Tim Finn posted this shot of a bike that is deeply familiar to me, and a former object of desire. These were absolutely everywhere in Iowa City in the early seventies, even though they had been replaced by the CB125 by then. It was the VW of motorcycles: common, cheap and durable; in other words, perfect for students and other young folks to get around town.
I wanted one too then, and I did end up with a Bridgestone 90, looking rather similar but with a two-stroke engine. I’ll have to save that crazy story for another day. Meanwhile, let’s celebrate this one with some vintage Honda motorcycle ads, which were as catchy and successful as VW’s ads in the sixties.
Honda’s ads were all about projecting a wholesome but sexy image. Buy one, and you’ll never have to ride alone.
The S90’s 89.6 cc OHC single generated 8 hp @9,500 rpm and 4.7 ft.lb. of torque @8,000 rpm. Yes, you had to wind them out to get full benefit of its power, but it was also quite happy to chug around at more modest revs. If you didn’t push it real hard, it was easy to get 100 mpg. Maximum speed was listed at 62 mph. It was built between 1964 and 1969.
I rode my Bridgestone 90 on the highway a couple of times, flat-out at around 60, but I can tell you it was not fun. It just felt too light for that speed, as well as a bit strained. These bikes were in their element around town as well as cruising the smaller rural country roads at around 45 or so. With a girl on the back, of course, heading to a quarry to go skinny dipping on a hot summer Iowa night. With the wind in your hair, which of course was flying free, as helmets hadn’t been invented yet, or something like that. And no, we weren’t dressed like that, and I doubt these two are off to go skinny-dipping.
Ooh baby; that S90 is a sexy beast!
Of course sometimes that girl on the back really was a girl.
You meet the nicest people on a Honda.