Honda CT90

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CT90
Manufacturer Honda
Production 1966–79
Predecessor CT200
Successor CT110
Class Step-through
Engine 89 cc 4-stroke air-cooled single
Transmission 4-speed, automatic clutch
Frame type Stamped steel
Suspension Leading link (1966–68) or telescoping fork (1969–79)
Fuel consumption c. 100 mpg-US (43 km/l)
the 1972 trail 90 was the last year without factory installed turn signals
A 1968 Honda CT90
A 1976 Honda CT90

The Honda CT90 was a small step-through motorcycle manufactured by Honda from 1966 to 1979. It was offered in two models: Trail or X with the main variations being gear ratios and tyre style.

Predecessors[edit]

The CT90 Trail 90 was preceded by the CT200 Trail 90, which had a dual-sprocket in the rear, with which to shift to the low range the operator clipped an extra length of chain into the drive and ran it over a double-size rear sprocket.

The CT200 had an 87 cc iron-head pushrod OHV engine, instead of the CT90's 89 cc alloy head OHC. There were also earlier trail models of smaller displacement, including the C105T Trail 55.

Early overhead cam CT90 models also featured the dual sprocket setup rather than the sub-transmission of all later models.

Market[edit]

Honda targeted hunters, fishermen, commuters, and outdoorsmen with the Trail 90. Early ads often had these bikes in wilderness settings. They were well suited to narrow trails, being small and lightweight (around 188 pounds) and with a forgiving suspension. The bike was ideal for climbing and carrying packs. The four-stroke engine was quiet and almost all models were equipped with spark-arrestor exhausts.

While targeted at off-road users, this was not a dirt bike in the conventional sense. It could be registered for road use, having a top speed in high-ratio road gear of around 55 mph (89 km/h).[citation needed] Fuel economy was excellent, often around and above 100mpg.[citation needed] In local commuter traffic, it was extremely maneuverable, although it was poorly suited for highway travel because of limited power, off-road-biased tyres, and top speed.

Trail 90s were also modified, by aftermarket vendor Suitcase Cycle, for quick breakdown and compact transport via general aviation aircraft.[1][better source needed]

Design[edit]

The CT90 in its classic form was an 89 cc 4-stroke air-cooled single with a four-speed transmission and a semi-automatic clutch, coupled with a 1.867:1 ratio reduction box that was manually switched into operation using a small lever under the transmission case. The cylinder was nearly horizontal in the step-through tube/stamping frame. The fork was originally a leading link suspension, replaced in 1969 with conventional telescoping-tube suspension.

Successor[edit]

The CT90 ended production in 1979, replaced the following year by the CT110, which was essentially the same machine bored out to 105 cc and weighing slightly more. The 1980 CT110 lacked the reduction box; however, it returned in following years.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "Suitcase Cycle". Check-Six.com.