Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Honda Trail 90 Project

I have undertaken to build myself a motorcycle that I have wanted since I was in my early teens: a Honda Trail 90. I bought a frame to start, and am in the process of gathering the rest of the components I will need. My goal is to have a rideable bike for less than $500. Based on what I have already gathered, I believe I am going to be able to accomplish my goal.
The Trail 90 or CT90 is an offshoot of the Honda Super Cub series of adult-sized motorcycles using horizontal single-cylinder, 4-stroke engines. The best way to describe the Super Cub is to state what it is not.
It is not a scooter. Scooters transmit power to the rear wheel via a CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission), usually of the rubber belt type. They also carry the engine either on the rear swingarm (suspension member) or directly over the rear wheel. Lastly, they have floorboards instead of foot pegs.

It is not a moped, although a few people refer to it as such. The term "moped" came from the words "motor" and "pedal" and refers to a two-wheeled vehicle which has both; either a bicycle with motor assist or a light motorbike with pedal assist.

It is not a dirtbike. Although several different on / off-road versions of the Cub have been built, they are designed to transport passengers and cargo over rough terrain at a relatively slow pace for utilitarian purposes, while dirt bikes are designed to travel at speed through rough terrain as a recreational pursuit or for competition.

The Cub series consists of a pressed steel frame incorporating the rear fender, with a heavy steel tube angling up to a headstock which mounts the front fork assembly. The engine mounts to this frame and is a unit assembly with a three- or four-speed geared transmission and an automatic or manual clutch. The CT-90 version also adds a dual range sub-transmission for extremely rough terrain and/ or heavy loads. Earlier Trail versions used an overlay dual rear sprocket arrangement for the same purpose.
The rear suspension consists of a swingarm and a pair of coil-over shock absorbers, to which the rear wheel mounts. The bike has 17-inch spoked wheels front and rear, and a pair of foot pegs for driver and passenger. All of these features set it aside from both scooters and mopeds.

So there you have it: a utilitarian motorcycle that can haul an adult rider and a heavy load of cargo over just about any terrain, while returning over 100 miles per gallon (Honda says 178 mpg at a slow cruise of 25 mph) of the cheapest, lowest octane gasoline you can find. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I remember back when I was in my young teens, I wanted a 'trials bike', a small nimble 90cc enginned motorcycle I thought would be great for traveling 'cow track' trails left by our livestock. I never got it though.

Your bike sounds awesome - hope it works out!