Kickstand Classic: 1959-1964 Honda CA95 Benley Tourer – The Baby Dream

The Dream was Honda’s first larger production motorcycle, which arrived in 1956. It was the first high-powered twin in its class, which was dominated by single cylinder engines. Its 18+ hp was made at the then-almost unheard of 7400 rpm. Everyone assumed that such a high revving engine would never last in a street bike. They didn’t know Honda.

Just three years later, the 125/150/160cc family of twins arrived. The most common one was the CA95 Benley Tourer, with a 155cc mill that made 16.5 hp @10,000 rpm. For a perfectly docile touring bike with a single carb and even electric start, an output in excess of one hundred hp/liter was quite a feat. It was quickly dubbed “The Baby Dream” thanks to its similar concept and styling.

This class of Honda twins were popular with young buyers whose parents didn’t want them on a bigger bike, or they just couldn’t afford it. Like Mike Hubbard, a high schooler whose family lived three houses down from us in Iowa City. He had one and broke both of his arms in several places when he went over the handlebars and up on the hood or trunk of a car. His football team was not happy, as were his parents. Fortunately his unhelmeted head came out mostly unscathed.

The SOHC 360 degree parallel twin looked very much like a smaller 250/305 Dream mill. The hemi head with an 8:1 compression ratio had large valves, the key to its ability to rev and make power. It fed a four speed transmission, and the top speed in each gear was 20, 35, 50 and 63 mph, according to a 1960 Cycle Magazine test.

Other sources claim it was capable of 70+mph. Undoubtedly that depended on the position of the rider, as a tuck upped maximum speed on these little bikes significantly.

The frame was pressed steel, and the suspension by leading-link in the front and swing arms in back. Cycle Magazine praised its comfort, given the fairly soft springs. This was not a cafe racer.

That would have been the CB92R, whose 125 cc version of the twin spun to 13,000 rpm.

The black tank on this one is not original. There’s a lot of interest in old Honda bikes, and parts have become quite scarce, so that explains that. I’m pleasantly surprised that I’ve now found both the 30 Dream and the Benley Tourer.



Kickstand Classic: Honda Dream 305 – Soichiro Honda’s Dream Comes True