to do me till then, along with adventure riding on my adventure bike, the mighty C90!
The C90 is everything the marketing geniuses adventure bikes isn't. It's light, underpowered, has a tiny fuel tank, it's basic, cheap and old. It's light weight makes it ideal for greenlaning and rough roads but it does have it's limitations, as I found out the other night.
Much like modern adventure bikes, Honda C90's have a slightly misunderstood reputation. Many believe the little 90's to be bombproof, offroad capable machines. While this is partly true, the reliability requires a pretty intensive service schedule. I try and change the oil on mine every 500 miles. As I said, it has limitations on rough roads. The suspension is like a pogo stick and the engine and exhaust are exposed to rocks and other stuff. I've already cracked one rocker cover on something. A sump guard from a pitbike might be able to fit, that's something to look into in the future. I've fitted a long range fuel tank (see pictures) but I'll have to do something about the headlight. A miss timed trip into the hills left my arse twitching like a rabbit's nose when I found myself lost in the middle of nowhere in the dark. The C90's headlight is like a fucking tealight candle, I had to follow the pylons to find my way out!
The C90 does seem to beat every other bike in the snow and ice though, I've had a couple of day out up the hills and down the borders, it's great to get out in the scenery. It's cold like, and slow, but the roads were empty and I pootled about stopping here and there for a photo. Braw.
Excuse the quality of the photos, I only had my phone with me. Hopefully there will be more C90 action to show you soon. Oh, and not wanting to leave Youtube out, I made this video of my adventure biking.
Hope you enjoy it.